Scuba Diving in Mustique
By Dianne Wilson of Basil's Bar
  
Mustique is a small and specialized island, dotted with fabulous homes.  Itís beaches are wonderful and visited by only a few.  They give clues to the underwater coral castles that lay beneath the sea.  Delighted snorkelers rim the bays, but the real creature treasures are beyond the range of snorkel and mask.  Secret gardens of sharks and rainbow runners, of rays and eels, cities of fish in condos of coral.  An ancient migration route for whales, in the winter months, whale song can sometimes be heard while diving, but whales stay in the deeper channel waters with their calves. 

Located on Endeavor Bay, is the Mustique Water Sports Pavilion, a PADI reaching facility.  From there, a 12 person dive boat motors twice a day to one of the more than a dozen regular dive sites.  Visibility is high with few exceptions.  The water temperature is 80 F in the winter and 82 F in the summer.  Seas are higher in the winter months, and most often flat in the summer.  Donít touch anything on a dive in Mustique, divemasters are serious about buoyancy control and protecting the reef.  It is illegal to spear fish in the waters and also to take shells.  Like all good divers, look but donít touch and enjoy the views that few get to see. 

One tank dives are the order of the day, and it is not cheap, but for a diver, it is always great to blow some bubbles someplace new.  Bequiaís dive operators venture to Mustique sites when the channel waters are manageable.  Here are some of the sites famous in Mustique: 

Shark Cave:  A ten minute boat ride to the south, this deep dive of 90 feet or more is regularly populated with black tipped reef sharks.  It is not unusual to see groups of 20 or more animals.  Also, common at this site are large sport fish like the Sad, the Cavali and others.  ADVANCED DIVE: current and depth. 

The Pillories:  North of Mustique, a small group of rocks called Pillories Rocks.  Entering the water in 14 feet and following the sea mount around the rocks, clockwise, divers are delighted with large populations of reef fish, lobster, turtles, eels and for fans of corals, wonderful healthy populations of corals and a substantial garden of Gorgonians on the far side of the sea mount.  BEGINNER TO INTERMEDIATE DIVE:  light currents with depths from 30-75 feet. 

WRECKS: 
Antillies:  There are four wrecks around Mustique, the most famous is a large cruise ship sunk in the channel in a navigation accident in 1971, the Antilles.  Until recently, the hull was visible above water, now only the stacks peek through the sea when the waves subside.  The seas have claimed most of this 600 passenger French cruise liner, but in the summer months, when the sea is calm, it and one of the savage vessels, that lies nearby the principle wreck, are accessible.  No penetration is possible and currents are strong around the rusting metal of the remains of the hull, but it is an interesting site.  ADVANCED:  Currents. 
 
Crane:  In Plantain Bay, minutes from the dive shop, lies the wreck of a crane.  In the winter of 2001, a barge caring the crane to do some work near the beach there, broke apart and sank.  The crane was lost, and hauled down the reef (sadly with some damage to the reef) and  it now rests on a sand bottom, but a few meters from a wonderful reef.  Divers can travel along the reef, well populated with fish and coral at depths of 30-60 feet, and then cross the sand to the crane, were populations of fish hide in the cabin.  Across the sea floor of sand, fields of garden eels often wave at passing divers.  BEGINNER TO INTERMEDIATE DIVE:  depth 60 feet moderate to light current. 
 
South Britannia:  Five minutes by boat from the dive shop, in South Britannia bay, is a mooring where divers enter calm waters at 30 feet, and follow a reef to the remains of a small aircraft.  The plane from Trinidad, crashed with no injuries or loss of life while on approach to Mustique in the 1990ís.  The plane was loaded with shrimp, bound for Basilís Bar.  The shrimp was salvaged, but the planes structure was compromised beyond repair, so the plane was striped of toxic and hazardous parts and sunk for divers to enjoy.  It is an easy swim through and a great test of buoyancy control.  Expect to see large schools of small reef fish.  BEGINNER: depth 45 feet, light current. 

Johnas:  A barge that didnít make it was sunk on near what locals call, Montazuma.  A reef near open water that comes within inches of the sea surface, in what looks like clear waters is a great site.   Moderate fish counts in this water, but coral structures that make it look the an underwater surface of the moon.  The wreck lays bow down and the deck has long since collapsed, so divers can enter with no overhead obstruction and explore itís 75 foot length.  Many small fish populate the wreck as well as clinging corals and sea fans. 
 
Other Sites of Interest: 

  • Shark Ridge- advanced
  • Dry Rocks-advanced
  • Alawash-advanced
  • Petite Canoun- Intermediate
  • Pigeon Island-Intermediate
  • Baliceaux- Intermediate
  • Endeavor Bay-Shore dive beginner
To contact Mustique Watersports,  
ē e mail: mustique@mustique-island.com and include as subject: attention water sports 
ē or call:  784-488-8486 
ē or VHF at channel 68 
 
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