Our Best Dives Ever: Butler Bay Wrecks
In this series of posts, each member of the crew recalls some of their best dives they've ever experienced. This particular story comes from Anne—Dive Instructor, marine blogger, and underwater video extraordinaire! Enjoy!
Butler Bay, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
August 24th, 2002
One of my all-time favorite dives was the day that I was in the water with 6 customers at the Butler Bay Wrecks. It was a cruise ship day meaning that we had a cruise ship in port and that most divers were from the ship. This trip it was 5 passengers and the captain of the ship. The captain was a very experienced diver as the others were much newer and all over the place. We were diving the shallow wrecks and were just finishing our dive checking out the Northwind, this cute little tug that sits in only 40’ of water.
The dive boat was tied up to the wreck so we didn’t all have to come up at the same time. We would let the divers use their air as long as they would do the safety stop with 500 psi left in the tank. Two of the divers had already gone up and at this point it was just the captain, 3 others and myself in the water. And then it happened. I was taking some pictures on the east side of the wreck (on top, so I could keep an eye on my divers at the same time) as out of nowhere this big great hammerhead appeared and headed down to the sand. I looked back at my divers and was banging on my tank, but no one looked up! The only one that responded was the captain and he came over immediately to see what the fuzz was all about. This hammerhead attacked a stingray that was laying in the sand. It used its hammer to pin it down, then it came back up, did a quick circle and went for it again. And now he got it. It created a huge sand cloud and now swam up with the stingray in its mouth. What a sight! It was headed up as it swam right by us and then disappeared.
What a great experience, to see that happening right in front of you like that. Of course, the other divers didn’t believe us at first, but I had a witness, ha! And a picture as proof. The frustrating part about the picture was that I was shooting macro at the wreck and had no time to change any of my settings, go figure. But, I’m not complaining, I got to see something super cool and I do have a picture to proof it!