Dead Chest is a fabulous dive where parallel passages
and vertical walls run perpendicular to the island.
Three prominent fingers extend out to create color
splashed canyons. The unusual underwater landscape
and abundance of fish make Painted Walls one of the
most popular dives in the BVI. The rocky ridges are
coated with orange, purple, red, green and yellow encrusting
coral accented by many hard and soft corals bouquets.
The northernmost valley between
ridges brings you to an arch leading into a shallow
pool where Silversides often gather and a pair of silvery
Tarpon wait at the swim-through. Nurse Sharks and Hawksbill
Turtles are likely to be resting in the passageways
or roaming at the entrance. On the smaller side numerous
Banded Shrimp and other invertebrates can be found
under the ledges along the bottom of the pool.
The pillar coral has grown from
several large colonies to a dozen or so healthy patches,
with one particularly large colony on the most southern
Visibility is usually over 80 feet
and brilliant sunshine makes the reef shimmer in living
color. If you don't see a Hawksbill Turtle, Nurse Shark
or Green Moray Eel here, you must have been looking
the wrong way.
Text extracted from Diving
British Virgin Islands
Photo © Bonnie