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Boat Safari Guide - Compare Tanzania with The Americas & Bahamas

These Ratings have been compiled from a Survey of Visitors to The Tanzanian Islands who have previously experienced a Boating or Cruising holiday in the Americas or Bahamas.  
Category Tanzanian Islands Americas & Bahamas
Easy access to Flights
Unspoiled by tourism
Beautiful ports
Amenities and Restaurants
Ancient sites
Secluded anchorages
Spectacular scenery
Easy sailing conditions
Fishing Opportunities
Dive Sites
Fertile and lush vegetation
Wildlife
The Americas & Bahamas Sailing Areas

Pasific Northwest, Seattle, Anacortes, The San Juans, Baja California, Sandiego, San Francisco, Florida Miami, Florida Keys, Chesapeake Bay, North East Coast, New York, New England, Key West, Key Largo, Inland Taho, Atlanta, Gulf of Mexico, Great Lakes, Alaska, British Columbia, Sunshine Coast & Jervis Inlet, Santa Cruz, Puget Sound (includes Hood Canal), San Juan Islands, Canadian Gulf Islands (includes Victoria), Vancouver and Howe Sound, Princess Louisa Inlet, Desolation Sound, Johnstone Strait and adjacent waterways, Queen Charlotte Strait and adjacent waterways, West Coast of Vancouver Island, Central and Northern B.C. Coast (Wells Passage to Prince Rupert).

Articles - Diving in America  

The U.S. bought the Virgin Islands of St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John from Denmark in 1917 as a defense against the Germans seizing them to serve as u-boat bases in World War I. The Leeward Islands form a boundary between the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean, so the 1,555-foot peak of Crown Mountain on St. Thomas was ideal as a radar base and for extending military radio communication to warships at sea.
The islands also are strategically located for maritime commerce. This creates sites for divers, who regularly visit 14 wrecks ranging from aircraft and tugboats to freighters. Plus encrusted anchors on some lush reefs hint of long-lost ships from colonial days. Wreckage from topside operations, such as discarded machines of abandoned sugar mills and pilings of St. Croix’s old Fredericksted Pier provide habitat for everything from macro-sized denizens to sea turtles amid islands known for their pelagic visitors.
As a military outpost, not surprisingly some of the wrecks saw duty defending the country. The M/V WIT Shoal II, is a 327-foot-long landing ship tank that was built in 1943 for amphibious assaults. After the war, she served as a freighter until Tropical Storm Klaus sent her to the bottom in 1984 off St. Thomas. An attempt to refloat and tow the Shoal to be scrapped failed, so she remains with the WIT Power and Wit Crane Barge, which also sank in the storm, as a playground for divers.
Mother Nature has been busy decorating the prizes she claimed 24 years ago. Every inch of the Shoal’s rails, machinery and decks are coated with dazzlingly bright sponges, fans and anemones, as barracuda, jacks, rays and other fish dart about. Enter the wreck at 90 feet through the yawning open door from which tanks and troops deployed for battle. Ascend through five levels of decks, pausing to think about the uses for the machines and who used them until reaching the top of the wreck at 30 feet. Currents can be swift outside the wreck, so hold onto the up-line to the boat. Since gloves are permitted here, there’s no need to worry about stinging hydroids growing on permanent mooring lines.
Another World War II veteran off St. Thomas, the Cartanser Senior, was saved as a site by local divers. After hauling materiel, the 190-foot-long freighter carried miscellaneous cargo between islands for decades. By 1970, the ship was retired to a cove where she sank. Being a possible hazard to navigation, the Army Corps of Engineers planned to dynamite it into oblivion, an idea that created an uproar among divers, who rallied a “Save The Cartanser” campaign. They raised enough funds by 1979 to have the ship raised, relocated and sunk in a cove near Buck Island, where she now rests at 50 feet.
Many boats stop at the Cartanser as the second dive after a deeper morning one. However, her charm really comes on at night, when she serves as the bed and breakfast for stingrays and turtles. They seek the protection of the ship to sleep in peace and awaken at dawn to dine on prey hiding in the sandy bottom nearby or darting in the mid-80s F clear blue water.
Although not a ship, the old Fredericksted Pier pilings resemble one and form a spectacular night dive at St. Croix. Make sure to slap on a macro-lens to snap pictures of batfish, frogfish, slipper lobster and literally herds of seahorses and crabs. All are nestled amid day-glow sponges and corals. Lighting on either side of the pier creates an eerie effect and makes getting lost impossible. This can be visited as a shore dive, but being dropped off by a boat and swimming back to shore allows divers to see more of the site.
St. John is the islands’ nature park topside and below. This is the quiet island where non-divers can camp and hike trails while divers visit the General Rogers, a 180-foot Coast Guard buoy tender, which was scuttled to the 70-foot bottom 35 years ago. A mere 200 feet away is the self-propelled barge Mary King, where a resident goliath grouper holds fort. Operators take charters to the nearby British Virgin Islands, home to the RMS Rhone, the 375-foot-long freighter that sank in 1867 that gained fame as the stage set for the movie “The Deep”. Reefs surrounding St. John offer swim-through arches and tunnels studded with spotted eels, crabs and lobsters.

Article from North East Dive News - click here for more

 

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