Top 5 Caribbean Wreck Diving Destinations
Love wreck diving? Love diving in clear blue warm water? Then here are our top 5 wreck diving destinations in the Caribbean.
Want to combine some wreck diving with seeing sharks up close? Then The Bahamas is the destination for you. The islands have both ancient and modern ship wrecks to explore on most of the islands. Some sunk for filming movies, some sunk to make artificial reefs, even a crashed plane in water shallow enough to snorkel.
Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas offer shark dives on two different wrecks that offer underwater photographers & divers to enjoy the best of both shark diving and wreck diving (and you can even do this at night!).
Still on our Bahamian Wreck Diving wish list is the SS Sapona off Bimini – a large wreck that lies part submerged which offers some amazing split-shot opportunities.
The island of Barbados is popular with divers and snorkelers alike. Amazing beaches, great food and a friendly welcome are what you should expect. But it is below the waves that makes this island stand out from the crowd. Probably the most famous wreck of Barbados is the Stavronikita, a huge and fairly deep wreck that takes several dives to fully explore. Its structure is now covered in coral growth and plenty of marine life has made this artificial reef its home.
But our favourite wreck diving location on the island has to be Carlisle Bay, where several wreck have been sunk in a rough circle for both divers and snorkelers to explore. Turtles are plentiful in the bay and if you drift off the wrecks and onto the reefs you are sure to spot seahorses too. The wreck of the Bajan Queen offers divers the chance to explore inside a wreck, in shallow water, which is a real highlight. Carlisle Bay also makes a great night dive!
The most famous wreck in the Cayman Islands has to be the Kittiwake. This wreck used to stand upright but a powerful storm has since knocked it on its side. It is a big ship, sunk deliberately to make an artificial reef on a sandy seabed. It can take several dives to fully explore both the outside and inside the wreck. It is always an impressive dive.
However, sometimes it is the smaller wrecks like the Doc Poulson that can make for a magical dive, simply because of the abundant marine life that call this wreck home. Huge sponges adorn the bow and large green morays and lobster can be found in every crevice.
Grenada is probably most famous for the wreck of the Bianca C. It also boasts being the wreck diving capital of the Caribbean, with a host of wrecks suitable for beginners right up to technical divers. Divers with a lust for rust flock here each year to spend their time underwater exploring the wrecks on offer. Our favourite wrecks included a small tug boat off Carriacou, with a perfect little wheel. The wreck was perfect for taking shot both into and out of the wheelhouse.
Off the main island of Grenada, our favourite wreck was actually the Veronica L. In the daytime the wreck was covered in schools of bright fish, sometimes so dense it was hard to see the structure of the ship. At night it is even more impressive, as the orange cup corals that cover one side come out and glow under torch light. Octopus and crustaceans came out to hunt. We could have done this dive every day and been happy.
The island of St Eustatius, or Statia as it is locally known, sits between St Kitts and Saba. You might not have heard of it, but if you love Caribbean wreck diving then you should add it to your wish list. The diving is great and unhurried on this quiet island where you may only a couple of dive boats operate.
The biggest wreck is the Charlie Brown. This wreck is very dear to our hearts as we were part of the team that sank it when we lived and worked on the island. She lies in 30m of water and can be explored both inside and out.
A series of wrecks has also been sunk near to the harbour area. These were sunk as artificial reefs, initially to encourage fish into the area to help out the local fishermen, who are not allowed to fish in the marine park that surrounds the rest of the island. However, over time, these wreck also became stunning dives. At night huge sea turtles come to sleep here and make this a very special dive indeed.
There are even ancient wrecks to explore, with most of the structure now covered in coral and only the anchors remaining. Treasure is still found on these dives, but you cannot take it home with you – unless you are lucky enough to find a blue bead.
Our plan for 2021 is to visit the British Virgin Islands, as we hear this is a great destination for wreck diving too – watch this space…
New 60m Reel and Dive Torch Combo from Northern Diver
Northern Diver have launched a new 60m Reel & Dive Torch Combo.
