Bermuda is known as the shipwreck capital of the Atlantic, with 500 years of human history snared on its 280-square-mile reef platform. Most of these unfortunate vessels, from treasure-laden galleons to U.S. Civil War-era steamers, lie less than 60 feet deep, making accessibility a breeze. Here are a few of the best dive sites.
Sea Venture: The most recent artificial dive site, this decommissioned 75-foot ferry is named for the shipwreck that accidentally brought the first English settlers in 1609. It was sunk off Bermuda’s northwest corner in 2007.
Constellation: A 192-foot, four-masted, wooden American schooner that served as a cargo ship in World War II before it sank off the West End in 1943. It inspired Peter Benchley’s novel The Deep.
L’Herminie: An impressive warship wreck, this three-masted French wooden frigate crashed in 1838, scattering dozens of cannons over the ocean floor on the island’s western side.
Cristobal Colon: The biggest of Bermuda’s shipwrecks, a 499-foot Spanish luxury liner that went down off the island’s northeast corner in 1936.
Bermuda water temperatures vary from an average 65°F in the winter months (though water clarity is better then) to average highs of 85°F in the summer. Check out www.gotobermuda.com for details on wrecks, dive operators, rates, and seasonal schedules, plus photo galleries of the most intriguing caverns, swim-throughs, and reef life.
Excerpted from the Fourth Edition of Moon Bermuda.