DIVING AND SNORKELING
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Both Antigua and Barbuda are almost completely
surrounded by well-preserved coral reefs, walls, and shipwrecks.
The southern and eastern coasts of Antigua and virtually the entire
coast of Barbuda are surrounded by shelfs, providing excellent
conditions for spectacular shallow diving and snorkeling. There
is little or no current in most places, and the water temperature
averages about 80 F (25 C). Underwater visibility ranges from 50
to 140 feet, and tropical marine plants and animals are diverse
and plentiful. Snorkeling is possible at many of both islands'
most beautiful beaches; one of Antigua's
best-known offshore sites, Cades Reef, is now partly contained
in a designated underwater park. Another popular destination is
the wreck of the Andes, a three-masted merchant ship that sank
in 1905 and now rests in less than thirty feet of water in (ironically
enough) Deep Bay. Antigua's dive facilities are far superior to
those available on smaller Barbuda, and so most of the sites that
have been established as dive destinations are Antiguan. The southern
and eastern coasts are considered to offer the most consistent
diving; for more advanced divers, the ledge of Sunken Rock on the
south coast is a popular site. Dive depths generally range from
25 to 80 feet and can reach 180 feet; distances from shore to site
are in some cases no more than five minutes and at most 40 minutes
Barbuda's encircling reefs contain an enormous
number of wrecks, most of which are yet to be explored; in fact,
the Codrington fortunes on Barbuda were
intimately linked to their acquisition of rights to the wreckage
in the 17th-century. To dive off Barbuda, it is best to make arrangements
with a dive shop on Antigua to have the necessary equipment taken
over by air or boat.
ANTIGUA DIVE OPERATORS ASSOCIATION:
Big John's Dive Antigua:
Treasure Island Cruises:
Web site address: www.treasureislandcruises.ag
Email address: email@example.com
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