West Whale Bay
Whale Bay Park
Whale Bay Road, Southampton
amed after the picturesque St. Anne’s Church
on the other side of the road, compact
Church Bay is our best public beach for
snorkelling, thanks to the potboilers of the
reef which even at high tide are well within
reach from the shoreline. The reef is a haven
for parrot fish, blue and yellow grunts, wrasse,
and angel fish. This beach is best for experi-
enced swimmers since once in the water you’ll find the ocean floor
is slippery rock and that you very quickly become out of your depth.
Facing south to southwest, the water nearly always has a touch of surf.
The beach, framed on one side by pillared limestone formations, lies
at the foot of a clifftop parkland, a favourite spot for our taxi drivers
who often stop here a while to savour its shade and panoramic views
of the ocean. Poodle Rock, one of the protruding rocks, also attracts
their attention. In the summer season a concession hires out snorkelling equipment and sells refreshments. Nearby are public conveniences.
A convenient wooden staircase at the edge of the bay grape, yucca and
palmetto woodland takes you down to the sandy cove.
hale Bay Park consists of a grassy
field and small area of woodland
surrounding a nearby nineteenth-
century fort, which now overlooks
Port Royal Golf Course. Like
Church Bay, West Whale Bay is
tucked below a clifftop although the
incline is not as steep so steps are
not necessary. However, this is an elusive beach because it literally
comes and goes according to the tides. So it’s best to check for low
tide before visiting. When evident, the shore is sandy and inviting,
the sheltered water ideal for families with children. Its southwestern
position makes it the best beach for dramatic sunset views. Whales,
by the way, are possible according to the time of year. Every year
humpback whales pass Bermuda making their way north to their
summer feeding grounds, so March through April you could just see
them in the distance, especially if they dive or jump out of the water.
Church Bay Park
South Road, Southampton