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Loved the CRB - great snorkeling... lrg barracuda once

chicago
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Loved the CRB - great snorkeling... lrg barracuda once

So, thanks again for the info all…. Got back last night – LOVED it. Especially the beach/snorkeling, went twice a day, 11am and 4pm.

Lots of stuff to see aside from the garden variety reg snorkeling fish. Out to the left, in from of the Cat with kids towards the end, was the best. We saw flounder all the time (once large) large fiddler crab, small sting ray, lion fish (first for me). Even a family of cuddle fish! They are amazing to watch, esp. the color change.

Speaking of fins…. I took ‘em, didn’t wear them. On the last day however, I was approached (I say approached because it was shallow area behind the rope, just were the grass ends) by a HUGE barracuda. It is the second largest I’ve ever seen (we travel much, seen a lot) at around 4+ feet, and very thick around. It slowly came up shoulder-level behind me, only few feet away (I scan around all the time so it had to be fast). I panicked at paddled back yelling towards my guy like crazy… luckily he was only 10 feet away. He yelled to me to get directly behind him, with my hands up from water (watch/engagement ring, I totally forgot they like shiny things) and back away slowly while keeping eye on it. I did; the fish kept hanging around us. Another guy came up to watch, so the cuda backed up some – but didn’t swim away… it actually open its mouth a few times, huge serrated teeth, while eyeballing us.

It was very still most times, it moved fast to change position and would then hang there, watching. Then the third guy left – immediately, the fish started inching back toward us, as we were stepping toward shore backwards. I am not kidding – it went as shallow as less then waste deep. It was not scared at all. We decided it’s enough and got out – told the guard there is a large barracuda right by, he was like “Si, muy bien, excellente, hehe”. Must have thought we were crazy, lol.

I’m just glad someone else saw it too… Scared as I was, it sure was amazing to watch, what an experience! Glad no one got bitten, lol. There are lots of people with little kids around the loud family part.

Not to make anyone paranoid, just watch under you when swimming there after 4pm/twilight.

From what I know, the barracuda will rarely attack if you don't threaten it but just keep your eye out in the afternoon so you don't get ambushed like I was :)

Bayahibe, Dominican...
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1. Re: Loved the CRB - great snorkeling... lrg barracuda once

Wow! that's quite an experience! and very rare to see such a big baracuda so close to shore. Yes, twilight and early morning is when most fish are feeding.

But you did the right thing in putting your arms/watch/rings up out of the water and slowly backing away - barracudas are an inquisitive fish and not frightened off easily.

Always best to remove shiny jewellery before snorkeling. Also a good reason not to feed the fish as they will become accustomed to associating humans with food.

chicago
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2. Re: Loved the CRB - great snorkeling... lrg barracuda once

Indeed.... I've never seen anything of that size in the place where I can stand!

I was told I will now be forced to wear a glove over my diamond ring and a watch when in the water.

I was wearing a white bikini too... It’s possible silver/white combo attracted the big guy. It felt like he was fixated on us and just wanted to keep coming, to drive us out or get very close?

I am not complaining thought, to see an apex predator in its own home is a treat.

Now watching some barracuda videos, I realize how lucky we were that my man didn’t try to *scare him off*. I am almost certain he would have been attacked if he tried to intimidate him, and visiting an ICU in a third world country is not our idea of fun, lol. That fish was not about to back down.

All is well that ends well.

Bayahibe, Dominican...
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3. Re: Loved the CRB - great snorkeling... lrg barracuda once

barracuda are territorial creatures he may have thought you were invading his hunting ground, but chances are he was attracted to your jewellery or reflective watch face. Snorkel masks can also reflect light and attract them. It is extremely rare for a human to be bitten by one. Glad to read you view it as a positive encounter :-)

chicago
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4. Re: Loved the CRB - great snorkeling... lrg barracuda once

Thanks for the feedback, yes we shall cherish this. I love all creatures, marine or otherwise.

Although in the hindsight, next time (if there is one), I will leave the area immediately instead of having a staring contest with a fish the size of a tree trunk :)

What amazed me the most, is how fast it appears in the view – while seeming suspended and motionless! It then disappears again and then appears someplace different nearby. It's camouflaged so perfectly that you can only see it when the light/sun hits the scales a certain way.... as huge as it is/was. It was certainly the Great Barracuda, the almost translucent colored one with distinct ink blot spots on the side.

Few days earlier some folks saw a huge fish chasing/jumping minnow-like school across from those uprooted palms at CRB, also very shallow - could be the same guy we saw.

Edited: 07 March 2011, 19:51
Bayahibe, Dominican...
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5. Re: Loved the CRB - great snorkeling... lrg barracuda once

haha a staring contest with a tree trunk sized barracuda is not advised! That shallow area to the right of Cat Royal, opposite the beach vendors, stretches for miles - lots of fish including rays there and the odd sea turtle. I've also seen shoals of those minnows flying across the water being chased by something bigger - quite spectacular. There are some big tarpon in water too. The other day whilst stand up paddle boarding in Bayahibe (south coast) a small octopus tried to climb onto (or mate with lol) my hubby's board! A strange sight to see a bunch of tentacles appear from the deep :-0

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: Loved the CRB - great snorkeling... lrg barracuda once

My daughter wants to return to CRB. I will keep silent about barracuda lurking about. lol

There are many sea creatures in that area. Lots of folks have seen the spotted eel and thought it was a snake.

The cool thing is you don't have to be a swimmer to see this stuff. That's why I rate this beach 11 out of 10 ;-)

Punta Cana...
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7. Re: Loved the CRB - great snorkeling... lrg barracuda once

the Barracudas are here everywhere, even in the shallowest water where they hunt beginning with the twilight.

a 4ft Barracuda is a small one, nothing special, theer are hundreds of 'em around heer, you just will never see most of them.

paddling quick to the Beach to "Escape" Him is imposible, he could swim in a few seconds a distance much longer than You could swim in half an hour, ha ha.

he most likely been interested on something shimmering on You liek a watch or such, a small Barracucad of just 4ft would not attack something big of the size of a Human unless he knows the other animal is Hurt and defenseless.

btw,

for the Human Eye,

a Barrcuda who appears to you in the water to be 4ft long most likely been a bit under 2ft in reality, our Eyes play tricks with Us Humans when watching in specific light ancles on stuff in the water.

Happy snorkeling,

the shallows in Catalonia Bay are a beautiful place to do so

Mike

new york
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8. Re: Loved the CRB - great snorkeling... lrg barracuda once

Oh God, I think I would drop dead if I came face to face w/ a barracuda- I am going to CRB in a month- Now I think I will be doing most of my swimming by the pool :)

Edited: 07 March 2011, 21:44
muskoka ON
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9. Re: Loved the CRB - great snorkeling... lrg barracuda once

How wonderful!!! That beach is one of the best I've ever had the pleasure of being on . . . we snorkelled all over when we were there last April and found the best fishies watching just off to the right. Didn't see anything bigger than my hand though and if I'd seen the eel, well, I'd be on the bottom LOL

C

Canada
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10. Re: Loved the CRB - great snorkeling... lrg barracuda once

Reading all of these posts is making me even more excited for Sunday! We love snorkelling and hope to see some of these critters. Only 6 more sleeps to Cat Royal!