CaribbeanUS Virgin Islands

The Tektite Project was located at one of my favorite snorkel sites

By January 29, 2017 No Comments
Tektite Project
Tektite project top side

All the remains of the support structure are the white concrete footers on the rock.

My second favorite snorkel site in the Virgin Islands is Tektite Point in Great Lameshur Bay on the south side of St John.

In the late 60’s and early 70’s this was the site of an underwater habitat used by aquanauts to conduct scientific experiments on isolation and underwater conditions. The only remains visible to this day are the concrete footers on the surface of a large rock. But there is a museum dedicated to this project at the VIRES encampment. To get there dinghy to the dock in Great Lameshur Bay and walk the road to the right until you find the short trail to the base.

Tektite museum

At the museum you can read all about the project.

Once there you will learn how General Electric built  the structure featuring two 4 meter wide by 6 meter tall cylinders mounted on a rectangular base. This was placed 50 feet underwater and the crew of 5 set a record of days underwater at 58.

The structure was sold and moved to San Francisco to be used again, but after over 10 years trying to raise the required capital the project was abandoned and the structure was used by a local welding school to cut up.

I have told this history many times as I have taken guest to Tektite Point to snorkel and now it is nice to know I can offer to take them to a small museum dedicated to this early, innovative research project. Very Cool!

Tektite Porject diagram

What the structure looked like.

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