Situated in the middle of the Western Atlantic, roughly 600 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina is the small island of Bermuda.
Known for the huge number of ships that sail through her surrounding waters, and for the many that still lie on the seabed, Bermuda is often considered as the ‘Ship Wreck Capital’ of the world. If you’re a wreck diving aficionado, then this is the place for you.
Home to an estimated 300 wrecks, Bermuda is a top destination for divers from all over the world. Not only does it have some incredible sites below the surface, it is also stunningly beautiful topside as well. Bermuda is home to the world-famous Bermudan pink sandy beaches that are colored by the red Foraminifera. Not only are they a unique sight to see, they are also extremely alluring after a whole days diving.
As well as relaxing on the pink sand on your day off, you may also want to take a trip to the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute. This is a remarkable place to see marine exhibitions and take virtual tours of coral reefs that are situated all over the world.
Top 5 Dive Sites In Bermuda
Known as one of the most iconic Bermudan shipwrecks, this dive site has to be number one on our list. If you’re traveling to Bermuda, do not miss this wreck off your dive itinerary. Even to this day, the Mary Celestia is still revealing her secrets. At 69m in length this steel-hulled, paddlewheel steamer rests less than 18m below the surface. In her former life, she was an American Civil War blockade-runner, carrying much-needed supplies to the north. In 1864, she ran aground on-route to North Carolina.
In 2009, almost 150 years after she sank, a huge storm moved the sand from underneath her and revealed some of the supplies she was carrying, including perfume bottles and bottles of wine. Additionally, the local Bermudan perfumery ‘Lili Bermuda’ has recreated the perfume that was found aboard the Mary Celestia, which is now on sale for all who want it. This incredible wreck is the only paddle wreck that still has one of its paddles intact, which serves as the highlight of the dive.
The Hermes was scuttled in 1984 to be used as an artificial reef for scuba divers, one mile off horseshoe bay on Bermuda’s south side. This 50m wreck was built in 1943 as a buoy tender for the US Navy until she broke down on the way to Cape Verde. She was abandoned in Bermuda and sold to the BDA (Bermudan Dive Association) for 1$. Situated 21-23m below sea level, her hatches were removed before she was sunk in order to provide easy accessibility and safe penetration for divers. If you’re a budding photographer, then this dive site is incredibly photogenic. You can explore the cargo hold, crew rooms as well as the engine rooms. A beautiful reef surrounds this wreck where you can often find Yellowtail, Grey Snapper, and schools of Barracuda.
Constellation and Montana
Situated approximately 5 miles off the north western tip of Bermuda are two wrecks, which sank over 80 years apart, right next to each other. The Montana was on her maiden voyage, supplying the armies of the south during the American Civil War, when she sank on the 30th December 1863. 81 years later, the Constellation, a trading ship with 4 masts, sank in the same position carrying cement, medical supplies, perfume and toiletries, which covered the sea floor surrounding her.
These wrecks were the source for the book written by Peter Benchley, called ‘The Deep’, which was subsequently turned into a movie in 1977. Situated in just 9m of water, these wrecks provide a great opportunity for a shallow wreck dive as well as an amazing site for snorkelers.
The Virginia Merchant wreck is actually more of a reef dive than a wreck dive as it was sunk in 1661, with little of the wreck left for divers to see. What is so impressive about this site is the stunning maze-like reef found at this location. Peppered with holes, caves, swim-troughs and tunnels, this dive site is perfect for all those divers out there seeking adventure. The base of the reef is roughly 17m below the surface, with a few pieces of wood from the original wreck dotted around. This site should not be missed off your list.
Located close to the breakers at Elbow Beach is one of Bermuda’s newer dive sites, which opened in 2013. This dive site is home to a honeycomb reef that has a number of arches to swim under. Roughly 17m below sea level, this is a lovely exploratory dive where you will see large Snapper, Jack and a number of other reef fish. This dive site is also known for its sheer variety of coral including Yellow Pencil, Elkhorn, Star and Fire Coral.
There are so many incredible dive sites scattered around the waters of Bermuda. If you know of one that hasn’t been mentioned on this list, then let us know about it in the comments below.
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