Popular Dive/Snorkeling Sites

By October 1, 2014Charter News, Diving

  • Wreck of the RMS Rhone. Before she was sunk here during a hurricane, the Rhone had been the pride of the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company and carried 313 passengers. During the storm she hit Salt Island, was broken in two and promptly sank. Today her two halves are well preserved on a sandy bottom and her steel wreckage has become home to myriad species of fish and encrusting corals. The Rhone is now a marine park that is part of the B.V.I. National Parks Trust, and is perfect for a two-tank dive. The bow section, which lies in about 80 ft of water, reveals the coral encrusted cargo hold and other interior chambers. Outside, a careful survey of the wreckage reveals the ships fore mast complete with crow’s nest, and it’s bowsprit lying in the sand. The stern section contains the ship’s once- powerful engine, her prop shaft and enormous propeller.

  • Blonde Rock is another favorite. It is a pinnacle between Dead Chest and Salt Island which rises from a depth of 60 feet to a mere 15 feet below the surface. It’s rock ledges, tunnels, caves, and overhangs are home to crabs, lobsters, beautiful fan corals and hordes of reef fish.

  • Painted Walls is a shallow dive off the southern point of Dead Chest. Here divers delight at the kaleidoscope of colors created by encrusting corals and sponges on the walls of four long gullies. The depth ranges from 20 to 30 feet.

  • Santa Monica Rock lies about a mile south of Norman Island and is a pinnacle that reaches from about 10 to 100 feet. Because it is on the outer edge of the island chain, it is a good place to see larger open ocean (pelagic) fish like spotted eagle rays, and possibly a nurse shark or two.

  • The Indians. Not far from Peter and Norman Islands, four large, jagged pinnacles protrude from the surface after rising 50 feet from the ocean floor near Pelican Rock. These tooth-like formations yield a series of canyons and grotto which feature both soft and hard corals.

  • The Marie L, Pat and Barge and Grill. This fascinating modern shipwreck site is the resting place of the Marie

    L, a locally owned cargo boat and the Pat, a 75 foot tugboat. These two vessels, which lie side by side with only a narrow gap between, are best viewed from overhead. Located off Cooper Island’s Machioneel Bay and marked by a National Parks Trust mooring, the wrecks lie in calm waters at a depth of 45-90 feet and our considered an intermediate level dive. A third wreck, the Barge and Grill is located a little to the north of the other wrecks.

  • Alices Wonderland. Experienced divers looking for a deep dive,will enjoy this one at South Bay on Ginger Island. The wall here slopes gently downward from 15-100 feet. Huge mushroom-shaped coral give the site its name.

  • Brewers Bay Pinnacle offers spectacular diving when conditions

    are right. Lying about 200 yards off the west point of the bay, this towering rock rises for 90 to 20 feet and abounds with fish life.

  • Great Dog is another good spot for diving beginners. The southern side is a pretty site indeed, divers swim along the parallel reef from 10 feet down to 60 feet.

  • The Chimneys is in the same area. Within this series of arches and canyons, you’ll be dazzled by the colorful soft corals and charmed by the variety of fish.

  • The Chikuzen is one of the British Virgin Island’s truly great dive sites. Lying at a depth of 75 feet, six miles north of Beef Island, the ship was sunk in 1981.The full 246-foot length of this once-refrigerated vessel is teeming with fish of every description. You may see big rays, horse-eye jacks, barracudas and more.