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Top 5 Caribbean Wreck Diving Destinations

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

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Love wreck diving? Love diving in clear blue warm water? Then here are our top 5 wreck diving destinations in the Caribbean.

The Bahamas

Want to combine some wreck diving with seeing sharks up close? Then The Bahamas is the destination for you. The islands have both ancient and modern ship wrecks to explore on most of the islands. Some sunk for filming movies, some sunk to make artificial reefs, even a crashed plane in water shallow enough to snorkel.

Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas offer shark dives on two different wrecks that offer underwater photographers & divers to enjoy the best of both shark diving and wreck diving (and you can even do this at night!).

Still on our Bahamian Wreck Diving wish list is the SS Sapona off Bimini – a large wreck that lies part submerged which offers some amazing split-shot opportunities.


Barbados

The island of Barbados is popular with divers and snorkelers alike. Amazing beaches, great food and a friendly welcome are what you should expect. But it is below the waves that makes this island stand out from the crowd. Probably the most famous wreck of Barbados is the Stavronikita, a huge and fairly deep wreck that takes several dives to fully explore. Its structure is now covered in coral growth and plenty of marine life has made this artificial reef its home.

But our favourite wreck diving location on the island has to be Carlisle Bay, where several wreck have been sunk in a rough circle for both divers and snorkelers to explore. Turtles are plentiful in the bay and if you drift off the wrecks and onto the reefs you are sure to spot seahorses too. The wreck of the Bajan Queen offers divers the chance to explore inside a wreck, in shallow water, which is a real highlight. Carlisle Bay also makes a great night dive!


Cayman Islands

The most famous wreck in the Cayman Islands has to be the Kittiwake. This wreck used to stand upright but a powerful storm has since knocked it on its side. It is a big ship, sunk deliberately to make an artificial reef on a sandy seabed. It can take several dives to fully explore both the outside and inside the wreck. It is always an impressive dive.

However, sometimes it is the smaller wrecks like the Doc Poulson that can make for a magical dive, simply because of the abundant marine life that call this wreck home. Huge sponges adorn the bow and large green morays and lobster can be found in every crevice.


Grenada

Grenada is probably most famous for the wreck of the Bianca C. It also boasts being the wreck diving capital of the Caribbean, with a host of wrecks suitable for beginners right up to technical divers. Divers with a lust for rust flock here each year to spend their time underwater exploring the wrecks on offer. Our favourite wrecks included a small tug boat off Carriacou, with a perfect little wheel. The wreck was perfect for taking shot both into and out of the wheelhouse.

Off the main island of Grenada, our favourite wreck was actually the Veronica L. In the daytime the wreck was covered in schools of bright fish, sometimes so dense it was hard to see the structure of the ship. At night it is even more impressive, as the orange cup corals that cover one side come out and glow under torch light. Octopus and crustaceans came out to hunt. We could have done this dive every day and been happy.


St Eustatius

The island of St Eustatius, or Statia as it is locally known, sits between St Kitts and Saba. You might not have heard of it, but if you love Caribbean wreck diving then you should add it to your wish list. The diving is great and unhurried on this quiet island where you may only a couple of dive boats operate.

The biggest wreck is the Charlie Brown. This wreck is very dear to our hearts as we were part of the team that sank it when we lived and worked on the island. She lies in 30m of water and can be explored both inside and out.

A series of wrecks has also been sunk near to the harbour area. These were sunk as artificial reefs, initially to encourage fish into the area to help out the local fishermen, who are not allowed to fish in the marine park that surrounds the rest of the island. However, over time, these wreck also became stunning dives. At night huge sea turtles come to sleep here and make this a very special dive indeed.

There are even ancient wrecks to explore, with most of the structure now covered in coral and only the anchors remaining. Treasure is still found on these dives, but you cannot take it home with you – unless you are lucky enough to find a blue bead.


Our plan for 2021 is to visit the British Virgin Islands, as we hear this is a great destination for wreck diving too – watch this space…

  • Big Crab

  • A Caribbean Reef Shark swims over the wreck of the Ray of Hope

  • Inside the Bajan Queen

  • Diver on the Stavronikita

  • USS Kittiwake

  • Doc Poulson

  • A tug boat off Carriacou

  • Night dive on the Veronica L

  • The Charlie Brown

  • STENAPA Tug Boat

  • Big Crab

  • Caribbean Reef Shark on the wreck of the Ray of Hope

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and they are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

Blogs

Lovin’ Saint Lucia: Two wreck dives and a wedding (part 3)

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

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Whilst we have been lucky enough to dive in much of the Caribbean, Saint Lucia was still on our wish list. Until November when we got a chance to visit this beautiful island on a 6-night diving trip that would see us enjoy with incredible scenery both above and below the waves. We were able to sample three different hotels, dined at a host of local eateries, spoke to local school kids about the ocean and even took a tour into the rainforest canopy. Find out all about this trip over this series of three blogs on Caribbean Dive Adventures.


