With such diversity, it's going to be hard to choose...

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Just to get you in the mood before you arrive, we've put together some descriptions of our favourite BVI dive sites (but there are many more).  Run your mouse over a dive flag for a description of the dive sites at each location.

If you need dive equipment so you can explore on your own, we can rent you the basics (tanks and weights), or a complete set to use while you are here.  We have the cheapest rates on island, don't charge any extra for delivery and pick up and we also provide you with a full briefing and a package of information about diving in the BVI, including the GPS coordinates for many of the marked dive sites. 

Check out our Dive Equipment Rental page for full details.

If you're diving without a guide, it goes without saying that you follow safe diving practices.  Perform a current check before diving by using a weighted line, ascend slowly and make a three minute safety stop at 15ft (5m) after every dive, and do not exceed the limits of your dive computer or the dive tables.  To keep our reefs pristine, please maintain neutral buoyancy and resist the temptation to handle ANYTHING!

If you'd rather have a guide show you around, especially at the Wreck of the RMS Rhone, we can bring our dive boat out to rendezvous with you wherever you are or, if you are land-based, you can dive with us from our base on Tortola.

 

 

#1 Santa Monica Rock

Depth: 15-80 feet (5-24m)

Level: Intermediate to Advanced

It’s a real treat for us to visit this great site as its exposed location in open waters off the southwestern tip of Norman Island means it can only be dived on calm days.  Rising from the depths up to 20 feet (6m), this underwater pinnacle offers a ‘sink hole’, overhangs, ledges, narrow canyons and caverns all the way up to its craggy, surge-swept shallows that are encrusted with delicate fire corals. The clarity of the water, interesting topography and plentiful marine life – Sharks, Turtles, Queen Angelfish, Black Durgons, Atlantic Spadefish, Horse Eye Jacks to name but a few - make this site a photographer’s dream.

#2 Angelfish Reef

Level: Novice to Intermediate

Depth: 15-60 feet (5-18m)

A rocky maze of canyons and ridges that finger off into the white sandy bottom and open out into the Caribbean Sea.  This site has plentiful marine life, both large and small.  Common sightings include Southern Stingrays, Barracuda, Nurse sharks and a whole host of tiny critters just hanging out in the nooks and crannies.

# 3 The Treasure Caves

Level: Novice

Depth: 10-30 feet (3-9m)

While this is primarily a snorkel site due to its shallow depth and the ever-present boat traffic, it can’t go without mention. Two caves open out onto the water and there is a shallow reef that works its way around the point in towards The Bight.  The site teems with life – there will always be a Yellowtail Snapper or several ready to greet you as you enter the water and a large variety of reef fish to keep you entertained.  The walls of the caves are covered in brightly coloured encrusting sponges.

#4 Ringdove Rock

Level: Novice to Intermediate

Depth: 15-60 feet (5-18m)

This oval shaped, rocky sea mount is hidden on the sand out in the open water between Pelican and Norman Islands and rises from the sandy bottom up to a ridge at 15 feet.  The rock is split and fractured in many places creating ledges and overhangs, and two sandy canyons cut through the top.  There can sometimes be a current here and as the site is in the middle of the entrance to The Bight it is recommended that you make a current check before you dive, fly a dive flag and do not surface away from your boat!

#5 The Indians

Depth:10-55 feet (3-16m)

Level: Novice

One of the most popular dive and snorkel sites in the BVI, and deservedly so.  Underwater, the area to the south and west and east of the four jagged rocks that jut straight up out of the water is packed with large mushroom coral heads and lush soft coral gardens.  The gap between the four ‘Indians’ and a fifth, hidden ‘Indian' forms a mini canyon and the vertical walls of the rocks themselves are encrusted with hard & soft corals and sponges.  All this attracts much marine life – schools of Creole Wrasse and Blue Tangs scurry by while lobsters, Spotted Drums and Fairy Basslets hang out under the corals head.  On the eastern side is a shallow “fish bowl” (ideal for snorkelers) concealing a narrow tunnel and a small cave filled with Glassy Eyed Sweepers. Reef sharks are seen here from time to time.

