The Coral Reefs of the West End...
The West End of St. Croix has a number of beautiful coral reefs, from shallow
gardens to spectacular drop offs. Our dive sites offer a huge variety of sponges
and coral. We have tons of Green and Spotted Moray eels, Southern Stingrays,
and Sea Turtles. The West End is also home to a National Reserve for Leatherback
Chub Hole, named for the massive amount of Chub that school there ranges from
30' to 40'. The site contains various undercuts that allow reef creatures (lobster,
shrimp, etc.) to find a protective shelter.
This site starts at 45' and goes to 1000'. We like to stay above 1000' because
it requires such a long surface interval. As you might have guessed this is
a straight drop-off creating a dramatic wall dive that is easily accessible
by boat. This is your best chance to spot a Reef Shark as they love to "check
out" the reef fish.
Horseshoe Reef, named for its shape (a horse shoe) starts at 30' and gently
slopes to 100'. This site is a densely-packed coral and sponge haven that contains
thousand's of places for lobster and Moray eels to hide. Schools of Bluehead,
Blue Tang, and Surgeon fish frequent the reef as well as Southern Stingray's.
This is a must dive for the Sponge enthusiast.
Starting at 45' and quickly sloping to 100', King's Reef makes for a marvelous
multi-level dive. This site is another densely-packed reef with amazing sponges
and plenty of places for Moray Eels. Green and Hawksbill turtles frequent the
area as well as schools of Blue Tang, Snapper, and Jacks. French and Queen Angel
fish are always in abundance.
Mill Point, ranging from 35' to 55', is a solid reef separated by patches of
sand. The sand patches allow divers to examine the reef in detail while still
protecting the reef. Like most of our sites, watch out for turtles, stingrays
and our ever-abundant --- Garden Eel. French Angels, giant Sea Fans, and Spotted
Moray Eels are in abundance.
This site gets its name from the anchor of the Cassandra Dorium, belonging to
Paul Lacosse. Legend has it that the boat broke loose during a violent storm
and was never seen again. All that remains is the anchor, this story, and a
great dive site. This is a huge sand patch located in 40' of water surrounded
by a beautiful coral and sponge wall. The coral ranges in height from 3' to
25'. This site boasts hundreds of Upsidedown Jellyfish (Cassiopea frondosa)
and Mangrove Upsidedown Jellyfish (Cassiopea xamachana). Don't tell the local
fisherman, but this site has tons of conch. Porcupinefish, Filefish, and Spotted
Drum fish frequent this site. And of course, sea turtles are always a possibility.
Rainbow Reef boast a densely-packed reef that ranges from 40' to 85' deep. Like
most of our reefs, sponges, eels, and lobster are in abundance as well as "Rainbow"
Parrot Fish. And of course, sea turtles and Southern Stingrays are always lurking
RCA Reef is another densely-packed reef with an abundance of sponges and coral.
This site starts at 40' and works its way down to 95'. Schools of Blue Tang,
Bluehead Wrasse, Snapper, and Jacks frequent the area. Watch out for Moray Eels,
Spotted Eagle Rays, and southern stingrays.
Local experts claim that the Spanish Anchor at this site is over 150 years old.
Who are we to argue. Judging by the growth around the anchor, they may actually
be telling the truth. A patch of sand surrounded by coral reef, this site maintains
a depth of 40' to 45' which makes a perfect second dive. Besides the anchor,
an abundance of reef fish such as Damsel's, Spotted Drums, Snapper, Blueheads,
and Jacks are always around. This is an excellent "wide-angle lens" site.
Sprat Hole (located offshore from historic Sprat Hall) is another densely-packed
reef ranging from 30' to 80'. This site has an abundance of sponges and thousand's
of places for lobster and Moray Eels to reside. Schools of Bluehead and Blue
Tang frequent the reef as well as Southern Stingray's. This is another must
dive for the Sponge enthusiast.
Swirling Reef of Death
Once we have assessed your abilities, we may take you to the SWIRLING REEF of
DEATH ! ! Cool huh? Actually, this site (formerly known as Dan's Reef) is an
extremely tame dive that probably has never seen a swirl. But, the name sounds
better and who wants to dive Dan's Reef anyway. This site, a dream for photographer's
with a "wide angle lens", ranges from 25' to 35' in depth and contains hundreds
of coral reef patches. The patches, in all sizes, can best be described as underwater
aquariums. Each "aquarium" contains it own set of reef fish. Once you have examined
one "aquarium," you can move on to the next. With plenty of sand surrounding
the patches, you can get down and dirty and examine the reef along with its
unique set of creatures.
You can ask Steve how this site got its name (some may be able to guess). This
ridge, 40' to 50' deep, sits between the Swirling Reef of Death and Kings Reef.
This site contains a mixture of reef patches and solid reef. Trumpet fish, French
and Queen Angels, Parrot Fish, and Filefish frequent this ridge. Eels, lobster,
stingrays, and sea turtles are a strong possibility.