Beyond the Reef British Virgin Islands with the Kodiak Queen. If you have not heard about this fascinating new NGO artistically creating underwater ecosystems, let’s start by introducing you to the first project, the sinking of the Kodiak Queen spearheaded by Unite BVI. All artificial reefs, from old airplanes to Pirate and World War Two Ships that are now pristine SCUBA diving and snorkeling spots.
1) Kodiak Queen (Formerly YO-44 in WWII) 2) Willy T’s Pirate Ship. Sunk off Key Cay, Peter Island in 2019
Kodiak Queen, Long Bay, Virgin Gorda
Kodiak Queen is legendary! She is made even more famous as her original logbook while preparing it to sink. It was initially named YO-44. The Kodiak Queen thought to be one of only five ships that survived Pearl Harbor. During Pearl Harbor, she was an oil tanker filled with aviation fuel. When the carnage was all over, YO-44 was still standing. The YO- 44 then made her way to Kodiak, Alaska, where she trawled for crab commercially for the next forty years. And at that time, renamed the Kodiak Queen.
When did the Kodiak Queen arrive in the British Virgin Islands?
In the 1980s, the Kodiak Queen made her way to the British Virgin Islands to live out her days trawling for fish. At least that was the plan until hurricane Earl hit in 2010, and she was no longer seaworthy and abandoned at Tortola. She tossed up on the seawall in Baughers Bay, with several over ships rotting over the next six years. NB: I have two different stories on WHY it was in the Virgin Islands. The second story was that the Kodiak Queen was taken out of the Commercial Fishing Fleet around 2000 and was never allowed to be used for commercial fishing again to follow the buyback program rules. It was used for cargo until being anchored in Road Harbour, Tortola, for hurricane Earl when it fetched up on shore, and there she remained for almost six years. The Kodiak Queen was on the process of being scrapped for her metal when a group which meets on Richard Branson’s Necker Island once a year (Unite BVI) decided with local urging to take it on—combining it into a Conservation and Art Reef Project. Coral Reefs around the world are at risk, and artificial reefs for marine life are popping up around the world. Beyond The Reef Art British Virgin Islands brings everyone together, Ocean Conservation, SCUBA Divers, Tourist Boards, Forward-Thinking Visionaries.
Kodiak Queen Kraken
A massive Kraken was fabricated out of metal to create over the Ship and to create a legendary SCUBA dive. An International team came together for the building process over many months of hot, back-breaking work. After battling strong winds, she eventually sunk in April of 2017 and available for scuba diving in June. In September of 2017, two powerful category five hurricanes ran over the British Virgin Islands. However, the Kraken and Kodiak Queen survived these readily, only moving about 30′. The Metal structure of the Kraken was ripped away by the most massive North Swells seen since 1990 afterward. The coral growth and the marine life on this wreck are particularly impressive already.
Where is the Kodiak Queen located?
The Kodiak Queen landed off Mountain Point at Long Bay on the Island of Virgin Gorda. She sets in 45′ of water, with mooring balls above it for yachts to tie up to. It is possible to see it while snorkeling, but better under SCUBA. There is a nominal charge of $5.00 per person, which your Captain on your yacht charter will collect from you, or you can donate directly to Beyond The Reef online.
- Visit Beyond the Reef to learn more about the Kodiak Queen Art Reef.
- Watch Rob Sorrenti’s award-winning documentary narrated by Kate Winslet on the Kodiak Queen Sinking.
- Visit Commercial Dive BVI site on more information for the Kodiak Queen.
How Can I visit these Beyond the Reef British Virgin Islands SCUBA sites?
We at H2O Luxury Yachts are happy to set you up with charter yachts that also offer SCUBA diving on board. We are uniquely qualified as SCUBA Instructors ourselves. It is also possible to dive the wrecks with Rendez-vous diving and one of the local dive stores. They will pick you up from your yacht at anchor, take you to the wreck site, and then back to your boat.
- If you are staying on land, check out one of the local dive companies to set up your trip.
- Take a look at some of our yachts that offer SCUBA diving.
- See what else there is to do on Virgin Gorda for your yacht charter.
- SCUBA diving in the British Virgin Islands
- SCUBA diving in the Caribbean
- Find out more about Beyond The Reef.