The Royal Mail Steamer Rhone is the most celebrated dive site in the BVI and one of the world's best wreck dives. Arrive before 8 a.m. to enjoy the site at its best, as it is very popular. In fact, no trip to the BVI would be complete without a couple of visits. Rhone lies where she sank, close by the shore of Salt Island, the victim of a late hurricane in October 1867. Much of the wreck remains accessible, including the decking, parts of the rigging, the steam engine and the propeller, in waters between 30 and 80 feet deep. Currents and swells can occasionally be a problem. The site is within a National Park: Nothing may be removed from the area and no anchoring is permitted, but mooring buoys are available. This wise protection has had the added benefit of preserving perhaps the richest sea life of any dive site in the area, as well as the actual ship. All common reef dwellers are in abundance, in-cluding schools of snappers, sergeant majors and a cruising barracuda or two. The wreck was used as a set for the movie The Deep and makes an ideal two-tank dive for experienced divers visiting first the bow and then the mid-section and stern. Boats regularly crisscross the site, so it is very important to use a line for ascent or descent and to be extra careful when surfacing. The bow, in 70 to 80 feet of water, is mostly intact and is best reached using one of the mooring lines nearby to maximize time underwater. Take a dive light: The cavernous interior can be entered to view coral encrustations along with many fish, eels, lobsters and crabs. The stern is more broken up and lies in 25 to 60 feet of water; parts such as the massive propeller are shallow enough to be enjoyed by snorkelers. Finally, look for the silver spoon supposedly belonging to the captain.