Coin de Mire
Coin de Mire Island is also known as Gunners Quoin, or Gunners Point. It is an island that is just 65 hectares and located approx. 8 kilometres from the north coast of Mauritius. It is an ancient volcanic cone of basaltic rocks. You can see it form the little church of Cap Malheureux and the Bain Boeuf Public Beach. It has been described by some as looking like a giant whale floating on top of the sea.
The island is a natural reserve and tourists are not allowed on the island. This is because it has suffered severe degradation over the last 500 years, mostly due to factors such as tortoise hunting, invasion of exotic plants and animals, as well as poaching and deforestation. There is a plan in place of conservation management to restore it to a native eco-system with mixed woodland of endemic plants, similar to that of 500 years ago.
There are however plenty of excursions available to book to go out to Coin de Mire, including speedboat, catamaran and diving and snorkeling trips. In fact it is a very popular area for diving and snorkeling, the reef is home to a range of fish including Damselfish, Surgeonfish, Butterflyfish, Pipefish and large Trumpetfish. If you are lucky you may even spot turtles and dolphins. There are lots of trips that will combine a visit to Coin de Mire with other islands, such s Flat Island and Gabriel Island.
If you enjoy bird watching, a number of native birds can be seen flying around the island or nesting in the cracks of the cliffs. The seabirds you may spot are the Round Island Petrel, Wedge-tailed Shearwater, Red and White-tailed Tropicbirds, Sooty terns, Common noddies, Lesser Noddies and Masked Boobies.