Soufriere, Saint Lucia, August, 2015…It happens once a year… one of nature’s most spectacular and rare performances – Coral Spawning. And it occurs right off the beaches of Anse Chastanet, Saint Lucia. Each August, the resort’s scuba diving team incredibly and accurately predicts the night spawning and prepares to take novice and experienced divers and snorkelers to observe the remarkable phenomenon. This year the event is September 5 & 6.
What is coral spawning and why is this so rare?
First discovered in the 1980s at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, this annual mass reproduction phenomena overturned a long-held belief that most coral species reproduced by fertilizing their eggs internally. This “new” external phase of reproduction is now known to be critical to coral reef – and our own ecosystem – survival. Tropical coral reefs, although out of sight, are essential to our world-wide food chains.
Each year, coral release millions of packets of egg and sperm cells that appear as a white and pink upward underwater “snowfall” of massive clouds. After they drift to the surface for fertilization, the sea will be partially covered by the slicks of coral larvae before they settle to the bottom destined to build the next generation of one of the ocean’s most vital organisms.
Tropical reef-building corals have tiny algae living symbiotically inside individual polyp tissue and neither could survive without the other. The coral gives the algae a substrate and home, and in return, the algae provide the coral with food. While much of the coral spawning process remains a mystery, scientists from all over the world study these miraculous events, and now know that triggers of this annual wonder are the right combination of temperature, day length, rate of temperature change, lunar cycles, time of sunset, and chemical synchrony. The ideal time for the release of the reproductive cells is a week or so after a full August moon an hour or two after sunset providing the cover of darkness. This method of mass spawning increases the chances of larvae survival by overwhelming fish predators.
How is Anse Chastanet conserving and preserving this rare phenomenon?
This spawning phase of reproduction is now known to be a weak link to world-wide coral reef survival as it can only happen when conditions are just right – and is the phase most sensitive to human activity, non-point source pollution, and climate change. Anse Chastanet is able to provide access to this event and resource despite its close proximity due to it exemplary and progressive sustainable designs and architecture by minimizing impervious surfaces, keeping shorelines green and stable, and completely preventing runoff from entering the water – preserving this wonder for future generations.
Why is Scuba St. Lucia the easiest and most practical means to experience this event?
As always, Scuba St. Lucia is offering special night dives during the predicted period to allow guests to witness this magnificent spectacle. Diving is done on the Anse Chastanet reef, which is located just off the resort’s beach. Don’t dive? No problem. Snorkelers can also participate, as the resort now also offers guided night snorkeling adventures. Or even better, cross learning to scuba off the bucket list with an easy and guided on-site resort course for newbies. Want photos to share the excitement back home but no underwater camera? Scuba St. Lucia also can lend underwater cameras to capture the beauty and awe of this special event.
Scuba St. Lucia’s five-star professional resort diving operation, rated as the island’s best, caters to beginners and experienced divers alike including beach, boat, wall and wreck diving. The night dives right on the Anse Chastanet reef are a highlight for any diver, particularly during coral spawning – and is the perfect opportunity to channel your inner marine biologist!!!
Weekly package dive deals start at US 2389 per person/diver/double occupancy. A $200 per person per week credit is currently offered for travel now to Dec 19, 2015 if dive deal is booked prior to Aug 31, 2015. See more at: http://scubastlucia.com/wheretostay.html#diveSpecial
The special package includes:7 nights run of house accommodation, airport transfers, breakfast, lunch , afternoon tea and dinner, all tax/service, welcome drink and fruit basket on arrival, 12 beach or boat dives including tank, weights, belt, mask, snorkel, fins ( other equipment at a charge if needed, marine park fee to be paid locally ) complimentary non-motorized watersports. A marine park fee of S 15 is to be paid locally.
To book or receive more information call 1-800-223-1108 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Anse Chastanet Resort is known for its spectacular scenery and authentic Caribbean charm paired with outstanding service in a tranquil 600 acre setting. With two magnificent beaches and being located in the midst of St. Lucia’s renowned marine park, the resort offers some of the best swimming, snorkeling and diving on the island. The resort’s more than 1.5 miles of shoreline features some of the island’s finest marine reserve coral reefs just off shore over its entire expanse. Taking full advantage of this premiere location, Anse Chastanet’s in-house scuba operation, Scuba St. Lucia, has been in operation since 1981 and has established itself as one of the Caribbean’s top diving destinations. Just 15 yards beyond the water’s edge at the Scuba Centre is found the Anse Chastanet Reef which offers an amazing profusion of tropical marine life in 20 to 140 feet of calm clear water. Perfectly set up for both beach and boat dives, Scuba St. Lucia offers guests a complete range of PADI courses, Enriched Air Nitrox; a well-equipped scuba store; three compressors; rental dive gear and an underwater Photo and Video center. (See more at http://www.scubastlucia.com). The resort’s beach facilities also include 2 restaurants and bars, a full-service spa, Kai Belté, and Yoga classes overlooking the sea. Adjacent to the resort’s second beach, Anse Mamin, is found 8 miles of hiking and biking trails amid the lush coastal jungle and 18th century plantation ruins.
For more resort information, visit http://www.ansechastanet.com and http://www.scubastlucia.com or
contact ANSE CHASTANET and Scuba St. Lucia via email email@example.com or Tel 800-223-1108.