The innovative Northern Diver line reel has a unique design and it has been manufactured from a combination of anodized aluminium and synthetic polymers, to make it strong, lightweight and corrosion resistant. The free-flowing spool has a thumb operated spool-lock, to ensure controlled line deployment and a ‘sprung’ reel handle. Allowing the handle to extend whilst in use, if wearing gloves but springs back to half its length, for easy storage. Supplied complete with 60m (197’) of high-vis orange reel line.
The reel also incorporates an attachment point on the top and rubber fixing band allowing you to easily mount Northern Divers Varilux Micro Dive Torch. Ideal for hands-free directional light, ideal for lining out in reduced visibility (within a wreck). Other torches of a similar size to the Micro may be mountable but you should check dimensions first.
Check out https://www.ndiver.com/60m-reel-dive-torch-combo for more.
Marine Life & Conservation
Reefs Go Live returns for new season
CCMI brings the ocean directly to classrooms around the world through live-stream lessons from underwater
In 2018, the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) launched Reefs Go Live, their innovative, flagship education programme that live-streams directly from underwater on the coral reefs in Little Cayman to students in classrooms around the world in real time. For the 2022 season, the four episodes of Reefs Go Live reached more than 107,000 viewers in 22 countries. CCMI’s Reefs Go Live team hopes to expand their reach with four new episodes and supplemental teaching resources to help integrate the material into classroom lessons.
Science Communications & Development Manager for CCMI, Beth Chafin, is excited to be part of another year of Reefs Go Live:
“Knowing we have an audience that spans the world, our team is energised as we plan and implement our Reefs Go Live season for 2023! We feel that creating a connection to the ocean and sharing the beautiful coral reefs of Little Cayman with others, both locally and abroad, is one of the most important ways to increase support for critical, timely issues such as marine protection and sustainability. At CCMI, we are fortunate to have these stunning reefs at our doorstep; not everyone is so lucky to be this connected to coral reefs, but healthy coral reefs are vitally important to everyone on earth. Bringing the ocean into classrooms and homes through Reefs Go Live allows us to share the work we do at the Little Cayman Research Centre, facilitate real-time interactions between viewers around the world and our experts in the field, and inspire the diverse audience to take positive action for the future of coral reefs.”
The first episode of 2023 will take place on Friday, 31st March at 10 am Cayman time (UTC -5h). The episode, ‘Finding Hope on our Reefs’, will feature what CCMI’s long-term monitoring of Little Cayman’s reefs shows us. The data from the annual surveys reveals important trends in reef health over time that reflect global threats and the benefits of strong local protection. Reefs Go Live hosts will explain why this annual monitoring is important and what the results tell us about the future of our coral reefs that we all depend upon. Viewers of each episode will be able to ask questions of the diver and participate in polls through the online platform to make Reefs Go Live an interactive experience.
Additional episodes for this year will run at 10 am (UTC -5h) on the following dates:
Thursday, 11th May: Adaptation on Coral Reefs
Wednesday, 24th May: Reef Resiliency & Restoration
Thursday, 8th June: World Ocean Day – 25 Years of Coral Reef Research
Registration for Reefs Go Live is free and is only required once to receive access to all episodes: https://donate.reefresearch.org/rgl2023.
Reefs Go Live provides an opportunity for students from all over the world to engage with the stunning ocean environment in its most natural format. As coral reefs around the world face unprecedented pressure, generating increased engagement with these precious ecosystems creates an opportunity to promote marine sustainability in a positive and fun way.
Reefs Go Live utilises streaming technology with underwater video and audio equipment to enable real time broadcasting from Little Cayman’s stunning coral reefs. Little Cayman, a Mission Blue Hope Spot, hosts one of the healthiest reef ecosystems in the Caribbean, which overall remains healthy and shows resiliency to climate change impacts. The broadcasts and education materials draw connections from CCMI’s current research conducted in Little Cayman to the national science curriculum and key ocean literacy principles, making CCMI’s work relevant and accessible to students and viewers of all ages, and emphasizing the relationship that we all have to coral reefs, no matter where we are.
Reefs Go Live is a free education programme that is made possible by the generosity of The Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Foundation. To register for the broadcasts and teaching resources, please visit: https://reefresearch.org/what-we-do/education/reefs-go-live/
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