Today we headed to the south part of the island to check out Baby Beach. We basically have to drive the whole length of the island to get there, so it’s a nice way to see it all. There is some road construction going on, so there are a couple of detours. They added signs to make finding Baby Beach very easy. It used to be quite a challenge, but now anyone can find it. And it was quite crowded! Big Mama’s little food hut is now a very large restaurant, with big wooden chairs and tables – no longer the cheap folding lawn chairs stuck around a mobile kitchen.
They have added some buoys and markers to warn people about different water depths, and riptides. Well, today they did not need any of them. The water was calmer than I’ve ever seen it there. We could easily exit the bay, and get into the open ocean. Usually you have to swim like a maniac to get through the channel, but today the ocean had hardly a ripple. It was really amazing to see how many black durgons were out there! WOW. Literally hundreds of them out there! There was also a very pretty Queen Triggerfish swimming with them. (The black durgon is a type of triggerfish.)
Baby Beach is really three swimming sites in one. The “Baby” part is a beautiful white sandy bay, with water barely waist deep. There are no rocks on the bottom, so it’s just terrific if you want to wander around the warm water, splashing and having fun. It’s very popular with families, since kids can easily have a great time in the shallow water and soft sand.
The second part is the channel, where tons of fish like to hang out. It’s where 99% of the snorkelers go. And with good reason. You get to see most everything the Aruban waters have to offer, from large barracuda to the smaller damselfish.
Then there is the northern portion of the bay with enormous coral formations and larger fish. For some reason, most snorkelers never head over there. It’s my favorite part though! The coral is just enormous, as big as the formations at the Seaquarium on Curacao. Baby Beach was quite crowded, but just Pam and I and one other snorkeler was on this side.
Pam has taken lots of videos of lots of kinds of fish. I’m going to include a couple in this post, so you can see various fish we’ve posted pictures of, actually swimming! This one is of a couple of foureye butterflyfish. Normally, they swim in pairs, but often there will be more, with a young one. This video is cool since it shows a pair, joined by a little tiny guy.
The Spanish hogfish is a favorite of Pam. The split colors are nice to look at, and no two hogfish have the same split in colors. This one has quite a dark yellow; some are much brighter in color.
To reach Baby Beach, you have to cross a section of scrub land – wild desert, with huge cactus. And several roads traverse this way and that, on which you need a four wheel drive. There is a lot of animal life, if you have sharp eyes. On the way out, we saw a “herd” of the famous wild donkeys. It’s not often you get to spot them!