Diving Through the Centuries in Bermuda

Bermuda

 

“Absolutely amazing, to be able to get up close and interact with such a variety of historic shipwrecks in a tropical and luxurious setting made this a top notch dive adventure. Having a true expert guide to provide detailed historical briefings and archaeological insight made it the trip of a lifetime.”

INTRODUCTION

The ultimate shipwreck diving adventure awaits on the tropical island of Bermuda, where Extreme Dive Adventures will take you on a trip through the ages diving 9 shipwrecks from  the 16th -20th centuries  during 5 days of diving. Our expedition will be strictly limited to a group of 6 members, and will be led by JW (Billy Ray) Morris. Mr. Morris has an intimate knowledge of Bermuda maritime archaeology (please see Archaeological Overview below) and will provide historical and background information on each wreck site. Based out of the Fairmont Hamilton Princess hotel, and with our own private dive vessel, we will be greeted with luxury every step of the way. Come join us for an unforgettable week of diving, exploring historical mysteries, and enjoying the indulgent affluence of this unique island paradise.

TRIP SCHEDULE: July 9th - 17th, 2011

Guide: J.W. (Billy Ray) Morris

ARCHAEOLOGICAL OVERVIEW by JW Morris

Since the discovery of Bermuda in the sixteenth century the island has gained a fearsome reputation as a ship trap and has been referred to as the “Isle of Devils”.  With three rings of reef and narrow approach channels to the few available harbors, Bermuda has more than lived up to this description.  Located off of the east coast of  the United States, Bermuda sits astride the traditional sailing routes from the New World back to Europe.  Surrounded by the warm Gulf Stream the island is blessed with clear, warm water all year round.

bermuda-ship-stampThese environmental circumstances and the island’s strategic location have created an ideal site for world class marine archaeological resources.  Shipwrecks from the 16th through the 20th centuries lie in shallow, pristine waters offering the opportunity to visit well preserved vessel loss sites from every century of the Atlantic’s New World maritime heritage.  These sites include 16th century Spanish merchantmen, 17th century English vessels, French warships from the 18th century, Civil War Blockade Runners, and Victorian era gunboats.  Countless steamers and sailing vessels round out this assemblage, which completely surrounds the island.  It is literally possible to dive a wreck from every century in a single day off of the “Isle of Devils”.

J.W. Morris worked for over nine years on many of these sites, including the recording and documentation of the Santa Lucia, a 16th century Spanish patache (patrol vessel).  Working with the Bermuda Maritime Museum, which currently houses two of his research models, Mr. Morris created a site drawing of the Santa Lucia which now graces the obverse of the Bermudian Fifty Dollar note.

TRIP SCHEDULE

Day 1

Depart from Boston Logan Airport

Arrive in Bermuda, transportation to Fairmont Hotel

Settle in, historical and archaeological overview of dive sites, gear check and familiarization with surroundings.

Day 2

Transportation from hotel to our private dive vesselbermuda-beach

Dive the- NOS “new” Old Spaniard site (16th c.)

Dive the -Stonewall-British built, captured and lost by Spanish (17th c)

Transportation back to hotel, briefing on day’s activities

Day 3

Transportation from hotel to our private dive vessel

Dive the L’ Hermonie - French frigate (18th c)

Dive the Collier - British merchantman (18th c)

Transportation back to hotel

Briefing on day’s activities

Day 4

Transportation from hotel to our private dive vessel

Dive the Vixen -gunboat (19th c)

Dive the Montana - steamer (19th c)

Transportation back to hotel

Briefing on day’s activities

bermuda-flagDay 5

Transportation from hotel to our private dive vessel

Dive the Eagle- Sailing vessel (19th c) Due to distance from home base, this will be a 2 tank dive on wreck.

Transportation back to hotel

Briefing on day’s activities

Day 6

Transportation from hotel to our private dive vessel

Dive the Marie Celeste - Confederate blockade runner (19th c)

Dive the Pollockshields - merchantman (20th c)

Transportation back to hotel

Briefing on day’s activities

Day 7bermuda-anchor

Off gas day with choice of land based activities.