#5 Rainbow Canyons (Pelican Island)

Depth: 25-65 feet (8-19m)

Level: Novice

A lovely, easy site for beginners and divers wanting to get their fins wet for the first time after a break.  This hard and soft coral reef fringes the lee side of the island and slopes gently down to join the sand.  Exploration of the underside of the large coral heads will reveal multi-colored encrusting sponges, Fairy Basslets and Spotted Drums.  Schools of Creole Wrasse and Blue Tangs sweep the reef and dozing nurse sharks and lobster shelter under the coral overhangs.  In the shallows at the south western tip of the island are a couple of canyons - so dazzling are the colors of the sponges that encrust the canyons’ walls that it appears an artist has thrown his palate at them.  A small reef shark has been spotted consistently over the years checking divers out as they check him out before he disappears off into the blue

# 6 Spyglass Wall

Level: Novice

Depth: 15-60ft (5-18m)

A mini wall that drops off steeply from 15ft down to the sand at 60 feet.   The shallows are dominated by massive coral heads and magnificent sea fans and attract schools of Blue Tang, Grunts and Squirrel Fish.  The wall itself conceals much life and if you look out into the blue you may catch a glimpse of a Spotted Eagle Ray cruising by.

# 7 Brown Pants

Level: Novice

Depth: 12-40 feet (3-12m)

On the south side of Norman Island, this shallow site should only be dived on calm days when the surge isn’t smashing into the rocks and stirring up the bottom compromising visibility.  It’s made up of large boulders with lots of ledges and overhangs to explore plus a huge cavern that can hold a couple of divers alongside its resident Glass Sweepers. As it’s exposed to the nutrient-rich open ocean it is abundant with marine life.

# 8 Carrot Shoals

Level: Novice to Intermediate

Depth: 15-60ft (5-18m)

Out in the open water, this oval-shaped reef formation rises sharply from 60 to 40 feet where it levels off then further rises almost right to the surface.  At depth it boasts overhangs that can conceal sleeping Nurse Sharks, while the shallows are interspersed with cut-throughs that are home to myriad creatures such as Moray Eels, Lobsters, Crab and Fairy Basslets.

#9 Black Forest

Level: Novice

Depth: 25-65ft (80-20m)

A shallow, easy mini wall just at the north western tip of Peter Island, this dive is usually fairly calm and current free.  There are plentiful pretty coral heads interspersed with large clusters of Bluebell Tunicates.  Just west of the mooring, the reefs drops down into sand at a depth of 60-65 feet.

#10 Anchor of the RMS Rhone

Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Depth: 50-65 feet (15-20m)

The RMS Rhone was anchored here in the mouth of Great Harbour, Peter Island on 29th October 1867 while she took on fuel, supplies and passengers for the journey back to England.  When a category five hurricane blew in, the massive anchor and its 300 feet of chain were lost at this spot where they remain to this day, coral encrusted and half buried by sand.

# 10 The Fearless & Willy TLevel: Intermediate

Depth: 45-85 feet (12-26m)

In the mouth of Great Harbour, this mini wall dive has the added attraction of two intentionally sunk wooden shipwrecks that lie in the sand at 80-85ft (24-26m).  The Fearless, a fishing trawler, was scuttled in 1984 due to old age and neglect.  The original ‘Willy T’, a floating bar/restaurant that entertained many a thirsty sailor was put down to keep the Fearless company after she sank in The Bight in 1995.  Being wooden, both wrecks suffer some deterioration which prevents penetration, but they make for an interesting multi-level dive that can be finished off by exploration of the reef at 45 feet.

# 11 Painted Walls

Depth:  25-50 feet (8-16m)

Level:  Novice to Intermediate

Off the wave-swept eastern point of Dead Chest this fabulous dive meanders around the point in a series of boxy canyons that increase in length and depth as you progress.  The final canyon’s steep, vertical walls are covered in sponges and its floor is littered with small boulders concealing a huge variety of Brittle Stars.  At the canyon’s end is a spectacular archway, bejeweled with encrusting sponges in every color of the rainbow – hence the site’s name – and a small cave.  Its access to the open sea attracts much marine life – schools of Horse Eye Jack, Barracuda, Black Durgons and Lobsters are a common sight here.

