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Thread: Cruise stop in Tortola

  1. #1
    Grouper
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    Cruise stop in Tortola

    Most of our family vacations involve cruises and we have just put a deposit down on one for April 2010 that will take us to Tortola. Does anyone have any advice on private ops on the island for a 2 tank dive?

    Are there any dive sites in particular we don't want to miss. My son (13 by then) and I are still novice divers so we want to keep it simple.

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by heydn62 View Post
    Most of our family vacations involve cruises and we have just put a deposit down on one for April 2010 that will take us to Tortola. Does anyone have any advice on private ops on the island for a 2 tank dive?

    Are there any dive sites in particular we don't want to miss. My son (13 by then) and I are still novice divers so we want to keep it simple.

    Thanks for any help.
    I don't know any private dive ops in the area. I've been there once and just went with the cruise ship excursion. There were two girls who had just been certified and never dove without their instructor and only in a small lake. They were VERY nervous but the dive guides were great. If you go with the ship they will take you to the RMS Rhone. It is a good dive and should be done at least once. If you are going to the Rhone, go in the morning as it gets really crowded by midday.

  3. #3
    Shark
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    If you contact Low Key Water Sports Low Key Watersports - Diving in St. John, US Virgin Islands I am sure they can hook it up for you. They are based out of St.John in Cruz bay but stop in Tortola to access the BVI customs and pick up divers. I was with them for an HMS.Rhone Dive in January and can highly recommend them as a dive operation. As far as dives in that area The 4 Brothers is a great dive as well as the Rhone. I would call them and see what they have going when you are there and decide from that. I am sure there are other more local options I just dont know them......

  4. #4
    Grouper
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    not sure if they can work with the cruise ship schedule, but Dive BVI (Dive BVI - It's what we do!) is a great dive op! As others mentioned, you'll want to dive the Rhone (huge wooden shipwreck from the 1800s) if you get the chance.
    I've got a Caribbean soul I can barely control...
    ~Jimmy Buffett

  5. #5
    Grouper
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    Thanks for all the advice. I've got a year to get things in place, but it's fun to go ahead and start planning.

    This is the only stop on the cruise where we should be able to get some good diving in. All other stops are in the afternoon (San Juan, St. Maarten, Nassau). Not the best itinerary for diving.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by CamaroChick View Post
    not sure if they can work with the cruise ship schedule, but Dive BVI (Dive BVI - It's what we do!) is a great dive op! As others mentioned, you'll want to dive the Rhone (huge wooden shipwreck from the 1800s) if you get the chance.
    Actually, the RMS Rhone was one of the first iron hull ships powered by steam and sail. Because it is iron hull, the plates have rusted off and the frame of the ship is still mostly intact. It makes for a great swim through.

  7. #7
    Grouper
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    Quote Originally Posted by scubadiver888 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CamaroChick View Post
    not sure if they can work with the cruise ship schedule, but Dive BVI (Dive BVI - It's what we do!) is a great dive op! As others mentioned, you'll want to dive the Rhone (huge wooden shipwreck from the 1800s) if you get the chance.
    Actually, the RMS Rhone was one of the first iron hull ships powered by steam and sail. Because it is iron hull, the plates have rusted off and the frame of the ship is still mostly intact. It makes for a great swim through.
    I was actually just reading up a bit on the Rhone. It looks like vandals have looted and destroyed some things there in the past few years. Specifically, it looks like the huge wrenches have been taken and apparently someone tried to remove a port hole with a crowbar. Still sounds like a great dive though. Anyone see Octopi there?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by heydn62 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scubadiver888 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CamaroChick View Post
    not sure if they can work with the cruise ship schedule, but Dive BVI (Dive BVI - It's what we do!) is a great dive op! As others mentioned, you'll want to dive the Rhone (huge wooden shipwreck from the 1800s) if you get the chance.
    Actually, the RMS Rhone was one of the first iron hull ships powered by steam and sail. Because it is iron hull, the plates have rusted off and the frame of the ship is still mostly intact. It makes for a great swim through.
    I was actually just reading up a bit on the Rhone. It looks like vandals have looted and destroyed some things there in the past few years. Specifically, it looks like the huge wrenches have been taken and apparently someone tried to remove a port hole with a crowbar. Still sounds like a great dive though. Anyone see Octopi there?
    It is quite surprising that could happen. It is such a popular dive location. I went there on a cruise ship shore excursion. When we arrived at the site there was another dive boat and two people diving from a private boat. When we came up from our dive there was at least four more private boats and two dive boats getting ready to go down.

