St Kitts & Nevis:
Airports: The official name of the airport on St. Kitts is the Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw (RLB) International Airport, while the booking (sabre) code is SKB. The airport can accommodate commercial jumbo jets and handles scheduled non-stop flights – provided by various airlines – from the United Kingdom, Canada and United States, as well as numerous regional commuter flights from within the Caribbean area. In order fly to Nevis (Vance Winkworth Amory International (NEV)), you most likely will have to get to a larger island, such as St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Maarten or Puerto Rico.
Currency: Although the official unit of currency in St. Kitts and Nevis is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar, the U.S. Dollar is widely accepted. Those who choose to pay in U.S. dollars, however, should be aware that coins are not accepted on the island, and change will be given in Eastern Caribbean Dollars; a currency without use after leaving the Caribbean. Banks throughout the islands will gladly change currencies other than the U.S. Dollar for travelers coming from different countries.
Climate: The temperature averages about 79°F (26°C) and average humidity is 71.5%. Cooling breezes from the north-east trade winds blow throughout most of the year. Average annual rainfall is 55 inches in St Kitts and 48 inches in Nevis most of which comes in the winter months.
Water Temperature: The average sea water temperature is 80°F (27°C).
Language: St. Kitts and Nevis were owned by the British until 1983, and left behind an English-speaking tradition, though the accent on the island can be influenced by a heavy West Indian inflection. A patois of Caribbean English, or Lesser Caribbean Creole, with a reduced set of pronouns and unique phrases, is also spoken.
Signature Dive Sites:
Monkey Shoals: Situated just off the western tip of St. Kitts’ peninsula, Monkey Shoals is home to lobsters, rays, lizard fish, and nurse sharks. It is easy to get to and a nice, relaxing dive no matter what your level of experience. Average depth is 50 feet.
Paradise Reef: Located in Old Road Bay, this mini wall has much to offer including old anchors, barracudas, turtles, lobsters, angelfish, rays and eels, just to name a few. The corals here have been well protected by the bay and show no signs of storm damage.
Frigate Bay Reef: Located approximately ¾ of a mile west of Frigate Bay Beach. Turtles, lobsters and eels call this home which make this site particularly popular with both the newly certified and expert diver. A very narrow reef appears nearly custom-made for those who enjoy multi-level diving.
Friars Bay Reef: Friars Bay reef is a favorite for newly certified and beginners. Located about a mile from the shoreline, it will always provide a nice easy reef dive with plenty to see. Juvenile angelfish abound, as do big lobsters and spotted morays.
Devil’s Cavern: Devil’s Cavern offers many swim-through opportunities that are thick with grunts and squirrelfish. Black durgons, Atlantic chub and snapper, mixed with a variety of corals and fans, make this a very attractive site. Good second dive due to depth.
The Finger Reef: Stretching out like a finger, this dive site just has the feel of excitement the moment you hit the water and look down. A ridge beckons from both sides as you swim along the top of the reef at about 60-70ft. Schools of Creole wrasse, jacks and mackerel envelope you.
M.V. Talata – Wreck: This is a terrific old freighter that found its demise due to a nasty hurricane in 1983. The Talata site rests on a reef and is totally upright and facing east across the harbour. Schools of squirrelfish and yellow tail snapper patrol from bow to stern.
Brimstone Shallows: Brimstone Shallows is located approximately two miles due west of the shoreline and boasts pristine corals both soft and hard. The mooring depth is approximately 45 – 50ft sliding down a wall to depths well over 100 feet. Turtles, lobsters, eels and the occasional reef shark.
Grid Iron: The Grid Iron, located on the Atlantic side of St Kitts, is a giant playground of fish and color. This is a paradise of staghorn coral, sea fans and sponges carpeted by a colorful display of marine life. Large lobsters and reef sharks are common here.
Sandy Point: This site has been designated a National Marine Park and offers truly world-class diving. Two of the most popular mooring sites (no anchors drooped) are Anchors Away and Paradise Reef, a beautiful site of large coral heads with swim-through canyons sloping to about 90 feet.
Coconut Tree Reef: This is one of the largest reefs in the area, beginning at a depth of 40 feet and plunging to nearly 200 feet. With its expanse, clear water, tremendous depth and abundant marine life, it is a good site for both new and experienced divers looking for true adventure.
Nags Head: Located at the southern most tip of St. Kitts, where the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic meet, the often strong current of this site makes it a destination for experienced divers. The reef plunges into roughly 80 ft and is populated by eagle rays, turtles, lobsters, & large reef fish.
Green Point Reef: This reef structure is abundant with tube sponges, barrel sponges, large sea fans and black coral trees. Grunts are seldom seen here but have been replaced with large angelfish, small grouper and dogtooth snapper. Lobsters are ever present due to the many cracks and crevices.
The Vents: The easiest access to The Vents is by boat from Pinney’s Beach in Nevis. The Vents boast spectacular black coral trees and wire coral. The location features hot water vent holes that make this a most unusual dive. Large lobsters, stingrays and barracuda can also be seen.
Turtle Bar: This reef is a maze of volcanic rock with schools of fish at every turn. It is located in a bay on the southern coast of St Kitts and offers a depth shallow enough to allow for long bottom explorations. Turtles are common here, thus the name Turtle Bar.
Black Coral Reef: This is a very healthy reef that is full of surprises. The main attraction here are the majestic black coral trees, which protrude from this mini wall of coral. Creole wrasse and snapper frequent the wall’s edge and lizardfish are always threatening to spoil the peacefulness.
Wreck of the Corinthian: The wreck of the Corinthian is an old tug that sits totally upright at a depth of 72 ft. Largely intact, this wreck, which was sunk in 1995, already boasts black coral trees. Fish are fed here and will gladly eat just about anything.
Aquarium: This is an advanced site for experienced divers with strong stomachs. Surface conditions are generally rough and currents can be unpredictable at times. Located on the Windward side of Nevis, the Aquarium is a truly virgin dive spot aptly named for its variety of fish.
The Wreck of River Taw: Taw is a 144 foot-long island freighter intact in 50 feet of water. It was broken in two and the stern turned 180 degrees, providing easy swim-throughs and views directly into the hull. Skin Diver Magazine called it one of the twenty best wrecks in the Caribbean, but we think its
Booby High Shoals: Named because of it’s close proximity to Booby Island and located in the ‘Narrows’ between the Islands of St. Kitts and Nevis, this 40 foot dive is explosive with life. This almost circular shaped reef is packed with lobster, French Grunts, Horse-Eyed Jacks, Southern Stingrays, and Hawksbill Turtles. The deep ledges provide some protection from the northeast currents that sometimes sweep through here, these ledges provide homes for some of the larger nurse sharks (10-12 feet).
Pelican Cove: This sheltered inlet if visited during the correct time of year is swarmed by minnows that seemingly block the divers’ vision while pelicans dive bomb feeding on the bait fish. Depth 10-40 Ft.
Coral Gardens: This area begins at 50 feet and has extensive growth of tube sponges, sea fans, and anemones. Packed with hard and soft corals, this area seems to continue forever. This is home to schools of Atlantic Spadefish and large schools of Horse-Eyed Jacks that tend to love swimming between groups of divers.