For bird lovers, the Outer Banks is hard to beat. This delicate chain of barrier islands is not only home to dozens of different native shorebirds, but also thousands of migrating birds who make a rest stop on the Outer Banks every year. Add to this the fact that the islands have hundreds of miles of deserted beaches, maritime forest, and marshlands for species to quietly flourish, and it's clear that the Outer Banks is literally for the birds.
The Outer Banks is known as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” because of the hundreds of shipwrecks off the coast, which is the reason it’s a favorite destination for shipwreck divers, spear fishermen and underwater photographers. Every year, powerful offshore currents expose old wrecks that had been previously inaccessible to divers. The center, which is located across from Jockey’s Ridge, specializes in providing quality service and equipment to advanced and technical divers, as well as beginning divers. Training is available for all levels of divers by NAUI-certified diving instructors, and courses are offered from numerous agencies, including PADI, IANTD, DAN, NSS-CDS, and NAUI. Offshore dive trips are provided in a dive vessel operated by a U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain who is also an experienced dive instructor. The custom dive boat has a large enclosed cabin, shower and freshwater rinse area, a large deck and onboard oxygen. Scuba and weekend trips, as well as night dives, private charters and group rates are available. The center also offers instruction in snorkeling and skin diving, and numerous courses, including wreck, cavern and cave diving; underwater photography and videography; rescue diving; underwater archaeology; and underwater mapping. Equipment sales, rentals and repairs are also available.