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Diving the Bermuda Deep

We had been planning this dive over our entire careers.

Our Mission: Descend more than 200 feet in open water, find the peak of a majestic volcanic seamount, then drop to below 450 feet to search for signs of ancient sea levels on what was once a small Atlantic atoll. Our dive would more than double the depth of previous underwater expeditions into the secretive Bermuda Deep.

Biologist Dr. Tom Iliffe and I scanned each other for bubbles and positioned our open-circuit bailout regulators within close reach. We nodded, with a last look at the support team on board the Pourquois Pas – “Why not?” – the name etched on the transom. I chuckled to myself. Iliffe and I glanced at each other, dumped the gas from our wings and rocketed downward, racing to ensure every possible moment would be spent gathering data and documenting our work. I filmed his descent from above, a tiny figure disappearing into the void.

Bermuda ranks high in the history of deep-sea exploration, yet technical scuba and rebreather diving is completely new here.

In 1934, Otis Barton and William Beebe made a record-breaking descent in Bermuda to more than 3,000 feet in their crude metal bathysphere. We would follow in the footsteps of a more recent, unmanned ROV, dispatched by Iliffe as part of a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration mission to find Bermuda’s hidden underwater caves, to explore links between their prehistoric shorelines and the island’s unique cave ecology.

While famous for its caves, Bermuda does not permit recreational cave diving. This is based on efforts to protect these remarkable environments and the life within them. Bermuda caves are biodiversity hot spots for at least 25 critically endangered species, some of which are endemic to a single room in a single cave on the planet. As a result, only a few fortunate scientists and researchers are granted rare collecting and work permits allowing diving with the support of local guides. In this way, the underwater galleries and tunnels of Bermuda will be preserved as delicate time capsules of unique forms of cave-adapted life that might teach us about survival, evolution and the history of our planet. Our hope was to uncover caves or the evidence of former caves in the depths of the bank and seamounts, and perhaps reveal a migratory pathway for the unusual creatures still thriving on Bermuda today.

Iliffe and his team already had mapped the island’s walls and seamounts using side-scan sonar. Following the best leads, he deployed the ROV to create a video preview for targets we should dive. This unprecedented information gathering allowed us to focus on key features of interest to the mission’s scientists. Two years of advanced underwater imaging have brought us to the day’s objective.

The Dive Begins

Dangling his legs from the swim platform in the azure Caribbean water some 18 miles southwest of Bermuda, Iliffe quietly checked his equipment. An attentive safety diver assisted him as he prepped for what would be a challenging dive.

“Can you reach the clip for my bottom-left bailout bottle? I’m having trouble,” Iliffe said. “My sledgehammer seems to be in the way.”

In a calm but firm voice, dive-safety officer Brian Kakuk reminded us that this would be the last deep mission of the project.

I understood his inference: Often it’s the final dive of an expedition that seduces divers into unnecessary risk. Intent on completing all of a mission’s tasks, divers sometimes cut corners. They let the pressure lure them into dives that should have been shelved.

Kakuk was reminding us to keep cool and come home safely. If we had to abort this mission within a hair’s breadth of success to ensure our safety, we would.

Iliffe’s face is barely visible under the increasing load of equipment, now well over 250 pounds. He looks like a Transformer. I run through my own mental checklist. Rebreather: Checklist done. Four bailout tanks: Check. Camera on the transom: Check. Video lights, camera strobes, sample bag, measuring tape, reel, lift bags: All checked. Checked. And double-checked.

With my Sentinel rebreather, bailout tanks and video gear, gravity is not my friend. Slipping off the platform, it’s a relief to hang weightless, the bulk of my equipment suspended and neutral. Support diver Gil Nolan swims in a tight circle around me, giving me a final look, tugging on my gear, then nods approval to Kakuk. Alex Chequer from the Bermuda BioStation radios the Fisheries Department and the hospital, informing them that we are ready to descend. You could cut the tension with a knife, but it’s reassuring to know the entire island is on standby, supporting us with a safety team some 35 miles long.

The Challenger Bank

We reach the timeworn peak of the formidable Challenger Bank in less than three minutes.

A lonely lionfish hunkers in the clumping masses of coral where our hook jerks and bounces, dangling slightly, taut at its maximum reach. The orange surface marker is long out of sight, bobbing overhead on the waves marking our position. Moments like this make me acutely aware of my humanity, swimming awestruck in a place that has been out of reach until now.

