SCUBA Dive Sites
Click on a site
number for more info and see more sites to read about below.
St Croix has some of the best SCUBA
diving in the Caribbean...in the world for that matter! Below you will find just
some of the dive sites located in the waters of St. Croix.
A flat sandy submerged mountain top east of Christiansted harbor. Mooring is in
25 feet of water. The wall is 15 yards east, starts at 40 feet and drops to over
1,000 feet. On the top of the wall lots of pillar coral surrounded with barred
soldier fish and grunts. Off the wall barracuda, angel fish, elephant ear
sponge, horse eye jacks and once in a while a eagle rays, manta rays and even
2.Salt River Canyon
East Wall: The East Wall mooring
is in 40 feet of water, the back of the boat usually hangs in 1,000 feet. Tons
of sponges soft and hard corals. Two types of black coral, the green and pink
ones. Lots of pelagic and tropical fish. Grouper, snapper, eels, conch, lobster
and crab are found here. Usually very clear water. This is a very historical
site. Columbus came here on his second trip to American. He had 17 ships with
him. First time that there was bloodshed between Native Americans and Europeans.
Columbus took some of the capture Indians back with him. This site is also one
of the oldest geological areas in the Caribbean. A Hydro lab was here for
several years. Scientist would live underwater for a week or so doing research
on corals and fish life. Separated from the West Wall by a chasm several
thousand feet deep, East Wall is unfailingly the "fishiest" dive on
the North Shore. While horse eye jacks, hogfish, and snappers swim off the wall,
the sponge and coral-encrusted slope is covered with schools of black bar
soldier fish and striped grunts at 60 ft. Large angel fish, parrot fish and
groupers are featured throughout the dive, with the occasional spotted eagle ray
or black tip reef shark lurking off the wall.
3. Salt River
Canyon West Wall: Mooring in 20 feet of water. A sheer drop off wall. Lots
of canyons and groves to go through. Pelagic as well as eel, snapper, jacks and
groupers. Some really big stingrays in the area. Great for novice divers as well
as advanced. The most requested boat dive on St. Croix is a steep and ruggedly
textured outlining the western edge of Salt River Canyon. Also known as
"The Pinnacles", the geological formation with its maze of swim
throughs, cuts, ledges, overhangs, and recesses suggest that it was once an
above ground waterfall. Schools of creole wrasse, black durgeons and yellowtail
snappers can be found off the edge of the wall, while the deeper realms are
inhabited by jacks, permits, barracudas, ceros, angels, green morays, and rays
gliding by the pinnacles.
4. Rust - op - twist:
Named for a former Danish sugar plantation and a one time home to a shrimp farm
on shore. Pipes for the deep water intake are still underwater. This area has
the deepest water closet to shore in the Caribbean. Two moorings can be
found on this wall site. Known for its colorful tube and rope sponges, sea
fans and gorgonians, the gradual sloping reef has innumerable ledges and
crevices that often shelter orange spotted filefish, juvenile burrfish, clinging
crabs, slipper lobsters, and lizard fish. Following the pipeline downward, which
makes for an easy navigation tool, you can observe the wonder of sea anemones
and purple pederson shrimp interacting, while hovering above the frequent
flounder sunning on the top of the coral encrusted pipeline. There are probably
more black durgons here than any other area, and it is a good site for
5. The Pavilions:
Beautiful wall dive east of Cane Bay. Lots of hard and soft corals, schools of
Atlantic spade fish, groupers elephant ear sponges and black coral. Plateau with
sand and coral, great for beginner and advanced. South of the mooring in 35 feet
of water is a sandy arena rimmed by coral and decorated with yellow headed Jawfish
and spaghetti worms, creating an ideal habitat for nurse sharks and spotted
moray eels. The wall itself is decorated with colorful sponges, whips, and sea
plumes, typically hosting schools of Creole wrasse, triggerfish and every
species of butterfly fish. Watch for the rare pipefish and seahorses. This dive
is known for its abundance of marine life.
6. Cane Bay:
Most popular beach dive as well as boat dive. Accessible from north shore road.
200 yard swim to the wall, drops over 2,000 feet. Beautiful wall dive along with
great coral gardens just before the wall in 30 feet of water. Sometimes you may
see reef sharks out in the blue. Black coral, pelagic and well as tropicals. The
beach is also a great place to chill out before and after your dive.
If you are shore diving, make sure and enter and exit the water at the
boat ramp due to the shallow reefs that run on either side.
Swim straight out from the boat ramp, and drop down when you please.
This wall starts in about 30 feet of water straight out from the boat
Go East for a deeper profile, and west for a shallower dive.
7. North star:
Named after the sugar plantation on the shore. Vertical drop off starting at 25
feet plunging down to 2,000. Schooling fish everywhere. At 60 feet embedded
upside down in the wall rests a large Danish Anchor. Another anchor lies flat on
the shelf itself. The wall takes the form of a sequence of huge coves, which
means some part of the wall is always being illuminated by the sun, allowing the
diver to see under numerous crevices and overhangs, and highlighting the
colorful sponges and gorgonians. All Top Ten dive sites offer the underwater
photographer great opportunities, but the lighting on this site has produced
some spectacular shots, macro and wide angle. This is one of the most dramatic
walls dives on the island which can also be done from shore when conditions are
calm. This site is known for
hawksbill turtles, and an occasional reef shark moving along the wall.
