There are more than 60 popular dive sites in the British Virgin Islands, and dive operators on Tortola lead trips to many of them every day. Most famous is the RMS Rhone, the remains of which lie submerged between Salt and Peter Islands. Other popular sites include The Indians off Norman Island, the Dogs between Virgin Gorda and Tortola, and Blonde Rock between Salt Island and Dead Chest. Weather conditions will dictate the best sites on any given day.
There are more than a dozen Tortola-based dive operators, and the competitive nature of the industry means that only the best survive.
In the Road Town area, try Aquaventure Scuba Services (Wickham’s Cay I, 284/494-4320, fax 284/494-5608, www.aquaventurebvi.com), which specializes in small groups and boasts about the rich and famous they have taken out to dive.
With locations at Nanny Cay and Soper’s Hole, Blue Water Divers (Nanny Cay Marina, 284/494-2847, fax 284/494-0198; Soper’s Hole Marina, 284/495-1200; www.bluewaterdiverbvi.com) offers dives off a catamaran or motorboat. It offers only one trip a day, leaving at 9 a.m. and often returning after 1 p.m. It offers a complete array of certification courses.
On the east end, Sail Caribbean Divers (Hodge’s Creek Marina, 284/495-1675, fax 284/495-3244, www.sailcaribbeandivers.com), gets high marks for friendly service and offers daily pickups from Marina Cay, Cooper Island, and Norman Island. UBS Dive Center (Harbour View Marina, 284/494-0024, fax 284/494-0623, www.scubabvi.com) is another good choice.
In Cane Garden Bay, We Be Divin’ (284/499-2835, fax 284/494-5172) rents equipment and leads guided trips to nearby dive sites. It offers a $25 “try dive” for beginners.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Virgin Islands, 4th edition