Iliffe swiftly ties on his cave-diving reel and flies out over the precipitous drop. It seems like an eternity before he lands on a tiny crag at 460 feet, with the endless wall sloping infinitely downward and out of sight.

He locks off the dive reel, positions his mesh bags and tools and then intently goes to work. I train the camera on my usually reserved friend, preparing to document careful sampling. But Iliffe is like a Walmart shopper crashing through the door on Black Friday. We have only minutes at this depth, and he’s making the most of every breath. Hammer swinging and arms flailing, he grabs rock samples and delicate coral twigs. As though he were loading Noah’s Ark, he bags sets of animals, ensuring he has at least two of everything new or interesting.

I alternate between photographing his feats and the delicate wall, covered with fragile purple hard corals and crusting fiery sponges, flaming in bursts of color. Schools of curious jacks zip around us, while huge crab-eating permit reflect the sultry light back toward us. In this previously unexplored twilight zone, there is no shortage of extraordinary life.

Iliffe collected more than 50 species of plants and animals on those dives that today are yielding new discoveries for Bermuda, some previously unknown to biologists.

Geologists are studying our photographs and rock samples, trying to piece together the changes in sea level over time. Examining deep cave structures and wave-cut notches, they can now determine when sea level was at its lowest point.

The first glimpse into Bermuda’s netherworld suggests that exploration and discovery are still in the very early stages. Future work will focus on determining how the unique life in Bermuda first populated remote island caves.

Did cave-adapted animals migrate upward from deep ocean vents? Did they swim through tiny spaces within the matrix of rock? Or did they arrive in some other way?

We know more about outer space than we know about the pristine Bermuda, Argus and Challenger banks. Yet for those of us lucky enough to be working there, Bermuda Deep offers the chance to join the ranks of aquanauts on the edge of underwater discovery.

Tec Diving in Bermuda

Enrolling in a technical-diving class is one way to experience Bermuda’s rarely dived locations. Deeper dives are generally conducted on the sheer walls around the margin of the Bermuda Bank. Bermuda sits atop a large platform, so these dives are generally farther offshore than dives in recreational depths.

The ultimate tec dive in Bermuda is a visit to Argus Tower, some 35 miles southwest of the island. The peak of this volcanic seamount is reached at 192 feet; on it lie the remains of a submarine communications tower. With swarms of fish, including some large pelagics, this spot also attracts fishing boats seeking a prized catch.

Bermuda also has a very active scientific-diving community that is increasing its efforts on the front lines of the lionfish invasion. Researchers and technical divers have discovered a robust breeding population in the matrix of corals in the 200-foot range. Scientific and research organizations say they will appeal to qualified divers to aid in research and trapping.

Need to Know

You can dive year-round in Bermuda, but the most active season is May to October. Daily dive charters are available during the high season, but check ahead for scheduling. Water temperatures range between 65 degrees F in the winter and 82 in the summer, with visibility from 60 to 150 feet. Late-summer visibility is the lowest of the year.








For information on conservation efforts: oceansupport.org

Diving the Bermuda Deep Read More »

Top 100 2015: Best Overall Diving

Our readers weighed in on their most prized dive sites around the world — from North America to the Caribbean and Atlantic to the Pacific and Indian Oceans — to bring our 22nd annual 2015 Top 100 Readers Choice Awards to life.

For variety, we have featured one destination in each region (Caribbean and Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, and North America). Not all selections are the first-place winners in the Best Overall Diving category. Check out the complete list of Top 100 Readers Choice winners in this category below.

Need help planning a trip to one of the world’s best dive destinations?
The experts at Caradonna Dive Adventures can help you plan vacations to Bonaire’s Buddy Dive Resort and Divi Flamingo Beach Resort, British Virgin Islands’ Scrub Island Resort, Cozumel, Mexico’s Cozumel Palace and Occidental Grand, and scores of daily specials in the hottest dive locales on the planet.


1. Cayman Islands

2. Bonaire

3. British Virgin Islands

4. Mexico

5. Belize


1. Florida

2. British Columbia

3. California

4. North Carolina

5. Great Lakes


1. French Polynesia

2. Indonesia

3. Micronesia (Chuuk)

4. Palau

5. Guam

Thousands of subscribers and Web users rated their experiences at dive destinations in a variety of categories on a scale of one to five. Final scores are an average of the numerical scores awarded. A minimum number of responses was required for a destination to be included in these ratings.

