San Salvador is thought by many to be the first island in
the New World to feel the booted foot of Columbus on its
beaches. However, in diving circles, San Salvadors
fame comes from the spectacular wall diving found just off
its shores. Dramatic vertical walls stretch along the west
coast, beginning in as little 30 feet and plummeting more
than a mile into the abyss.
Along the south shore, from the east corner
to French Bay on the west, big fish are the rule. Among
the most exciting for divers to encounter are the skittish
hammerhead sharks. Great Hammerheads, ranging from 12 to
15 feet, can be sighted year-round. The smaller Scalloped
Hammerheads are often found in schools ranging from three
to several dozen animals and are most often seen in late
summer and early autumn.
Another reputable species divers are likely
to encounter is the Nassau Grouper. Although their name
might suggest otherwise, these fish are the unofficial emissaries
of San Salavador. Fish feeding has been actively discouraged
for 20 years, but the groupers dont seem convinced.
Photographers often have more trouble keeping their subjects
at a reasonable distance than trying to attract them in
the first place.
With only 500 residents, San Salvador
is definitely out-island in flavor. There are ruins of 18th
century plantations, rare remnants of Lucayan Indian culture,
sea caves along the shore and more. The first place of New
World exploration, San Salvador still has much to offer
the adventurous at heart.