Diving & Snorkeling in Bequia & beyond

 

THE BEST-KEPT SECRET OF THE GRENADINES

With over 30 dive sites within a 5 to 10 minute speed boat ride out into Admiralty Bay, Bequia draws divers from all around the world.  Beneath the clear, warm waters lie pristine coral reefs.  Those scuba fanatics in the know enjoy daily plunges into an almost-secret underwater heaven.

To quote Cathy Sachs at Dive Bequia;

“It’s the best-kept secret of the Grenadines...healthy fringing reefs, exhilarating drift dives, and diverse marine life.  Bequia has it all”

Offering stunning scenery both above & below the water, Bequia’s appeal as a tourist destination is clear for all to see.

Welcome to the best island on planet earth!

TAKE THE PLUNGE INTO THE UNDERWATER PARADISE AROUND BEQUIA & THE GRENADINE ISLANDS

 

WHAT LIES BENEATH

In the waters surrounding St. Vincent & the Grenadines, there are 225 varieties of tropical fish as well as Hawksbill & Green Turtles, Lobsters, Eagle Rays, Moray Eels, Sea Horses & Frog Fish.

The marine life most commonly spotted can be classed as small & medium in size, although larger species such as Manta Rays and even Whale Sharks have been witnessed off the Bequia coast.  The surrounding waters are also home to humpbacks and a variety of other whale species.  It’s also not uncommon for visitors to see pods of dolphins whilst crossing the Bequia channel and on day trips across to Mustique and down to the idyllic Tobago Cays.

Bequia has a perfect mix of relaxing reefs, interesting shipwrecks, plus wall & drift dives too. With dozens of dive sites ranging from a depth of 5m/15ft  to 40m/130ft, there is something for scuba enthusiasts of all abilities & experience.

Here’s a taster of some of the sites on offer.  The top-line summary is below, but more detailed information is available on Dive Bequia’s website

https://www.divebequia.com/diving.html

Ship's Stern

Max Depth:  18m/60ft

Description:  A sloping, colourful reef with fixed moorings at each end of the drift dive.

What you may see:  Lobsters, moray eels, stingrays, and sea horses.  Look out “into the blue” for barracuda, turtles, and jack fish.

Boulders

Max Depth:  30m/100ft

Description:  A versatile site as this can be dived at a multitude of depths between 12m/40ft and 30m/100ft. The start of the dive is a sloping vibrant reef down to sand at 15m/50ft. In the middle section of this dive you will see a stunning array of huge 30 ft boulders that provide swim-throughs.  This site has fixed moorings at both ends of the dive.

What you may see:  Trunkfish, eels, trumpet, scorpion & angel fish.  It’s also possible to see eagle rays, turtles and even shy nurse sharks too. 

Chris & Louise from The Lookout love this dive site for the stunning scenery and the almost-guaranteed sightings of a wide variety of marine life.

Moonhole

Max Depth:  21m/70ft

Description:  A good site for beginners, with the pretty coral reef starting at 5-12m/20ft-40ft.  However, it remains an interesting site for intermediate divers too.  Divers go out & back to “Boulders” from a single dive mooring.

What you may see:  Sea slugs, fireworms, cleaner shrimps, parrot fish, spotted moray eels.

Stratmann Wreck

Max Depth:  18m/60ft

Description:  This old tug is an interesting wreck to explore for those at an intermediate level and the dive ends at the beautiful Devil's Table reef.  The stern sits on the sand at a depth of 18m/60ft and divers can investigate the portholes, around the propellor, cargo hold, & hatches for marine life.  This site is also amazing as a night dive by torchlight.

What you may see:  garden eels, yellow-headed jawfish, lobster, barracuda, crabs, and squirrel fish.

Moonhole Cave

Max Depth:  28m/92ft 

Description:  Divers descend into 9m/30ft of blue water with a wall on one side and rolling reef meeting the sand at 15m/50ft.  The reef steeply drops to 28m/92ft with larger boulders and colourful sponges. On the ascent at around 8m/25ft, a wide cavern appears and divers can check it out for nurse sharks.

What you may see:  Schools of blue creole wrasse, yellowtail snapper, turtles, octopus, porcupine fish, lobster.

Browns Bay

Max Depth:  15m/45ft

Description:  A stunning dive for beginners through to intermediate starting at 5m/15ft and gently sloping down to 15m/45ft.  Boulders, sea fans, pillar coral and staghorn corals provide the backdrop to this diverse reef, full of varied marine life.