More Top 100 Winners:

Best Wall Diving | Best Underwater Photography | Best Advanced Diving

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The Magic of Cave Diving: Five Training Courses You Need to Take

These Five Courses Will Help You Discover a Deeper Self — Literally

Shining a light into the unknown — there’s nothing that feels more like exploration. But that’s not the only reason divers who enter caves become hooked. It’s a sport where record-breaking discoveries happen every year, and there’s no shortage of boundaries yet to be crossed. But underground glory isn’t the real reason to consider cave train- ing. Even if you never venture much farther than the sun shines, these courses will give you a degree of physical and mental confidence you never thought you could muster.


“I’ve had students who have recently finished open water training and have just 25 dives under their belt up to advanced trimix open water instructors,” says Johnny Richards of those who enroll in his cavern diver courses.

Dive Rite LX20 Dive Light

Zach Stovall

Gear Essentials: Cave Diving Light

“You’ll need a cave diving light, and you’ll get a lot out of it for other types of diving. Also, ditch the console computer and get a multigas wrist-model computer.” — Karl Shreeves

Contact: diverite.com

All must relearn buoyancy, given that the jump from open water to overhead environments can be jarring.

“Open water is very forgiving,” says Richards. “Vary 3 to 5 feet and it’s no big deal — but in a cave, that can put you on the floor or ceiling.” To help divers cement a new buoyancy foundation, focusing on fine-tuning trim and breathing, Richards instructs in north Florida’s cave systems. These caves better prepare students for one reason: They have flow. On entry, divers power against a current measured in millions of gallons per day. “Flow affects everything — trim, buoyancy, propulsion,” Richards says.

Richards’ favorite classroom is Devil’s Den in Williston, Florida, about 100 miles northwest of Orlando. This cave extends 35,000 feet and flows at 42 million gallons per day.

“Train in complex environments and you’ll easily go anywhere that’s not as challenging,” says Richards. “If you know what Devil’s feels like, you can get a sense of other places.”

Environments like Devil’s Den also help divers shed another nasty habit: the instinct to kick more than necessary.

On the return route, these caves present yet another challenge. “With flow behind you, you have to anticipate buoyancy-control changes before they’re needed,” says Richards. “As I approach the exit at Devil’s Ear, it’s imperative
I make buoyancy changes before that change in depth — otherwise, if I’m neutral, with flow behind me, I’ll have a sudden rapid ascent.”

But even this situation is one that students build up to, starting at Ginnie Springs, 80 miles west of Jacksonville, or an hour north of Devil’s Den. Ginnie, another high-flow cave, is even better suited to beginners thanks to its flow of 35 million gallons per day and a coarse-sand bottom.

“Generally speaking, high-flow cave means low silt potential,” says Richards.

For new cave divers, almost always guilty of kicking too much, this means their zealotry won’t result in a fog of silt and lost visibility for too long. But causing a silt-out is part of the process; divers gain an understanding of what it feels like to have successes and failures. Says Richards, “This isn’t a course where I expect divers to come in and know what they should be doing — it’s a time where a lot of mistakes can happen.”

Go Now: cavediving.com


One of the first things aspiring cave divers must get used to is starting expeditions in the middle of nowhere — often a field or forgotten forest, reachable only by two-track dirt roads. To access Mermaid’s Lair, one of cave diving instructor Cristina Zenato’s favorite classrooms, start by heading to the eastern side of Grand Bahama.

ScubaPro MK25 EVO/G260 Scuba Diving Regulator

Gear Essentials: High-End Regulators

“At this level, you start using an H-valve with two independent regulators. You want robust life support that is dependable, with high performance. You should also look for an oxygen regulator, deco cylinder and backup computer.” — Karl Shreeves

Contact: scubapro.com

“Old Freetown Road is abandoned,” says Zenato. “It used to connect the two sides of the island, and now it’s just a very nice, scenic drive that adds to the adventurous feel.”

Mermaid’s Lair is worth the trek due to how well it suits the needs of beginners. For starters, Zenato rerigged the ropes running through the cave.

“I changed the line, so it’s continuous, with no navigational changes — you can’t take jumps or turns.” Neither of which is allowed in the intro course.

In other words, getting lost would be pretty hard. Nor is depth an issue: Mermaid’s Lair dips to roughly 70 feet, giving divers ample time to practice buoyancy and what Zenato considers the key skill to begin developing at this level: global awareness.

