On 25 January 1782, the 28 gun frigate HMS Solebay was wrecked on the Soutwest coast of Nevis in the Leeward Islands on the first day of the Battle of Frigate Bay.
During the engagement the Solebay frigate ran ashore. Several French ships kept firing on her in this distress and the Captain returned it; but, finding that she must inevitably fall into the enemy’s hands, Captain Everett set fore to her and quitted her. She burnt fo an hour or more, and blew up about eight o’clock with a most tremendous report; having 160 barrels of powder aboard. The reverberation from the mountain was like distant thunders. This awful explosion seemed a characteristic conclusion to this memorable day”
The remains of HMS Solebay is scattered on sandy bedrock off the coast of Charlestown, Nevis. Large anchors and numerous encrusted cannons and various artefacts still remain around this protected area.
A contemporaty painting of a British Frigate (circa 1780) by Roy Cross
This freighter was just passing through but ended up taking on water as she waited outside Basseterre Harbour. The watch keeper was rescued but the ship was not. Talata is now broken up due to a number of storms that passed through our area. Her remains rest in 55' of water. She boasts as the dwelling place for a large green moray, schools of squirrel fish and some of the largest puffer fish that one may see.
The M.V. Corinthian is fully intact 60 foot tugboat sitting at 70 feet on a sandy bottom. Close to the bow section of the tug is a reef system that tops out at 35-feet. A wreck and a reef on the same dive make this site a very convenient dive. Garden eels and large clams and stingrays can also be found.
The “Taw”, a 144ft freighter that sank in 1981 off the lee shores of St.Kitts close to the Basseterre harbour. She sat perfectly upright in 42feet until Hurricane Hugo came through in 1989 and broke her in two. She is encrusted in coral and houses a large variety of fish, such as, Squirrel Fish, Glass-Eyed Snappers, Angelfish, rays, large schools of yellow tail snappers and the occasional sea-horse.