#11 Dead Chest West

Level: Intermediate

Depth: 25-60 feet (8-18m)

At the south western tip of Dead Chest, facing Deadmans Bay on Peter Island, this site offers a lot of variety.  At depth near the bottom of the mooring line is an area of coral canyons with ledges and overhangs, and an archway.  As you work your way in towards the island, the bottom topography changes to rocky rubble then large rocks and boulders, some of which break the surface.  There is also an area of small caves in the shallows which are fun to explore.  

# 11 Coral Gardens, Dead Chest North

Level: Novice

Depth: 15-45 feet (5-14m)

This is a real easy, pretty site, ideal for beginners or experienced divers who just want to a shallow dive with a long bottom time.  It’s a true coral garden, luxuriant with massive mushroom shaped coral heads the underside of which reveal the jewel-like colors of encrusting sponges and Fairy Basslets, Grunts and Squirrel Fish. On top, there are plentiful cleaning stations, while out in the sand you’ll discover foraging Goat Fish and Yellow Head Jaw fish dancing above their underground burrows.  It can be a bit rocky on the surface here, making for a more difficult exit onto the boat.

# 11 BLONDE ROCK

Level: Intermediate

Depth:30-60 feet (9-18mOut in the open wter of the Salt Island Passage, Blonde Rock is set of two occasionally current-swept pinnacles that acts as a natural magnet attracting all kinds of marine life including Turtles, schools of Jacks, Cobia and even the occasional shark.  This site has a fascinating topography - the twin fire coral-encrusted peaks that give the site its name rise up from a Gorgonian and  soft coral covered platueau at 35-40 fet (10-12m) below which is an amazing system of undercuts, canyons and ledges.

# 12 SHARK POINT

Level: Novice to Intermediate

Depth: 15-55 feet (5-17m)

At the south eastern tip of Peter Island, this site is made up of a two ridges separated by a long, narrow canyon with a sandy bottom at about 40 feet  The ridges contain ledges and overhangs and a small cave.  Up in the shallows are more ledges to explore and a large boulder field. 

# 13 RMS RHONE

Depth: 25-84ft (8-25m)

Level: Novice to Advanced

There’s something about shipwrecks that capture divers’ imaginations, especially if there’s some interesting history and a hurricane thrown in for good measure! The Royal Mail Steamship Rhone is the most requested dive site in all the BVI and is consistently voted one of the top recreational wreck dives in the Caribbean.  This is not only for its historic interest and teeming marine life, but also because of the open and relatively safe nature of the wreckage.  Very little is still enclosed, and where overhead environments do exist they are large and roomy and have openings at either end permitting a swim through.  You simply cannot dive in the BVI without paying her a visit and we never get tired of diving her and telling our own versions of how she met her demise on the ocean floor.

The RMS Rhone was commissioned by the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company of Great Britain in 1865 to carry mail and passengers between England, Central and South America and the Caribbean.  She had sleek, elegant lines and was considered to be way ahead of her time for a number of reasons.  First, she was built of iron and also because her propeller was the second bronze propeller ever built – in fact, she was the first propeller-driven ship to cross the Atlantic.  In addition to all this new technology she had a single 500 HP engine, two masts and a full complement of sails.  At full speed, she could travel at 14 knots, which was considered fast in those days.  To carry her passengers, she had 253 first class, 30 second class and 30 third class cabins.

On 29th October 1867, the Rhone was at anchor in Great Harbour, Peter Island taking on fuel, supplies and passenges for the journey back to England.  The original coaling station had been moved from the then Danish island of St Thomas due to an outbreak of Yellow Fever.  Anchored alongside was a smaller, inter-island vessel, RMS Conway.

