(Above photos by Jim Lyle) North Carolina offers a diving experience like none other. Nowhere else will you find such excitement underwater. It's true that we have longer boat rides, more finicky conditions, and greater depths than many other destinations. We don't have guides to monitor your air or carry your gear, but these aspects only enhance the sense of adventure that is North Carolina diving.
Each dive in North Carolina is an experience lifted from the pages of National Geographic. Our awe-inspiring shipwrecks come with fascinating—and often tragic—tales of submarine warfare, treacherous storms, and catastrophic collisions. Even our artificial reefs evoke compelling stories of navigational feats and wartime patrols. These shipwrecks—the Graveyard of the Atlantic—constitute an unparalleled symbolic collection of our maritime history.
And the fish! Unlike the sedate suburban sprawl of coral reefs, each shipwreck is its own ecological metropolis, a bustling urban center emerging from a vast sandy plain where animals come to eat, breed, and seek protection from predators. On any given dive you'll see members from each link of the marine food chain—and you'll see them in astounding numbers, from sponges and coral up to our beloved sand tiger sharks. Patrolling pelagics feed on giant schools of bait fish as huge turtles and rays glide along the bottom and colorful reef fish contrast against the scattered debris.
On that perfect day, when the sun is shining, the seas are calm, and the warm, clear water of the Gulf Stream provides almost unlimited visibility, North Carolina diving is as good as it gets anywhere in the world.