Located three-quarters of a mile west of Cane Bay along Cane Bay Road is North Star, a dive site that is a must-do on St. Croix with two distinct dive profiles. To the east, the wall is nearly vertical in places and descends thousands of feet into the abyss. To the west, the reef is a rolling set of spur and groove coral formations that provide a home to a wide array of sea life.
Accessing the dive site can easily be done from the shore or by boat. From shore, North Star can be a little bit of a challenge to find. To locate it, check the maps below and find a small patch of grass along the water’s edge that divers use for parking. The grassy patch is located between River Road, locally known as “The Beast,” and Cane Bay, where the Sweet Bottom Dive Center is located. A short narrow path cut through the brush along the shoreline provides access to the site.
The entry starts along a rocky shoreline riddled with coral rubble, and the dive site is marked with a mooring ball along the wall about 100 yards from shore. The first 50 feet of the entry is rocky and only knee-deep, so take care to wear some thick diving boots for protection. The surf is typically knee to waist high, but larger swells can create unsafe conditions at this site. Make sure to use caution and always dive within your comfort and training limits.
Located slightly west of the shoreline entry along the wall in roughly 30 feet of water is the mooring ball. The area around the mooring ball is a great place to start the dive as the mooring ball doubles as an excellent navigational aid underwater.
After descending near the ball, head slightly west-northwest. The wall at this point is a 40-foot vertical drop that ends in a small sandy ledge. Resting on the ledge in 80 feet is an old anchor that dates back between the 1600 and 1800s. There is also a large crevice at the base of the 40-foot wall that is worth exploring and is often home to a green moray eel.
From this point, continue the dive to either the east or the west.
Accessing the dive site can easily be done from the shore or by boat.
Heading east along the wall at North Star is the route most often taken as the views are dramatic. Caribbean reef sharks are a common sight in depths typically between 70 and 100 feet. The wall in this section is steep. Coral clings to the sides of the wall as sea whips, and soft corals spiral out into the deep blue. Reef fish, including trumpetfish, butterflyfish, and porcupinefish hide in the safety of the reef while schools of creole wrasse and black durgon triggerfish swarm overhead.
Heading east along the wall at North Star is the route most often taken as the views are dramatic.
View More Videos and Images - East Dive Profile
Not to be missed is the top of the wall, which is the perfect place to explore on the way back to the mooring ball as it has an average depth of 30 feet. Here the sunlight illuminates large coral heads and sea fans. Both green and hawksbill sea turtles frequent this area.
Once back at the mooring ball, it’s an easy ascent up to the boat or roughly a 50-yard swim in shallow water to the south-southeast back to the shoreline.
Traveling west from the mooring ball at North Star provides an entirely different experience. Here the dramatic vertical wall flattens out slightly as the spur and groove coral formations gradually slope down into the depths.
Spotted eagle rays are not uncommon visitors to this area and can glide by almost undetected. Creole wrasse school in large numbers here and flow over the reef, which is, on average, between 40 and 60 feet.
To the west, the dramatic vertical wall flattens out slightly as the spur and groove coral formations gradually slope downward.
View More Videos and Images - West Dive Profile
Turning back towards the mooring ball, the old anchor that sits down on the sandy shelf at 80 feet serves as an excellent navigational aid that the mooring is close by along the top of the wall. Once back at the mooring, it’s a straightforward ascent back to the boat or into shore.
Diving North Star is an incredible experience. The dive site offers so much in terms of diversity of both sea life and awe-inspiring topography. It’s arguably one of the top dive sites on St. Croix.
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1/16/2021 6:00 PM
Dive Site ForecastDiving conditions are expected to be pretty good. The forecasted water temperature is 80℉ with slight wave action out of the northeast and winds at 17 MPH from the east.