Dead Chest Island in BVI, steeped in pirate lore, offers several interesting snorkeling and diving sites.

Dead Chest Island, British Virgin Islands

Dead Chest Island in BVI, steeped in pirate lore, offers several interesting snorkeling and diving sites.

Matt and Britney Weidert

Matt Weidert

Dead Chest Island, located near Deadman's Bay on Peter Island in the British Virgin Islands, is steeped in pirate history and lore. While it may not offer many activities or attractions, the island's intriguing past makes it a fascinating destination for those interested in maritime history. 

Where is Dead Chest Island?

Dead Chest Island is a small, uninhabited island near Peter Island. This proximity to Peter Island makes it easily accessible by boat for those exploring the British Virgin Islands. The island is known for its rugged terrain and lack of vegetation, contributing to its isolated and mysterious ambiance. 

What to Do at Dead Chest Island

  • Snorkeling and Diving: The waters around Dead Chest Island are ideal for snorkeling, offering clear visibility and a variety of marine life. The island's reefs are home to colorful fish and corals, making it a snorkeler's paradise. Since these sites are exposed, you'll only want to visit in settled conditions Local snorkel and dive sites around Dead Chest Island include:
    • Dead Chest West: boulder fields and coral canyons in 60 ft of water
    • Painted Walls: underwater canyons with some arches
    • Blackbeard's: various coral in 35 feet of water
    • Blond Rock: a bit further offshore to the NE is this pinnacle where lots of sea life can be found including some larger fish
  • Pirate History: Discover the legend of Blackbeard and the marooned pirates. 

The Pirate History of Dead Chest Island

Legend has it that Dead Chest Island was a marooning site used by the infamous pirate Blackbeard. According to the tale, Blackbeard marooned 15 mutinous sailors on the island with only a bottle of rum each. This story is believed to have inspired the famous pirate song, “Fifteen Men on a Dead Man’s Chest.” The island’s name and the surrounding lore have cemented its place in pirate history. For more detailed accounts of the island's pirate history, you can refer to various historical sources and maritime legends.

While Dead Chest Island does not offer the recreational activities or natural beauty found on other islands in the BVI, its historical significance makes it worth a visit for history enthusiasts and adventure seekers. The island's rugged coastline and rocky terrain are reminiscent of its storied past, providing a tangible connection to the pirate era.

Visitors can anchor nearby and explore the island by dinghy. The rocky shores and clear waters also make for interesting snorkeling, though the primary attraction remains the island's history. 

Additionally, you can read about the unfortunate incident of a catamaran wreck at Deadman's Bay in our detailed article about the wreck. This modern-day tale adds another layer of intrigue to the area's maritime history. 

British Virgin Islands charter planning?

Consider booking with the Yacht Warriors.