RMS Rhone

October 29th 1867- October 29th 2017 …150 years of maritime history.


 

The Royal Mail Steam ship, RMS Rhone, was commissioned for the Royal Mail Packet Company in 1865 to carry mail and passengers from England to the Caribbean. More than 300 passenger cabins were included within her 310 foot length. Its design was unique, for it had both sail and steam power with one of the first steam-driven cast propellers. Captain Woolley, the Captain on the day, decided to anchor in Peter Island’s Great Harbor British Virgin Islands due to an outbreak of yellow fever in St. Thomas USVI.

On the morning of October 29th, 1867, a powerful hurricane struck the Virgin Islands resulting in loss of lives, shipping and property on an unprecedented scale. The RMS Rhone pride of the Royal mail Steam packet Company fleet fell  victim to the storm, crashing into Salt Island before splitting in two and sinking with most of her crew and passengers. After being forgotten about for more than a century, this Victorian shipwreck today captivates divers, snorkeler’s sailors historians, explorers and photographers.

 

 

 There are many celebrations to dive into this year! October brings the 150th Anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Rhone, the most spectacular wreck dive in all of the BVI.

Come dive the Rhone with us and receive a 20 % discount at the Nanny Cay Hotel & Marina for the week of the Rhone’s anniversary and 10% off on Rhone t-shirts.

 

Email: bwdbvi@surfbvi.com

Website: www.bluewaterdiversbvi.com

 

5 Night 3 Day dive package or 3-Day Dive Package!

3 Days Diving including complimentary added night dive on the RMS Rhone, Nitrox, and a special RMS Rhone Anniversary shirt.

Offer period:  Oct 27, 28, 29th.  Spaces limited!  

Book Here:  http://divebvi.com/dive-and-stay/

Email: info@divebvi.com

Website: www.divebvi.com

 


Peter Island’s Sea for Yourself Dive Package (7 nights)

Come dive in crystal clear blue waters while taking in the magnificent sights of the reefs and fish that surround us.  This package includes accommodations, Full American Plan, a Guide to Caribbean Fish, dive equipment for the 2 tank dives, a private full day charter to explore the islands with a 2 tank dive at a dive location of your choice hosted by your own personal dive master, a 2 tank dive to the Wreck of the Rhone with Paradise Watersports, and a champagne picnic lunch at Honeymoon or White Bay Beach.

All package rates are based on double occupancy, and subject to 21% tax & service charges and black-out dates & restrictions.  All bookings beyond the package length will revert to the daily rate.

Offer Period: June 1-October 31, 2017

Book Here: http://peterisland.com/rates/packages

Tel: 1.800.346.4451

Email: Reservations@peterisland.net

Website: www.peterisland.com

 

Special 2 tank morning dive on the RMS Rhone Saturday October 28th and lunch at Cooper Island Beach Club.

This offer includes lunch and a16oz ‘Rhone Wrecker’ beer and a souvenir shot-glass. The ‘Rhone Wrecker’ beer will be launched on the Saturday as part of our Oktoberfest weekend and ticket holders can collect their souvenir shot-glass on site. Twice She Struck, Rhone books will also be available for purchase!

Accommodations also available at Cooper Island Beach Club: www.cooperislandbeachclub.com

Cost for Divers =   $160

Cost for Snorkelers = $80

Email: info@sailcaribbeandivers.com

Website: www.sailcaribbeandivers.com

 


 


Wednesday 25 October anniversary excursion with Bitter End Yacht Club

9.30am -4pm leaving from BEYC for a Rhone stern snorkel/dive, followed by lunch on board Corinthian and a stroll on Salt Island.

Finishing off the afternoon with a snorkel/dive in the Dog Islands on the way back.

Price for snorkelers will be $110 per person, lunch included.

Price for divers will be $160 per person, lunch included.

Email: sunchaser@surfbvi.com

Website: www.sunchaserscuba.com

 

Discounted dives on the Rhone during the month of October, plus on the 29th there will be champagne after the dives!

A two tank dive will cost $100.00. Minimum numbers are required. 10% off on accommodations at Village Cay Hotel and Marina to all divers diving with We Be Divin’ during the month of October plus a 10% discount on all meals at the restaurant.

Email: info@webedivinbvi.com

Website: www.webedivinbvi.com

 

 

$550 Private Dive Boat Special for the entire months of September and October to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the RMS Rhone.

Price includes Private Dive Boat for up to 4 divers, 2 Instructor guided dives on the Rhone, full scuba equipment rental, snacks, refreshments, and special gift for each diver. Each additional diver (above 4pax)  only $99 p/p.

Advanced reservation required and subject to availability.

Tel: 1.284.495.0271 or 1.284.443.2222

Email: reservations@jostvandykescuba.com

Website: www.jostvandykescuba.com


 


 

The Wreck of the Rhone is the first and only Marine National Park, established in1980,  in the British Virgin Islands.   It is the most celebrated dive site in the BVI, and a major recreational attraction. The park includes examples of fringing reef habitat and sea grass beds. At 310 feet long and 40 feet wide, the wreck of the Royal Mail Steamer lies in two main parts in waters between 30 and 90 feet deep. Much of it is still intact and visible, including decking, parts of the rigging, the steam engine, and propeller.

At least two dives are needed to cover both the bow and the stern sections of the Rhone, but you’ll want to do more. The entire bow section, including the sharp prow, mast and lifeboat davits, can be seen from the surface. At 80′ the deeper bow section is dived first. As you descend down toward the ghostly image you’ll be greeted by huge schools of Sennets and a large barracuda. Still mostly intact the cavernous interior can be entered from several points near the forward mast. Inside, the hull is coated with Orange Cup Corals and school of grunts, accompanied at times by a variety of jacks and the resident Barracuda fondly known as “Fang”. Scenes from the movie “The Deep” were filmed here.

The second dive of the day is on the shallower middle and stern sections. The stern section is more broken up, but the structure of the ship can be easily traced by following the drive train from the massive shallow propeller. Scattered across the bottom are boilers, deck supports and other pieces, many holding fascinating relics of the ship such as tools or silverware, including the silver spoon Captain Wolley used to stir his tea. The holds are lined with Orange Cup Corals and filled with schools of snappers and jacks. Nearly every solid surface of the wreck is covered with a kaleidoscope of corals and sponges. At night the cup corals and sponges turn the main compartment into a kaleidoscope of orange and yellow.