Top Snorkeling and Scuba Diving in Christmas Island
Christmas Island, Pacific
This is the one dive site on the entire island that reminds me of both Palau and Tahiti at the same time. Named after a famous shipwreck that occurred on this beach, it is best dove from shore. The inner reef starts in 3-4ft. of water and is inhabited by many small juvenile black tipped reef sharks. It then suddenly turns into finger like ledges that extend to about 30ft deep. After a short 40-50 yard surface swim off shore, the water begins to get deep quickly and before long you find yourself dropping down on a vertical ledge that goes from 60-1000ft deep. It is along this wall that we saw multitudes of gray reef and black tipped reef sharks swimming back and forth, giant Napoleon fish that must have seemed to be the same size as our local guide, and an enormous Manta ray that hovered over head as if to check us out. Every time I looked out to the blue off the wall I could see rainbow runner and large milk fish passing by, and even spotted a large 5ft. great barracuda milling in the distance. Black corals, fans and a multitude of other corals cover the reef and branch out from the wall, leaving an impression that equaled my experience on Palau's Blue Corner. We even got lucky enough to see several rare goldflake angelfish along the upper edge of the drop-off. Coming back into shore was pretty easy since our guide calculated which way the current would take us, and we ended the dive right back in front of the spot where we parked. If you can only experience Heaven on Earth once in your lifetime....this is the place. Currently, the only way to get to Christmas Island is through Honolulu, Hawaii. However, the cost is not as expensive as typical Micronesian destinations and the flight is definitely not as long. Depending on the time of year you can purchase a roundtrip ticket to Honolulu for less than $400 and then transfer to Air Kiribati (the only air carrier for Christmas Island) for the 4 hour and 45 minute flight into Banana, Christmas Island. The flights to and from Christmas currently only run on Mondays and are regularly sold out 2 months in advance due to the extreme popularity of this untouched coral atoll. The best way to book your air/dive travel package is through the local dive resort, Christmas Island Divers Association, which can be contacted via the web at www.christmasislanddiving.com or emailed at robert at cidiving dot com.