Diving in Antigua
DiveCarib, a brand new dive facility in Antigua, will open in July, 2015. The company is being formed by myself, Bryan Cunningham, former owner of Sea Wolf Diving School, with five years diving experience in Antigua and 16 years worldwide. I am launching the venture with two long time-diving friends, each with more than 20 years experience as dive instructors worldwide.
DiveCarib will be Antigua’s first ever instructor training facility, with three SDI instructor trainers on staff. It will also be Antigua’s first ever technical diving facility and the only dive center with gas mixing abilities (both Nitrox and Trimix). Both Harry and Leigh are extremely experienced tech instructors, with Leigh still holding the world record for the deepest wreck dive. Recreational divers are not forgotten, being the bread and butter of any dive facility. They will be treated to small groups on a comfortable dive boat with high-end dive equipment.
Our boat is a beach landing craft with jet propulsion and a carbon-fibre hull. Custom built for Mr. Dyson, who invented the Dyson vacuum cleaner, it was donated to the National Sailing Academy, which has sold it to us. We also have larger boats on a standby charter basis. We are using ScubaPro X tek BCDs and Mk2 and 21 regulators. No expense is being spared on equipment.
Diving in Antigua is good. DiveCarib will be based in Falmouth/English Harbour on the south-southwest portion of the island. This gives access to the best dive sites Antigua has to offer in a very short boat trip. For technical divers there is Sunken Rock, breaking the surface and plummeting to 40 meters with a canyon and teaming with marine life. There is also Shirley Heights which reaches 30 meters within 50 meters of the shoreline. It tapers to 40 meters and then plummets to oblivion. There is a wreck five minutes from the harbour mouth at 40 meters with easy penetration. The southwest coast of Antigua is just in the lee of the island, so it has predominantly calm water, while being the only part of the island that reaches extreme depths close to shore. The rest of the coast has a shallow shelf running for miles out to sea.
Recreational divers can enjoy easy reefs between 12 meters to 20 meters, with healthy coral and little or no current. Many of the sites used are not marked and have no buoys. DiveCarib uses GPS and local knowledge to anchor in sandy patches with the boat floating over the best reefs. This keeps our favourite dive sites in pristine condition.
DiveCarib also does destination management. With my experience as a travel agent, I am able to advise on the easiest way of reaching Antigua, select the most suitable accommodation for your budget and arrange any land based-activities you choose. The dive shack is situated on the property of National Sailing Academy, so there are a number of additional water sports for divers to do when not diving. Diving in Antigua with DiveCarib is a total well-rounded holiday experience.
Bryan Cunningham for www.kirkscubagear.com
Kirk Scuba Gear is please to be associated with Bryan @ DiveCarib. For bookings, dive travel, please contact us.