Carrot Rock

Scuba diving Carrot Rock in the British Virgin Islands.
A colorful file fish on carrot shoal.

Located on the south western point of Peter Island is carrot rock. Not to be confused with Carrot Shoal thats between Peter and Norman.

You can tackle scuba diving at Carrot rock in 2 different ways. If the water is calm then we anchor on the eastern side of the rock. As you come in from the south, the water jumps from 80 feet to about 40 feet.Look around and you will see sand patches to anchor in. Do not try and pass between Carrot Rock and Peter Island. The water is only a couple of feet deep!

Keep someone on the boat who can take care of things. Anchoring here has you on a nasty lee shore.
Carrot rock has some deep canyons with large overhangs. Always lots of lobster and nurse sharks here. If you’re lucky you could even see some reef sharks.

There is always lots of large tarpon right up against Carrot Rock in the white water. They herd silverside into the shallows and then patrol up and down waiting for any stragglers to have for lunch.

If the seas are too rough to anchor then we do this as a live dive. We hang out in the calmer water on the west side while everyone gets ready to all jump in at once. Once all are ready we move around to the east side, I move the boat in towards the rock and everyone jumps in.

I then go back around to the west side with the boat. The divers make their way around the southern point of carrot rock and keep following  the rock around until they are on the west side in calmer water.

There can be wickedly strong currents on the point. Usually heading to the west south west. We have never had a scuba dive on Carrot rock without seeing nurse sharks, our record is 13 in one dive. Some years ago we were diving here, just as everyone was getting low on air, a dolphin turned up and wanted to play.

One by one as each diver ran out of air they would go up on the boat and dump their scuba gear. Then immediately jump back in with snorkels. This dolphin played with us for several hours before departing. You can anchor your yacht on the west side but the bottom is made up of many large rocks the size of cars. Know that if you do anchor, you may have to work at getting it back up.

The dog Islands.

There are several islands that make up the dogs and none are inhabited but they all offer good diving and snorkeling. The largest Island in the dogs is Great Dog.
There are 2 main areas of interest on Great Dog. One is on the southern side where there are 3 national parks moorings in the middle of south bay.

Be cautious here, to the west of the mooring balls is shallow reef. This area has the wreckage of a small airplane on the bottom that makes an interesting dive. See our diving pages for more information

Santa Monica Rock. GPS Position. N18’17.915 W064’36.069

Scuba diving Carrot Rock in the British Virgin Islands.


Santa Monica is a couple of large pinnacles that rise up to within 10 feet of the surface from an average depth of about 80 feet. This site is located about a mile south west of Norman Island. It’s out in the open and can only be dove on calmer days.

It has an abundance of fish life and because its outside, there is always the possibility of larger pelagic fish swimming by. There can be current here usually running to the west. Once again because of its open nature do leave someone on the boat who can keep a look out and come get you if the current gets strong. This is a circle the pinnacles dive.

The Sand Barge Night Dive.

In Great Harbor, Peter Island there is a very large mooring drum. This was once the hurricane mooring for one of the windjammers called the Flying Cloud,  that spent many years based here.
Now you will often see a large sand barge hanging off it. These sand barges bring sand from Dominica to the BVI for concrete etc. The sand comes from fresh water streams so does not contain salt like all of the BVI sand does.

Some years ago a tug was towing one of these barges up the Sir Francis Drake channel when the Peter Island ferry decided to go between the tug and the barge. That didn’t end well. The ferry ripped out it’s shafts and the barge flipped over.

The barge was towed into Great Harbor and tied to the Flying Cloud’s mooring.
The upside down barge sat here for many years, one end sunk and touching the bottom and the other end sticking out of the water like a giant water ski ramp.

After sitting for a couple of years it was decided to try and salvage her. Lift bags were attached but in the process of righting her she sank to the bottom still upside down.
The project was abandoned and the barge remains on the bottom.

The barge now has some growth on it and is attracting fish. Because of its location within the harbor, it makes a great spot to take the tender after dark, tie to the mooring and drop in for a look see. The water is about 70 feet and vis is generally poor. It is however always calm and only a short dingy ride from your anchored yacht.

Beef Bluff

The western side of beef bluff is a nice dive. The corner of the bluff, by the isolated danger marker has a tremendous amount of current on it. Because of this there are lots of healthy soft corals here.

Anchor on the west side and swim towards the shore. When you pick up the shallow rocky shoreline head south out towards the point. The closer you get to the point the stronger the current becomes. The stronger the current the greater the density of soft corals.

This is a dive that can also be done by the novice. The novice diver just doesn’t go as far south as the stronger swimmers. This is an out and back dive.