The BVI has won awards for top wrecks, snorkeling and diving for novices, so take advantage of the prime underwater real estate that awaits you.
This pretty reef supposedly got its name from the misfortunes of one diver who lost a precious diamond ring in the rocks. You’re more likely to see tropical fish like cero mackerel, snapper and sergeant majors than a diamond, but it’s a fun way to spend an afternoon. Adjacent to the reef is a colony of garden eels nestled in the sand. They bury their bodies and poke out their heads to float in the current, like grass. Look closely, and you’ll notice them.
This dive is named for its star coral, brain coral, sea fans and other beautiful corals, but that’s not the only feature that makes it unique. Divers can navigate their way around a hollow airplane shell that has been turned into a vibrant reef. The plane was once operational but it crashed in the water off Beef Island airport. Even though no one was injured, it had to be scrapped and its fuselage now rests in the Dog Islands. The only passengers left on this flight are now schools of reef fish, lobster, barracuda and the occasional turtle.
Ginger Steps, named after the Ginger Island coast it hugs, is one of the best coral dives in the BVI. The water is calm, clear and the reef is divided along three ledges of varying depths. More confident divers may venture as far down as the deepest point: the sand floor. You’ll spot intricate and fragile coral life, but also jacks and eagle rays making themselves at home.
Seal Dog Rocks
If you want a bit more excitement you might catch an eel, nurse shark or even a reef shark at Seal Dog Rocks. There’s always activity swirling, and with patience you might witness larger predatory fish like a barracuda making quick lunch out of baitfish.
Visibility is great, the current is strong and the area is thriving with pelagic fish. The underwater ridges are layered with coral formations, caves and crevices. Though it’s a difficult dive, it’s highly rewarding for the advanced level, and you will sight groupers, butterfly fish, angel fish, barracuda, tarpon, jewfish, sharks, rays and jacks. Definitely one for the to-do list if you can handle it.
Alice In Wonderland
You’ll feel like you’re exploring a land of wonder and this site is possibly one of the best views you’ll get of tropical corals in the BVI. Oversized mushroom shaped formations are a queen-sized attraction while parrotfish, angel fish and more pop in and out like curious characters.
Chikuzen was a Japanese built vessel used for fishing in St Maarten, but when the propeller was damaged beyond repair, she was dragged out to sea and set on fire to sink. When that didn’t work, she was taken out again, and this time, sank to the sea floor. For the advanced diver, the wreck is oozing with sealife, including sting and eagle rays, nurse sharks, cobia and jewfish. It’s a hugely popular and simply extraordinary dive site.