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Shipwrecks

Stavronikita

The Stav is the most popular wreck in Barbados waters. She was a 365 foot Greek freighter built in Denmark in 1956 and originally christened the Ohio. On August 26, 1976, while en route from Ireland to the Caribbean and carrying a cargo of 101,000 bags of cement, the vessel caught fire, killing six crew members and injuring three others.

An explosion that followed the fire destroyed all of the ship's radio equipment, making it impossible for the stranded crew to call for help. Twenty four crewmen drifted in the open sea for four days before being rescued. The Stavronikita was then towed to Barbados.

A year went by, and the vessel was still anchored off Carlisle Bay, Barbados. On October 24, 1977, she was purchased at an auction for the sum of $30,000 by the Parks and Beach Commission.

The ship was then stripped of all the machinery and brass that could be salvaged.

She was also cleaned of pollutants, namely the 70,000 gallons of oil being carried in her fuel tanks and towed to a spot just 400 yards offshore on the west coast of the island.

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On November 21,1978, the U.S. Navy demolition crew set seven charges totaling 200 pounds and blew holes in the ship's hull, causing her to sink.

Carlisle Bay Marine Park

With its 6 shipwrecks in close proximity, this is an excellent site for divers of all levels of experience, from beginner to expert. The great diversity of brilliantly coloured marine life including frog fish, sea horses, rays, barracudas, octopus, reef squid, mackerel, moray eel and more provide more to admire than we have eyes to look upon.

The park is roughly marked out underwater by old cannons , anchors and pylons to lead the way from one wreck to the next. We are very lucky to call this site home and as our house-reef we are in the park every afternoon at 2 pm. Snorkelers are encouraged to join in.

This site is accessible as a shore dive however for convenience and safety sake is done daily by boat. This site is the location of our monthly Project AWARE Coral Watch Dive Operator coral bleaching assessment.

Berwyn: Carlisle Bay - 20ft - A 70 ft long World War I French Tug Boat sunk in 1919 by her own crew. The Berwyn sits between 7 and 10 feet below the surface depending on the tide. As a result of the calm water in the bay and the age of this wreck the Berwyn is covered in marine life including healthy hard and soft coral growth and their associated reef creatures.

Ce-Trek: Carlisle Bay - 45ft - The Ce-Trek, a derelict boat constructed of cement was sunk in January 1986. This shipwreck sits in deeper water on the northern edge of the park and is home to nice coral, soft coral and sponge growth.

Eillon: Carlisle Bay - 55ft - This 110ft drug boat was tied up for -6 years in the Bridgetown careenage before it was sunk on 8th June 1996 in Carlisle Bay Marine Park. The wreck is easily accessible for penetration and has an air pocket in the bow big enough to a conversation at 25' under.

Bajan Queen: Carlisle Bay - 35ft - She was Barbados� first tugboat named the Pelican when the Bridgetown Harbour was being constructed in the 1960�s. A decade later, as more modern tugboats were purchased; the Pelican was then converted to a party boat called Bajan Queen. The Bajan Queen holds many memories for thousands of Barbadians and visitors alike.

After years of operation as the party spot the Bajan Queen was donated to the Coastal Zone Management Unit. From there with the assistance of our very own Andre Miller the Bajan Queen was cleaned up and sunk on 19th May 2002 in Carlisle Bay Marine Park. She now sits only a few feet below the surface and is accumulating some excellent fish life and good coral diversity.

Cornwallis: Carlisle Bay -15ft - A Canadian freighter sunk by a torpedo from a German U-Boat during World War II. This wreck was relocated from a very high boat traffic region of the bay to this Marine Reserve on 22nd October 2003.

Barge: Carlisle Bay - 12ft - A Naval Landing Barge found in Carlisle Bay. This wreck is now home to numerous reef fish including the puffer's bigger cousin the porcupine fish.

Friar's Craig: Off Asta Hotel -30ft - 90ft - A 70ft long freighter, sunk on 2nd July 1985 after 10 years at anchor in Carlisle Bay. This wreck has lots of bottom growth, and has broken into three (3) pieces due to a lot of surge. ASTA REEF: This reef is done as a combination dive with Friar's Craig. It has lots of marine life including snappers, barracudas, angelfish and stingrays, a great reef for photography.

