ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Diving in the British Virgin Islands - Part 2

Updated on April 27, 2010

Home of Sharks and Barracudas

While the Rhone may be the most dived of the B.V.I.'s — and perhaps the entire Caribbean's — myriad wrecks, the remote Chikuzen is its best-kept secret. Two decades ago, the engine of the 246-foot Korean refrigerated ship died, but fishermen continued to take advantage of her cold storage and anchored her off St. Martin. After her days of service were over, she was banished to the open seas and set ablaze, to be sunk in deep water. But she drifted and drifted. As she neared the B.V.I., nervous locals dispatched a tugboat to steer her clear of shore. She finally sank on her port side in 75 feet of water nearly 10 miles north of Virgin Gorda. On a calm day, it's a perfect site for beginning and intermediate divers. The maximum depth is 75 feet, but there's plenty to see without venturing to the very bottom.

Although the Chikuzen is much younger than the Rhone, it is no less fascinating, and a trip to the Chikuzen pays off with rare sightings of really big fish, including sharks, jacks, and shoals of barracuda. If you're the first in the water, you stand a good chance of seeing a handful of reef sharks that call the wreck home and are easily spooked by the noisy dive-boat engine and divers splashing down into the water. Sure to stick around, however, are thick masses of tomtates, snappers, jacks, and spadefish crowding the hull, which is slowly gathering a furry coat of corals and sponges and will someday be as colorful as the Rhone. A school of barracuda forms a silvery curtain on the wreck, draped on top of each other from the surface to the seafloor.

No Artificial Colors or Flavors

If you're looking for a break from diving the artificial reefs, try some of the B.V.I.'s natural ones. The Indians, between Norman and Peter Islands, are so named for four rocky pinnacles that protrude from the water like a feathered headdress. Below the waves, a garden of staghorn and elkhorn corals are tended by throngs of lively tropical fish. Above water and below, The Baths of Virgin Gorda are a unique, otherworldly experience. Thrust up from the earth's molten core in rivers of magma, the giant granite boulders look like a big pile of stony Legos. The jumble of rocks creates sunken antechambers filled with glassy sweepers and lighted eerily by sun beaming through cracks and crevices, painted with rainbow-hued encrusting sponges and orange cup corals.
 
The shallow continental shelf that rings the islands dictates maximum depths of around 80 feet and has given the islands a reputation for being more of a beginner dive destination. But the short boat rides of 15 to 30 minutes to dive sites and shallow depths that allow marathon bottom times appeal to even the most jaded divers. While it's possible to squeeze in three or four dives a day, this is a place where even die-hard divers aren't afraid to take it easy.
 
After a week on the British Virgin Islands, you will either long for or question the logic of a society with traffic lights, fast-food chains, and home-shopping networks. But rest assured, there will always be a place where you can escape the hectic pace of the modern world — and now you know exactly where it is.
 
Back to Start

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)