Scuba on St John in the USVI

SCUBA DIVING

Top Scuba Dives In The US Virgin Islands

Scuba the Virgin Islands. Southern stingrays make regular appearances in the sand channels between the reefs, and during the summer, huge tarpon show up to feed on the schools of bait fish. Water temperatures range from the high 70s in winter to mid-80s in summer. Visability averages 60 to 100 feet. No passports required for U.S. citizens, easy access from the mainland U.S and a variety of amazing scuba dives, including plunging walls, hulking wrecks and laid-back reefs.

Scuba dive the US Virgin Islands

Eagle Shoals
This rarely visited site located on St. John’s east end between Ram Head and Leduck Island, is best known for “The Cathedral,” a large, open chamber accessed by multiple entryways. Look up to see streams of sunlight pouring in from the “skylight.” The prevailing southeast swells make this a tricky scuba dive, but when seas are calm this site is magical.
Recommended minimum skill level: Beginner 

Scuba sites in the Virgin Islands

Carval Rock
Drop down on the sheltered south side of this rock formation, then kick hard against the stiff current flowing through “The Cut,” a shallow, submerged passage through the rock.  The sheer wall on the east end drops to 80 feet, let the current take you 360 degrees around the rock, past dramatic formations and through a narrow canyon packed with bait fish and tarpon.

Recommended minimum skill level: Intermediate

Scuba Sites in the United States Virgin Islands

Congo Cay
This dive starts in a wide sand channel where large southern stingrays rest and forage for food. Follow your dive guide through a backbone of rock spires to the coral-draped wall. Depths are between 25 and 80 feet with the best formations and marine life between 35 and 60.
Recommended minimum skill level: Beginner to Intermediate

Scuba sites

Cow and Calf
These sister sites are easily accessible from either St. John or St Thomas. Both feature undersea playgrounds complete with arches, canyons and places to swim through at a max depth of 45 feet. At Cow Rock, a tunnel packed with silversides ends with “The Champagne Cork,” a vertical opening where you can “pop” out onto the surrounding staghorn coral reef.
Recommended minimum skill level: Beginner

Tektite
This is a site with an interesting and groundbreaking history. In a joint effort by NASA and the Department of the Interior and the Navy, Tektite was anchored at 50 feet to the seafloor in Greater Lameshur Bay on the south side of the island of St John. In 1969, four “aquanauts” spent two months being monitored by behavioral specialists for the psychological effects of extended isolation and the physiological results of breathing compressed air. Scuba Divers visiting the site will find a varied terrain of coral-encrusted tunnels, caves and ledges.

WIT Shoal II
The ship sits upright in 90 feet, with the pilothouse starting at 30 feet. This 330-foot freighter and former tank landing ship was first sunk by a tropical storm in 1984, then six months later towed to her current resting place west of Saba Island off of St Thomas. Cup corals and sponges encrust the ship, and open holds and companionways provide refuge for grouper and barracuda.
Recommended minimum skill level: Intermediate

French Cap
This small cay south of St. Thomas is too far for most dive boats to visit with any regularity, but when the weather is perfect, special trips do happen and it’s well worth it. There are a few spots to scuba dive here, and the Pinnacle is one you shouldn’t miss. A handful of rock spires shoot up from the 95-foot bottom to about 40 feet.
Recommended minimum skill level: Intermediate

Tunnels of Thatch
You’ll meander through a winding path of bait fish and tarpon packed canyons and caverns, then explore a sloping, boulder-strewn hillside at depths of 25 to 40 feet. These tunnels on the north side of Thatch Cay are only safe when flat calm surface conditions keep the surge down.
Recommended minimum skill level: Intermediate

Butler Bay Wrecks
These five distinct wrecks clumped together on St. Croix’s northwest tip can be done in one dive. Better to take it easy and see them all over two dives. The Northwind tops out at 20 feet, the Rosaomaira is the deepest at 110 feet.
Recommended minimum skill level: Intermediate

Frederiksted Pier
Macro life abounds at this simple, but diverse beach dive on St. Croix’s western shore. The pilings in 25 feet or less of water host an array of hard-to-find creatures like seahorses, batfish and frogfish.
Recommended minimum skill level: Beginner

Come and enjoy what our beautiful islands have to offer

Getting There: Nonstop flights to St. Thomas (STT) and St. Croix (STX) originate from several U.S. gateways, including Atlanta, Miami, Newark, Charlotte and Philadelphia. Several interisland carriers, as well as an interisland ferry and seaplane charters departing from Charlotte Amalie harbor, offer connecting service between St. Thomas and St. Croix. St. John does not have an airport. To get there, fly to St. Thomas and take a taxi to the interisland ferry docks at Red Hook or Charlotte Amalie Harbor. No passport is required to travel in “America’s Caribbean,” but bring one along if you want to dive the nearby British Virgin Islands.

Most dive operators teach a full range of PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) and NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors) courses from beginning scuba to instructor training. Specialty courses such as underwater photography, peak buoyancy, wreck, drift and boat diving are also available through many operators. Training for those with physical disabilities is available at several dive outlets.

Low Key Watersports |  Patagon Dive Centre  | Cruz Bay Watersports