What you may see:  Nurse sharks, scorpion fish, moray eels, porcupine fish, octopus, as well as stalking barracuda.

West Cay Wall

Max Depth:  40m/130ft

Description:  The start of the dive is a dramatic swim over a shallow ledge which then descends steeply into the deep blue.  At the bottom of the wall there are interesting swim-throughs.  The dive usually culminates at a shallow shelf on the southernmost tip where the currents meet, but on days when no currents exist, it is possible to continue completely around the rock. Due to the conditions and depth at this site, a minimum certification level of Advanced diver is required.

What you may see:  Nurse & black tip reef sharks.

Devils Table \ Rocky Bay

Max Depth:  18m/60ft 

Description:  This is the closest site and is a great dive for both beginners and intermediate divers.  Starting in the sheltered Rocky Bay, divers make their way along a gradually deepening reef.

What you may see:  Butterflyfish, filefish, sergeant majors, blue creole wrasse, parrotfish, yellowtail snapper, octopus, lobsters.

Moonhole Wreck

Max Depth:  40m/130ft

Description:  The dive focusses around a good-sized container ship called "Rick's H", lying in a sandy basin surrounded by turtle grass. The bow lies at 34m/112ft and the stern rests at 27m/89ft.

What you may see:  Large schools of southern sennet, cleaner shrimp.  Watch around the bow where a very large turtle sometimes hangs out, plus southern stingray are common here too.

Middle Cay

Max Depth:  28m/92ft

Description:  After a negative entry, this dive starts with a whip coral and gorgonian forest.  It slowly turns into a steeply sloping reef, starting at 15m/50ft and eventually reaching 28m/92ft.  This is an abundant, colourful and healthy reef.

What you may see:   Stingrays, scorpionfish, green moray eels, spiny and slipper lobsters, yellow tailed snapper, plus circling tuna and barracuda.

Robyn's Reef

Max Depth: 21m/70ft

Description:  A site for intermediate divers, starting at the frogfish haven of 'Flat Rock', and gently drifting down the steep reef slope to a sandy bottom.

What you may see:  Queen triggerfish, French grunts, blue creole wrasse, moray eels, and trunkfish galore! It’s also possible to see barracudas, honeycomb cowfish, jack fish, yellow-tail snapper, and tuna. Robyn's Reef is home to approximately a dozen rare, giraffe garden eels.

Cathedral

Max Depth:  30m/100ft 

Description:  This site can be dived in either direction, depending on the prevailing currents. There is a steep, sloping reef starting at 5m/15ft and descending down to the sandy sea floor.

What you may see:  Lobster, spotted drum fish, barracuda, scorpionfish, and spray crabs.

North-West Point

Max Depth:  25m/82ft

Description:  A truly memorable dive for intermediate divers along a healthy, vibrant reef which starts at 7m/25ft and drops to 25m/82ft. 

What you may see:  Frogfish, white moray eels, peppermint shrimp, plus barracudas, rays & turtles too.

Three Wrecks

Max Depth:  27m/85ft 

Description:  This one is for advanced divers, with a descent onto the stunning Devil's Table reef in 5m/15ft of water. Heading into deeper water, an ATM machine can be seen on the rocky sea floor at 20m/68ft. The first wreck of a yacht, the Viviana, lies at 27m/85ft.  Divers then follow turtle grass in shallower water to a second yacht (name unknown).  This can be found at 14m/50ft. The dive ends at the Strattman tug, with the mooring at 5m/15ft on top of the wreck.

What you may see:  Three ship wrecks (!), plus green moray eels, French angelfish, and batwing coral crabs.

New Moon

Max Depth:  40m/130ft

Description:  Intermediate divers freely descend onto a sloping reef at 8m/25ft, with boulder formations. There are lots of nooks and crannies to explore. The sheer wall dominates the middle portion of this dive reaching depths of 30m/100ft+.

What you may see:  Great barracudas in the blue and stingrays on the sandy floor.

 

BEQUIA’S DIVE OPERATORS

The waterfront location and setting for both Bequia’s dive shops, along the Belmont Walkway, is pretty hard to beat.  

BOTH BEQUIA'S DIVE SHOPS ARE LOCATED ALONG THE BEAUTIFUL BELMONT WALKWAY

Ron Williams and his team at “Bequia Dive Adventures” operate from a location right next door to Mac’s Pizza & Kitchen, while Cathy Sachs and her team at “Dive Bequia” can be found just a few doors further along in a quaint, wooden building next to the Gingerbread complex.

https://www.bequiadiveadventures.com/

https://www.divebequia.com/

Each shop has its own dock right out the front.  With most dive sites located within a short speed boat ride, it’s possible to take your safety stop between plunges into the water on land at one of the waterfront restaurants.  After your first dive, grab a coffee and a slice of cake, relax, then stroll back to the dive boat to head out once again – how wonderful is that!

