Scuba Diving in Montserrat, West Indies
Although the small Caribbean island of Montserrat only has about 15 dive sites off its coasts, there’s plenty worth exploring.
Scuba enthusiasts will encounter diverse marine life — including creatures that glow in the dark — an open-air sea cave, flooded caves and submerged rock formations.
Rendezvous With Bats
Two of Montserrat’s most popular dive sites lie just off the island’s northwest coast. The bat cave is a sea cave that sits right off the beach, so divers can make a beach entry and swim right into it. As the name implies, the cave is home to thousands of fruit bats that divers will see hanging upside down from the cavern ceiling, sometimes chirping in an echoing cacophony.
Next to the cave, in about 60 feet of water, is the reef of Rendezvous Bay. Nestled between submerged boulders and ledges, the reef supports a wide variety of marine life, including barrel sponges, brain coral sea snails, spiny lobsters, octopuses and more.
Glow in the Dark
A little farther down the east coast is Carr’s Bay, Woodlands Bay and Woodlands Deep. These are also accessible right from the beach. Carr’s Bay is a prime spot for night dives, as floods of bioluminescent organisms glow and swirl as you swim though the water.
The shallow depths of the Woodland sites allow you to maximize your bottom time. Plus, there’s also a small cave just off the beach — its opening is too narrow to enter, but you can poke your head in to see the coral shrimp, sergeant majors and coppers that call it home.
On the Rocks
There are only two dive sites on Montserrat’s east coast, but they’re well worth a visit. The rocky terrain of the Pinnacles — which is lined with soft corals and sea plumes — rests in surprisingly calm water and is known to attract spotted eagle rays.
Yellow Hole is the resting place of a steel schooner that sank in 25 feet of water in 1886; the remains have been scattered around the site by multiple hurricanes.
Take a boat about 14 miles northwest of Montserrat’s coastline to Redonda Island, a site littered with dozens of old ship anchors. This site is also popular among divers because of its variety of marine life.
Commonly seen are moray eels, sea turtles, blacktip reef sharks, nurse sharks, giant stingrays, huge barrel sponges and barracudas. The clear, undisturbed waters around Redonda also provide great visibility.
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