Wreck Diving

 

Scuba diving in Grenada
Grenada is just one of the many Caribbean islands where divers can discover wrecks.

 

Just about every island in the Caribbean offers visitors the opportunity to explore waters teeming with hundreds of exotic species of fish and exquisite coral formations. This makes it an ideal region for scuba divers. According to the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, 85 percent of certified divers have taken a dive vacation in the past three years, and 77 percent have taken an international dive trip within the last year. For those divers looking for even more of an adventure under the sea beyond marine life, suggest wreck dives.

If your diving clients haven’t been to the Cayman Islands in the past few years, they will want to know about the U.S.S. Kittiwake, a 251-foot, 2,200-ton, five-deck decommissioned naval vessel that was deliberately sunk off the northern end of Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach. It rests in waters only 64-feet deep at the bottom and only 15 feet from the surface, making it an ideal site for both divers and snorkelers. Visitors can also check out the MV Captain Keith Tibbetts, a 330-foot Russian frigate, which was intentionally sunk off Cayman Brac’s West End in 1996.

Grenada lays claim to the largest divable wreck in the Caribbean, the Bianca C. Known as the “Titanic of the Caribbean,” the 600-foot-long Italian liner sank near the island’s coast in 1961 and is often cited among the top 10 wreck sites in the world. It sits upright on its keel in 165 feet of water. Of the dozen-plus other wrecks in Grenada’s waters, the 80-foot-long Veronica, fully intact except for its bridge section, is a shallow wreck that is ideal for beginners.

The five wrecks in Carlisle Bay in Barbados, are among the most easily accessible, the shallowest being only seven feet from the surface with lots of growth and fish life due to the lack of depth and subsequent light penetration. In the north, the 365-foot Greek freighter Stavronikita sits upright and has depth ranges from 18 feet at the top of its mast to 140 feet at the propellers. Farther north, the 160-foot-long Pamir also sits upright in a sheltered spot close to shore, making it an excellent choice for beginners.

Bermuda has more shipwrecks per square mile than anywhere else in the world and is one of the few places where visitors can dive wrecks dating from the 1600s. The Cristóbal Colón is a 499-foot Spanish luxury liner and the largest known shipwreck in the waters around Bermuda. Divers can also explore the Iristo, which is known as Bermuda’s unluckiest ship. This 250-foot Norwegian freighter sank in 1937 when she crashed because of another shipwreck.

Visitors to Curacao, can explore the Superior Producer, which is particularly interesting because the ship is upright. For something different, the island also has two unique and aptly names sites, Airplane Wreck and Car Wrecks.

If your clients are interested in a dive vacation but aren’t yet among the 20 million divers worldwide who have been certified by PADI, book them at a resort that offers PADI certification courses. Check with your preferred resorts, or visit www.padi.com to find dive resorts and dive centers.