Coral Reefs

Old Fort: Off Needhams Point - 30ft - 90ft - Shallow barrier reef with lots of small fish life. Cannon balls and antique bottles can be found on this drift dive.

The Deep: Break off from Castle Bank - 60ft - 130ft - Deep drift dive, good for photography with lots of fish life.

Lobster Reef: Off Drill Hall - 30ft - 80ft - This inner reef can be done in combination with the wreck Friar's Craig. Great drift dive with lots of marine life with occasional sightings of stingrays.

Castle Bank: Off Drill Hall - 50ft - 120ft - A barrier reef with a slow drop off on either side, great for macro photography (lots of barracudas).

Fork Reef: Off Hastings - 60ft - 120ft - A barrier reef with a drop off on both sides of the reef. Lots of barracudas, snapper and cavalee may be seen on this reef.

Pieces of Eight: Hastings - 40ft - 60ft - This drift dive is good for photography with lots of fish and marine life.

Accra: Off Rockley Beach - 20ft - 60ft - Shallow reef dive good for novice divers and photographers. Regular sightings of large schools of Bermuda Chubs on this dive.

Caribbee Reef: Off Caribbee Hotel - 60ft - 120ft - Barrier reef great dive for all types of photography, lots of marine life. A drift dive.

Boot: Off Sandy Beach - 40ft - 80ft - Nice drift dive, lots of turtles to be seen on this dive, regular sightings of Eagle Rays. Good marine life, small derelict Coast Guard boat sunk here.

The Muff: Off Worthing - 60ft - 130ft - Virgin reef, great fish life (horse-eyes, blackjacks and barracudas) excellent for photography. Home of the famous sponge.

Mount Charlie: Off Dover - 70ft - 120ft - Deep reef dive, outer barrier reef, lots of marine life, turtles, snapper, horseye, and barracuda. An excellent dive for photography.

Highwire: Off Dover - 70ft - 120ft - This reef is between Mount Charlie and Close Encounters. There are underwater cables that are suspended over this reef. Plenty of small creatures can be found good location for photography.

Close Encounters: Off Dover - 40ft - 80ft - Inner reef that is good for feeding fish and interacting with stingrays, lots of marine life. This reef also has underwater cables passing over it.

Bottle Ground: Carlisle Bay - 45ft - 100ft - This area was anchorage for wooden sailing vessels and the bottom is littered in 18th & 19th century bottles. You get to keep what you find. Lots of interesting marine life can be found here.

Clarkes Bank: Off Brighton Beach - 30ft - 130ft - Good dive site, lots of horse-eye, eels & barracudas. Location of the Atlantis Submarine Dives, you may even get to see the Submarine on some dives.

Paynes Bay: Off Fitts Village - 30ft - 50v - Shallow patch reef, good for novices. This reef has big coral heads, lots of small tropical fish, usually done after Victors or Stavronikita as a second dive.

Victors: Off Fitts Village - 50ft - 120ft - This reef is located on the outer side of the Stavronikita. One of the more underrated reefs in Barbados not dived on very often. Soft and hard corals combine to make this site very different.

Dottins: Off Holetown - 40ft - 100ft - This is a very popular reef, it has beautiful corals, barracuda, bar jacks, yellowtails and turtles can be found regularly on this dive. You can dive this site on more than one occasion and not be tired of it. One of the more popular of the dive sites on the west coast.

Sandy Lane: Off Sandy Lane Hotel - 70ft - 140ft - Barracuda and other small tropical fish are found on this reef. Lobsters can also be found but they are usually hiding in the reef.

Johnsons: Off Paynes Bay - 70ft - 80ft - A typical west coast reef, well worth a dive as the corals remain as beautiful as ever harboring all the small reef creatures often missed when you are concentrating on not missing bigger fish. Abundant with soft corals, barrel sponges, tube sponges, and a large variety of schooling tropical fish, barracudas, turtles, parrot fish, and much more. Very consistent conditions make this a popular dive site.

