St. Eustatius is a scuba diving destination in the West Indies. If you draw a line between Saba and St. Kitts, you can find the island almost on the midpoint of that line. It is presumed that Christopher Columbus came by the island in 1493, but little of the history of the island is known before this point. We do know that after that point, the island changed hands between the Dutch, British, and French 21 times. So, St. Eustatius or Sint Estatius is only 8 square miles in size, but it was the Switzerland of the Caribbean and up till 1781 half of the supplies, arms, and ammunition destined for the 13 colonies and the Continental Army to fight against the King of England made their way through St. Eustatius. However, they were also part of the sugar, tobacco, and slave trade.
The island was called The Golden Rock
due to the profits that they made during this time. In a rare twist of fate, the British pillaged, looted, and plundered the island in 1781. The amount of loot was so great that British Admiral Rodney sent part of his fleet to protect his looted booty back home to England. He then, due to greed, sort of disobeyed orders and stayed over longer to look for more hidden treasure. By the time he sailed towards the colonies, the French had won the Battle of the Chesapeake
against a weaker English fleet. More importantly, soon afterwards, British General Cornwallis, without means to reinforcements or supplies by sea, was forced to surrender to General Washington. So, the island of St. Eustatius played a pivotal role in the American Revolutionary War. Enjoy our blog article on Sea Turtle’s; The Godfathers of All Dive Magazines?
Diving St. Eustatius
There are officially 36 scuba diving sites about the island. Most of them are boat dive sites on the Caribbean/west side of the island. The entire island is surrounded by a marine park and marine reserves. Besides the typical numbers of Caribbean fish and corals, you'll see four species of turtles. Female Hawksbill, Green, leatherback, loggerhead turtles all come ashore here to lay and bury their eggs in the black/gray volcanic sand. Dive sites such as Grand Canyon, Barracuda, Drop Off, Mushroom Gardens, Aquarium
and the Cave
, give some idea as what the particular site is like. Perhaps Shark Reef
, the Ledges 1&2
, and the Cliffs
are easier to decipher. Blue Bead Hole
is named after the blue beads discovered here. Blue Beads were how slaves were paid, the beads gave the slaves status, as well as how they paid for slaves before the abolishment of slavery in 1863.
Finally, for wrecks, you might like the 327ft long cable layer Charles. L. Brown
. There is also the Double Wreck, the Triple Wreck
, and the Chieng Tang
Accommodations, Attractions, Activities
In St. Eustatius you can stay at an inn, cottage, villa, hotel, or Resort. Beside water sports a hike up the 1,972ft tall Mt. Mazinga and the Quit crater. You can also visit Fort Oranje, the St. Eustatius Historical Museum, or the Historical Foundation Museum. The botanical Gardens on the far side of Mt. Mazinga are beautiful too.