Diving in the Cousteau Reserve
The Cousteau Reserve in Malendure is undeniably the most beautiful diving spot in Guadeloupe. A real aquarium, this natural reserve has been protected by the Guadeloupe National Park since 2009 and the strict rules put in place contribute to its preservation. With PPK Plongée, go and discover these wonders of nature buried underwater.
The natural sites of the Reserve
Delimited by the Pigeon islets opposite Malendure beach, the Cousteau Reserve (named after the famous Pacha) is a protected area of unprecedented wealth. Hundreds of fish, at least as many corals and turtles by the dozen live there peacefully. It is possible from the shore to go and see this underwater wealth by snorkelling but not only. There are several sites where scuba diving is a sublime experience:
Precautions: You are in a site protected by the Guadeloupe National Park. Some rules must be respected:
- Wearing gloves is forbidden
- Do not wear sun cream, you will be in a wetsuit that will protect you. If you have to use it at all costs, make sure you use cream that respects the oceans.
- As everywhere: don’t throw anything into the sea, don’t leave anything lying around and don’t touch anything underwater.
The wrecks of the Cousteau Reserve
The Cousteau Reserve is also home to wrecks that have been submerged to the delight of divers.
The Franjack is a wreck of a former 50-metre Hourglass that was, like many others, seriously damaged by Hurricane Hugo in 1989. After being cleaned up, it was submerged 7 years later. It now lies on its keel at a depth of 24 metres. During this dive you will see a lot of corals, sponges and other sea life on the walls of the wreck. You will meet a lot of tropical fish: Parrotfish, French Angels and many others, and probably even turtles. A real festival of colours.
Diving possible from Level 1/Open Water Diver.
Bonus: PPK Plongée also offers night dives on the Franjack. An unforgettable experience with a completely different fauna: The turtles are out and the fish that are more shy during the day make their appearance at nightfall. The lobsters bring out their antennas and the octopuses come out of their taverns. A unique spectacle and atmosphere.
Immersed at a depth of nearly 50m, the Gustavia is another popular hourglass in the Cousteau Reserve. From 1982 to 1989, it was used to transport goods between Guadeloupe and the northern islands (Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélémy). The passage of Hurricane Hugo rendered her unseaworthy, as did the Franjack. In 1991, she was sunk off the coast of the îlets Pigeon after having been cleaned up. The wreck of the Gustavia was the first wreck sunk in the area to make an artificial reef. It now rests on a sandy bank right on its keel.
The dive is also exceptional, and open to divers with PE40/Deep Diver and above. You don’t have one of these certifications yet? Now is the time to take it.
The Augustin Fresnel is a Canadian lighthouse and buoy vessel that arrived in Pointe-à-Pitre in 1990 to maintain the buoyage in the Antilles-Guyana area for 4 years. Nearly 10 years later, and after decontamination, she was sunk to serve as an artificial reef. It now rests on its keel at a depth of 31m. At 53 metres long, it is impressive for the wealth of underwater life it harbours.
Holders of Level 2 / Advanced Open Water can dive on the Augustin Fresnel … You don’t have it yet? Now is the time to take it.