Dive Travel in North Carolina
Thanks largely to its vast collection of shipwrecks, North Carolina has become one of the most popular dive travel destinations in the United States. From Morehead City, a six-hour drive east of Charlotte, divers can explore more than 25 wrecks, ranging from historic German U-boats to artificial reefs. In addition to getting a history lesson, divers come here to swim with the sharks that gather to feed on large schools of fish around the wrecks. The wreck of the Papoose is legendary for huge sand tiger sharks and, because of its proximity to the Gulf Stream, visibility of 100 feet or more is not unusual during the summer months.
Weather: Dive operators will cancel trips when conditions are too rough, but even when conditions are good, you might be in for a bumpy ride.
Average Water Temp: Ranges from the low 70s to low 80s during the summer dive season, May to October, but drops to the low 60s in winter.
Average Visibility: Vis averages 50 to 70 feet, but can peak at 100 feet or more in the very best conditions, especially during the summer when the Gulf Stream meanders closer to shore.
Travel Savvy: With the exception of a few nearshore wrecks, the most popular dives are found anywhere from 20 to 45 miles offshore. Two-tank day trips are the norm, but you can also charter overnight or even multiday trips if you're interested.