There may not be barrier reefs, warm sea water or exotically coloured fish in St Ives Bay but snorkelling around sheltered coves can be a very pleasant pastime and way to spend time in the water whilst on holiday in St Ives and Carbis Bay; you will see an abundance of coastal wildlife in its natural habitat. Ideally be equipped with a quality mask that seals effectively against the face and a snorkel that allows good airflow. Flippers or fins are a must if distance is to be covered or you fancy free diving to observe crabs on the sea bed and, if you plan to stay in the water for a while, get a well fitting wetsuit to regulate your body temperature most effectively.
One of best places to snorkel in St Ives is off Bamaluz beach; explore the rocks in the direction and around to Porthgwidden beach or swim towards the harbour wall and into St Ives harbour. If you are a strong swimmer and feel confident in the water, there are some wonderful coves to explore in the direction of Clodgy Point which can only really be accessed by sea.
From Carbis Bay, swim Porthminster point and your snorkelling will take in real wonders of St Ives Bay perhaps including a seal or two!
Always let someone know where you are heading and be sure to take a high viz float or head cap with you if you plan a long stint in the sea; this is for visibility and warmth! Check tide times and weather reports also for safety reasons and always make sure that the sea is calm with no forecasts of big swells.
Possibly the nation’s favourite pastime whilst on holiday in St Ives!? It’s not difficult to see why too. When the tide goes out around Porthmeor beach, Porthminster beach, Porthgwidden beach and Bamaluz beach, the rocks exposed offer delights for all to see and explore! Crabs, anemones, shrimps, hermits, limpets, starfish, mussels, goby or pipefish, colourful seaweed and so much more. Remember, you could pick your own dinner if you love mussels (as long as the month you are picking them in has a ‘r’ in it!). So, all you need is patience, a bucket, net and sun cream so the rest is easy!
Our advice would be to plan your rock pooling a few hours before low tide so there is ample time to take in all the joys of the pools. Take care on slippery rocks so try and wear no-slip beach shoes and have a towel ready for cold wet feet.