St. Kitts Scuba Diving

In February of 1998, I went scuba diving in St. Kitts, a small island in the eastern Caribbean. It is one of the Leeward Islands and has a sister island named Nevis. Its location puts it near St. Maarten, Saba and Antigua. Tourism hasn’t hit St. Kitts in a big way, so the island is still very quiet and laid back. There is an eighteen hole golf course and a small casino on the island, and there are some beautiful beaches for the sunbathers. Because St. Kitts has an Atlantic side and a Caribbean side, you get both rough and calm water conditions, depending upon where you go. Most St Kitts scuba diving is done in the Caribbean, as the constant trade winds tend to make the water choppy and the currents strong on the Atlantic side.

My first dive was at Sandy Point. This is a unique reef, whose formation is like fingers, with channels in between. There is a theory that the ribs of a ship are under the coral, which formed around them. This area saw a lot of sea battles, since there is a large fort on the cliffs above. Anchors and everyday debris from the 1700s, such as bottles and dishes, are found here. The depth varies from about 40 – 90 feet (12m – 27m), thus making this a wonderful multilevel dive. There are large coral heads with swim-through canyons and under-cut shelves. The variety of corals and sponges is amazing and as with most reef formations in St. Kitts, they are in pristine condition. Our second dive of the day was also at Sandy Point at a spot called Paradise Reef. There we saw beautiful scrawled filefish and a school of Atlantic spadefish. There were many spotted drums and, of course, the friendly, wandering barracudas. Sandy Point is designated a National Marine Park, so there is no anchoring and the condition of the reef is wonderful.

The second St Kitts scuba dive of the week began at Black Coral Reef. Again the reef was pristine, and of course you can guess from its name, there is lots of black coral there. We saw some huge lobsters and many varieties of small fish. After the surface interval we moved to another area of the same reef. Here we saw Southern stingrays, hawksbill turtles, bar jacks and a beautiful orange-spotted filefish. Depths vary 40 – 70 feet (12m – 20m).

The third dive day, we went to Coconut Tree Reef. This is one of the largest reefs in the area, with depths from 40 – 200 feet (12m – 60m). As usual, the reef was in great condition, with large schools of fish of different varieties. The second dive of the day was at Broad Bar Reef. This was the best dive of the week — the reef is beautiful and we saw squid swimming right by us, stingrays, huge spotted drums, queen triggerfish, and large filefish. Every time we turned around, an amazing creature came swimming by.

The last day we dove at Brimstone Reef, another pristine and beautiful coral formation. The variety of sponges and corals was amazing. After the surface interval we moved back to Coconut Tree Reef, where I had a tug of war with a small nurse shark, who refused to come out of his hidey hole in the reef and be photographed. Two huge gray angels followed us the whole dive, curious to see what we were doing. There were many small critters, such as arrow crabs, brittle stars and bristle worms.

Besides reefs there are a few wreck dives on St. Kitts that are definitely worth doing. I visit St. Kitts once a year and always enjoy the diving. There is a variety of price ranges for accommodations which run from hotel rooms to condo living. The island’s citizens are friendly, and are eager to help you enjoy your stay. Day trips to Nevis are easy to arrange. A ferry travels back and forth between the islands. I haven’t had the opportunity to dive on Nevis, but hope to in the near future.  If you’ve got a great experiences scuba diving in Nevis please feel contact us and tell us about your experience.  Even if you want to tell us about your St. Kitts scuba diving experiences – we’re all ears!