Day 8

Transportation to Bermuda International Airport

Flight to Boston Logan International Airport

TRIP FEATURES

Inclusive

Round trip airfare from Boston Logan International Airport

All ground transportation, transfers, and departure taxes

Private dive boat with English speaking captain and mate

All accomodations at the Fairmont Hotel

On site meals and drinks, not included

All tanks (air or NITROX)

Weights

LOCATION

bermuda-map

Bermuda is a group of islands located approximately 580 miles east/southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina in the Northern Atlantic Ocean. An affluent British territory with one of the world’s highest average incomes, Bermuda’s economy is based on finance and tourism. Bermuda has a rich and colorful history and retains many old world values mixed with a unique, island culture. Protocol is very important in Bermudian culture, and beginning each conversation with a “good morning,” or “good afternoon” is considered a common courtesy. While Bermuda shorts are considered casual attire almost everywhere else in the world, they count as formal attire on these islands.

Bermuda is blessed with a natural beauty similar to the best of the Caribbean. The beaches are outstanding and Bermuda is one of only a select few places in the world with pink colored sand. The accommodations and amenities on the island are first class with some of the finest hotels and restaurants in the world.

DIVING

Scuba diving is a major tourist activity in Bermuda and while the island contains 200 square miles of world class living coral reefs, wreck diving is the main attraction. Writer Peter Benchley once wrote, “The entire history of Bermuda can be documented by the hundreds of shipwrecks that lie in the coral reefs that ring the islands.” In fact, approximately 300 known shipwreck sites are available in Bermuda. The majority of dive sites are quite shallow (60fsw or less). Bermuda’s close proximity to the Gulf Stream provides warm water averaging 72 degrees and excellent visibility.

ACCOMMODATIONS

The Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel, also bermuda-hotel
known as Bermuda’s Hotel, is a luxury resort located on the natural mooring bay of Hamilton Harbor. It is an elegant accommodation filled with old world splendor and genuine hospitality. The hotel offers superb al fresco dining at three restaurants: Harley’s Restaurant, Harley’s Terrace, and the Heritage Court. Both fresh and saltwater pools are available as is a complimentary ferry to the private Fairmont Beach Club in Southampton.

The accommodations at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess combine Bermuda’s Victorian heritage with first class amenities. Each room is equipped with air conditioning, coffee maker, Internet access, cable television, and in-room safe.

TRIP DETAILS

Day 1

Our group will assemble at Boston Logan Airport for the flight to Bermuda. Upon arrival transportation will be waiting to ferry us to the Fairmont Hamilton Princess hotel. After check in we will settle into our rooms before an evening meeting that will include a historical briefing by JW Morris, gear check, and a familiarization with the locale.

Our Private Dive BoatDay 2

Morning transportation to our private dive vessel will be followed by a meet and greet with the captain and crew and briefing on the current conditions. Our first dive will take us into the 16th century where we will dive the “New” Old Spaniard site, from there we are whisked into the 17th century with a dive on the Stonewall, a British built ship lost by the Spanish.

Day 3

On this day we explore wrecks from the 18th century. Our morning will begin with transportation to our private dive vessel and a short boat ride to the L’Hermonie, a 60 gun French frigate sunk in 1838. From there we will spend our surface interval moving on to the Collier, an 18th century British merchantman.

Day 4bermuda-overhead

Day 4 moves us into the 19th century where we begin our exploration on the Vixen, a British gunboat built in 1864. From the Vixen we will continue our study of the 19th century while diving the Montana, a civil war blockade runner sunk in 1863.

Day 5

On day 5 we will continue or study of 19th century shipwrecks by diving the Eagle, a 19th century sailing vessel. Due to distance from home base, both dives on this day will be on the Eagle.



Day 6marycelestia2

Our final day of diving will finish off the 19th century and take us into the 20th century. Our first dive will be on the Marie Celeste, a Confederate blockade runner sunk in 1864, followed by a dive on the Pollockshields, a merchantman and cargo steamer sunk in 1915.

Day 7

This will be a non-diving day as we off gas for the flight home. We will use this day to relax, reflect on our week of diving, and to take advantage of the land based activities that Bermuda has to offer.

Day 8

Our private transportation will take us to Bermuda International Airport where we will board our return flight to Boston Logan Airport. We will return home with new friends, new knowledge of Bermuda’s maritime history, and the experience of having visited 400 years of shipwrecks.
Return to the Surface

Dates: July 10th - 17th

Cost: $7,895.00