Our final day of diving saw us heading south again to the wreck of the Lesleen M. The wreck was sunk as an artificial reef in 1986. It sits upright in the water just off Anse Cochon in about 20m of water at its deepest point. AS it has been in the water for over 3 decades, it is now covered in marine life. Yellow and purple sponges rise up from the deck and off railings. Gorgonian corals created huge curtains across the walkways and on the bow and stern. The prop is covered in orange sponges and cup corals. Barracuda and porcupinefish cruise the middle section of the boat. Schools of reef fish live in the covered section of the stern. There is life everywhere you look. To make the most of this dive, bring a light, as the colours are incredible.

We were lucky to have been able to dive the wreck as a buddy pair, without any other groups. But we loved the dive so much we asked if we could join the group for another dive on the wreck as our final dive of the trip. However, the group we were going to dive with were a little bit special! Two of the group had got married the day before. Nine of the family (mum, dad, the happy couple, sisters, brothers, and their partners) who had come to Saint Lucia for the wedding were on our boat. We offered to take an underwater photo of them. Getting the shot was not as easy as we had first thought though! Getting them all still, in the same place, not blowing bubbles at inappropriate times turned out to be a challenge! It was, however, a joyous way to finish off our diving on Saint Lucia.

Our final day saw us heading to new heights, via a cable car experience into the rainforest canopy. Not only does this trip offer stunning views over the island, but our guide was so knowledgeable we also learned plenty about the local fauna and flora of the island. This is the perfect activity for the non-diving day at the end of a trip. A final cocktail in the beautiful setting of the Harbor Club as the sun set saw us reflect on a super trip. We barely scratched the surface of what Saint Lucia has to offer. Alas we never got to experience the diving in the north of the island, so we will have to return to rectify that. Hopefully sometime soon!


Nick and Caroline were hosted by:

Eastern Caribbean Diving

Bay Gardens Marina Haven & Bay Gardens Beach Resort and Spa

The Harbor Club

Travel Saint Lucia

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Blogs

Lovin’ Saint Lucia: Kids and Critters (Part 2)

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

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Whilst we have been lucky enough to dive in much of the Caribbean, Saint Lucia was still on our wish list. Until November when we got a chance to visit this beautiful island on a 6-night diving trip that would see us enjoy with incredible scenery both above and below the waves. We were able to sample three different hotels, dined at a host of local eateries, spoke to local school kids about the ocean and even took a tour into the rainforest canopy. Find out all about this trip over this series of three blogs on Caribbean Dive Adventures.


After our first two days of diving in the south of the island, below the magnificent Piton mountains, it was time for a day off. Usually we would pack in a much diving as possible on a short trip like this, we had been invited to speak at a local school. Our hotel, Bay Gardens Beach Hotel and Spa, already support the school with a breakfast club to ensure the kids start the day with a good meal. They asked us if we might go and speak about the ocean, marine life, conservation and our work. As the school did not have a room big enough to hold all the kids, we setup in the local church. The kids filed in and sat in rows of pews and we chatted about the marine life that can be found both in the waters surrounding Saint Lucia and further afield. They knowledge of shark species was incredible! They even identified a Basking Shark correctly! We were stunned when they presented us with a huge box of local fruits they had picked from their gardens as a thank you. Our driver then took us for a drive around the north of the island to show us some of the plentiful beauty spots.

Back diving again, we still headed south, but to sample some different diving from our first two days. We were delighted to dive over a healthy seagrass bed that was home to a host of marine life. Snake eels skimmed along through the blades of grass, flounder lay camouflaged, and several species of crustacean could be found once you got your eye in. A huge Southern Stingray lay buried in the sand and our guide, Mervin, was delighted to find a seahorse (that did not want to be photographed). Dotted throughout the seagrass bed, coral bommies were a haven for small marine life critters. Eels and lobster hid in the crevices, while small juvenile fish darted through the coral and sponges.

Whilst we were on an all-inclusive basis at our hotels, we love to get out and about to try local establishments where we can. So each evening we would take a stroll to the waterfront to sample some excellent food and a local beer or cocktail, whilst watching the sun go down. The perfect way to finish off a great day of diving.


Nick and Caroline were hosted by:

Eastern Caribbean Diving

Bay Gardens Marina Haven & Bay Gardens Beach Resort and Spa

The Harbor Club

Travel Saint Lucia

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