Statia Unknown But Incredible
Statia, the familiar term for the island of St. Eustatius, provided an amazing adventure for our dive group recently. In contrast to so many other Caribbean islands, this very small isle is not a normal destination for most. In fact, most folks I’ve talked to never even heard of the place! However, if you do your research, Statia compels a visit especially for divers!
Not only is the whole island an historic landmark, the unspoiled reefs provide healing salve to the winter torn bodies and psyches of midwest divers!
Compared to other accommodations in the Caribbean, this quaint, little inn was a refreshing respite after our long day of travel. Even though we felt we were transported to the past, this old brick inn’s accommodations were quite modern and comfortable. A very pleasing residence for the week!
Statia The Diving
The diving in Statia is totally a unique experience. For one, the coral reef continually builds itself upon volcanic beds from the once active “The Quill”. Spur and groove areas provided ledges and other hiding places for the wild life. Large schools of grunts, yellowtail, black durgeon and others streamed by us in a happy, endless, supply! Turtles, nurse sharks, and southern stingrays populated the sandy crevices, hunkering down for the night.
Setting apart Statia from other dive destinations are the incredible amount of wrecks and artifacts littering the bommies and sandy areas of the reef. Once a thriving shipping port, Statia, at any given time would have hundreds of ships in its bays. In the 1600s and 1700s the slave trade was thriving in the Caribbean and the Americas. Over this period of time it is believed that over twelve million slaves arrived in Statia from West Africa! As a mainstay, wrecks appeared on almost every dive. Certain reefs carried wayward, aged anchors of some forgotten vessels! Old bottles from centuries past littered sandy crags.
Occasionally, divers are allowed to visit “Blue Beads Hole”. Due to the site being in the shipping waterway of the island, opportunities to dive there are limited. Ages ago, the slave population of Statia were not allowed to have Dutch currency. However, they were paid with glass, blue beads to be used as their currency. Upon their emancipation, they threw the beads in the ocean. These beads are being found by divers to this very day! Our group found 4 of these beads! Not an easy task! They say: You don’t find the bead! The bead finds you!
Like all good things, Statia takes a little bit of work to get to this dive destination. However, it is well worth it! Scubaqua did a fantastic job of making sure we had a safe, fun time! Compared to other island adventure, there is a uniqueness to this island. You’ll find the ruins of days past, the antiquity. The whole island is a veritable museum! Of course, remember the diving! Very unique and interesting! Put Statia on your list as an upcoming travel adventure! You will not be disappointed! Check out the video and photos below!