Olympus Dive Centre
at the southernmost tip of the Outer Banks in Morehead City, Olympus
Dive Center began as a weekend charter business and has been serving
the needs of divers since 1975. Since then, owner and Captain
George Purifoy has seen what began as a hobby, develop into a thriving,
full-service dive center. Conveniently located on the Morehead City
waterfront amidst a multitude of shops and restaurants, Olympus
is well positioned to accommodate the North Carolina diver.
The Olympus Divers' Lodge is located within two blocks of the shop, providing customers with economical accommodations and the opportunity to meet and socialize with divers from around the world. The lodge has 32 bunks in five separate rooms. Three of the rooms contain 8 bunks with the other 2 rooms having 4 bunks. Each bunk has a lockable storage area for your dry gear. If you intend to lock anything in these lockers please bring your own padlock. Each guest will need to bring his or her own linens, typically a sleeping bag, pillowcase, and towel.
The lodge features a large lounge area for post-dive relaxation
and socializing. The living room contains four couches; color TV/DVD/VCR,
microwave, and refrigerator. There are also two tables for enjoying
breakfast or dinner. The lodge is equipped with separate male/female
restrooms and shower facilities. Each 'shower room' contains three
shower stalls, two sinks, and two toilets.
impressive diving conditions are made possible by the state's
unique coastal geography and extensive maritime history. The
Gulf Stream, carrying the warm, blue water from the Caribbean, produces
eddies - areas containing Gulf Stream water but devoid of its strong
current. These eddies engulf North Carolina's offshore waters
and routinely provide divers with tropical fish, large marine animals,
80 degree water temperatures, and 75+ feet of visibility. In addition,
North Carolina waters have long existed as a segment of the heavily
trafficked shipping lanes of the eastern U.S. seaboard. During
WWII, Hitler's U-boats terrorized merchant vessels, sending many
to their permanent resting ground 100 feet beneath the sea. These
tragedies, combined with the long history of vessels claimed by
the unforgiving shoals along the Outer Banks, gave North Carolina
a virtually unsurpassed collection of shipwrecks and earned its
waters the title The Graveyard of the Atlantic .
The Graveyard of the Atlantic gets its name from the estimated 2000 shipwrecks scattered along the North Carolina coastline. Voted #1 Wreck Diving in North America by Scuba Diving magazine's 2005 Readers' Poll, many of these historic vessels are accessible to divers.
Some of the most impressive
wrecks are the World War II casualties - vessels fallen prey to
Hitler's U-boat fleet as they traversed the offshore waters. Tankers,
cargo ships, British fishing trawlers, and even German submarines,
form impressive underwater monumentso this tumultuous segment of
our maritime heritage. Among others, a World War I gunboat, a late
18th century schooner, and an early 20th century luxury liner exist
in North Carolina's unparalleled collection of dive-able history.
Additionally, thanks to the continued efforts of the NC Division of Marine Fisheries Artificial Reef Program, local fishing organizations, and the Carteret County Artificial Reef Association, North Carolina is home to a plethora of vessels sunk purposefully as artificial reefs. Like their historic counterparts, these sites host a vast array of marine life making for thoroughly enjoyable diving experiences.
Carolina is home to the sand tiger shark. An impressive
looking but docile shark, sand tiger encounters is common occurrences
in our offshore waters. Often present in large numbers, the sharks
range in size from four to over eight feet long! Sand tigers typically
swim with their mouths open, smiling for photos, and proudly displaying
three rows of ferocious teeth. The sharks are here year around and
while they occasionally frequent all of our sites, they are more
commonly present on the wrecks of the Papoose, the Atlas, the Caribsea,
and the Proteus.
Olympus features two of the area's premier dive boats, the 65' Olympus and the 48' Midnight Express , both designed and maintained with the diver's safety and comfort in mind.
An award-winning, multi-faceted dive operation, Olympus offers training, repairs, air and nitrox fills, a full line of rental equipment and gear sales, a Divers' lodge, and a friendly, knowledgeable staff - all with the intention of providing our divers with the most complete and enjoyable diving experience possible.
The 2,200 sq. ft. dive shop is complete with an array of diving equipment and souvenirs, Nitrox and air fill stations, and a full line of well-maintained rental equipment is available.
North Carolina is an ideal location for underwater photography. Whether your passion is wide-angle, macro-, or microphotography, opportunities abound in our waters. Boasting an impressive variety of marine life, the avid photographer will find a host of subjects ranging from small sponges and arrow crabs to schools of amberjacks, turtles, sharks, dolphin, and even the occasional manta ray.
In addition to the marine life, the wrecks themselves make for striking images as photographers strive to capture the drama of a sunken vessel. Divers choosing video as their medium will be thrilled with amount of marine activity on our sites. From the remora swimming with the shark, to the schools of feeding bluefish, the video possibilities are endless!
grouper, hog snapper, flounder, cobia, and triggerfish
are several of the species the underwater hunter is likely to come
across. Large game fish are present on many of their wrecks and
are especially prevalent on offshore ledges and rocks. Flounder,
too, inhabit many sites including those closer to shore, and are
an ideal fish for the beginner, as well as the seasoned hunter.
For the lobster or "bug" aficionado, Olympus routinely
offers charters to sites commonly home to these evasive, but delicious,
creatures. Larger than most seen in Florida and the Caribbean, it
is not uncommon for divers to return with a ten- or twelve-pound
catch. Olympus stock a full inventory of equipment and accessories
for the underwater hunter, and for the novice or aspiring hunter,
they also offer instruction.
Spearfishing is permitted
on the majority of their dive trips with the exception of sites
containing large numbers of sharks. There is a fish cleaning station
conveniently located at the end of the dock and the helpful staff
is available to assist you with your day's catch.
Olympus Dive Center's
repair department can service all major brands
of Scuba equipment. Their repair staff are highly trained
and very experienced. Olympus specialize in quickly solving
your last minute gear issues, knowing that a faulty regulator can
add stress to a dive or ruin a vacation.
They have a wide variety of
parts and factory designated tools. Annual service is vital
to diver safety and comfort and recommended by every manufacturer.
They use established procedures and return your regulator to you
in as close to 'new' condition as possible. Olympus strives to meet
the needs of every customer whether their gear is new and under
warranty or approaching antique, they will ensure that you breathe
easy. If you forgot to have your gear serviced before your
trip, in many cases they can service the unit in less than 24 hours. Come
see the new Repair department and if you need anything do not
hesitate to ask!