Written by Mike Rowe, President BVI Dive Operators Association
“When you have vision it affects your attitude. Your attitude is optimistic rather than pessimistic.”– Charles R. Swindoll
“We are open for business” is a mantra that we have now been professing for some time in spite of the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Irma and Maria in September. The BVI Dive Operators (BVISO) encourage our loyal dive community, to support the local businesses and re-visit our marine playgrounds. Come see for yourselves how the forces of nature have (subtly) reconfigured our wrecks and reshaped the underwater environment, now offering exciting new opportunities for exploration and adventure.
Our Dive Operators have been compiling information over the past weeks/months, and reports coming in are reassuringly positive.
Abi at Blue Water Divers recently commented, “While we see some damage on some of the sites, the marine life is still out there waiting for us. This week we have seen Eagle Rays, Turtles, Reef Shark, lots of Lobsters, Crabs and a Leopard Worm, and so much more.”
While some of our most popular sites, The Indians, Dead Chest, Ginger Steps, have experienced little to no change there has been a “shifting” effect on our most visited wrecks.
Our most famous wreck, the RMS Rhone, has been very comfortable in her setting for the past 150 years; she has entertained and enthralled thousands of divers over the decades. Although the bow section no longer offers a safe swim through from one end to the other, rest assured she will continue to be our most valuable underwater resource and now has new features to offer! Come re-explore a truly remarkable wreck site.
The Beata in Wreck Alley has also offered up an interesting addition. She has decided to sit a little closer to the reef (very convenient) and has shed her exhaust stack and placed it nicely at the stern in the sand as a fish attraction device.
The airplane wreck at Great Dog must have finally found its wings because it has taken off. An honorable mention from the dive operators for the first guest that locates the fuselage!
Our most recent addition to the BVI wreck collection, the Kodiak Queen, has lost some of the Kraken’s mesh coating; however she remained stable in her location and has become a very popular site for a myriad of marine life.
The Chikuzen, remains one of our most requested wrecks, always a plus when environmental conditions allow us to visit her. She has changed her shape a little and exposed new structures.
As always, and especially at this time, the BVI Dive Operators are recommending that all divers exhibit good buoyancy control around our reefs and wrecks. We ask, and recommend strongly, that guests resist the urge to penetrate a wreck unless guided by a local dive professional. As all divers do, reefs and wrecks need a little time adjust to their new environment.
We look forward to welcoming you (back) to the British Virgin Islands.