The diving in St. Thomas is very good.
The info below is cut and pasted from Bill's List.
Information provided by Annabel of Blue Island Divers
St Thomas is a Diving Destination
St Thomas has many wonderful dive sites, most people don’t think of St Thomas as a diving destination until they dive here. The island and surrounding areas have hundreds of spectacular reefs and several wrecks that, by far, exceed the Rhone in the BVI. The wreck sites are mostly on the southern side of St Thomas, therefore you should plan who you are diving with and take into consideration what kind of sites you would like to dive prior to making a hotel reservation. There are a couple of small wrecks on the east end but the large advanced ones are all on the south-western end. All the dive shops on St Thomas do not go to the southern side of the island. The island is not that big, but some days traveling it makes it seem much larger, a morning rush hour drive across the island can take up to 45 minutes.
Most dive shops offer a beginner class for the non-certified diver, no experience necessary. Some of the dive shops in St Thomas either blend on site or are willing to get Nitrox for you.
The WIT Shoal (LST 467) Depth 95’, top of wreck 35’ Sank in 1985
The LST 467 was built in the early 1940’s to be used in WWII. During her commission, she was a highly decorated ship. She was sold in 1952 to a shipbuilding company in Quebec and named the Frank J. Humphrey. The West Indian Trading Company bought her in 1972 and renamed her, the WIT Shoal. She was used as a cargo vessel until the 1980’s, by then, she was in need of many repairs. She sank in Krum Bay in 1984, brought up and patched. They decided to scrap and move her, she didn’t quite make it to the scrap yard and sunk 5 miles offshore from the south west end of St Thomas. . The Wit Shoal can only be done at slack tide, so if this is the one you cannot pass up, call around first to see when it can be done. The tide charts are listed for the next year, so planning a dive to this wreck is a must. Many different species of marine life live on this wreck, rays, sharks, and large snappers all call this home. The only dive shop that makes regular trips to her is Blue Island Divers in Crown Bay Marina.
Miss Opportunity Depth 90’ top of wreck 60’ Sank in 1985
The Miss Opportunity was once a 300’ long Navy Hospital ship, after the war, she served as a job placement center on the waterfront of downtown Charlotte Amalie. She was intentionally sunk in 1985, not too far from the airport. She sits upside down listing on her starboard side in 90’ of clear blue water. She has a swim thru that goes almost the entire length of her. The spooky hallway is a must to go thru. If that’s not your style, there are several exits on the left side. There are resident turtles that are very curious and come out to meet the divers. Large nurse sharks also call this home. Only 2 dive shops dive this wreck, Blue Island & Admirlty.
The Kennedy Barge Depth 65’ Sank in 1986
The Kennedy Barge was a landing craft barge that was fitted with a concrete platform to ferry passengers to the air craft carrier USS John F. Kennedy. It sank one night and the Navy tried to raise her, but they were unsuccessful. Lucky for us, she is probably the best wreck site for photographers. She is covered in Gorgonians and always host sharks at night. Many stingrays and lobsters call her home also. This site makes an awesome night dive.
SS Grainton Depth 110’ Sank on 5/31/1928
The deepest and the most advanced dive St Thomas has to offer. The 415’ ship was used to ship grain from all around the world. Her final journey was from Vancouver to Hamburg, she struck Dry Rocks off Saba Island, she was refloated then taken in tow, she floundered shortly after and sunk just off St Thomas on May 31st, 1928. She lies in 110’ with her gunwales laid open exposing her 3 cylinder steam engine frozen in time. Sharks and other pelagics looming about. She is an awesome sight to see. This wreck is in tidal waters so advanced planning is a must. She lies a few miles from the south west end of the island.
There are many more wrecks that are worth diving in St Thomas, just call around to see who will be diving them.
There are countless reefs to dive here, these are just my favorites to dive:
Flat Cay Depth 30 – 60’
This reef is used by UVI to study the health of our reef system. There are 2 ways to dive this, stay in the shallows or go out to the drop off. In the shallows there are hundreds of reef fish swimming around, countless lobsters and octopi. Barrel sponges and hard corals line the drop off. Pelagics and larger reef fish often swim by you on the way down. This reef is on the south west end of St Thomas.
T-Table Depth 10 – 30’
T-Table is named so because of it’s flat top. The reef is situated on the south west side of St Thomas, near Bolongo. The topology of the reef is a mixture of large ledges, ideal for nurse sharks and lobsters to hide within, combined with large gulleys. The reef here is alive with an abundance of fish and corals. Christmas tree worms flourish here, along with brain corals. The pinnacles come almost up to the surface and are covered with corals.
Packet Rock. Depth 30’
Packet Rock is a large pinnacle that almost reaches the surface, many ships have made contact with this rock. It’s named after a RMS Packet ship, that wrecked in the late 1800’s. There is nothing left of the ship except for pottery shards, ceiling tiles and old glass shards. This site is excellent if you want a little piece of history. You have to dig in the sand to find small pieces, but some are worthy mounting in jewelry. The dive site is always alive with bright corals, lots of fish and nurse sharks hiding in the ledges. Packet Rock is on the south-east side of the island.
We just dove with Coki Beach Dive Shop. Peter and his crew were great. We did 4 dives and loved each one.
Plenty of excellent diving all around STT STJ and the BVI - bring whatever equipment you feel comfortable with and dive everyday.
Very helpful information! Thank you for your time and effort. I am looking forward to discovering for myself the underwater beauty of St. Thomas.
Thank you so much. Good to know we are in for a treat!
Had not thought about diving BVI while there. Great food for though. Thank you!
This site shows quite a few of the dives available leaving from the Red Hook area by boat.
This shows a lot of BVI dives.
this shows some site accessable leaving from Frenchtown STT Harbor
Wonderful, thank you!
We will be going to St. Thomas, Curacao and Aruba on a cruise. We used to dive a lot but it has been years so we need a refresher course first. We are not interested in deep challenging dives. Just an easy fish filled nice reef experience. What would you recommend? I don't think we would dive at each port. Probably 2 out of the 3 (or maybe only one). Advice?
I can only speak of the "B" of the A,B,C islands - Bonaire which was an over the top diving experience. Due to the close vicinity of A and B I don't believe they get as much good press. I have done a good bit of diving in and around St Thomas however and give it two thumbs up. Of course the world's reefs have declined and like everything it ain't like the old days - whaaa!
You won't find any tour dive too challenging in and around St. Thomas, the surrounding island sits on a shallow shelf. If I were in your shoes I'd do a refresher course at a nearby Y or dive shop and then schedule a two dive tour with Red Hook (very reputable outfit) while in port in St T.Edited: 10:03 am, June 03, 2014