“When you’re cave diving, you can’t think about just one thing,” she says. “You have to be like a little computer, calculating all these things at once, like the line, the light, the cave — and your buddy.”

Part of global awareness is taking in the environment — and that can mean appreciating the scenery.

“In Mermaid’s Lair, the formations change from a rusty orange to a sheen of black to yellowish-white crystals — and then, all of a sudden, everything is covered in black crystals. You don’t expect it to be so different in such a short environment,” says Zenato.

It’s something she’s reminded of nearly every time she shares the cave with someone new. She can hear the “ooh” through the regulator. And afterward, reactions vary wildly.

“Some people talk nonstop, and some are silent, and I can tell their hearts are so full with what they just experienced,” says Zenato. “Either way, I know when they’re hooked.”

Go Now: unexso.com


For Alessandra Figari, graduating a full cave diver is like set- ting a tourist loose in a Venice glass shop. If divers meet her standards for the course, she knows they’re skilled enough to closely approach formations as delicate and unique as hand-blown curios.

Bare Sports X-Mission Drysuit

Zach Stovall

Gear Essentials: Drysuit

“As you go deeper into caves, your dives get longer and a drysuit becomes necessary, especially for the cooler waters found in north Florida cave diving. In warmer waters, such as in Mexico’s Yucatan cave systems, a full 7 mm wetsuit with a hood will usually suffice up to about three hours — beyond that, you might want to wear a drysuit even there.” — Karl Shreeves

Contact: baresports.com

Before she turns them free, she guides them through the blanker slates of Riviera Maya’s underground realm — the caves with fewest decorations. But even those are not without beauty. Chikin Ha is one of her top picks for training full cave divers. Divers first pass through two cenotes lit by thick bands of sunlight. From there, darkness.

“Then it’s two big blocks of rock, and you can’t help but have that feeling of being under the earth,” says Figari. “It’s like being in a Gothic cathedral with all these different pieces of art.”

Inside, trainees work toward following a line in no visibility, handling a lost-diver scenario and sharing air in an overhead environment.

“I make students share air from the deepest point in the cave,” says Figari. “It’s meant to help them work on stress levels.”

When the way in and out is the same, and something happens after 40 minutes in, you have to swim out 40 minutes.

“The only thing that determines whether or not you come out is how you handle yourself,” she says. “The full cave course teaches you how to handle emotion and control the mind in these situations.”

The basics of that control are the same as with any dive course. It comes down to breathing. “If we breathe incorrectly, we cannot control the mind, and that is when we get into big trouble,” she says.

Once they prove themselves, divers are handed the keys to rooms holding even more fascinations, places like the cave Nohoch. Inside, tight passageways are lined with white formations.

“Everything is so small that you feel you should freeze, that just your presence could compromise this environment,” she says. But worry not. “No, of course it won’t. Otherwise, I wouldn’t take anyone there.”

Go Now: cavetrainingmexico.com


Now you’re going places — or, at least, you will be after the diver propulsion vehicle cave course.

Hollis H-160 Diver Propulsion Vehicle

Courtesy Hollis

Gear Essentials: Diver Propulsion Vehicle

“Using a DPV to explore caves is a technical challenge that demands you to be entirely in the moment — you need to be self-disciplined and detailed, and show you can follow the rules and stay within your limits. You should also have lots of prior cave experience — otherwise, you can get yourself into trouble in a hurry.” —Karl Shreeves

Contact: hollis.com

The main motivation for divers to commit to the DPV course might appear to be the intense pleasure of zipping through extended cave systems — a roller-coaster ride past exponentially more formations and decorations than with fins alone.

But there’s a much more practical reason as well: DPVs buy you time.

“You get decent bottom time while keeping reasonable decompression times,” says cave diving instructor Johnny Richards.

This is an understatement. Instead of draining your gas supply on stretches you’ve seen hundreds of times, you zip past the familiar and start your dive with the new.

Exploration 101.

As for the course itself, says Richards, “It’s fairly arduous —lots and lots of skills and drills, such as dead-scooter swims and dead-scooter tows.”

There’s not much on-scooter time during the course, but afterward, it’s free rein. For Richards, use of a DPV opens up places like the Super Room inside Eagle’s Nest, a cave in the town of Weeki Wachee, roughly an hour north of Tampa.
“It’s a big monster of a room with a lot of features and fossils — mostly shells; this was all ocean floor at one time,” says Richards.

