Wreck diving usually conjures up images of hardcore divers dressed in dry suits and multiple cylinders, ready to fight strong currents so that they can explore the lifeless murky depths where most wrecks lurk.
Now let me paint a different picture – You arrive at a Dive center welcomed by smiles as bright as the tropical sun above. There is a group of divers standing around in their shorty wetsuits, talking about how great their dives have been over the last few days.
Water temperatures are in the high to mid 20’s, the crystal-clear water allows you to sit on the dive boat and see right down to the wreck… Now this is wreck diving in Mauritius.
Unlike most wrecks that end up at the bottom of the ocean, due to bad conditions or human error, the large amount of wrecks that dot the Mauritian coastline, have been sunk on purpose to create artificial reefs. Since the early 70’s the Mauritian government have been sinking ships on purpose. Initially it was a convenient way to clear out Port Louise’s harbor of unsightly rust buckets. Over time the word spread to game fishermen and scuba divers who loved these sites because they attracted such diverse and abundant amounts of marine life. Over the years the government took notice of how these artificial reefs benefited the ecology as well as many of its core industries. With help from the MSDA and private companies the government have increased the amount of wrecks along the Mauritian coastline.
The wrecks ages range from 30+ years to only a couple of months. This allows you to experience all the different stages of a wreck ‘s life and how mother nature envelopes it. Shallow wrecks start from as little as 15m, perfect for Open Water Divers. The deepest wrecks go down as deep as 60m and requires specialized equipment and training. Teaming with life these wrecks offer the same, if not more biodiversity than your average reef dive. These metal monsters provide a picturesque backdrop for any photo- or videographers interested in capturing some shots to show off to your family and friends. Those seeking a little more excitement, full on structural penetration could have you going back to the same site just to completely explore the whole site – just don’t forget your reel and torch. To top it all off water temperatures stick around the mid 20’s year round, visibility seldom drops below 15m and the average boat trip only 10min.
There are very few places in the world where you have such a variety of wrecks, in ideal conditions and easily accessible. A must for any scuba diver.