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Re: Best St. Thomas dive operations


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Posted by Patrick on June 06, 2012 at 15:28:46:

In Reply to: Best St. Thomas dive operations posted by Dive Dawg on June 05, 2012 at 12:25:45:

When I lived in St Thomas years ago, the best diving IMHO, was the harbor itself that was the best dive. From my hovel in Frenchtown it was exactly 15 steps to ankle-deep water in the harbor. Hassle Island, directly across from my front door was once part of the main island, but became it’s own entity when a channel was dredged through it. Till that time in the 1930s(?) it was the corner of the harbor that the numerous hurricanes that hit St Thomas hurled all the ship wreckage and packed in in. When the dredge cut was made they apparently just ground right through some 300-plus years of shipwrecks and kept going. When I was there I’d dodge the ferry going back and for the to the area they called Sub Base and plunder the channel. It was amazing. Ship’s fittings and rigging, bronze and brass spikes and drifts, older sections fastened with trunnels (tree nails), porcelain, bottles, jugs, British onion bottles, Dutch gin bottles – it was perfect for a maritime history / nautical archaeology fiend like me. There was a small museum that was doing restoration work on the British fort there on Hassle Island and a good portion of the material I found went to them. That said, Visibility in the harbor sucked – a 6-foot day was unbelievable. Most of the time it was Braille diving. And there was the day a rather large and inquisitive shark of some kind decided to join me in of my “digs” – I never did get that pair of trunks clean… And the ferries and other vessels would have only used a divers flag/float as a target, or would have cut it free and took it.
That said, I wasn’t that familiar with St Thomas dives as my not-in-harbor-dives were usually in the BVI anyway – Salt Island, Jost Van Dyke Anagada.
But there is always Goggle. Have a good trip.
Patrick



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