FRIENDLY SERVICE, SMALL GROUP SIZES, AND A HASSLE-FREE EXPERIENCE 

Bequia is so lucky to have two, professional & friendly dive operations and you won’t be disappointed whichever one you choose to go with.  You are now on “island time”, so the staff will facilitate a hassle-free experience, ensuring all your gear is set up, checked and ready for use.  All you have to do is turn up, put a wetsuit on, and take the plunge into the underwater playground of Admiralty Bay.

As the island remains largely off the tourist radar, the diving experience on Bequia is relaxed, with small group sizes and space above & below the water to chill out & enjoy the pristine waters and abundant marine life.

 

This lovely video by Canyon Duncan follows Bequia Dive Adventures above & below the water

 

 

PRESERVING THE CORAL REEF FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS

Coral reefs are amazing underwater treasures and they're hugely critical for our environment and the health of our planet.

They provide a habitat for 25% of all known marine species and they protect coastal communities from extreme climate events like storm surges.

Since 1950, the world's oceans have lost 50% of their living coral reef coverage.  If swift action isn't taken, all coral reefs could be dead by 2050.

This decline in coral reefs is caused by numerous factors such as climate change, destructive fishing practices, and pollution.  Bleached & damaged reefs will ultimately affect tourism and negatively impact the local economy. 

This would be devastating for a small island like Bequia.

However, this little rock in the Caribbean Sea is taking measures to combat the issues and much credit has to go to both dive operators and the charity organisation, Action Bequia.

So, what specifically is happening on Bequia.

  1. Installation of new dive moorings

In 2021, Dive Bequia and Bequia Dive Adventures came together to lay new moorings at Bequia's six main dive sites.  This project was financed by Action Bequia and provides enhanced protection for the reefs and marine life from anchor damage.  

"Action Bequia understands and appreciates the urgency of now! They do not put off for tomorrow what should be done today." 

The Hon. Saboto S. Caesar LLB, LLM, LEC Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation and Industry

  1. Bequia’s very own coral nursery

In June of 2022, Cathy from Dive Bequia collaborated with Reef Renewal to start a conservation project in Rocky Bay. One of the newly installed moorings allows safe access to the coral nursery which has eight hundred fragments of Elkhorn coral that are showing impressive growth. 

This new coral will be used to repopulate the nearby reef at Devil's Table and other locations too.  It is hoped that this out-planting will take place in the summer of 2023.

Action Bequia intends to fund expansion of the nursery as it develops.  Financial support has also been provided by the SVG Conservation Fund, a group committed to the conservation and preservation of St Vincent and the Grenadines flora and fauna.

This project has three main phases;

Coral collection

The first step was to collect coral fragments from ten areas along the leeward coast of Bequia

 

Coral Nursery

Once the coral nursery was established, a maintenance and weekly cleaning program has commenced.  Chris & Louise from The Lookout are qualified scuba divers and have been delighted to volunteer their time (and cleaning skills!) to ensure that the nursery remains healthy, thus maximising the chance of success for this vital project.  You could help too on your next visit to paradise!

Out-planting

The impressive coral growth means that everything is on track to start out-planting by the middle of this year – so watch this space!

 

Watch the coral gardeners from the Richmond Vale Academy at work on St. Vincent

 

 

GO AND EXPLORE, RIGHT FROM THE SHORE

If you are not a qualified scuba diver, we’d highly recommend that you take a PADI course on your next visit to the island.  It will open up a whole new world and undoubtedly cement your love for Bequia.

However, you can still enjoy the island’s marine life and coral reefs by snorkeling.  It’s possible to organise a snorkel tour with one of the dive operators.  Make sure it includes a stop at Moonhole for a dip in the water and this is the best (& only) way to view the private reserve. Tom and Gladdie Johnston formed the Moonhole company in 1964 and constructed Flintstone-like stone houses on the 30-acre site.  Truly fascinating. Before heading back to dry land, skip across to the other side of the bay to snorkel at “Devil’s Table”. 

If you’re planning a day at the beach, make sure you pack a snorkel & fins too.  You can rent these from the dive shops if you don’t travel with your own.  Turtles, rays, eels, and hundreds of tropical fish are right there in the waters surrounding Bequia. 

