Liveaboard Diving in St Eustatius
What To Expect On A St. Eustatius Liveaboard
Liveaboards to St. Eustatius, will usually visit here as part of a St.Maarten-St.Kitts Caribbean itinerary. Often referred to at Statia, it's situated north of St.Kitts. This island is formed by a dormant volcano covered in rainforests. A variety of orchid species can be found on this island. Its coast is lined with volcanic sand beaches and a hiking trail. Once a busy trading island for cotton, slaves, and sugar, this island now has only 4000 residents.
St. Eustatius Underwater
Off the coast of St. Eustatius many diving treasures await: reefs and shipwrecks can be found in the waters here. The island's history can account for the numerous shipwrecks off the coast and the volcano for its beautiful coral reefs. You will never be let down by what St. Eustatius liveaboard cruise has to offer underwater.
On a dive liveaboard trip here you are likely to catch a glimpse of huge lobsters, turtles, flying gurnards, any brightly colored tropical schools of fish, and much much more. You can enjoy spotting these whilst swimming amongst barrel sponges, around pinnacles, and through wrecks. Want to see some bigger fish? Then keep a lookout for black grey reef sharks, hawksbill turtles, and eagle rays. You may even catch a sighting of a nurse shark.
Dive Sites Of St. Eustatius
Liveaboard dive itineraries that include a visit to St. Eustatius will include numerous dive sites in the area, a selection of some are outlined below;
Double Wreck - At 60 ft (20m) you can enjoy exploring 2 wrecks in one dive at this site. The wrecks are filled with life: flying gurnards, snappers, barracuda and southern stingrays are some of the many different lifeforms you will have the opportunity to spot on this dive. Sunk in the 18th century these two ships have had lots of time for the sea creatures here to make themselves at home.
The Cliffs - Situated south of the island of St. Eustatius start this dive at 65ft in a coral garden moving over to the drop off of 250ft. Be careful with your depth on this one. You will see corals and sponges covering this wall and because of the depth, you are likely to spot numerous turtles and blacktip reef sharks in their natural habitat.
Hangover Reef - This is a lovely shallow dive site at 45-60ft. A site where you can take in the interesting life the Caribbean has to offer, including permits and horse-eye jackfish. Whilst down there be sure to check out the cracks and crevices for the chance to spot a long snout seahorse or even if you are lucky a frogfish.
Grand Canyon - Set upon sand mounds at around 125ft, this dive site offers volcanic fissures. For the less experienced divers, however, this site can be enjoyed at the top of the wall nearing 70ft. Keep your eyes peeled for Eagle rays, reef shark and dolphin fish darting in and amongst the sea fans, coral fingers and sand chutes of this great walled canyon.
Barracuda Reef - This site offers a small wall formation at 50ft. This is a good dive for spotting barracuda on the hunt. On the ledge search for lobsters, porcupine fish, and other small creatures. As you move through the rock formations you will see black coral and possible sightings of drumfish.
Mushroom Garden - Another wall dive offered by the St. Eustatius diving area, with frequent shark sightings. Named because of its mushroom-shaped lava formations underwater that are encrusted with corals and sponges, this spectacular dive site will always impress. This dive site will offer you great visibility and at 60ft a suitable site for all levels of diving experience.
Charles L Brown - This 100m long wreck, still mostly intact, sits at 90ft. Affectionately known as the Charlie Brown, this wreck is an AT & T cable laying vessel. Sunk in 2003, this 1954 Italian built vessel is now home to shoals of horse-eyed Jack. This site offers a great opportunity for advanced wreck penetration.
Blue Bead Hole If St. Eustatius has still not offered you what you are looking for then this dive site might be what you're after. A spot for macro life, zoom in on seahorses and sailfin blennies as you dive this one. You will be able to catch a glimpse of flying gurnards and peacock flounders here but this site offers a special treat for those of us who like to take a closer look at sea creatures.
Top Tips For Divers
Make sure you bring your underwater camera on your liveaboard cruise, to catch all the marine life moments in the clear water. You are likely to catch some wonderful snaps of big and macro life as well as the great lava formations and wrecks not to be missed. Very importantly you will probably need your suncream for the time you spend out of the water in the Caribbean sun between dives.
Getting To St. Eustatius
The best way to dive at St. Eustatius is as part of a Caribbean Explorer II Saba-St. Kitts liveaboard diving experience. These depart from St. Kitts or St. Maarten every Saturday. These islands can be reached both direct internationally and from the USA with WINair or Liat airlines. A transfer to/from the airport to your liveaboard vessel is usually included in the cost of your trip.