Bubbles! Champagne Reef in Dominica

Thursday’s adventure started out with me being just a little grumpy. Too hot. Too much time spent finding parking, getting a local SIM card, buying basics at 2 different grocery stores. Too much needing to pee! So by the time we got to Champagne Beach I wasn’t my best self.

Kevin knows me well and let me go snorkeling first. We took turns snorkeling because we forgot to bring a dry bag to bring our valuables into the water with us. We don’t know enough about Dominica yet to know whether we can safely leave our phones and such on the beach (probably not safe anywhere!)

But once I spent a few minutes in the water I was in my happy place. The snorkeling at Champagne Beach isn’t the best for spotting critters and the coral is non-existent. But it’s called Champagne Beach for a delightful reason! One of Dominica’s attractions is the geothermal activity, and here it takes the form of bubbles that come up from the floor of the ocean.

It’s a rocky beach, not sandy at all!

The bubbles themselves are beautiful, sparking as they rise, but they also make bubbling sounds and I swear they felt warm as they tickled my skin. I was fascinated by how they would come and go. I’d see a bunch of bubbles 10 or 20 feet away and by the time I got to that area the bubbles had stopped. And then they’d start again.

Along with enjoying the experience, I spent my time playing with my new GoPro. I’ve posted my first attempt at a video with this new camera. It’s pretty amateur, but I’ll learn and get better. Gotta start somewhere. It’s under a minute long, so don’t worry, I’m not taking up too much of your time!

To visit Champagne Beach, drive about 3.5 miles south of Roseau along Victoria St. As is typical of driving in Dominica, you’ll find narrow roads, impatient local drivers, and rough road maintenance. At about 3.5 miles the road curves sharply left and up a short hill. Before the road curves you’ll see a large sign for Champagne Beach. Park along the road and then walk down the concrete stairs.

Once at the beach you’ll find vendors selling drinks, guided snorkeling and dive tours, etc. If you don’t have your own snorkel gear you can rent gear at one of these shacks Unless you want those services, just keep walking past these vendors, heading south along the shoreline. Walk past the rock jetty to a small cove where you’ll enter the water. Stay on the south side of the cove to find lots of bubbles. You’ll even see them as you enter the water – bubbles rise just a few feet offshore and the rocky bottom can be warm.

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