Atolls Glovers

Long Caye Lagoon


The lagoon is a great place to have a relaxing dive after all the wall sites in the atoll system. If you are looking to explore the coral heads in the interior of the lagoon you will need a boat otherwise there is a lot to see diving from shore. In the turtle grass beds and patch coral you will find a variety of juvenile reef fish. This is a good place to spot resting stingrays, eagle rays, hogfish and dozens of conchs along with the sleeping nurse shark.


Even though the area around the dock looks baron and debris strewn you can find lots of life here. Under the old coconut shells and tin cans you can discover young spiny lobsters also keep a look out for seahorses, filefish and snake eels



Experience Rating: Novice

Depth: 5-30ft (2-9m)

Location: Off west side of Long Caye

Access: Shore or boat


Long Caye Cut


This is a nice easy dive, great for novice divers and snorkelers but also fun for photographers because of the abundance of reef fish and the shallow depth, which gives you lots of bottom time. If the current is flowing out of the lagoon visibility can become poor. Since this is one of the major channels into the lagoon you will have some boat traffic so be careful and ascend slowly.


In the coral heads here you will find a large variety of reef fish. Be sure to notice the changes in the individual species as they mature from juveniles to adults. Here you can find some large morays, four-eyed and banded butterfly fish, pairs of queen triggerfish and gray angelfish.


Between the coral heads you will find turtle grass beds and sand patches where you can find both eagle rays and southern stingrays feeding on mollusks. In the turtle grass keep a look out for conchs grazing and in their discarded shells you can also find young wrasses, damselfish and tobacco fish making their homes. A real treat here is the chance to spot a shortnose batfish.


Experience Rating: Novice

Depth: 10-30ft (3-9m)

Location: Between Long Caye and Northeast Caye

Access: Boat


Long Caye Wall


Defiantly a great dive site, it was rated one of the top three sites in the world at one time by Jacques Cousteau. As you leave the mooring you will find a wide sandy plane that gradually slopes to the wall. Here you will find very lush coral growing as you descend through the gullies that lead to a sheer drop off. Along with the deep water gorgonians you will find an abundance of yellow tube sponges and orange elephant ear sponges. It is easy to descend father than you intend, so keep an eye on your gauges as you watch for schools of jacks, tarpon and Atlantic spadefish out in the deep blue.


Heading back to the boat be sure to spend some time exploring the shallows. Here you can find southern stingrays and eagle rays covered in the sand along with garden eels peeking their heads out of their burrows. Shortnose batfish, sandtile fish, peacock flounders and hermit crabs can be found in the shallower waters. If the winds pick up on the surface this area is known for a strong surge.


Experience Rating: Intermediate

Depth: 30-130ft (9-40m)

Location: Just offshore, east of Long Caye

Access: Boat


 

Bev’s Garden


This dive site is the name sake of one of the dive masters who worked on Long Caye.

The coral garden can be found in 30ft of water near the mooring. This area has a moderate surge which is why you will find mostly the hardier corals like lettuce and stagehorn.


As you swim toward the edge of the reef you will find dramatic cuts that open up on the sheer drop-off. This wall is undercut between 60 and 70 ft here and you will find it forms small caves which are filled with silversides and spiny lobsters. Large barrel sponges, tube sponges and reef fish can be found along the face. Eagle rays and other large pelagics like to frequent this area.


You will often find barracudas stopping in at the many cleaning stations near the rim. These are hosted by juvenile Spanish hogfish and cleaner gobies. The tiny arrow blenny is found among the many large sponges where it likes to bore holes for its home.


Experience Rating: Intermediate

Depth: 30-100ft (9-30m)

Location: .5 miles SW of Long Caye

Access: Boat


The Crack


You will find lots of tunnels and caves to explore here, the main one being, The Crack that starts at about 45ft and exits between 90 and 100ft. On both sides of the tunnel entrance you will find small caves, overhangs and gullies where schools of blackbar soldier fish, silversides and groups of curious spiny lobsters hangout.


As you navigate the tunnel be aware it is quite narrow in places with a sandy bottom which attracts nurse sharks. It can be very unsettling if you disturb them since the only way out is often over your head. To explore these tunnels to their fullest it is best to bring a dive light even though there is some sunlight that reaches inside the tunnels. What you should be looking out for are long sea whips, channel clinging crabs, orange Tubastrea cup corals, shrimp and slipper lobsters.


