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Friday, April 9, 2010

Scuba diving Grenada: here we come

Grenada wreck diving here we come. I have just got the itinerary for a trip to the Spice islands later this year and there are some big wrecks.

As the trip is a while away, I guess I'll just have to let these videos keep me going.

If you have dived Grenada and have any recommendations please leave a comment. I'd hate to missing something good while I'm there.

Shakem Wreck: This 180ft cargo ship was transporting cement to the port of St.George in 2001. The vessel was overloaded, and the cargo shifted which resulted in the ship sinking within sight of the harbor. It is sitting intact on the bottom in 100ft of water, only a 5 minute boat ride from our Grenada dive shop. Even though it has been on the bottom a short time, it is already home to schools of barracudas and the entire hull is quickly becoming a new reef. This dive is for the experienced diver, and is unique in that it lies on the bottom fully loaded with cargo and intact.

Veronica L (Wreck): This coastal freighter which is 25 metres long and is fully intact except for the bridge section is one of our favourite dive sites. She was placed in her final resting place on Upper Boss Reef in 2003 after being moved from St Georges Harbour. As this is quite a shallow wreck it can be enjoyed by all levels of diver. She has probably the largest diversity of marine life in such a small area of all our dive sites. As you descend on her there will be patrolling barracuda, horse eyed jacks hunting amongst the brown chromis and creole wrasse. In the engine room you will occasionally find a massive green moray eel. Look closely on this dive site for many marine life treasures.

On October 12th 1961 the Bianca C left Italy on her final voyage. Ten days later, whilst anchored off St Georges, the capital of Grenada, she caught fire. The fire followed an explosion in her boiler room with the flames spreading rapidly throughout the rear of the ship. Of those on board, 672 of 673 people were saved by the prompt action of both the crew and of numerous local small boats launched from St. George's harbour in Grenada. Unfortunately there was insufficient marine fire fighting equipment available to stem the blaze or indeed to facilitate rescue of the body of the only person lost on board. Of those rescued, twelve badly burnt crew were taken to the local hospital for treatment and fortunately only one further crewmember subsequently died, a man named Rodizza Napale.

On hearing the bad news, a British Frigate the "Londonderry" sailed from Puerto Rico to offer assistance. They arrived on October 24th to find the ship still burning. They succeeded in severing the anchor chain and securing a towing line with a view to removing her from the local shipping lanes and beaching her in the shallows off from Point Salines. The tow proved difficult partly because the Bianca C's large rudders had become jammed by the extreme heat of the fire. The tow line was severed and she sank to the ocean floor where she rests today. This really is a fantastic wreck dive for 'Advanced divers' when they visit Grenada.

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