Heading Underwater In St. Lucia
On our cruise to the southern Caribbean, we had lots of opportunities to get underwater. The water in Bonaire was crystal clear when we snorkelled in Bonaire. In Grenada, we snorkelled to explore the underwater sculptures. In St. Vincent, a catamaran excursion to Bequia Island provided us with a great snorkel experience. When we arrived in St. Lucia for a week, we were excited to return underwater. We planned to scuba dive under the Pitons in St. Lucia!
On our last visit to St. Lucia, we took full advantage of the free scuba diving offered by Sandals Resorts. We were very pleasantly surprised at how good the scuba diving was in St. Lucia. It was a key reason we returned to St. Lucia and Sandals.
We Packed For Underwater Adventures
We packed an extra bag of snorkel and scuba gear for this trip. A lot of time was invested to find the perfect masks and we always travel with our own masks. We also bring our good fins and booties. They are not the toy step-in fins that are typically provided if you rent gear.
We brought thin lycra suits for snorkelling. They provided a little thermal insulation but more importantly protected us if we rubbed against something in the water. Because we knew we would be scuba diving, we also packed our 3mm full suits. I know that I am hard to fit for a rental suit, so I never travel without my own suits. Even with my 3mm suit, I got very cold on one of the dives we did in St. Lucia. Diving to almost 90 feet meant that my 3mm suit was closer to lycra thickness and the water was colder at this depth. I never warmed up completely before we were finished diving for the day.
If I know I will be scuba diving, I generally travel with my own BCD. I bought a woman’s BCD that fits perfectly and has weight pockets just where I need them. If I have to rent gear, they always put me in a very large BCD that floats off of me. The other piece of my perfect weighting comes from my ankle weights. Virtually impossible to get if I am renting gear. They keep my floaty feet down and ensure my trim is perfect.
Our underwater bag includes a slate for writing down info underwater and safety floats for both of us. What we don’t have good small dive computers. We keep waiting for the perfect one to come along. And then we regret that we don’t have a dive computer. On this trip we did a long deep dive (85’). We really wished we were watching our own computers and not the dive leaders when we went in for a second dive.
Our First Refresher Dive
Our previous scuba dive was in the Red Sea in Sharm El Shiek in Egypt. Since it was more than 6 months before we arrived in St. Lucia, we booked a first shallow dive as a refresher dive. It gave us a chance to check our weighting and get comfortable underwater.
The boat went out with both snorkellers and scuba divers. Scuba divers went in first and headed off. There was a strong current at this location. So the boat would move to pick us up when we finished.
It had rained for weeks in St. Lucia and the boat crew was worried about visibility. The runoff from the mountainous island brought a lot of stuff into the waters. They picked the site to make sure we got a good spot without taking the boat all the way down to scuba dive under the Pitons in St. Lucia. Honey Moon Reef was a new dive site for us.
On this shallow dive we went to about 35’. I fussed a little bit with my weighting but once I settled down it was all good. But the dive certainly gave us a workout. Most of the time it felt like we swam against the current. Only towards the end did we turn and scream along with the current.
We Saw A Lot On Our First Dive
We had high expectations about the underwater scenes from our last scuba diving adventure in St. Lucia. The visibility wasn’t as good as we found when we did our scuba dive under the Pitons in St. Lucia. But we certainly saw variety and colour underwater. As we found on our last trip, the Sandals scuba diving team were very good. They went looking for interesting things for us to see. The pace was a bit fast for David and his photography needs. But we did not race along the reef.
It was great to be back underwater again. We loved our snorkelling adventures on our southern Caribbean cruise. But scuba diving let me get to the depths and see so much more.
A Day To Scuba Dive Under The Pitons In St. Lucia
Different dive sites were offered each day. We booked our second dive day to scuba dive under the Pitons in St. Lucia. On our first scuba diving visit to St. Lucia, we dived at the Lesleen M Wreck, Bay of Pigs (Anse Cochon), Superman’s Flight and Fairyland.
On our second diving day, the boat headed to the Pitons and we added the Keyhole Pinnacles and Turtle Reef to our dive log book. When we visited Soufriere for our chocolate making adventure, we got our first view of the mighty Pitons. With the boat anchored, we got another great view of the Pitons,
The scuba divers were split into two groups. We went with the other more advanced divers who had at least a Padi Advanced SCUBA Diver underwater rating. This meant we would not be limited by the skills and experience of the newly certified scuba divers.
A Deep Dive On The Keyhole Pinnacles
We headed down to 85’. As we swam along, we could see the pinnacles jutting up into the water. It was darker at this depth but with the sun shining we had great visibility. David used the flash on the underwater camera so we got great intense colour in our photos. He moved slow and got close to the coral to catch all the creatures in the deep.
We slowly headed into shallower water before we surfaced for a break. There was still lots to see on the shallower coral.
A Final Shallow Dive
Our final scuba dive under the Pitons in St. Lucia was a shallow dive. For about half of the dive, we swam over green sea grass and sparse coral. This let us capture images of sea snakes and a fascinating group of squid that went by.
When we hit the larger coral reefs, we saw a great variety of coral and fish. The group wanted a long dive so we were underwater at shallow depths for over an hour. Several people in the group had underwater cameras without flash, so the greater light in the shallow waters helped them.
By the time we surfaced for the last time I was quite cold. But it had been a great day to scuba dive.
A Great Return Underwater In St. Lucia
We were so glad we headed back underwater in St. Lucia. We were in St. Lucia for a week to relax and celebrate David’s birthday. But two days diving gave us some exercise and lots of pictures.
It was great to get current with scuba diving in a place where there was so much to see. The final trip to scuba dive under the Pitons in St. Lucia provided a great boat trip, an amazing view of the Pitons and a good underwater experience.
Did you scuba dive under the Pitons in St. Lucia? What was your favourite dive site in St. Lucia?
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