Though the day dawned bright, clam and clear, Captain Robert F Wooley kept a close eye on the barometer and became slightly concerned about the dropping pressure and dark clouds gathering to the north.  In those days, the hurricane season was considered to be well over by the end of October so he surmised that this heralded an early winter storm.  When the fearful roar of the Category 5 hurricane blew howling winds from the north northwest, Captain Wooley ordered his crew to fire up the boilers and engage full ahead to hold position.

Eventually there came a lull in the storm and though neither ship had sustained much event or damage, its ferocity worried both captains as their anchors had dragged and more bad weather could have resulted in both ships being driven up onto the shores of Peter Island.  They decided to transfer the passengers from the Conway to the ‘unsinkable’ Rhone then to head for the security of Road Harbour where they could tuck up behind the hills and seek shelter from further northerly weather. What neither of them realized was that the hurricane has passed directly over the BVI and the ‘lull’ was, in fact, the eye of the storm and when the second half of the storm hit them, the winds would turn 180 degrees and blow from the south.

The Conway got away before the Rhone but was caught by the back end of the storm, and foundered off the south side of Tortola with the loss of all hands. But the Rhone struggled to get free as its anchor was caught fast. Eventually it was ordered to be cut loose, and lies in Great Harbour to this day with its chain wrapped around the same coral head that trapped it a century and a half ago. Captain Wooley also gave the order for all non-essential crew and passengers to be tied into their beds, as was common practice to prevent them being injured in the stormy seas.  By this stage, time was critical as the second half of the storm was upon them, and captain Wooley took the only course of action that was open to him and headed out towards open sea by the easiest route, between Black Rock Point of Salt Island and Dead Chest Island.  Between those two islands lay Blonde Rock, an underwater reef which was normally a safe depth of 25 feet (7.6 m), but during hurricane swells, there was a risk that the ship might founder on top. Captain Wooley took a conservative course, giving Blonde Rock (which cannot be seen from the surface) a wide berth.

Captain Wooley like all good English Captains had a cup of tea with a dash of rum, stirring it with his silver spoon as he navigated his ship through the channel past Salt Island. The rain was blinding so he tried to get a better look outside when a big wave washed him overboard off the bridge. He was never to be seen again.

Rhone was slowly pushed toward the rocks and finally hit Black Rock Point causing a breach in the hull.  The cold sea water made contact with the red hot boilers which had been running at full steam, resulting in a huge explosion which split the ship in half and sent her down swiftly – the stern in 30ft (9m) and, while the bow drifted slightly deeper into 80’ (24m).

Of the original 146 aboard, plus an unknown number of passengers transferred from the Conway, only 23 people (all crew) survived the wreck. The bodies of many were buried in a nearby cemetery on Salt Island. 

At least two dives are needed to cover both the bow and the stern sections of the Rhone, including some scattered mid-section and the condenser, which was thrown clear of the rest of the wreck.  The bow section lies on its starboard side in 80’ (24m) and can be penetrated safely without the need for specialty training.  The cavernous interior is coated with encrusting sponges and yellow cup corals and is home to large lobsters, turtles and schools of fish.   You can explore under the bow sprit, see the fully intact mast with lookout still attached, the lifeboat davits and a signaling canon, which rests on the ocean floor.

The shallower, stern section is more broken up but the structure of the ship can be easily traced by following the drive shaft from the huge propeller down to the gear box and engine towards one boiler.  Scattered across the bottom are deck support and other pieces, many holding fascinating relics such as intact portholes, a wrench set, a water pump, a silver teaspoon, rum bottle and sections of floor tiles.  Nearly every surface is encrusted with hard and soft corals and sponge life, attracting much marine life.

The Rhone is definitely a site that warrants and experienced guide.  If you are out sailing, our instructors can rendezvous with you nearby and take you on two guided  dives pointing out all the artifacts that lie below the surface.

i# 14 RHONE REEF

Depth:  15-55 feet (5-17m)

Level:  Novice to Intermediate Another favourite of Dawn’s.  this site receives nutrient-rich water coming in through Salt Island Passage and the overflow of marine life from the wreck of the RMS Rhone. With abundant fish life, multi-coloured sponges, overhangs and canyons, this area is teeming with huge lobsters, grunts, squirrel fish and sergeant majors.

