Summer Dive Special
Cooper Island Villas
Bitter End Resort
Mahoe Bay Villas
Endless Summer II
Baskin In The Sun
Underwater Boat Services
Blue Water Divers
Notes to Novices
Beginning divers will want to consider at least a resort course. A full diving
course may be undertaken at home in its classroom/pool aspects, so as not to encumber the
vacation. Save the open water certification for the incomparable experience of descending
on an island reef.
A good place to learn snorkeling is a day sail.
See Learning to
Snorkel for equipment tips.
Age and Diving
Reefs, wrecks, rock pinnacles,
caverns and walls--50 islands and over 70 commonly known sites of the most varied and
finest diving and snorkeling
in the world. By all means, get down, get under the water--it's a whole new world!
The juvenile Hawksbill Turtle above is
by ScubaMom (Logo>>).
The unique geology of the BVI, giving rise to a tropical archipelago beloved of sailors
in particular, explains this great diversity (at Anegada,
the North-American plate is being sub-ducted onto the Lesser Antilles).
The lower visibility in summer, down from 100' in the winter to 60', due to plankton, is a
trade off for the abundant marine life of BVI reefs. The famed North Drop at Anegada involves
upwelling currents that feed a gigantic marine nursery on the inland reef areas of Anegada's 10
mile long Horseshoe Reef and flow to "downstream" BVI areas. Temperatures range
from 77-79� F in winter to 82-84 � F in summer.
DIVE AND SNORKEL SITES (see ScubaMom's Map)
"(S)" indicates snorkeling as well as diving.
Caves at Norman Island, actually a snorkeling
site, and The Indians (S) are all-time favorites.
Other dive and snorkeling sites near Norman Island include Rainbow Canyons (S), Spy Glass (a mini-wall)(S), Ringdove Rock, Sandy's Ledge (S), Angelfish Reef (S), and the
offshore sea mount, Santa Monica Rock.
Peter Island has
dive sites at Carrot Shoal with its
famous black coral, Black Tip Reef, Truck Reef, the Fearless and Willie
T wrecks, and Shark Point. Fine
snorkeling can be had at Deadman's Bay, Great Harbour and White and Key Bays.
And off nearby Dead Chest Island is Dead Chest West, Coral Gardens, and the technicolor box
canyon, Painted Walls (ScubaMom).
The Wreck of the Rhone at Salt Island. Yes, the most famous dive site of
them all--right in the BVIs--The Wreck of the Rhone (S), film site for the movie,
"The Deep," starring Jacqueline Bisset. This is an octopus ScubaMom found there.
Other Salt Island
sites include Rhone Reef (S), Blonde Rock and the colorful, current- bathed Vanishing
Rocks. Here French Grunts school in a U-shaped tunnel at Blonde Rock (ScubaMom).
Island has the sensational snorkeling and shallow Cistern Point, the the
mythical Alice in Wonderland at nearby Ginger Island and more!
The Baths at Virgin Gorda. The famous Baths
are notable as a snorkeling site. Nearby, The Crawl
is unparalleled as a children's beginning snorkeling site. Nearby at Point Fort is the
Aquarium, an easy dive and snorkeling site aptly named for its abundance of tropical
fish. Seen here is the Puffer
Fish who, when disturbed, "puffs" up.
Virgin Gorda's Beach Coast. Off this
beautiful coast are a group of islands called The
Dogs with fantastic diving and snorkeling at Joe's Cave (Wall to Wall),
Flintstones, The Visibles, Bronco Billy (S), Seal Dog Islands, Coral Gardens
(S), and that most popular dive and snorkel site, The Chimney.
Inshore are tranquil lagoons with great snorkeling on their protective reefs, such as Mahoe and Savannah Bays, as well as the dive site Mountain Point (S). This
nurse shark, napping on a ledge at George Dog Island, was photographed by the
famous ScubaMom as described here.
North Sound of Virgin
Gorda. This vast water expanse offers diving at Coconut Reef and great snorkeling (see map), including snorkeling over seagrass, among
other water-related activities.
"drowned island" only 28 feet high with its ten mile-long Horseshoe Reef (third
largest in the world) has claimed over 300 wrecks-a dive site treasury, including the
famous Chikuzen halfway there.. Also, Loblolly Bay offers superb snorkeling.
BVI Association of
Fisheye View Cam-Live!
Rondale's Scuba Diving
Scuba Times Online
Free Diving with
Hawaiian Sling in Bora Bora
Diving Links Page
System for National Marine Parks
To prevent anchor abuse of reefs, boats must use moorings (surface buoys attached
to stainless steel pins set in bedrock):
White: Dive use by non-commercial boats on a first-come basis with a 90
minute time limit.
Red: Day use only by non-diving boats.
Blue: For use by dinghies only.
Yellow: Commercial dive boats only.
Large Yellow: Commercial, daysailing or large (over 55') boats.
Diving And Snorkeling Books
British Virgin Islands by Jim and Ooile Scheiner, 1997, from AcquaQuest Books is
a fabulous book--very comprehensive with brilliant photos, and even site diagrams. Jim
Scheiner is a photojournalist whose pictures capture the best of the BVIs.
Click here to
order (only $15.16 with 20% off the list price).
And Snorkeling Guide to the Virgin Islands by Linda Sorensen, 1992, from Pisces
Books, is a fine book, engulfing the reader in its underwater world. Click here to
order (only $11.96 with 20% off the list price).
Guide to Marine Life : Florida Caribbean Bahamas, by Paul Humann,
1995 80 page paperback, is only $10.36 with 20% off. A great little book covering so
much--fish, coral, creatures, plants--with exquisite small photos of each! Also his
Identification: Florida Caribbean Bahamas, 1994 Paperback 2nd Edition (only
$31.96 with 20% off the list price). Highly recommended by dive magazines, fishwatchers
(akin to birdwatchers) and biologists alike. See B-V-I Bookstore for more.
DIVE SITE MAP produced
by the BVI Dive Operators Association.
about the ScubaMom's experiences
learning to scuba dive and what a great place the BVI is to learn
because of its "floor" and generally mild currents.
All sales commissions for these books are donated to the BVI National Parks Trust for
the preservation of the natural and marine heritage of the islands.
For diving emergencies, use channel 16 or 22A for US Coast Guard (9-6770) or call 999
or 991 for VISAR. Hospital Chamber
(809-776-2686) has a decompression chamber in St. Thomas.