Destination Primer

AVERAGE WATER TEMP: 70-80°F WHAT TO WEAR: Dive skin or shorty in summer; 3 mm fullsuit in winter. AVERAGE VIZ: 75-100 feet WHEN TO GO:

Year-round. WHAT TO EXPECT: Wonderful calm-water diving around islands so lovely they make your eyes hurt. Diverse and profuse patch and finger reef. And yes, the Rhone really is a great, world-class dive, even after all these years. LANGUAGE: English. TAXES: BV Islanders are quick to point out that they have never, ever had a sales tax. ELECTRICITY: 110 V, 60 cycle, same as USA. TIME ZONE: Atlantic Standard Time (Eastern Standard Time plus one hour).

ever more popular with boaters and divers alike, these still look like the ruggedly beautiful, green islands that inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to write Treasure Island. Overused as the term may be, they still merit description as "paradise."

Some travelers come here for dedicated diving holidays; others combine their diving with travel, under sail, from one British Virgin to the next. Either way, most are surprised to find that even such must-do popular sites as the 1867 wreck of the RMS Rhone are remarkably unspoiled, thick with sponges and coral, and populated with turtles, giant angelfish, and even such rarely glimpsed species as permit. Altogether, it's the kind of place that makes you secretly long to be a pirate, and the kind you never want to leave.

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