When emerging from the tunnels keep an eye out to the depths for barracuda and horse-eye jacks cruising by. Now to complete your dive you can either ascend along the reef face or follow another cut back to the reeftop, if you chose the latter be aware that visibility may be poor from divers disturbing the sand.


Experience Rating: Intermediate

Depth: 45-100ft (14-30m)

Location: .75 miles SW of Long Caye

Access: Boat

 


The Abyss


You will find this site half way between Middle Caye and Long Caye. Descending along the mooring line look for a number of coral heads among the sandy channels. These large coral heads are covered in clusters of long tube sponges and lush gorgonians. As you are moving towards the wall you will find that the heads start to merge and create a steep buttresses that runs along side deep sand chutes you can follow to the drop-off.


When you reach your desired depth you can drift with the gentle current along the wall. Be sure to investigate the overhangs as almost everyone is home for at least one spiny lobster along with spotted and green moray eels. There are very large barrel sponges that are large enough for a diver but please don’t be tempted to crawl inside since any damage could kill these giants. You will find groupers and barracuda swimming among the rope sponges and coral fans. Exploring the shallow reeftop is a great way to end this dive.


Experience Rating: Intermediate

Depth: 40-130ft (12-40m)

Location: 1.5 miles SW of Long Caye

Access: Boat


Middle Caye Wall


Glover’s Reef Marine Station can be found on Middle Caye and this wall has some of the most exquisite coral formations in the area. You will find the top of the wall in 50ft of water past sandy slopes and scattered coral heads. The rim here is marked by cuts and overhangs that hide schools of bluestripped grunts and schoolmasters. In these overhangs look for large green moray eels and resting nurse sharks.


You will find there is a gentle current as you move over the wall this helps to attract schools of fish such as Atlantic spadefish, horse-eye jacks and silver palometas. Since the visibility here is remarkable keep your eye to the blue water for passing reef sharks aand loggerhead turtles. Large brain and star coral covers the wall along with bright red and green rope sponges, long tube sponges and deep water sea fans that reach out into the current. Fish you can observe here are pairs of French angelfish, blue tangs, creole wrasses and other reef fish.


Experience Rating: Intermediate

Depth: 30-130ft (9-40m)

Location: east of Middle Caye

Access: Boat


The Pinnacles


These sites on the west side of Glovers Reef are not a normal stop for dive operators. If you want to dive here you will have to prearrange this with an experienced boat captain who preferable has GPS to help find the site since there are no moorings here. They are definitely worth the extra effort.


Your dive at the Pinnacles starts in 40 to 50ft of water amongst scattered coral heads.

As you progress seaward, you will find massive coral pinnacles that rise to near 20ft from the surface along the edge of the wall. Swimming through the sand channels leading to the drop-off look for schoolmasters and bluestripped grunts among the gorgonians. You will exit on the sheer face amid deepwater gorgonians, colorful sponges, barracuda, glasseye snappers, Spanish mackerel and trevallis. This is a great area to spot passing sharks and in the spring manta rays like to visit.


The water here is extremely clear so be aware of your depth since it is easy to go deeper that you intend and it is important to dive conservatively since you are a long way from the nearest decompression chamber.


Experience Rating: Intermediate

Depth: 30-130ft (9-40m)

Location: 4 miles west of Middle Caye

Access: Boat


West Wall


In this area you will find several sites with a similar landscape most are not named unlike the West Wall. The dive starts in 30ft of water where you will swim along a sandy slope that is scattered with coral heads that gradually become a large coral buttress that rises to about 30ft below the surface. Hurricane damage is very limited in this area and can only be found in the shallowest corals. The reeftop is so abundant with coral growth and fish life it would be easy to spend your whole dive here.


To explore the deeper areas follow one of the several cuts in the wall to emerge over the blue-black depths at 70ft keeping your eye out for larger denizens. The undercuts are filled with schools of blackbar soldierfish, a variety of sponges and gorgonians. End your dive by heading back through one of the cuts to further investigate the reeftop.


Experience Rating: Intermediate

Depth: 30-130ft (9-40m)

Location: 5 miles west of Middle Caye

Access: Boat