# 15 VANISHING ROCK / FORGET ME NOT ROCK

Level: Novice to Intermediate

Depth: Surface-50 feet (0-15m)

Kate just loves this dive  – she describes it as a living screen saver!  A small underwater pinnacle so named because it just about breaks the surface every now and again meaning first you see it, then you don’t!  Its multitude of encrusting sponges provide it with as much color as you will see in the BVI and its rocky cut-throughs and overhangs covered with corals and gorgonians, conceal a whole host of marine life.  One area is a photographer’s dream with a large area of Pillar Coral swarming with Sergeant Majors, Yellow Grunts, Squirrel Fish and Blue Chromis. Current can sometimes prevail, turning it from novice to intermediate level.

#15 CISTERN POINT

Depth:  15-45 feet (5-15m)

Level: Novice to Intermediate

One of Dawn’s favorites, this gorgeous shallow site teems with life.  Offering small craters, overhangs and ledges interspersed with plentiful hard and soft corals and an abundance of sponge life including large Barrel Sponges, you don’t have to travel far to witness a huge variety marine life.  We regularly see schools of large silver Tarpon here, together with Reef Squid and Sea Turtles.  The current can turn this dive from a novice site to intermediate and can sometimes prevent diving altogether. 

# 16 THE INGANESS BAY

Level:  Advanced

Depth: 60-90 ft (18-27m)

This 136 ft (41m) inter-island freighter ran aground during Hurricane Bertha in July of 1996 and was put down in the middle of the channel between Salt and Cooper Islands in August of the same year.   Though she was initially intact and standing upright on the sandy ocean floor, more recent storms and hurricanes moved her sufficiently to split her into two sections.

# 17 BLUE CHROMIS REEF

Depth: 15-55ft (5-17m)

Level: Novice

On the west side of Cooper Island facing Salt Island, Chromis Reef is an ideal spot to re-familiarize yourself with diving after being out of the water for a while.  There are three moorings here in the shallows which are all usually calm and sheltered and without current.  The hard and soft coral reef slopes slowly and gently out away from the island reaching a maximum depth of around 55ft before a mini wall drops down into the sand at 70ft.  Up in the shallows there are many overhangs concealing much life. 

# 17 WRECK ALLEY

Depth: 55-85ft (17-26m)
Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Next to a coral reef drop off in the passage between Cooper and Salt Islands lie the wrecks of four ships. The cargo vesssel Marie L and tug boat, Pat, were scuttled 10 years apart to add interest to the reef and they are now both covered in corals and sponges.  The lie so close together they appear to kiss!  The Beata, another BVI tugboat, was put down in 2004 and stuands upright just a short swim along the wall from the Marie L and the Pat.  Her engine room can be penetrated safely and easily.  Much more recently, In September of 2009, the Island Seal was put down alongside the Beata.  She lies upside down in the sand, allowing exploration of her hull and propellers, and divers can also swim through underneath the wreck.  This site is also known for the life on its sandy bottom - conch run through this area (you can see their tracks), colonies of garden eeels sway with the movement of the water and southern stingrays doze, their eyes just visible beneath their sandy mantles. 

# 17 THUMB ROCK

Depth:  20-60ft (6-18m)

Level: Novice to Intermediate

Out on the south western tip of Cooper Island, thumb Rock is easily identified becase, well it looks like a big rocky thumb!

# 17 MARKOE POINT

Level: Intermediate

Depth: 35-60 feet (10-18m)

Not a site we can dive often as it juts out into the open Caribbean Sea from the southwestern tip of Cooper Island and can be subject to large swells and surge.  However, on a calm day it’s a great dive.  A gulley runs along the point with a sheer cliff wall on one side and a coral undercut on the other.  As you round the point you’ll find a vertical fissure cut into the cliff full of small fish hiding out from larger predators.

