Wandering the islands is fun, but what if one could combine history, art, and diving in one location?
Though we can find artificial reefs in the USA as well, the British Virgin Islands' newest artificial reef and wreckage has something really unique on deck. The Kodiak Queen, formerly known as the YO-44, was a celebrated World War II Naval fuel ship. It is thought to be among just five ships to escape the unexpected Pearl Harbor attack by the Japanese in 1941.
It was transformed into a trading fishing vessel and operated for several decades before being discarded in the British Virgin Islands. However, with a submerged art gallery in the gorgeous blue waters of Virgin Gorda, it has become a whole other experience. Let’s take a glance at what visitors can do at the site of the Kodiak Queen wreckage where many celebs also love snorkeling on vacation.
The Kodiak Queen And The Krake
The iconic WWII ship has been transformed into an artificial reef and a canvas for art. The Kodiak Queen was encircled by an 80-foot-long Kraken sculpture, which was made to resemble the sea creature striking the ship and pulling it into the depths of the ocean.
There are many legends about the sea monster, The Kraken making it an interesting site to visit. Owen Buggy, who discovered the vessel off the coast of Tortola, is the driving force behind the initiative.
Sir Richard Branson consented to support the idea once he approached him. In April 2017, the art site was hauled out into the harbor and sunk. The wreck is presently in the Virgin Gorda waters, where it is anticipated that the Kraken's transparent artwork will be home to several transplanted reefs.
The Kodiak Queen and the artwork both withstood that year's severe hurricanes but were both wrecked by one of the area's largest succession of surges. The entire ship rocked nearly 30 feet, and the Kraken sculpture's head was affected. However, several arms are still looped around the vessel making for a stunning drop.
By sailing through the BVIs with SamBoat, tourists can admire the Kodiak Queen in comfort. Furthermore, Dream Yacht Charter may take guests on a multi-day cruising and diving trip.
Why Visit The Wreckage?
The Kodiak Queen is a fascinating dive with or without the Virgin Island art. Because scuba diving is restricted in Pearl Harbour, it might be the finest chance to witness a historic WWII disaster beneath the waves. Divers visiting the site are asked to make a small gift, which is used to fund coral out planting, a local swimming education course, ecological DNA research, and site upkeep through the Beyond the Reef and Unite BVI and not-for-profit groups.
Even after the catastrophe, the vessel remains a safe and enjoyable dive, with natural reefs and a variety of aquatic life flourishing and making the location their permanent residence.
Snappers, sergeant majors, grunt, and creole wrasse congregate near the wreck, along with the occasional pufferfish, grouper, and Spanish mackerel. Divers with keen eyes may even spot little crustaceans hidden in the sand.
The corals and marine vegetation that has transpired in the shipwreck and the artwork are also visible to visitors.
Options For Exploring
The Kodiak Queen may be visited by snorkeling or freediving and is especially suitable for nighttime, shipwreck, and artificial reef diving excursions. Divers who have been licensed to enter the wreckage will be able to fully experience the site.
The location is even suitable for inexperienced divers who want to explore a Caribbean shipwreck because it has swim-throughs built purposely and has undertaken an environmental assessment.
Diving In The Kodiak Queen
The dive spot is located off the coast of Virgin Gorda and is available to the public. However, it is suggested that visitors book their dive through one of the three popular operators in the region for the best time and receive the complete backstory.
source: BYAUNINDITA BHATIA