The best snorkeling spots lie at the south end of Lower bay & Friendship bay, at Crescent Bay (when waters are calm), and if you carefully snorkel amongst the boats anchored off Princess Margaret beach, you’ll likely to see plenty of underwater life to stimulate you too.

 

BEYOND TO ST. VINCENT AND THE OTHER GRENADINE ISLANDS

The mainland of St. Vincent

There are several dive operators located near Kingstown, with bases opposite Young Island.  The diving at sites around the Kingstown area and all the way up the Leeward coast is truly spectacular.

The most popular sites include;

  • Critter corner
    • Shallow dive where you may find unusual creatures like electric rays, seahorses, flying gunards and frogfish.
  • Petite Byahaut
    • A varied dive with reef and wall to explore. Look out for seahorses, and much more.
  • Orca point
    • Next to Petite Byahaut, this wall dive reaches depths of 120ft so is for advanced divers only. 
  • The Kingstown wrecks
    • Three shipwrecks sit close together in depths between 60-120 ft/ 18-26m. The deepest is a 18th Century French Frigate. The other two wrecks are the Siemanstrand and a tug boat which collided and sank over 30 years ago. This dive is for advanced divers only.
  • The Bat cave
    • An absolute must!  This dive has a lot to offer including the sound of bat shrieks, swim throughs and great photo opportunities. 

 

Mustique

  • The snorkeling in Brittania bay (located right next to Basil’s Bar) is worth the day trip alone.  Chris & Louise recently took a trip with the family aboard the wonderful “Friendship Rose” schooner.  We stopped counting at 15 turtle sightings and also saw a spotted eagle ray.  This wonderful experience was quickly followed by a well-deserved cocktail in Basil’s – living the dream!

 

Tobago Cays

Similar to Mustique, we’d recommend Bequia visitors to take a day trip to the Tobago Cays.  The snorkeling here can be world-class and turtles sightings are pretty much guaranteed.

The Tobago Cays are part of a national marine park, consisting of five uninhabited cays, the island of Mayreau (population 270), and three islets. There is a four-kilometre long reef that encloses four of the cays, namely Petit Bateau, Petit Rameau, Baradal, and Jamesby.  The fifth cay, Petit Tabac, was featured in one of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies and is situated just outside the reef to the east.

THE IDYLLIC TOBAGO CAYS NATIONAL MARINE PARK

If you want to dive here, it’s also possible.  There is nice shallow diving so good for beginners, but there’s so much to stimulate & excite divers of all abilities.

 

Chatham Bay, Union Island

  • There’s great snorkeling here, straight from the beach.  Then pop back ashore to dry off and grab a cocktail and some freshly grilled lobster from one of the beach bar shacks – perfect!

 

Petit St. Vincent

On this tiny, private island paradise is the Jean-Michel Cousteau Caribbean Diving Centre.

Set up by the son of legendary Jacques Cousteau and co-designed with his long time colleague Don Santee, this dive centre offers state-of-the-art facilities and a knowledgeable team.

It is one of only two dive centres around the world that is owned and operated by Jean-Michel.  Now that tells you everything you need to know about the underwater paradise that lies in St. Vincent & the Grenadines!

Expect to see macro life such as sea horses, frog fish, pipe fish, nudibranch and more.  Then also look out for the larger stuff which can include electric, eagle, torpedo, and Caribbean sting rays.  Nurse sharks, reef sharks and turtles complete the mix of marine life on offer.

All dive sites this far south in the Grenadines are off the beaten track, meaning you'll dive in peace among a small group of divers.

 

Chris & Louise's cousin, Cam Whitnall, visited Bequia in January 2023 and made this epic Instagram reel

 

 

SUMMARY

With 32 islands & cays to explore, St. Vincent & the Grenadines provides a tropical playground that will stimulate and entertain visitors in a way no other country can match.  Chris & Louise from The Lookout have been exploring the region since 2015 and are still only scratching the surface of what there is to see & do.

If you then add in the vast underwater paradise that surrounds these islands, then the overall package on offer will keep you coming back for years to come.

So come & take the plunge on your next trip.  Trust us, you won’t regret it!

 



Chris & Louise - The Lookout

Contact Chris & Louise

Please explore our website, visit our social media pages & do not hesitate to drop us a line. We know for many this may be your first visit to this wonderful island, so lean on us for advice & assistance. It’s genuinely our pleasure to help and we welcome you as new members of The Lookout family.

UK : 07815 627 955

Bequia : +1-784-527-2377

Email : louise@thelookoutbequia.com

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