Sint Eustatius Scuba Diving

Sint Eustatius Scuba Diving

Diverse and World Class

Sint Eustatius is a sleepy little island nestled in the middle of the Leeward Islands. Like its neighbors Sint Maarten and Saba, Statia (as the island is often called) is part of the Netherland Antilles. In the 17th and 18th centuries Statia was a free port and trade center and earned the name "Golden Rock".

Statia Hard Coral

Statia diving is much like the island itself, undiscovered and diverse. This is great for divers. Not only are the dive groups small, the diving is pristine. The marine environment is very healthy. You can find hard and soft corals growing on the rock formations caused by past eruptions from the Quill and Little mountain (yes, two volcanoes on one small island). There has been so much coral growth on the old lava flows and rock formations; they have become coral reefs in some areas.

Another great thing about the diving in Statia is the many wrecks divers can see. Some ancient shipwrecks, almost unrecognizable because of coral growth, date back to the 17th and 18th century. Some wrecks are more recent. These have been purposely sunk to create artificial reefs.

Flying Gurnard Sint Eustatius has an abundance of fish life. Divers can see school of jacks, French grunts, and barracudas. Damsel fish and sergeant majors can be seen darting in and out of coral encrusted rocks along with the occasional nurse shark napping under a ledge.

One of the coolest fish that you can see in Statia is the flying gurnard. Their large pectoral fins resemble the wings of a bird. No, they do not fly. They walk over the ocean floor on their fins. They are usually uncommon on other Caribbean islands but in Statia divers can see them every day. When they spread their "wings" they are a spectacular sight.

Because Sint Eustatius diving is so diverse, it offers something for everyone. There are shallow dives, deep dives, wrecks, pinnacles, and breathtaking drop-offs. There are also some archeological sites where, if you're lucky, you might find some blue slave beads, an intact piece of Dutch pottery or some other piece of history.

Just remember the diver's motto, "Take only pictures and leave only bubbles". Anything found in the sea should be left there or turned into the historic museum to help preserve the history of the island.

Statia Marine Park

In 1996 the Statia Marine Park was established and is dedicated to protecting and managing the marine environment around Statia. They have installed and maintain over 40 moorings around the island. They work together with the local dive centers to educate divers and the local residents about the importance of marine conservation.

There is no independent diving in Sint Eustatius. Everyone who dives must dive with one of the local dive operators. To financially support the marine park, divers must purchase a dive tag (dive pass). The price is US $ 15.00 for an annual pass or US $ 3.00 for a single pass. This is not much to pay to help ensure the future of the marine environment around Statia.

Napping Nurse Shark

Getting There

Unless you sail into Statia on a private yacht, the only way to get there is by plane. Daily flights leave Sint Maarten, San Juan, Tortola, and St. Barths to F. D. Roosevelt Airport on Statia. There are no direct flights from the US or Europe to the island.

As with most Caribbean islands a valid passport and return ticket is required to enter Statia.

Local Dive Centers

There are three dive centers on Statia. All are located in Lowertown, Oranjestad

Dive Statia (599)318-2435 info@divestatia.come

Golden Rock Dive Center (599)318-2964

Scubaqua (599)318-5450

The people who operate these dive centers are seasoned professionals, dedicated to the safety and enjoyment of their clients. Feel free to contact these dive centers for more detailed information on Statia diving and dive packages they offer.

More Statia Information

Island Temp: 80-85 F (26-29 C)

Water Temp: 77-83 F (25-28 C)

Visibility: 60-125 feet (18-41 meters)

For information on hotels and accommodations contact:

Statia Department of Tourism (5993)82433

Something you may or may not know is that thirty Statian blue beads were used by the Dutch to purchase New York's Manhattan Island from the Indians.

If you come to Sint Eustatius to dive you will discover some undiscovered world class diving. Make sure you bring your camera because Statia is a photographer's paradise.

Sint Eustatius Coral

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