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Scuba Diving in the British Virgin Islands, Caribbean
Dive Site: Kelly Cove
Location: Nanny Cay, Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Depth: 10 - 12 metres (30 - 40 feet)
Visibility: 18 - 20 metres (60 - 70 feet)
Ok so you've dived a thousand times, descended to depths that would crush a diving bell, seen creatures that marine biologists need a week to identify and have swapped your blood for nitrogen... well remember the first time?
So I'm here on 'The British Virgin Isles', although to be fair you could
stay on almost any of the islands in the area and do superb diving
(everywhere's about 30mins from everywhere else depending on how much bhp you throw at the water). One thing to recommend Tortola from the surrounding isles is that it is home to 'Blue Water Diver's... old timers here (which means they command formidable local knowledge). I've never dived before so I need a bit of pampering and somewhere to do it that won't bite (suck, chew or sting), these guys know the score and are more than capable of looking after my delicious flesh.
This is the 'off season', most people come here for the Christmas period, however providing you avoid the hurricane season (Sept) you can expect to enjoy excellent conditions all year round. Today the weather is in the high 80's, loads of sun and beautifully clear. Our boat has a mixture of certified divers and fishing lures (myself being one of the latter) and we're going to do two dives, first one for the certified while we learn, then the second for all. I won't bore you with the learning; I didn't drown and everyone was very helpful indeed. I did however feel pretty confident about the upcoming dive.
Chrissy our instructor decided that we would dive in a sheltered area called Kelly Cove; we were going to dive to 30 - 40 ft and see if we could tempt some marine life into putting on a display. Apart from the water being amazingly warm (but blissfully cooler than the sun scorched boat) the visibility was simply astounding, 60 - 70ft according to those in the know. The decent was simple enough, with all the 'lures' making it to the bottom with ease; something I then struggled to find my way off (pesky flotation jacket things). Once we were all comfortable we set off on a quite spectacular voyage of discovery.
I couldn't really tell you what I saw, but it was damn pretty, at least two
'Spanish Hogfish', hundreds of wee blue things (all shapes and sizes), some amazing parrotfish and uncounted corals, anemones etc... The more
experienced divers saw turtles, stingrays, octopuses and much more. The whole experience was amazing and the help from the dive instructors was perfectly judged and confidence inspiring.
So to conclude; I would certainly recommend 'Blue Water Diver's and BVI for those wishing to experience the full spectrum of diving, from beginning to advanced. There are hundreds of dive sites in the area and even those with an exhaustive schedule would be hard put to visit even a fraction in one stay.
Ian Lovett, First Open Water Dive
Kelly Cove is a fun "beginner" dive site. Well sheltered, good viz and lots to see. We also dove with Blue Water Divers (ended up getting certified through them). They're a great outfit.
Pete and Pam Demarest
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