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    THE TROPICAL ATLANTIC
    Bermuda, The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Brazil
    The Bahamas are world famous for dolphin encounters.

    Off the U.S. Eastern seaboard, 650 miles east of Cape Hateras, North Carolina is the self-governing island colony of Bermuda. With more than 200 square miles of pristine coral reefs, this archipelago also features some of the best reef and wreck diving in the Western Hemisphere. The feature attractions include the mix of tropicals and a variety of historically significant shipwrecks in relatively shallow depths that allow generous bottom times.

    The 600-mile-long stretch of islands that comprise the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are bathed by the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean and begin only a hop, skip and a jump from southern Florida. Topside ambiance ranges from casinos, bars and nightclubs to a serene step back in time that offers isolation and complete relaxation. Divers can choose from land-based accommodations and numerous live-aboards.

    The Bahamas consists of 25 major islands, or island clusters, that run in a southeasterly direction from Walker’s Cay in the northwest to Great Inagua in the southeast. Destinations such as Bimini, Grand Bahama, Eleuthera, New Providence, San Salvador and Rum Cay have been part of the region’s diving lore and allure for years. Divers have it all from easy, shallow dives in colorful reef communities to caves, blue holes, sheer drops and shipwrecks to awesome animal encounters. The Bahamas is world renowned for shark diving, with famous feeding dives at Grand Bahama, Walkers Cay and New Providence. And dive operators offer interactions with both wild and tame dolphins.

    Step into the time machine in your mind and hit the reverse button before visiting the Turks and Caicos, where life moves at a pace often associated with the kinder, gentler ways of out-of-the-way places. Diving is easily accessible from shore-based operations in Providenciales, West Caicos, South Caicos and Grand Turk, while a live-aboard experience is readily available for those who prefer a more intense week of diving. Spur and groove formations lead to walls where Spotted Eagle Rays, schooling jacks and sharks cruise by on patrol. Undersea pinnacles and swim-throughs are outlined by colorful sea fans and sponges.

    Much farther to the south, but still in the Atlantic and worthy of a mention, is Brazil’s Fernando de Noronha. Just off of South America’s eastern tip, this archipelago offers adventure seekers everything from deep tek wrecks to creature-filled tide pools. It is also home to the world’s largest population of Spinner Dolphins.

     

    Dive Resorts and Operators
    Aqua Cat Cruises www.aquacatcruises.com
    Bermuda Underwater
    Exploration Institute
    www.buei.org
    Blackbeard's Cruises www.blackbeard-cruises.com
    Dolphins Stationery Sea Fever
    Diving Cruises - Bahamas
    www.seafever.com
    Oasis Divers www.oasisdivers.com
    Paradise Charters, Inc. www.paradisecharters.com
    Salt Cay Divers www.saltcaydivers.tc
    Scuba Bimini Undersea
    Adventures, Bimini
    www.nealwatson.com/bimini.html
    Stella Maris Resort Club,
    Long Island, Bahamas
    www.stellamarisresort.com
    Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas www.stuartcove.com
    Walker’s Cay Undersea
    Adventures, Abaco
    www.nealwatson.com/walkers.html
    Xanadu Undersea Adventures,
    Freeport Bahamas
    www.nealwatson.com/xanadu.html