Diving in the BVI

diving the British Virgin Islands

Most of the dives are not deep or demanding, though for the experienced we have a selection of challenging dives. There are some deep sites in the BVI but most of the diving is shallower than 80 feet. Surface conditions are normally quite calm. The 8 to 10 inch tidal range normally doesn't generate swift currents. Another advantage of diving aboard Cuan Law is that Captain won't hesitate to crisscross the islands to put you into the best conditions each day. You can be certain of enjoyable diving any time of the year.

You'll see a year's worth of critters and coral no matter where you go. Although large animals such as Caribbean reef sharks, manta rays, and spotted eagle rays are not uncommon, the British Virgin Islands are known for the incredible diversity of reef fish. Pick up a fish ID book for the Caribbean and you can find almost everything in it here. You will likely see huge Jewish and Cubera snapper, green and spotted morays, various sharks, turtles and rays, all the jacks, pompano, spade fish, permits, tarpon and virtually every reef fish.

All of the waters of the British Virgin Islands are protected under the National Parks Trust who works in association with the BVI Dive Operators to protect the natural abundance of the reefs. Several special areas, such as the wreck of the Rhone, receive extra protection as marine parks. As a result, divers enjoy healthy reefs with an enormous variety of fish. Mooring buoys minimize anchor damage and regulations prohibit damaging or removing any plant or animal, keeping the reefs packed with life. Spear fishing is forbidden and the use of gloves discouraged.

Visibility is normally in the 60 to 100 foot range, with occasional days of 120 feet or more at some dive sites. The water temperature stays between 78F and 82F most of the year. Plush skins are the favorite apparel aboard Cuan Law but a light wet suit will probably be needed in winter, particularly if you are easily chilled.

There are literally scores of dive sites in the British Virgin Islands, many only visited by Cuan Law. With over forty-five years of diving in the BVI, Duncan has discovered a lot of the established sites and he has a number of spots which only the Cuan Law visits.