SCUBA Options Available on Your Yacht Charter
Interested in SCUBA diving in the British Virgin Islands? SCUBA divers have plenty of choices if they are looking to add some diving to their yacht charter vacation!
You don’t even have to bring your dive gear with you since many of the yacht charters that offer SCUBA diving have an assortment of SCUBA equipment on board. Most will have a professional dive master if not an Instructor. These SCUBA professionals will take you “resort diving” or certify you.
A wetsuit is barely required while scuba diving in the British Virgin Islands as the water is generally around 85 degrees during Summer and late 70s during Winter.
Can I do my certification onboard?
Yes, you can in simple terms. There are some considerations. It’s best if you complete your pool and online classroom portion before you come down to dive in the BVI. That way the Instructor can do your “open water” dives to finish off the training. This way you won’t have to spend your entire week and every day cramming to study.
You will need a yacht with an Instructor on board!
Open water Scuba diving consists of 4 dives and one that I call a “snorkel dive”. You’ll do the skills you learned in the pool with the added bonus of doing it in the warm water.
Here you don’t need bulky dive suits like you may if you did it in the United States. Less to think about and remember and you are not as “clumsy” with wetsuits and gloves getting in the way.
After all, if you do that you are going to miss the cocktails over the yardarm, the beach combing, and beach bars.
If you are with a group, THEY get the pleasure of your company as well.
Can I go diving if I have no certification?
There are dive boats that have Instructors or even Dive Masters. They can teach you the basics and then you are able to do a couple of shallow dives with them.
This is fun, relaxing and gives you the chance to see if you even like it. Youngsters from ten years old can get involved with this making it a great family activity. It will be remembered for decades as a great bonding and learning opportunity.
What About RendezVous Diving in the BVI?
This is a great option for when your charter yacht doesn’t have a professional on board? Or your family wants to hang at the beach all week and not hang on an anchor in tops water while you are diving the wreck of the RMS Rhône? Easy Peasy!
One of the local dive shops such as Commercial Diving or Blue Water Divers can arrange to meet your yacht. They usually meet around Norman Island, Peter Island or Cooper Island and they will take you off to the dive site. Here you can do one or two dives and then they will bring you back to your yacht.
All this time the rest of your family can be lazing on the beach in calm anchorages while you are getting your groove on underwater! This can easily be arranged by the Captain on your yacht when they know the weather for the week and where you are likely to be which night.
You can read more about casual diving here at one of our websites, H2O Trips.
What about bringing my own Scuba Diving equipment?
Sure you can, if you are more comfortable in it, bring it! This is particularly important if you have a prescription mask and well fitting fins. If you are looking to buy dive accessories, then there are dive shops on quite a few of the islands who sell a wide assortment of goodies.
You will find it fun buying the charts of the waters and marking off where you have been in the water and sailed around the islands.
How many dive sites are there?
Literally hundreds. Jim Scheiner’s Diving in the British Virgin Islands is practically the Bible of the dive sites here. This is an older book but you will still find it on Amazon and just about every yacht that plies the waters.
SCUBA Attractions in the BVI
From shallow calm sand reefs that are perfect to do your open water skills on to wreck dives like the famous wreck of the Rhône off Salt Island and the hundreds of wrecks that have been lost over the centuries to Horseshoe reef by Anegada, and around every island possible there is a spot to jump in the water with or without your camera.
You can see cannons, look for glass bottles that are centuries old, see how many reef fish you can identify or help your captain hunt for lionfish.
Wreck of the Rhone
What is the wreck of the Rhône? Funny you should ask. The top Scuba Diving wreck in the Caribbean and one of the top ten wreck dives in the world. This was one of her Majesty’s mail ships that went down in a hurricane in 1867.
She was another “modern” ship and the second one that not only had sails but also steam engines. The steam engines were blown apart when the boat drifted into Black Rock off Salt Island. This wreck has lots of coral growth and many fish that hang around it making it a colorful, historic, and mysterious piece of history of the British Virgin Islands.
BVI Reef Art
What about BVI reef art? This is a beautiful art form that is cropping up all over the world. Beyond the Reef, a new NGO in the BVI is at the forefront of this.
These reef art pieces have several purposes. They take old planes, ships and vehicles, often welding fantastical creatures on or out of them and sink them in appropriate places.
This gets rid of “trash” that may become an eyesore or has to be shipped at expense off island. They become fish attraction devices. Think about it, whether they are in a spot for divers or a spot for fishermen, when they are placed in a barren area, they will grow coral and attract fish to hide in their superstructure or hunt other fish.
They increase tourism and give us more places to dive. Currently, in the British Virgin Islands, we have a Kraken, that was a joint effort of Commercial Dive Services and Richard Branson of Necker Island which was sunk off Virgin Gorda.
There are cars and vehicles off Peter Island.
There is shortly going to be an Airplane made into a shark sunk by Beyond The Reef and since Hurricane Irma when the Virgin Islands had one of their most famous floating bars, the Willy T’s thrown upon the land, it has now been cleaned and will be sunk as a pirate ship!
These projects also bring a sense of community and working together. They make everyone feel good!
How Many Dives Can You do in a week?
We suggest somewhere between 3 and 5 to accompany a relaxed sailing or motoring vacation around the islands. This leaves plenty of opportunities to do other fun things.
Trimaran Cuan Law Perfect for SCUBA Yacht Charters
Cuan Law, which can take up to 20 divers on board can do up to 5 a day. Other Captains and crew seem to be good with 5 during the week. 1 a day except for the day you get on the boat and the day you get off the boat. If you are doing rendezvous diving, then you can either choose to do two dives in the morning or perhaps just one on an afternoon trip.
Can H2O Help us Plan our Trip for SCUBA Diving?
Yes! we are probably one of the most qualified yacht charter brokers in doing this as our principals were SCUBA instructors offering SCUBA on their yachts in the Caribbean for 17 years.
H2O team members have been diving the entire Caribbean chain from the Bahamas to the Grenadines and have literally accomplished thousands of dives. We are happy to share our favorite spots with you and tips on how to make the most of your yacht and dive vacation.
We know the best boats to book you on, what to look out for and what makes a “real” yacht that offers a superior dive service on board that will make everyone happy. Do a yacht search here and keep an eye out for the yachts that have SCUBA diving symbols on the front.
Contact Kerry or Bazza and H2O Luxury Yachts today to book your yacht charter vacation with ANY type of SCUBA diving with it!
Fill out our quote form here and the perfect yacht for you will hit your inbox in no time.
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