Scuba diving can be an inherently dangerous sport, but even those of us who have been at it for a while can find the same old reefs and occasional shipwreck a bit dull. If you’re looking to kick up the excitement on your next diving trip, consider heading to North Carolina, where you’ll find plenty of offshore wrecks to explore. Oh, and did we mention those wrecks are absolutely crawling (so to speak) with sharks?
While sharks can certainly pose a threat to divers, in most cases, they’re relatively harmless. It’s best to study up on the most dangerous species of sharks, which we’ll cover in a later article. In the meantime, here are some of the best North Carolina dive sites for swimming with sharks.
Sand tiger sharks look pretty vicious with their gnarly grins, but they’re actually pretty docile and don’t pose much of a threat to divers. One of the best places off North Carolina to dive with sand tigers is the wreck of The Atlas. The ship is in 90 to 120 feet of water, so it’s definitely not for beginners and caters to nitrox divers. With visibility up to 80 feet, though, it’s worth the effort.
The Spar is one of the most popular wrecks in Carolina waters. The Coast Guard Cutter is 180 feet long, so it offers plenty of real estate for multiple species, including sharks, rays, barracuda, and amberjack. The ship is in good shape and pretty easy to navigate, making it a good option for new wreck divers.
Another deep-water option, the Aeolus was sunk in 1988 to help create an artificial reef. The wreck is located about 25 miles offshore and lies between 90 and 110 feet. You’ll find plenty of fish, including sharks, which tend to congregate over the ship’s “keyhole room.”
When you’re done diving, you’ll find plenty more adventures on dry land, including lighthouses, helicopter tours, the Wright Brother National Memorial, and Fort Macon State Park, which was the site of several battles during the Civil War, not to mention a favorite hangout of some of the most infamous pirates to sail the seas.