Large schools of Horseye Jacks can also be seen.
On top, you will run into your schools of Blue Tangs, along with many
other species of tropical fish.
8. Davis Bay:
Great wall dive. Have seen larger sharks here such as tiger and black tip.
Shallows ruined by hotel construction and hurricanes. This
wall dive can be done by shore from Carambola Beach, but it requires one to hike
from the parking lot to the water with gear.
Davis Bay makes for a easy boat dive since the moring sits right on the
edge of the wall in 25' of water.
There are lots of cuts and mini canyons on this site, and after about 65'
the wall turns to sand and slopes out to the deep blue.
The cuts on this wall make for great homes for spotted lobsters and an
occasional nurse shark.
This site is also a good area to see Southern Stingrays on top of the
wall moving along the sand.
9. Eagle ray:
Just outside of the harbor entrance, mooring in 28 feet, gentle slope big coral
heads in sand. Usually see eagle rays feeding here. Great dive for beginners as
well as advanced.
10. WAPA: On Long Reef across from the Water and
Power Authority plant. Sloping coral with sand chutes between them. Good place
to see lobster and nurse sharks.
11. Gentle Winds:
Named after a condo complex on the beach there, Gentle Winds marks the beginning
of a mile-long stretch of spur-and-groove reef. The large, thriving coral
fingers, separated by narrow sand chutes, bottom out into a sandy plain at 60
feet, making it a perfect second dive and training site for those working to
improve navigational skills. The great diversity and density of hard and soft
corals are unmatched anywhere else. Look closely to find scorpion fish, flat
worms, lettuce sea slugs, lobsters, and flying gurnards nestled among the
breathtaking coral heads or camouflaged on the sand.
The Fredericksted Pier: A Shore Dive. A terrific beginning night
dive! The old pier was chosen as one of the best macro dives in the world.
Although torn down after suffering severe hurricane damage, several structures
from the original pier are still standing. Called Dolphins, these huge pillars
are bathed in spectacular corals and sponges. The new pier structure is a
beautiful spot to see coral beginning its new life. This is the place to see Sea
Horses! Lots of unusual fish and sea life such as bat fish, frog fish, various
eels, living shells, and Caribbean lobster call this spot home. An exciting
Butler Bay Shipwrecks: There are 6
shipwrecks within a quarter-mile of each other located in Butler Bay. These
shipwrecks can be seen in 2 different dives. The “Deep Shipwrecks” refer to the
Wreck of the Coakley Bay and Rosaomira. They are located a couple hundred feet
from each other, and can be seen in one dive from 60 feet to 100 feet deep. The
“Shallow Shipwrecks” include the Suffolk Maid, Virgin Islander, Agiers Habitat,
and Northwind wreck. This dive will take you to depths of 40-65 feet. Armageddon
is the wreckage from the previous Frederiksted Pier that was destroyed in
hurricane Hugo. The remains are sunk in 100 feet of water just south of the
other shipwreck sites in Butler Bay.
Chubbs Hole: Chubbs Hole is a sharp 15 foot ledge that is located in 30
feet of water a short boat ride north of the Frederiksted Pier. This ledge
offers many small caves and holes for lobster, nurse sharks, eels, and turtles
to hang around. The ledge starts on the edge of Butler Bay and extends south
around Mill Point and towards shore close to Cowboy Beach on the west end.
Swirling Reef of Death: This reef site is just minutes south of the
Frederiksted Pier offering some of the calmest water on St. Croix. The mooring
area offers great photo opportunities because of the nice coral reef patches
surrounded by white sand. If you head west, you will hit a drop off that will
take you down to 100 feet before turning back to sand. This is a great area for
healthy corals and sponges along with a great variety of tropical fish and
Sandy Point: Sandy Point is a federally protected turtle nesting beach,
so you can probably figure out what you might see on the reefs a quarter-mile
off shore. With this area being left undeveloped, the Sandy Point reefs are some
of the healthiest reefs on St. Croix.
Other Sites of Interest:
Discovered by Dive Experience this dive has
a small wall starting at 40 feet and is vertical to 72 feet. On top lots of
coral soft and hard. Seahorses can be found here. Nice sloping reefs with a
large abundance of lobster. Both green and spotted eels live here. At the 50
foot range, beautiful corals with tons of fish life.
Deep canyon starts in 40 feet sand bottom 20 feet across. Lots of over hangs.
Lobster, file fish, Durgons and eels. Soft and hard corals in abundance.
The pinnacle: Sea mount that tops
off at 90 feet. Usually see swimming reef sharks and big jacks. Black coral. Advanced
Sleeping Shark Hole:
A large coral over hang where one to four big nurse sharks hang out. Beautiful
sloping reef down to sand shoots.
Big sand shoots and large coral heads. Lots of lobsters, crab and small nurse
Sloping coral formations. Good for small tropicals.
In about 45 feet a very large 200 year plus anchor from the old Danish days of
St. Croix. Probably from the sugar plantation days. Over 8 feet in length.
Another anchor in 55 feet lodged in the corals and covered in coral. Healthy
corals and lots of tropicals.
White Horse Reef:
Two small reefs nearly breaking the surface. Many a boat has sunk here. You can
find broken cannon, old wood and nail and chain from very old boat. New boats
have hit it too. Nice shallow dive.