Geography & Location

Your destination on this adventure is the Silver Bank, a territory of the Dominican Republic and part of The Sanctuary for the Marine Mammals of the Dominican Republic.

The Dominican Republic is in the area known as the Caribbean. More completely, it is part of the Antilles, which is the widely spread island group that forms the greater part of the West Indies which encompass the Caribbean Sea. The Antilles are further divided into the Greater and Lesser Antilles. The Greater Antilles includes Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica and Puerto Rico. Hispaniola, the second largest island in all the Antilles, is shared by the nations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, with the Dominican Republic occupying the eastern two thirds.

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 10 x 20 mile (16 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 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.