East Coast: Consett Bay to Bathsheba - 30ft - 130ft - On the Atlantic side of the island, there are about ten (10) different sites available depending on the weather conditions as seas are usually rough. Best times are in the summer months. Plenty of big fish including sharks can be seen here.

Hazell's Water World
Carlisle Bay, Bay Street, Bridgetown, Barbados
Across St. Patrick's cathedral
phone: +1 (246) 426 4043

As Mares and TUSA distributors, we offer a wide range of scuba equipment and snorkeling gear: BCD, wetsuit, shorty, rashguard, hood, regulator, mask, fins, snorkel, scuba diving accessories, swimming and snorkeling accessories, PADI material. Our service department provides professional maintenance or repair for your scuba gear.

Eco Dive Barbados - Eco Dive Barbados is an environmentally friendly dive company, dedicated to providing each client with a personalized diving experience. We specialize in semi-private and small group dives.

Hightide Water Sports - Hightide Water Sports was established in 1993 by Willie Hewitt and is located at the prestigious Coral Reef Club. The business is now operated by Willie's partners Gavin Smith and Martyn Norsworthy.

Dive Sites for Reefers & Wreckers

Maycocks Bay

Exceptional reef that runs east to west (rather than the usual north to south of the Barrier reef system on the west coast) separated by corridors of white sand approximately 50-100 feet apart. Fish life is outstanding and includes large rays, barracuda, parrotfish, schools of Bermuda chub, creole wrasse, trigger fish not to mention outstanding coral and barrel sponge formations.

Brightledge

Another spectacular reef, colourful, brimming with fish life and a popular reef for barracudas and the endangered Hawksbill turtle. Excellent visibility and schools of tropicals make this an interesting dive including a very wide variety of corals and sponges.

Pamir

The Pamir is 165 ft long and 60 ft down at it's deepest and is the most northern wreck site on the west coast. She sits upright in a sheltered spot close to shore and was sunk in the early 1980's this wreck provides fish, fauna, and fun in one experience. A good dive for beginners and a good warm up dive for the Stavronikita.

Greatledge - (int.-adv.)

Forming part of our offshore barrier reef system running north to south. One of our widest reefs, frequented by schooling Barracuda, turtles, jacks, Blue Chromis, and French Angels make this an interesting dive. Fantastic barrel sponge and soft coral formations provide fantastic scenery.

Spawnee - (beg.-adv.)

Spawnee often a regular choice as the second of our morning dives, is a shallower reef offering inexperienced divers the opportunity to see the fish and fauna most often experienced only on deeper dives. Caribbean reef squid and lots of Trumpet fish abound as well as the usual small tropicals.

Tropicana - (int.-adv.)

A fantastic dive site for multilevel dives. A long reef around 50-100ft wide with ledges along the sides making a habitat for Nurse sharks which are rare in the diving area of Barbados. Good visibility, usually drift dive, abundant fish life, gorgeous corals.

Whitegates - (beg.-adv.)

Reef situated south of Tropicana with a similar depth and reef structure hosting a great variety of fish life. Popular for large Hawksbill turtle, blackjacks and barracuda feeding on the edge of the reef are a common site, a great site for all levels of experience.

Fisherman's - (beg.-adv.)

A large flat sandy area with isolated coral heads. On the sand areas, look for sting rays, peacock flounders, and moray eels. Also popular for parrotfish, french angels, rock veauties, and hundreds of tropicals - just some of the reasons that Fisherman's is a great dive for everyone.

Dottins - (beg.-adv.)

Part of the Folkestone marine underwater park, this is a very popular reef for second dive after the Stav and for resort dives. Fantastic dive for beautiful corals, hundreds of schooling fish, barracuda and turtles. Larger sand patches boast moray eels, trunkfish, spotted drum and much, much more.

Little Sandy Lane - (int.-adv.)

Named after the famous Sandy Lane Hotel, this reef system offers large schools of tropicals. An excellent multilevel dive.

Barracuda Junction - (int.-adv.)

Named after the large schools of barracuda that swim around our reefs. This is just one of the dive sites that they can be seen on a regular basis. Healthy corals and all species of fish, combine to make this a great dive.

S.S.Stavronikita - (int.-adv.)

