SCUBA, short for St. Croix Ultimate Bluewater Adventures, is the only dive shop on St. Croix that dives all of the moored dive sites along St. Croix's north and west shores. With dive shops in Christiansted and Frederiksted, owner Ed Buckley owes their stellar reputation to an outstanding team that emphasizes service, safety, and fun.
Ed has been part of the St. Croix diving community for over two decades. SCUBA’s Christiansted shop has been at the same familiar location at the bottom of Queen Cross Street since it opened in 1998. They’re the first and only SCUBAPRO Platinum dealer in the U.S. Virgin Islands - one of about 50 worldwide. SCUBA is a PADI 5-star Instructor Development Center, teaching everything from introductory dives to technical and specialty dive training to Divemaster certification. With all of these accomplishments, don’t think that SCUBA is only for experienced divers. Beginners can be confident that SCUBA has all the tools, equipment, experience and certifications to help new divers get started safely while being surrounded by one of the best dive teams on island. First-time divers can be under water in less than an hour and out exploring reefs the same day.
Ed is proud that he and his crew can introduce divers to some of the most breathtaking dive sites in the world. St. Croix is home to the largest living reef of any of the Caribbean islands. The island’s west end is home to five underwater wrecks that are within one hundred yards of each other, which means that divers can explore a few sites in just one dive trip. The Frederiksted Pier is the only marine facility under the U.S. flag that allows scuba diving (when cruise ships aren’t in port), and pier dives at night are second-to-none. And then, of course, there is “The Wall” off St. Croix’s North Shore which drops thousands of feet into a thrilling display of sea life.
Although SCUBA has had a dive boat on St. Croix’s west end for more than ten years, they didn’t open their Frederiksted shop on Strand Street until after Hurricane Maria. In late 2017 and early 2018 Frederiksted housed over 3,000 relief workers, creating an opportunity to introduce diving to the island’s temporary visitors. The shop has been bustling ever since.
What is the key to SCUBA’s success? “There’s no question, it’s our staff,” Ed says. “We’ve always hired positive people with a good attitude.” Ed and his wife Molly do the recruiting and leave the hiring to the employees. “The crew will have to work with a new hire day-in and day-out,” so finding the right fit is essential. “Over the years we’ve held ourselves to a high standard.” This teamwork shows in the level of service and attention paid to each guest.
SCUBA limits the number of divers on each tour so that guests aren’t crowded. The main boat, Reliance, that leaves out of Christiansted Harbor, is limited to 14 divers and the Frederiksted boat, Scuba Dos, is limited to ten, so that there is always plenty of space. The dive crew is always the first in and last out. Guests can be sure they’ll enjoy a fully guided tour, help with equipment and whatever else they may need for a memorable day.