Diving in British Virgin Islands, Caribbean

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British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands is an archipelago of 60 islands and islets that are mostly within a few miles of each other. The whole island is situated in shallow waters and the locals have a popular saying that you need a shovel to dive below 100 feet / 30 meters and although an exaggeration, is true in a sense.


Rich in the history of the British Navy, shipwrecks are common sights in the islands. The RMS Rhone is the most popular shipwreck and it's now a national marine park which is a must dive for beginner divers because of the crystal clear waters and favorable depths. Hawksbill turtles are a common sight in the Rhone. The wreck is very rich in history and really worth the 2 dives required to fully explore the whole shipwreck. Diverse marine life are living in the Rhone such as a giant green moray and several octopus, it's considered good luck seeing them during the dive.

Since diving in the islands is predominantly wreck and reef based, it is the haven for beginner divers since it is relatively one of the safest diving environment in the world.

To see the most unusual of marine life, visit Dry Rocks East dive site in the Cooper Island. Some of the marine life that can be seen here are horse eye jacks to African pompano, Atlantic spadefish, hawksbill turtles, shark-like cobia and nurse sharks. The shallow waters also teem with sergeant majors, chromis, creole wrasse and black durgon

Another dive site that is rich in marine life is in The Invisibles in Virgin Gorda island. Prolific with sponge and soft corals, it attracts huge volumes of fish and large schools of permit atop the submerged pinnacle. Another dive site in Virgin Gorda is The Aquarium teeming with prolific marine life worthy of its name such as large schools of grunts (French, Spanish, bluestriped, tomtate), snappers (gray, mahogany, schoolmaster), chub, angelfish (Queen, French, Gray, Rock Beauty) and many others. Lobster, eels, stingrays, and nurse sharks can also be seen in the area.

 
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The first designated national marine park in the British Virgin Islands is The RMS Rhone Marine Park. It includes the surrounding reef and seagrass beds as well as the RMS Rhone shipwreck which sunk in 1867.

The British Virgin Islands have cool winds and warm blue waters. During January, the water temperature is 24C/76F, 27C/80F in March, and 28C/83F in July.

The average daily temps ranges between 27C/80F – 30C/86F while at night, the temperature drops by 10 degrees.

The British Virgin Islands have an all year round diving season.

 Natural hazards include hurricanes and tropical storms throughout the months of July to October.

 

The main airport in the islands is Terrence B. Lettsome Airport (EIS) located on Beef Island. There are no direct flights from the USA, Canada, Europe or South America.

All flights must connect through another Caribbean airport such as San Juan (SJU), St. Thomas (STT), Antigua, St. Kitts, and St. Maarten/St. Martin (SXM).

The easiest way to go to the British Virgin Islands is via San Juan, Puerto Rico.

There are also charter flights from St. Thomas to Tortola and Virgin Gorda.

Ferries frequently plight the routes from St. Thomas to Tortola.

Transportation in the British Virgin Islands is relatively easy and pretty safe.

Use the following links for more information about;

- Foreign Travel Advice for British Virgin Islands (UK Government)

- More about the British Virgin Islands (Wikipedia)

  • Rainbow Visions 2008 017 Tortola, British Virgin Islands

    Tortola is renound for it pristine waters and friendly people and is know as Natures Little Secret. It is also know as the sailing capital of the world. Tortola is famous for the Wreck of the Rhone location of the movie...

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