The Stavronikita, or "The Stav." as she is affectionately known, is definitely a dive not to be missed! She is a Greek freighter that was sunk in 1978, after falling victim to a fire that ravaged her engine room. She is 356' long and sits bolt upright, with her prop in 130' of water and her forward mast just 18' from the surface.

She was towed into Barbados and eventually bought by the Barbados government to be sunk and create an artificial reef. The Stav was fully prepared for diving before being sunk and can be dived by all experience levels, All dives are lead by divemasters with huge corridors, cargo holds and cabins waiting to be explored. The Stav. has been rated as one of the top ten wreck dives in the world. (int.-adv.)

Lord Combermere - (beg.-adv.)

A small barge sunk in the early 1980's, she is surrounded by one of our fringing coral reefs. A shallow dive and is excellent for beginners or a refresher dive.

Carlisle Bay - (snkl.-beg.-adv.)

A wreck lovers dream, combined with the Stav, the Carlisle Bay offers 4 shallow wrecks from WWII that could be explored for the second dive of the day. Abundant fish life and a great site for photographers.

Dive Sites for West Side Scuba Centre

Dive Site: Folkstone Barge
Skill Level: Novice
Depth of wreck: 25 feet
Depth of dive: 25 feet
Due to its shallow depth it is perfect for beginners to dive on. The wreck sits in a sand patch and is surrounded by scattered coral and some large coral heads. The wreck is used as a feeding ground and has attracted a large number of Bermuda Chub which will eat out of your hand. After leaving the wreck and going on to the reef divers will notice the fish following them for a while. There is usually a large school of Horse-Eye Jacks that frequent the area but they are not as tame as the the Bermuda Chub. Sometimes you see baby turtles.

Dive Site: Bell Buoy
Skill Level: Novice - Intermediate
Depth of reef: 35 - 70 feet
Depth of dive: 35 - 60 feet
This reef is almost round and is home to all kinds of small tropical fish such as brown and blue chromis, angel fish and parrot fish. Because of its shallow depth there is almost always an abundance of light making it a great site for photographers. This reef also has a large number of gorgonian trees.

Dive Site: Lord Combemere
Skill Level: Novice - Intermediate
Depth of reef: 60 feet
Depth of dive: 60 feet
All types of corals and sponges surround this 70 foot wreck. It has become a haven for smaller fish like the hatchet fish which use the wreck as shelter. You may also find the odd barracuda hiding inside, and lobsters have also been seen frequenting the wreck. As you move away onto the reef you encounter large schools of grunts, black bars and squirrelfish. If you are lucky you may see a turtle or stingray in the area.

Dive Site: Dottins (South)
Skill Level: Novice - Intermediate
Depth of reef: 35 - 150 feet
Depth of dive: 40 - 60 feet
Because of its shallow depth there is always a lot of light on this reef. The reef is almost always carpeted with creole wrase. Yellow tail snappers also frequent this reef and the occasional barracuda can also be found. There is a small turtle that lives on the reef which is seen quite regularly. The reef is a great for night dives.

Dive Site: Dottins (North)
Skill Level: Novice - Intermediate
Depth of reef: 30 - 120 feet
Depth of dive: 40 - 50 feet
This reef is a scattered reef which means that there are sand patches on the reef. This is not a bad thing because in these sand patches one can find conch shells and the odd stingray. On this reef you also find groupers, snappers and a variety of grunts. As one dives south the reef comes closer together and the sand fades away making way for colourful corals and sponges.

Dive Site: Pamir
Skill Level: Novice - Intermediate
Depth of wreck: 30 - 60 feet
Depth of dive: 30 - 60 feet
This 70' wreck has become a haven for smaller fish. The wreck was sunk to enhance all types of marine life in the area, its shallow profile make the wreck a good first dive or for use as a refresher dive.

Dive Site: Church Point
Skill Level: Novice - Intermediate
Depth of reef: 30 - 170 feet
Depth of dive: 40 - 50 feet
Like Dottins (North) this is a scattered reef and is home to a lot of small fish, black durgeon, chromes and parrot fish. There have been sightings of the occasional stingray. There are some large coral heads which provide home to many fish that inhabit the reef.