# 18 DEVIL'S KICHEN

Depth: 15-55 feet (5-17m)

Level:  Novice to Intermediate

The topography at this site resembles a huge wave with overhangs, undercuts and ridges that provide shelter for lobsters, moray eels, Glassy Snappers and schools of Grunts.  In the shallows on top of the 'wave' are beautiful specimens of bright yellow Elkhorn Coral and many shy Black Durgons that allow you to hang out with them while you make your safety stop near the mooring.  This site can be subject to the prevailing easterly winds, making it uncomfortable at the surface and subject to swell, surge and an occasionaly strong current.

# 18  Carval Rock

Depth: 30-90ft (9-27m)

Level: Intermediate to Advanced

A rocky island between Cooper and Ginger Islands, Carval is exposed to the Caribbean Sea and attracts larger, pelagic life.  Its position means it can only be dived on calm days.  With rocky walls, large boulders and overhangs, it provides shelter for a great variety of marine life so you're always guaranteed to see something of interest.

# 18  Dry Rocks East

Depth: 15-55ft (5-17m)

Level: Novice

Just off the north eastern shore of Cooper island, this rocky underwater ridge can be seen breaking the surface.  Its exposure to the open Caribbean sea means it can ony be dived on calm days.  It's small enough that it can be circumnavigated at a leisurely pace in about 40 minutes.

# 19  Ginger's Steps

Depth: 30-100ft (9-30m)

Level: Novice to Advanced

Close to the southernmost tip of Ginger Island, a series of ledges and sand canyons step; their way down until the reef  wall eventually meet the sandy ocean floor.  The numerous ledges and overhangs conceal a large variety of marine life.  Novices will have plenty to explore above 60ft (18m), while advanced divers can make their way down to the sand at 100ft (30m). This site can be exposed to some large swells.

# 19  Alice In Wonderland

Depth: 30-100ft (9-30m)

Level: Novice to Advanced

On the western side of Ginger island, this spur and groove coral reef is capped by large mushroom-shaped boulder corals that give the site its name.  The coral spurs form ridges and overhangs  between which are narrow sandy canyons.  The reef descends down to meet the sand in 100ft.  Though the coral bleaching event of 2005 robbed this site of some its colour, there is still plenty of life.  This site can be exposed to some large swells.

# 20 Ginger's Back Side

Depth: 15-55ft (5-16m)

Level: Novice

On a the north side of Ginger Island, facing Tortola this is a predominantly hard coral garden interspersed with sponges, soft corals and fans.  Though it suffered from the coral bleaching event of 2005, which robbed the site of much of its colour, it is still a busy reef with plenty to see.

# 21 The Baths

Level:  Novice

Depth:  10-30ft (3-9m)

Though strictly speaking this is considered a snorkel site, divers can still meander around The Baths and entertain themselves for some time, exploring the coral ledges and underwater caves created by the huge granite boulders piled on top of each other.  Particular care should be taking in winter months when an Atlantic ground swell is running as this can create considerable surge which, at times, renders the site off limits.  Also be very wary of overhead boat traffic.

# 22 The Aquarium

Depth: 20-33ft (6-10m)

Level: Novice

Situated between The Baths and Spanish Town this small, occasionally current-swept patch reef just offshore is a good site for novices or divers wanting to get back into the water after a period of inactivity,  The boulders and rocks piled atop each other create an abundance of nooks and crannies that conceal schools of grunts, fairy bassletts, moray eels, blue tang and chromis, while the rocks themselves are covered with sponges and fire corals.

# 23 Mountain Point

Depth 10-70ft (3-21m)

Level: Novice

This site has two dive moorings and topography that includes large coral heads, overhangs, bowls and grottoes in the bedrock, and an arch, a canyon and a cave up in the shallows.  The reef itself slopes down to meet the sand at 70 feet, where sightings of large jacks, barracudas and rays are possible.  More experienced divers can venture through to the other side via a cut between the rocks, though care should be taken of surge in the shallows.

