The Silver Bank

Your destination on this adventure is the Silver Bank, a large submerged limestone plateau which is a territory of the Dominican Republic and part of The Sanctuary for the Marine Mammals of the Dominican Republic, under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior, known as Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales.

Silver Bank coral reef

One of the many coral heads that comprise the barrier reef on the Silver Bank

The Silver Bank lies approximately 70 miles (110km) north of the coast of the Dominican Republic, and almost the same distance southeast of the Turks & Caicos. Surrounded by ocean waters thousands of feet deep, the irregularly shaped 15 x 20 mile (24 x 32km) area rises to a submerged limestone plateau, know as a bank, with an average depth of 100 feet (30 meters), and 60 feet (18 meters) or less in the shallower areas. Because the Silver Bank lies north of Hispaniola and the Dominican Republic, it is actually not in the Caribbean Sea at all but is actually located in the southwestern North Atlantic Ocean: it is the North Atlantic Ocean because it is north of the equator, but then located in the southwestern portion of that ocean. However, the Silver Bank is still commonly referred to as being part of the Caribbean.

The Coral Reef of the Silver Bank

A whale boat approaches the wreck of the Polyxeni on the Silver BankThe northeastern edge of the bank hosts an impressive chain of coral heads of varying number and density. In the densest part of the reef lies the landmark wreck of the freighter Polyxeni, and it is here, in the nearby designated anchorage, that the mother vessel moors for the duration of your visit. The reef offers shelter from the seas of the open ocean to the humpback whales and their calves, and to our vessels that come to visit them.

Our Port of Embarkation on this journey is the Ocean World Marina, located in the Cofresi Beach area of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.