Dive Site: Clarke's Reef
Skill Level: Intermediate
Depth of reef: 50 - 160 feet
Depth of dive: 50 - 90 feet
This reef is inhabited by many tropical fish including a large number of yellow tail snappers, creole wrasse and parrot fish to name just a few. This reef is also frequented by the Atlantis submarine which sometimes circles the divers. The reef also has a large number of hard and soft corals adding to the colour and beauty of the reef.

Dive Site: Silver Bank
Skill Level: Intermediate
Depth of reef: 45 - 130 feet
Depth of dive: 70 - 80 feet
This reef is located inside of Clarke's Reef. On this reef divers may encounter the Atlantis submarine which also visits this site. This reef is also home to many tropical fish like trigger fish, snappers of all types and small groupers. Diving on this reef you may also encounter a few mackerel or even the odd barracuda. The reef is full of coral and sponges adding to its beauty.

Dive Site: Village
Skill Level: Intermediate
Depth of reef: 50 - 140 feet
Depth of dive: 70 feet
Some of the largest barrel sponges on the west coast can be found on this reef. It is home to all kinds of fish and plant life. Lobsters can also be found on this reef but they are usually hiding in cracks.

Dive Site: Barracuda Junction
Skill Level: Intermediate
Depth of reef: 35 - 150 feet
Depth of dive: 40 - 60 feet
From the name one can expect that you will almost always see barracuda, but there is a lot more to look for. The corals and sponges have a variety of colours and add a lot of beauty to this reef. It is usually teaming with fish of all shapes, colours and sizes.

Dive Site: Stav Reef
Skill Level: Intermediate - Advanced
Depth of reef: 70 - 160 feet
Depth of dive: 80 - 90 feet
This reef runs just behind the wreck of the Stav. It is home to barracuda, snapper, cavali, a spotted moray and smaller tropical fish that can be seen darting in and out of holes in the reef. Very nice corals and sponges.

Dive Site: Fishermans
Skill Level: Intermediate - Advanced
Depth of reef: 65 - 160 feet
Depth of dive: 70 - 90 feet
This reef is home to many tropical fish and covered with different coral, sponges and plants. There are usually large schools of chromis and creole wrasse converging on the reef. Divers sometimes encounter turtles, barracudas and all kinds of snappers with the odd mackerel and cavallies.

Dive Site: Sandy Lane
Skill Level: Intermediate - Advanced
Depth of reef: 70 - 145 feet
Depth of dive: 90 feet
This reef got its name because of its location, directly off the Sandy Lane hotel. Barracuda and other smaller tropical fish frequent this reef. Lobsters can also be found on this reef but they are usually hiding in cracks.

Dive Site: Great Ledge
Skill Level: Intermediate - Advanced
Depth of reef: 55 - 140 feet
Depth of dive: 55 - 80 feet
Despite its depth there is always a lot of light and colour on this reef. It has a large selection of plant and coral life. This reef is usually frequented by barracuda and mackerel, Atlantic spadefish and is also home to a large number of the smaller tropical fish.

Dive Site: Bright Ledge
Skill Level: Intermediate - Advanced
Depth of reef: 50 - 200 feet
Depth of dive: 50 - 100 feet
This, being one of the northern most reefs, is alive with fish. The reef is usually frequented by barracuda and bar jacks. There is usually a turtle or two on this reef most of the time. The reef boasts a large variety of coral and sponges. From its name you can guess that it is always bright and colourful.

Dive Site: Stavronikita
Skill Level: Advanced
Depth of wreck: 20 - 130 feet
Depth of dive: 100 - 130 feet
The "Stav" as it is commonly known starts at 20 feet at the top of the fore mast which itself is covered with different corals and lots of Sergeant Majors. As you go down the mast you encounter groupers and snappers around the bottom of the mast. The wreck is well intact even though she has been down since 1978.

This wreck can be dived in two ways, from the prop up through the ship with a maximum depth of 130 feet, or along the deck and though the cabins with a maximum depth of 100 feet. Lots of sponges and black coral have grown on her. By the prop you can find lots of sea whips.