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Anchor Dive Center

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Anchor Dive Center

Contact Information

  • Salt River National Park
  • PO Box 5588
  • Sunny Isle, St. Croix 00823
  • United States

  • Phone: 800-532-DIVE
  • Email: Send Email
  • Web: Visit Website
 

Dive Sites
St. Croix's North Shore has an incredibly diverse underwater environment with walls, pinnacles, spur-and-groove formations and coral gardens. There are spectacular deep dives, fishy shallow dives, exhilarating drift dives, and more. We at Anchor Dive Center are frequently asked for our recommendations, so our team of diving professionals compiled a Top Ten List for your reference.

1. West Wall (Salt River Canyon)5 minute boat ride
Experience Level - ALL

The most requested boat dive on St. Croix is a steep and ruggedly textured wall outlining the western edge of Salt River Canyon. Also known as "The Pinnacles", the geological formation with its maze of swim throughs, cuts, ledges, overhangs, and recesses suggest that it was once an above ground waterfall.

2. Anchor Wall 5 minute boat ride
Experience Level - ALL

Diving to the west away from West Wall's pinnacles the topography is dramatically different. Anchor Wall's steep formation curves outwards to a point where it is intersected by large, deep ravines of sand, the ideal resting areas for large southern stingrays, and nurse sharks under shadowy ledges.

3. East Wall (Salt River Canyon) 5 minute boat ride
Experience Level - ALL

Separated from the West Wall by a chasm several thousand feet deep, East Wall is unfailingly the "fishiest" dive on the North Shore. While horse eye jacks, hogfish, and snappers swim off the wall, the sponge and coral-encrusted slope is covered with schools of black bar soldier fish and striped grunts at 60 ft. Large angel fish, parrot fish and groupers are featured throughout the dive, with the occasional spotted eagle ray or black tip reef shark lurking off the wall.

4.Slippery Fingers 5 minute boat ride
Experience Level - ALL

Slippery Fingers, where coral meets sand again and again, becoming steeper and steeper as you explore to the east. Slippery Fingers provides a great environment for flounder, manta ray, barracuda and squid encounters.

5. Pinnella's 5 minute boat ride
Experience Level - ALL

Pinella's is situated about half way between West Wall and Gentle Winds, combining the best of both worlds. One of few "patch" reefs on St. Croix, large coral mounds are surrounded by sandy areas ideal for stingrays. Shallow spur-and-groove formations with lots of ledges and crevices are home for lobsters, crabs, banded coral shrimp, and delicate juvenile spotted drums.

6. Jimmy's Surprise 15 minute boat ride
Experience Level - Advanced

While one can dive most of the North Shore walls and spur-and-groove formations at different depths and levels of expertise, Jimmy's Surprise is something else. The large pinnacle that is the dive's focus rises from 95 feet to within 45 feet of the surface, and if buffeted by occasional strong currents. Horse eye and crevalle jacks, groupers, and angelfish join the proliferation of common tropicals on this seamount. A dense covering of lacy sea fans and gorgonians decorate its western face. Big morays are found on the east side which is peppered with large unusually shaped barrel sponges and families of porcupine and puffer fish. The surprise....Hammerheads have been known to visit!

7. Shark Shanty 5 minute boat ride
Experience Level - ALL

This is an unmarked dive site frequented only by Anchor Dive Center. It has both uncommon terrain and unusual occupants. Shark Shanty is an oblong crater sunken into a flat garden reef littered with beautiful soft corals. The perimeter of Shark Shanty is made up mostly of coral ledges varying in height from 3 to 8 feet, offering deep recesses to shelter its namesake.

8. Rust-Op-Twist 15 minute boat ride
Experience Level - ALL

Named for a former Danish sugar plantation on shore, Rust-Op-Twist is a deep spur-and-groove reef formation. Along one of these grooves there lays a long pipeline that used to carry nutrient rich water from depths below to a now-defunct shrimp hatchery. Known for its colorful tube and rope sponges, sea fans and gorgonians, the gradual sloping reef has innumerable ledges and crevices that often shelter orange spotted filefish, juvenile burrfish, clinging crabs, slipper lobsters, and lizard fish.

9. Pavilions 20 minute boat ride
Experience Level - ALL

Pavillions' unique topography allows for a wall dive and much more. South of the mooring in 35 feet of water is a sandy arena rimmed by coral and decorated with yellowheaded jawfish and spaghetti worms, creating an ideal habitat for nurse sharks and spotted moray eels.

10. Northstar Wall 25 minute boat ride
Experience Level - ALL

The Northstar wall is a vertical drop with a razor clean edge plummeting downward from a 20 foot deep tabletop. This is one of the more common locations for shark and eagle ray sightings. At 60 feet embedded upside down in the wall rests a large Danish Anchor. Another anchor lies flat on the shelf itself.

 

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