Diving: DIVE SITES - Region 4 (Caribbean)
A detailed guide to dive sites in the North End region of Tobago
Place your mouse pointer over any dive site flag or dive
shop symbol to see the name. Click to jump to the details.
An advanced dive between L’Anse Fourmi and Corvo Point which can only be done when the water is calm. It can be a good dive with the right conditions, but the inaccessibility of the location means that it is seldom, if every, dived. It starts at around 30ft (10m) and gently drops to around 90m (27m). There are normally pelagics around the deeper side of the reef and you will often see stingrays and some sharks.
This is another inaccessible advanced dive, located off Corvo Point. It is on the opposite side of Man O’ War Bay from Long Rock and comprises two submerged rocks. One is quite shallow and the other, a few minutes swim away, features a drop to 130ft.
Also known as Gardener Rock, Cardinal Rock is a secluded and sheltered site on the western shore of Man O’ War Bay. It is generally considered a deep dive, with vertical walls on the pinnacle’s seaward side starting above water level and dropping in a series of steps decorated with black coral and large sea fans, to 140ft (42m). Being close to the open sea, the site is good for large pelagics, such as turtles, eagle rays and big barracuda.
Booby Island, also known as Big Rock, is a relatively easy dive site within minutes of the pier. The prevailing winds blow onto this exposed side of the bay, so the visibility is not always great, but on a calm day it makes a nice easy dive. Swim around the main rock then head off to the few submerged rocks off the main one, where there is some beautiful young black coral trees growing on the sides. Depth is an average of 50-60ft (12-18m) feet, so it is ideal for beginners. This also makes a beautiful night dive, especially when the lights reflect off the black coral.
The easiest dive site in the area, the reef extends for 50m offshore and to a maximum depth of 36-50ft (12-15m). Being accessible from Pirate’s Bay beach, the reef is ideal for snorkelling. It is also popular for night dives. The rocky ridge is poor in coral growth, but there is elkhorn coral and many small corals. The north end is a natural fish nursery where you will find many different species of juvenile angelfish and butterflyfish. Pirates Bay Reef is one of Tobago’s few shore dives.
A small group of rocks at the right side of Man O’ War Bay. Long Rock is the largest of the cluster. It is separated from the coastline by a deep channel. Long Rock is an interesting dive for the beginner to advanced diver. As with many dives in the area, you start off with a descent down a rock face to about 40ft, before making your way around the surrounding rock/reef. You can peek into a cave early in the dive and will hopefully see lobsters, some snapper and the occasional moray eel. The site is best-known for the many species of blenny and goby that inhabit the area. Depending upon the roughness of the water on the outside top of the rock, you may occasionally see tarpon. Next to Long Rock are two useful easy training dives called Breakfast Bay Reef and The Governor’s Kitchen.
Also known as Washing Machine, Washaroo takes its nam after the local name for a midnight parrotfish, a very large and beautiful fish often seen around the rocky ridges and boulders of this particular dive. You will see the distinctive teeth marks of the parrotfish on the coral, where the fish have used their beaked mouths to scrape away the living polyps. The dive runs along the north coast of the St. Giles Islands but is not as steep as Marble Island and London Bridge; instead it has huge boulders and mini-walls along the way. There are ample overhangs, crevices and holes to explore often occupied by lobsters, morays, crabs and spotted drums. The normal depth for this dive is 60-70ft (18-20m).
The force of the Atlantic Ocean has created this rock formation, which has a very distinctive arch leading to the name. Divers will love exploring the deep and narrow passageway running through the centre of London Bridge, when conditions permit. The rock rises from a depth of 100ft (30m). Conditions are not always good enough to dive here, but your divemaster will soon determine suitability. The rock is home to colonies of brain and star corals, while sponges make their home on the vertical walls. There are a series of keyholes carved by the flow of the water. It’s a great area for pelagics, while tangs, angelfish, trunkfish and trumpetfish inhabit the mouth of the arch and lobsters, moray eels and schools of jacks the adjacent rocky reef.
The best protected dive in the area and therefore the most frequently visited. This is a vast area and there are at least three or four different dives and the only thing they have in common is the entry point. Rocky Mountain has it all - cliffs, boulders, corals and sandy patches, all of which can be experienced in a single dive. Rocky Mountain High starts at 10m and drops down to a sandy channel where huge roughtail stingrays can regularly be seen. As you progress, the landscape changes to a series of massive stone blocks separated by narrow channels. There is sparse coral growth, but the boulders are heavily encrusted with hydroids, small cup corals and colourful sponges and bryozoans. Angelfish and butterflyfish are common.
This is another section of the St.Giles Islands group, of which Melville Island is the largest. Located on the west and south-west shores of the St Giles, the visibility at the site can often be reduced by the massive amounts of plankton in the passing tidal stream. However, the conditions produce a variety of colourful marine life, including large brain corals and tons of invertebrates. Large numbers of parrotfish and wrasse forage under dead corals and along the algal beds that cover the rocky ledges. Juvenile spotted drums are common, constantly in motion, swimming in circles and darting in and out of cover. Between Rocky Mountain Low and the main shoreline is a group of rocks that barely break the surface of the water called Few Man. Conditions mean that is seldom possible to visit this dive.
Described as one island, it is actually two rocks, a little north of the St Giles Islands. You can pass between the rocks when the conditions are calm. The dive is normally conducted in the surge channel between the two rocks, which drop to a maximum depth of 21m at the north end and 10m at the south end. The site resembles London Bridge but is often easier to dive because of calmer surface conditions. The outside of the rock is very steep, but as divers come around to the inside the reef flattens out and becomes more encrusted in corals. Reef fish are abundant and, as with all St. Giles dives there is always a very good chance to see pelagic fish.
This site, which is also known as St.Giles Drift, comprises of massive rocky boulders and countless coral domes. The dive is typically performed as a drift dive. A fairly steep slope, dotted with small coral heads, leads to a sandy seabed at 15m, which is dotted with small area of coral-encrusted boulders, healthy hard corals and sea plumes. The seabed is home to large schools of snapper and grunts, flounders and stingrays. The strong currents at this end of the island make packs of rainbow runners and large crevalle jack a common sight.
NEXT: Region 4 - North End (Atlantic) ...