St. Kitts Diving & Snorkeling
Mt. Liamuiga is just as interesting underwater.
Reach into one of the reef pockets off St Kitts and you'll feel hot water flowing out of the ground, a reminder that Mt. Liamuiga, which dominates the island, is far from dormant.
Called Mount Misery by the Carib Indians, the hot water vent is a reminder that 3,792-foot Mt. Liamuiga may be only resting, biding its time until it blows its lid again.
This vent is near the bow of the wreck of the River Taw, a freighter sunk around 1980 near the harbor of Basseterre , St. Kitts' main city. Resting in about 50 feet of water, the River Taw is a good-sized ship, 144-feet long by 70-feet wide that is filling out nicely with marine growth. Lots of tropicals usually swarm above the wheelhouse and other parts of the wreck.
Close by is the MV Talata, a smaller freighter at 70 feet with several opportunities for squirreling inside certain sections. Sunk in 1975, the growth on the wreck is unusual, ribbons of thin kelp-like plants that vertically float from the rails and many other parts.
St. Kitts also is a treasure trove of ancient shipwrecks. More than 400 ships sank here between 1493 and 1825, but only about a dozen have been located so far.
Still, you never know what you might find at places like Sandy Point on the north coast. You definitely will spot exceptional large, hot tub-sized barrel sponges as much as eight feet high and eight feet across. The extensive reef formation begins at 50 feet and drops to about 100.
Coconut Tree Reef begins at 50 feet and drops off to 200, so there is something to occupy both experienced and new divers. Sea fans and sponges are the most notable marine forms.
You may have to share Bloody Bay Reef with commercial fishermen
using hand lines for snappers, but their bait sometimes draws sharks into
the area. The sharks typically depart when divers appear.
The reef contains lots of yellow sea fans, bristle worms and purple-tipped anemones and several swim-through caves. Bloody Bay gets its name not from the commercial harvesting but the massacre of the Carib Indians by the English and Spanish in the 17th century.