Diving in Sint Eustatius
Statia or Saint Eustatius, was the ‘the spot’ during the 18th century, when valuable goods bounced between Europe, Africa and the New World. In fact, safe and naturally deep harbor was so desperately sought in Caribbean by British, and French that the island has changed hands 22 times before the Dutch permanently secured their claim.
Legal and illegal trade of slaves, tabbaco, guns, gun powder and ammunition, sugar, spices and other goods has enriched this island significantly. It become “The biggest prize for British Admiral George Rodney after he attacked and looted the riches of the island. On orders from king George in retribution for recognizing and saluting the birth of The United States of America. The island was once home to over 10 thousand slaves and free people, rich farming and trading community. Today it’s a home to the biggest in Caribbean fuel storage and distribution facility. Reach and preserved history is visible on every step.
DIVING SINT EUSTATIUS
While diving in Eustatia you can expect warm tropical weather year round with waters temperature that range from 79-82°F (26-28°C) and variable visibility depending on the season. The waters around St. Eustatius are some of the most pristine in the Caribbean and even throughout the world. Diving here is diverse with several unique habitats including walls, historical wrecks, patch reefs, lava flows, boulder slides, and rock outcroppings. Because mass tourism has not yet arrived to Statia and local Marine Park management is very strict in enforceing conservation and protection. While diving in Statia you will enjoy , the reefs that have not suffered due to overexposure and are in good healthy state. There are several underwater archaeological sites found around the island. Most of these are ancient sunken ships that have since become indistinguishable with coral overgrowth. However, there is one other type of site called the ‘Blue Bead Hole.’ The blue beads hold historical importance in St. Eustatius. They were manufactured in Europe out of blue glass and were used as a reward for slaves in the 17th century. For divers descending to 60 or 70 feet (18 to 21m) there are over 100 sunken wrecks including the biggest intact wreck in the Caribbean. Charlie Brown is a 320feet (100m) vessel previously used by AT&T telecommunication company, to lay communication cables across the seas. Today laying on it side is excellent, intact, and safe for deep exploration. All the wrecks are often surrounded by schools of snappers, horse eye jack fish, sea turtles barracudas and stingray on the bottom.
With so many different habitats, there is plenty more for divers to discover. Reefs and walls give habitat to many creatures and the lava flows and outcroppings make for interesting underwater panoramas. You won’t be bored for choice in St. Eustatius.