Little Thatch Island drift dive

3 Thatch Island And The West End Night Dive.little thatch island

Another spot that no one else dives. Little Thatch has 2 fantastic dives, one on the south side and 1 on the north. Both these dives must be done with the intention of them being drift dives.

The current here can be zero one minute and then do several knots the next minute. Even if when you jump in there is no current, that does not mean there will not be any in ten minutes.

The south side dive starts just west of the rocks that stick out on the south east corner of little thatch. You don’t want to jump in too far east along this shore as there is often an eddy current on the corner that pulls you back to the east.

Have your boat move towards the shoreline and watch the depth. Jump in at about 55 feet.
There is a bit of a wall at the reef / sand line and aim to drift along the wall. If the current is not running or if your caught in the eddy then you will end your dive at the eastern end of little thatch. If the current is smoking then you will end your dive either at the south west corner of the little Thatch or beyond.

The dive on the north side of Thatch is always calmer. You start this one near the first outcrop of rocks when heading west along the shore. This outcrop is maybe 400 yards west of the little wind turbine on the north east corner of the island.

Once again jump in at 50 or 60 feet of water and head west. If you are too far east when you jump in you will once again get caught in an eddy and be taken east.

If you make it west, follow the reef/sand edge along. By the time your getting low on air, work your way south up into the shallows.

Both sides have a large number of perfect soft corals. The currents feed them and keep them healthy.
The north side has lots of large angel fish, Both sides have lobster and nurse sharks.

Do not attempt either of these dives from an anchored boat. When the current comes on, it can be so strong that you could never swim against it.

West End Night Dive.

photo of Thatch Island And The West End Night Dive.
Southern rays hunting in the divers lights!

Another one that no body else does. This is a short dive into 75 feet of water with poor vis and a barren silty bottom. Well why go one might ask. Cause it’s awesome! Anchor to the far western end of the boats, somewhere between the red marker and the point on the end of Frenchmans Cay.

Just as the sun is setting turn on as much lighting as you can to illuminate the water. As it gets dark, dozens of large tarpon will appear feeding on the silverside’s attracted to your lights.

Hop in the water with them. They will not be afraid of you. Often swimming within a foot of you at times. If you can see ten tarpon on the surface, there are probably 100 in the water column.

If your lights on the boat are bright enough, when you reach the bottom there will be dozens of southern stingrays feeding in your lights. There are times when they are so thick that you can not land on the bottom.

They will bump up against you, each one trying to get into your light patch searching for food. Do not be afraid, they will not hurt you.

On this dive we all ways use a downline with a flashlight or strobe on it. We will sometimes go for a look along the anchor chain but other than the rays and tarpon there is not much to see.

We always keep either the chain or downline in sight. This is an easy dive to loose your sense of direction. If your a photographer you will love this dive.