In the Little River Spring system, about 90 minutes west of Jacksonville, Richards likes to tar- get the Florida Room before continuing on by fin.

“There’s a point where you must drop the scooter,” says Richards. “The cave becomes like a roller coaster in places — then it becomes tight, with high amounts of silt. From there, you can swim 3,400 feet to the end of the line.”
He’s quick to point out that divers should never actively pursue that marker as a goal.

Says Richards, “It’s something that will naturally occur at some point given time and experience.”

Go Now: cavediving.com


“Cave Diving is all about expanding your comfort zone, step by step,” says Patrick Widmann, an advanced cave diving instructor in the Dominican Republic. The full cave diver course allows finishers to explore a cave using one-third of their tanks; stage cave diver teaches students how to safely add a cylinder to explore even farther.

Hollis SMS 75X Sidemount BC

Zach Stovall

Gear Essentials: Stage Rigging and Sidemount BC

“When you start using stage cylinders, you’ll need more regulators with submersible pressure gauges, and rigging for each. At all levels, sidemount has become a popular option. There’s no reason to be a backmount cave diver if you know you want to dive sidemount — get certified as a PADI tec sidemount diver.” — Karl Shreeves

Contact: hollis.com

Skills taught include team protocols and how to stage and retrieve tanks blind, which simulates a silt-out caused by a tank dropped atop sediment.

This course also aims to strengthen confidence, especially with distance stress — “your mind telling you that you are a long way from home,” Widmann says. “Distance stress never leaves you, even after thousands
of dives. It just becomes a question of when it will set in.”

And it happens farther in after more training dives. For the stage cave diver course, Widmann teaches primarily in two caves. Cueva Taina and El Dudu. Cueva Taina, near the Santo Domingo airport, presents students with a halocline followed by rooms of white walls, stalactites and columns. El Dudu lies near the town of Cabrera, two hours east of Puerto Plata on the northern coast. Past its giant sinkhole opening, the cave’s route, 20 feet deep, winds past unusual water colors, walls stained with tannins and rooms filled with dark-dwelling critters such as bats, scorpions and tarantulas.

When students complete the course, Widmann takes them to Manantial El Toro, a cave outside Punta Cana that is the country’s longest, requiring stages to explore.

Distance stress can be heightened from the start thanks to the cave’s dramatic entry. It’s a 30-minute hike from the car park, then you descend 130 feet by foot. “The entrance is mind-blowing,” says Widmann. “It’s a ginormous dry cave with tree roots hanging from the roof.”

El Toro’s warren unspools to a variety of rooms and terrain, all serving as mental practice for future cave settings. With each new hurdle, divers are tasked with monitoring distance stress.

“There’s a tunnel filled with really rare bacteria that stain the water an opal green,” says Widmann. “It’s studied by NASA scientists.”

Like Alice in Wonderland, divers must be prepared to feel small in a large room, or huge in a small space.

“Going through a room a plane could fly through is much different from a tunnel the size of a computer screen,” says Widmann.

Either way, he reminds divers that it’s not so much about the conditions, but how you handle them.

“If I perceive something as dangerous, my body will react that way with increased breathing rate and risk of accident,” says Widmann. “Rather, we’re training ourselves to perceive our environment as safe so our bodies stay relaxed.”

Go Now: dr-ss.com

What It’s Like To Be A Cave Diver

Cave Diver Jill Heinerth

Courtesy Jill Heinerth

“A privilege,” says filmmaker, photographer and Scuba Diving contributor Jill Heinerth. You can read why caving is so addictive in the November/December “What It’s Like” column from this caver, who is a member of the Explorers Club and Women Divers Hall of Fame, recipient of the Wyland ICON Award for making a difference for our water planet and the Sir Christopher Ondaatje Medal for Exploration from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, and Scuba Diving‘s Sea Hero of the Year in 2012.

The Magic of Cave Diving: Five Training Courses You Need to Take Read More »

Drive and Dive: Exploring the Wrecks of Tobermory

The Forest City Shipwreck in Tobermory

The Forest City Wreck

The Forest City met its fate after ramming Bear’s Rump Island; the most interesting parts lie between 100 and 150 feet.

Andy Morrison

The thrill of diving the shipwrecks of Tobermory came long before I made a giant stride into the frigid Canadian waters of Lake Huron. It was born of the countless stories told by Great Lakes divers who shared accounts of the magnificent shipwrecks and spectacular scenery. It also came from numerous accounts rating Tobermory among the best the Great Lakes has to offer.