    Hard to believe anyone could go in there and try taking stuff without someone catching them.

  9. #9
    Grouper
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    Quote Originally Posted by scubadiver888 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by heydn62 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scubadiver888 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CamaroChick View Post
    not sure if they can work with the cruise ship schedule, but Dive BVI (Dive BVI - It's what we do!) is a great dive op! As others mentioned, you'll want to dive the Rhone (huge wooden shipwreck from the 1800s) if you get the chance.
    Actually, the RMS Rhone was one of the first iron hull ships powered by steam and sail. Because it is iron hull, the plates have rusted off and the frame of the ship is still mostly intact. It makes for a great swim through.
    I was actually just reading up a bit on the Rhone. It looks like vandals have looted and destroyed some things there in the past few years. Specifically, it looks like the huge wrenches have been taken and apparently someone tried to remove a port hole with a crowbar. Still sounds like a great dive though. Anyone see Octopi there?
    It is quite surprising that could happen. It is such a popular dive location. I went there on a cruise ship shore excursion. When we arrived at the site there was another dive boat and two people diving from a private boat. When we came up from our dive there was at least four more private boats and two dive boats getting ready to go down.

    Hard to believe anyone could go in there and try taking stuff without someone catching them.
    Info I found was at Wikipedia.

    from site:


    Sadly the wreck has not been well treated over the years. Up until the late 1980s, a full set of wrenches was visible on the deep part (each wrench being about four feet long and weighing over 100 pounds). Today, all have been looted and none remain. Similarly the wreck feature the "lucky porthole", a brass porthole in the stern section which survived the storm intact and remains shiny by divers rubbing it for good luck, was disfigured in 2006 by an attempt to remove it with a crowbar. For many years a popular resident of the wreck was a 500 pound Goliath grouper, but a local fisherman was allowed to catch and kill it despite the area being a national park. Today the wreck is visited by hundreds of tourists every day, most of whom are more circumspect in their treatment of the site.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by heydn62 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scubadiver888 View Post
    It is quite surprising that could happen. It is such a popular dive location. I went there on a cruise ship shore excursion. When we arrived at the site there was another dive boat and two people diving from a private boat. When we came up from our dive there was at least four more private boats and two dive boats getting ready to go down.

    Hard to believe anyone could go in there and try taking stuff without someone catching them.
    Info I found was at Wikipedia.

    from site:


    Sadly the wreck has not been well treated over the years. Up until the late 1980s, a full set of wrenches was visible on the deep part (each wrench being about four feet long and weighing over 100 pounds). Today, all have been looted and none remain. Similarly the wreck feature the "lucky porthole", a brass porthole in the stern section which survived the storm intact and remains shiny by divers rubbing it for good luck, was disfigured in 2006 by an attempt to remove it with a crowbar. For many years a popular resident of the wreck was a 500 pound Goliath grouper, but a local fisherman was allowed to catch and kill it despite the area being a national park. Today the wreck is visited by hundreds of tourists every day, most of whom are more circumspect in their treatment of the site.
    Interesting article. I guess the site was not as popular as it is now. I've rubbed the 'lucky' porthole. I think I was there in 2007. I remember seeing a crack in the glass. I just assumed it had always been there.

    I did see a teacup and silver spoon. So they haven't been stealing everything off it.

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