Diving in Cape Hatteras, NC


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Dive Primer - how to dive Hatteras

Safety Equipment to Dive With

Diving Safety and Your Diving Skills

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The Sea Life


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The area of the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Hatteras, NC, provides a unique environment for the Scuba Diver to experience.  Hatteras Island, long and slender, projects into the Atlantic further East than any other place along our coastline.  Just offshore of the point where the island turns back towards the West are the fabled Diamond Shoals (visible in the NASA photo shown to the right) and home to many of the shipwrecks we dive.

NASA Photo of Cape Hatteras clearly showing the Diamond Shoals

NASA Photo of Cape Hatteras clearly showing the Diamond Shoals

The powerful Gulf Stream pushes warm and clear waters from the south, where they collide with the waters of the Labrador Current that move down from the North.  Both bodies of water contribute to the diversity and abundance of marine life and many marine species have either their most southern or northern terminus here at the Diamond Shoals.  We dive with a wide variety of sea life; Giant Manta Rays, Sharks, Sea Turtles, Dolphins and a wide variety of tropical species.

Captain Dave swims next to a Nurse Shark on the Hesperides

Captain Dave swims next to a Nurse Shark on the Hesperides wreck. DiveHatteras photo.

All this sea life congregates on what is really the main attraction to Sport Divers, the Shipwrecks off Hatteras.  Due to innumerable Hurricanes, two world wars and navigational blunders, ships have gone to the bottom off Hatteras.  The shipwrecks we dive span the centuries providing the backdrop for exceptional underwater photography, spearfishing, or just cruising among the underwater ruins. 
We typically do two dives a day, the first usually being the deepest.  Our decision on where to dive depends on what shipwrecks the divers want to dive, limited only by weather & sea conditions and the overall skill level of the divers on-board.  We are safety minded: we always carry all the required safety gear (life rafts, vests, etc.) and of course we carry oxygen (we are DAN O2 trained), first-aid gear, AED unit and are trained in CPR, as well as dive rescue.  We strongly encourage you to obtain DAN or other dive insurance! Captain Dave floats above a shoal of baitfish on the Dixie Arrow

Captain Dave floats above a shoal of baitfish at the Dixie Arrow.  Large baitfish shoals are common during the fall dive season.  Photo by Ann Sommers/DiveHatteras.

We provide a detailed pre-dive briefing (but do not generally offer in-water dive mastering) and we will do whatever we can to ensure a great day of diving for you.  However, we expect you to know what you are doing out there!  Although the waters off Hatteras are very often tropical (warm and clear) the sea conditions vary daily.

What You Need

First, you must be a certified SCUBA diver and it is preferable that you have some experience beyond your checkout dives.  All divers must have BCD, working regulator with pressure gauge, depth/timing devices as well as a safety signaling device , dive computers, and a Nautilus Lifeline Diver Radio are highly recommended. 

The open Atlantic is not the best time to become familiar with a new or rented set of gear, however, we have top quality ScubaPro equipment available if needed and all of our regulators come with dive computers.  A wetsuit is highly recommended, even though the water is very warm in the summer months a long dive can get you chilled and protection from hydroids and abrasions is a must. 

Air refills are available from DiveHatteras if you are diving with us, Nitrox is available as well.  This is certainly not a complete list of the equipment you may need during a wreck diving excursion, but meant to get you thinking and planning for your trip.

Please visit this page for procedures on the diving.

This is open ocean wreck diving - take an advanced class or a shipwreck/ocean diving class if your skills arenít quite there yet.

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