Bermuda Coral Reef
The North Rock
The North Rock is the largest coral reef in Bermuda is part of Rim Reefs. This shallow coral reef covers an area with a 1000-meter radius from the North Rock Navigational Beacon. This area was actually a land mass and could be visible above the surface even until early 1900's. But as the sea levels have risen with time, the reef has gone below the waters.
This is another reef site, which is one of the most pristine ones like the Blue Hole
. North Rock coral reef diving site is possibly the furthest compared to any other Bermuda's dive sites. As the name suggets, North Rock is located in the northern waters of Bermuda. It’s about a 7-mile boat ride from the east end and 20 miles from the West.
The area around the North Rock navigational beacon has been the graveyard for many ships. Many ships heading towards the navigational guiding light at North Rock, met their ill fate on the shallow blind Mills breaker reefs, which are to the south-east of North Block.
During the world war time, the lights at North Rock were used to be put off. Due to this, captains of the ships often made mistakes confusing the North Rock Beacon with St. David's Lighthouse and wrongly assumed that the ship was in deep safe water. Those mistakes mostly turned out to be fatal.
North Rock Bermuda
No one really knows exactly how many wrecks lie there. Due to the shallow depths in this region around the North Rock coral reef, the pounding north Atlantic has virtually demolished many of these wrecks. But the evidence of the ships can still be seen with many artifacts embedded in the shallow breaker reefs. As you dive this wreck location, you can find Propeller blades, capstan, winches, anchors, deck plates and engine parts. Several hundred years of marine misfortune have now been totally engulfed by the reef.
Depths here are within 25 feet unless of course you are moving far away from the site where the depths can be much more. The tops of the coral heads come within a few feet of the surface. If you ever have any doubt of your location, swim over to one of the shallow heads and look for a reference point. You can even use the North Rock navigational beacon as the reference.
North Rock Reef Bermuda - A Snorkeling View
It's quite easy to get lost at the North Rock coral reef due to the maze of channels between the coral heads. Be part of a guided group tour for this reef site. I have heard that quite often when divers come out of the water, they are couple of miles away from where they started. It’s better to explore small areas and explore them fully to appreciate the site.
The fishes here are quite friendly and often follow the divers and snorkelers. Pudding Wives will often insist you lift some rocks for them and allow them to go underneath. The shallow areas here have dramatic reef coverage. Huge sea fans and a vast variety of Candelabra Corals make it a perfect feeding ground for Flamingo Tongues.
The sandy flats are home to the local population of Conch and a group of Trumpet Tritons. Due to the strictly enforced "No Fishing Zone", the entire North Rock area has abundant fish stock.
North Rock reef is also a great snorkel site. You will need to take a boat or an organized offshore snorkel operator to reach the site. The depth of the shallow area where the snorkeling is done varies from 4 to 5 feet. The water here is crystal clear.
You will see ample fish but mostly the smaller species during snorkeling. The larger ones prefer to be in deep water, where the depth goes down to about 30 feet to the sandy bottom.