# 24 Coral Gardens & Airplane Wreck, Great Dog

Level: Novice to Intermediate

Depth: 20-50 feet (7-15m) On the south side of Great Dog we find a shallow hard coral reef made up of large boulder and brain corals interspersed with tube sponges and sea fans.  Sitting in the sand at 40-50ft (12-15m) are the remnants of an Atlantic Air BVI's Shorts 360 aircraft.  In 1993, after an abortive takeoff this, the only plane in Air BVI's fleet, landed in the water 200 feet off the end of the runway.  Fortunately nobody was seriously hurt but the plane eventually found its way here, minus its wings and tail, where it makes an interesting addition to the reef.  It's great fun to sit in the cockpit and have your photo taken, and if you swim through the inside, which is devoid of the seats, you can still find some oxygen masks dangling down from the overhead lockers.

# 24 The Chimney

Level: Novice

Depth: 15-45ft (5-13.5m)

This site on the west of Great Dog, is an excellent novice site.  It takes its name from the narrow gap between the vertical rock faces of two huge boulders that resembles a rock climbing formation of the same name.  But if the north swell is up, the surge can make it uncomfortable to dive here and may stir up the bottom, reducing visibility.  In addition to the Chimney there is a beautiful archway and an impressive vertical walled canyon encrusted with brightly coloured encrusting sponges.  The floor of the canyon beneath the archway is strewn with small boulders that provide shelter to a large variety of brittle stars.

# 25 Wall To Wall

Level:  Novice

Depth:  15-25ft (5-14m)

At the southwestern tip of West Dog, this site was so named because it was 'wall to wall' with fish.  While that's not quite so true these days, it's still an interesting site, with large boulders, ledges and overhangs that conceal lobsters, moray eels, grunts, squirrelfish and many invertibrates.  Check for current and don't dive here if a large Atlantic swellis runing.

# 25 Joe’s Cave

Level:  Novice

Depth:  15-45ft (5-14m)

Located on the rugged northwestern shore of West Dog, this site is made up from large boulders that have been eroded from the island over time by the huge northerly ground swells that can pound its shores during the winter months.  To find the cave from the surface look at the island for a large fissure in the rock that rises up from the waterline then look to its right for a rectangular cut then right again for a small fissure - this is the entrance to the cave.  While protected from easterly seas, this site can be subject to northerly Atlantic ground swells.

# 25 The Flintstones

Level:  Novice

Depth:  20-60ft (6-18m)

So named for its resemblance to the cartoon town of Bedrock, home to Fred, Wilma and Barney, this site is made up of huge, house size-boulders.  If you've visited The Baths, you might note that it looks a lot like an underwater version of the same with many of the boulders piled atop one another creating a rocky maze.  While it's protected from the easterly seas, this site can be subject to northerly Atlantic ground swells.

# 26 The Visibles

Level:  Novice to Intermediate

Depth:  15-90ft (4.5-27m)

Off the southwestern tip of Cockroach Island you'll find two dive moorings at this site, which teems with life.  The southernmost is our favourite - it joins the top of a pinnacle about 15ft from the surface.  Following the slope of the pinnacle down and heading counter-clockwise against an often strong current, there is a series of rocky ledges, overhangs and mini caves that conceal many large schools of grunts and bigeyes.  Look out into the blue for a glimpse of giant barracuda, a passing ray or reef shark then, as you work your way shallower around the back of the pinnacle with the current behind you, you'll find plenty of life amongst the lush soft corals and sea fans.  Up in the shallows closer to the island is a rocky maze of canyons, arches, tunnels and huge boulders, all encrusted with sponges, corals and fire coral.  The northernmost mooring gives access to a rocky area closer to the island.  When the northerly Atlantic ground swell is running the surge up in the shallows can make the dive uncomfortable.  Be sure to perform a current check here before you dive.