I needed to see for myself. My much-anticipated first dive was on the Arabia, a striking three-masted wooden barque that sank in October 1884 in heavy seas, forcing the crew to abandon ship. Sought out because of its beauty and interest to divers, only the experienced should attempt the Arabia because its depth — about 120 feet — and cold waters can create difficult conditions.

I descended the line to the bow, where my dive buddy and I spent most of our air, despite knowing an intact captain’s wheel — a definite must-see — stood at the stern. The Arabia is an excellent example of how the chilly, fresh water of the Great Lakes preserves maritime history: Rigging hung from the bowsprit that pierced the water, and chains spilled of the windlass onto the deck. Deadeyes stared up at me as I hovered over the railings while taking my time exploring the mostly intact hull. I couldn’t ask for more.

Another of Tobermory’s more-challenging dives is the Forest City. A three-masted wooden schooner later converted into a steamer, the Forest City sank in June 1904 after running full-steam into an island in a dense fog.

The ship now rests almost perpendicular to the island, with the bow at 60 feet, gradually descending to about 150 feet at the stern. Stick to your dive plan on this wreck because the ease of the descent and the sights found among the ship’s broken decking can easily lead you beyond your planned depth. Thanks to 50-plus-foot visibility, I was able to observe the Forest City’s intact stern railing — its signature feature — while staying at my planned maximum depth of 120 feet.

Tobermory is located at the northern tip of the South Bruce Peninsula, a slice of land that juts out into Lake Huron, forming the western border of the Georgian Bay. Peppered with islands, the waters around Tobermory attract all sorts of water enthusiasts.

Divers come because of the abundance and variety of shipwrecks, ranging from novice depths to technical. Sharp underwater inclines, which loom into islands above the water’s surface, meant captains cruising along in deep water might unexpectedly find themselves colliding with a shallow shoal. The result: several downed ships, many of which can be reached on a single tank of air.

Fathom Five National Marine Park protects many of these treasures. Canada’s first national marine park, Fathom Five was designated in 1987 and encompasses 45 square miles consisting of 20 islands and 22 shipwrecks. Parks Canada charges divers a nominal fee before they can enjoy all Tobermory has to offer.


Not everything is inside Fathom Five, however, including one of the area’s best — the City of Cleveland. The boat ride out to the wreck is nearly two hours, but it is worth the trip.

A 255-foot steamer that sank in September 1901 after being forced of-course by devastating waves, the City of Cleveland has been called the most impressive shallow dive in the Great Lakes. While many of Tobermory’s shipwrecks are better suited for the experienced diver, the City of Cleveland is a playground for all experience levels. The only drawback is the long boat ride it takes to reach it, but it’s worth the lengthy round-trip commute.

The steamer’s bow sits at about 10 feet below the water’s surface, with its deepest point at about 30 feet. The shallow dive meant more bottom time to check out the steam engine with its massive boilers, the rudder, and the main attraction — an immense propeller resting upright in sand.

Just when you think you’ve seen all of Tobermory’s amazing offerings, your dive boat will drop anchor at one more. For us, it was the 182-foot Niagara II, also outside the park boundaries. The Niagara II was purpose-sunk in 1999 by the Tobermory Maritime Association to alleviate pressure on the area’s older wrecks. The 182-foot sand- sucker sits at about 100 feet, ripe for exploration. Locals had a bit of fun prepping this wreck for divers, adding items like a piano, which is fairly smashed up now.

We tied in at the bow and descended into the cold, clear water. We spent a lot of time at the pilothouse, where a ship’s wheel can be found, thanks to a replica placed by association members. We then slipped along the portside deck to the stern, penetrating the hull and slipping over rails along the way.

After four days spending as much time on and under the water as possible, it became clear — Tobermory definitely lives up to its reputation. We’ll return soon to dive some other don’t-miss sites: the 175-foot former barge James C. King and the 130-foot former schooner San Jacinto, as well as Dunk’s Point, North Otter Wall and the Caves, which is at the base of a limestone cliff and features two underwater entrances that lead to a picturesque grotto in 20 feet of water.

More Epic Diving in North America

Explore California’s Sonoma Coast

Wreck Diving the Straits of Mackinac

Tour the Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail

Drive and Dive: Exploring the Wrecks of Tobermory Read More »

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