# 27 Bronco Billy

Level:  Novice to Intermediate

Depth:  15-50 ft (4.5-15m)

At the northwestern tip of George Dog, Bronco Billy was so named because when the northerly Atlantic ground swell is running, the resulting surge makes for a rodeo ride!  Swimming a compass heading from the mooring to the tip of the island you'll encounter a coral archway that leads into a coral canyon.  At the end of this, bear right and follow the island around until you reach a a large, sheer-walled box canyon strewn with boulders.  On your return, head a little wider and deeper and you should find a second coral canyon that leads to another coral archway.  Be sure to take a dive light with you to reveal the magnificent jewelled colours of the encrusting sponges that adorn both arches.

# 28 Seal Dog

Level:  Advanced

Depth:  20-80ft (6-18m)

The bottom beneath the mooring is around 25 feet, and slopes down to about 70 feet. Pause here to look around for large pelagic fish passing through from the open Atlantic. Jacks, mackerel, kingfish and perhaps an eagle ray or two might promenade by. Along the bottom of the cliff off the northwest side of the island are fantastic rock formations made up of monster boulders and the convoluted bedrock of the island itself. Take the time to explore the myriad of canyons, swim-throughs, ledges and tiny caves. There is a breaking rock just to the northeast of the two Seal Dog Islands, called Seal Dog Rock. The dive is a circumnavigation of the rock exploring the steep walls and looking out into the blue for passing pelagics. It is an exciting place to be, perched on a pinnacle situated on the edge of the Virgin Islands.

# 29 Platinum Reef

Level:  Novice

Depth:  15-60ft (4.5-18m)

Situated just level with the 'saddle' on the south side of Scrub Island this site offers an easy mini-wall.  Beneath the mooring in 15-20ft of water you'll find sand and coral patches but head south and the wall drops down into sand at 60ft.  Large mushroom coral heads abound, concealing lobsters and moray eels, while out on the sand you'll find garden eels and conch and maybe a passing eagle ray.

# 30 Diamond Reef

Level:  Novice

Depth:  15-40ft (4.5-12m)

Off the eastern side of Great Camanoe between Marina Cay and Scrub Island, this mini wall is ideal for beginners, for those wanting to get their fins wet after a period of inactivity, or for a night dive.  Always alive with fish and invertibrates, this site is also perfect for snorkelers.  Keep your ears open for overhead boat traffic.

# 31 Monkey Point

Level:  Novice

Depth:  15-40ft (4.5-12m)

At the southern tip of Guana Island, Monkey Point is a popular day anchorage come dive site.  Beneath the surface the rocky contours contine downwards creating overhangs, crevasses and nooks and crannies that are home to lobsters, eels and schooling fish and at the right time of year, you may find yourself caught up in a dark cloud made up from thousands of silversides (or bait fish).

#32 The Wreck of The Chikuzen

Level:  Intermediate to Advanced

Depth:  50-75ft (15-21m)

Chikuzen was a 246 foot Korean refrigerator vessel based in St. Maarten to service big Japanese fishing fleets. In early 1981, as a hurricane was approaching St. Maarten, the Government ordered the owners to move her to avoid the decrepit ship sinking in the harbour or damaging the docks.  Seeing this as a chance to rid themselves of the ship, the owners set it on fire and sent it adrift in the hope it would sink offshore.  But things didn't go as planned and Chikuzen continued to float.  As she approached Marina Cay, there were fears for Marina Cay's anchorage so local operators attempted, unsuccessfully, to fend off the ship with their dive boats.  Eventually, ocean going tugs from St Croix and Antigua managed to attach a line and pull her away from the islands but when the line broke and badly injured a crew member who had to be airlifted to the nearest hospital, they decided to abort the operation and let the powers that be deal with the problem instead.  The smouldering ship finally laid herself to rest about 5.5 miles northwest of Tortola.

Due to her exposed position, diving the Chikuzen is not always possible, but when conditions are right, she can be a wonderful dive.   Still almost completely intact, the ship rests on her port side in 75 feet of water with the starboard rail reaching up to about 50 feet.  Three large cargo holds can be entered and explored through open hatches.  Lying in sand far from any reef, she attracts marine life like a honey jar attracts bees and there is always a good chance of an encounter with large pelagics such as sharks and rays.


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