This superb blue hole opens into the east wall of Andros
and is an Andros showpiece. Close to Small Hope Bay, north
of Fresh Creek, it can be dived several ways. Divers can
enter a cavern at 40 feet, proceed around the backside to
another entrance/exit to the south and exit at 40 to 60
feet, maximum depth 100 feet. The bottom of this portion
of the system is 130 or more. Advanced divers with the proper
training can also explore deeper sections of this system.
The AUTEC Buoy, an orientation system for US Navy sub exercises,
is anchored in 6,000 feet of water. Divers will find Dolphinfish
(Mahi-Mahi) under this 20-foot-wide buoy and can then drop
slightly deeper to encounter schools of jack and, with luck,
Silky Sharks, swirling around the thick anchor chain.
Brads Mountain is a coral head that rises from the
bottom at 50 feet to within 15 feet of the surface. Tons
of fish swarm in, out and around this structure of small
tunnels and caverns. Most are not penetrable, but the show
of tropicals, silversides, grunts and other reef fish are
the main attraction.
Considered typical of the finest of the literally hundreds
of wall dives available off Andros, Dianas Dungeons
features a multitude of tunnels, swimthroughs, arches and
other topographic formations. Beginning at around 70 feet,
divers can explore both shallow formations as well as caverns
dropping to 100 feet and deeper portions of the wall. Spotted
Eagle Rays and turtles are often sited here.
Red Shoal is a small, circular patch of very healthy Elkhorn
Corals south of Fresh Creek, and clouded by schools of grunts,
eels, trumpetfish and lots of other tropicals.
Found further south, Mickeys Meander is a shallow
reef system running from around 40 to 60 feet for the largest
portion of the reef. Sand channels run through coral canyons
in this range, but at least one coral head named Christmas
Tree tops off around 20 feet. Divers can see sharks, Spotted
Eagle Rays and other larger creatures.
Mama Rhodas is an excellent snorkeling reef as well
as a good place for macro photographers. Nudibranchs are
surprisingly abundant here. Toward the south is a sloping
wall named Fishbowl. It is not vertical, but does have a
steep slope featuring sand gullies and high spurs joining
together to form swimthroughs.
This is not a single site, but rather refers to a long expanse
of wall. The topography varies from sloping to vertical
to overhanging. It is a good example of Bahamian wall formations,
with typical sheet corals, an abundance of invertebrates
and the Eagle Rays and other pelagics one would expect along
deep channels. Reports of pods of Pilot Whales are common.
Whale Point features a gradually sloping wall with sand
chutes that spill onto sand plains that feature stands of
soft corals, sea rods and other gorgonians.
This series of reef lines run along the west side of the
Bimini chain as it falls south from the island of Bimini.
Tuna Alley is named for the spring run of massive Bluefin
Tuna up the Gulfstream (400lb plus) with Hammerheads nipping
at their fins. The wall here slopes from 30 to 40 feet down
to about 90 feet, levels out and then hits a more vertical
drop at 130 feet or so. The Victories feature more tunnels,
overhangs and swimthroughs than Tuna Alley. Sponge growth
is great throughout.
The Sapona, a ferro-cement Liberty Ship from the first part
of the 20th century, came to Bimini to serve as a floating
casino but ran aground in the banks behind Bimini during
a 1926 hurricane. Her checkered past includes stints as
a storage area for liquor and drugs awaiting transport to
the US, a late night party spot and a target for US Navy
bombing and strafing runs. She sits in15 feet of water with
half her hull above the waterline. With thick schools of
grunts, Nurse Sharks and tons of little life, this is a
great site for both snorkelers and divers.
The Bimini Barge sits close enough to the edge of the wall
to be washed by the currents of the Gulfstream, to enjoy
lots of rich marine life and to challenge divers. Richly
encrusted, this ocean-going barge was sunk in the mid-80s.
The deck is at 75 feet and the keel rests at 95 feet.
A thin piece of reef stretching perhaps 200 yards long and
hardly 20 feet wide at most, The Strip is perhaps Biminis
best night dive. Sitting in only 35 feet of water, it is
the home of many invertebrates, including reef crabs and
lobster, basket stars and crinoids and schools of margate
and grunts. At night, reclusive critters, such as octopi,
come out and its singular longitudinal form is easy to navigate.
Hawksbill Reef is a field of low-lying, popcorn kernel-shaped
coral heads, scattered across a sand and limestone seafloor.
In the mid-water above this reef, Bermuda Chub swim along
with chromis and other schooling reef fish. The reef itself
is rich with snapper and grunts along with the usual tropical
suspects. The rubble area in between and surrounding these
coral heads holds great potential for tilefish and jawfish.
Named for the tiny holes in the reef, all too small to be
navigated by divers, Little Caverns is a long time favorite,
medium depth reef. Seldom shallower than 60 feet or deeper
than 85 feet, the site features nicely formed coral heads
with a profile of 10 to 20 feet and adorned by basket, barrel
and tube sponges. Angelfish, Schoolmasters and various grunts
are common along with snapper and Nurse Sharks.
Road (Road to Atlantis)
This unassuming dive site has attracted world-wide attention.
Two primary straight lines of straight cut, square to rectangular
blocks, create a formation many believe to be remnants of
the continent of Atlantis. There are other practical explanations,
but in the late 1930s, the world famous psychic Edgar
Cayce predicted evidence of Atlantis would be discovered
off the island of Bimini in 1969 (without even knowing where
the island was). This was the year a pilot of a small plane
sighted the near parallel lines.
This deep, supremely rich and seldom dived wall is an absolute
surprise upon first exposure. The strong current of the
Gulf Stream drives you along a wall that tops out around
80 feet. Deeper on the wall are large sponge formations,
healthy corals and the ever-present possibility at any depth
of big animal life. This site is only visited by live-aboards.
Cay Sal Bank is riddled with blue holes, some rivaling the
best in the country for depth, dynamics and pure intrigue.
Big Hole is not the least of these. Nearly a quarter of
a mile from lip to lip, it is said to drop at least 400
feet before branching off into caves. Its primary use is
as the staging ground for shark dives. Divers drop off the
stern of the vessel, swim across the deep expanse and position
themselves on a sand shelf at about 50 feet. Food is positioned
and sharks begin to ascend out of the depths of the hole.
The Sistine Chapel is yet another of the great blue holes.
Circular in form and about 40 yards in diameter, it takes
a classic bell-shaped form, dropping to several hundred
feet. Its name was partly inspired by the stalactites clinging
to the ceiling at 130 feet, evidence that the ocean was
at one time at least 130 feet lower than it is today.
Skirting Eleutheras northern coast, the ragged reef
has claimed more ships than history records. The first recorded
was the vessel of the Eleutherian Adventurers, religious
refugees from England via Bermuda. The reef ripped the hull
of their ship in 1649, spilling them into the sea and determining
their final destination, thus the name of the island. Today,
divers can explore the remains of the Potato and Onion Wreck,
The Carnarvon, The Cienfuegos or the Train Wreck, all within
feet of each other and probably lying on the remains of
This is the fastest underwater ride in The Bahamas. This
narrow cut between North Eleuthera and Current Island produces
extreme currents during tidal changes that range from five
to nine knots depending on the time of year. On a single
pass, divers can see Spotted Eagle Rays, sharks, turtles
Cave & Bone Sink Hole
Only recently explored, these two inland blue holes offer
new adventures for divers An easy walk from a parking lot
on North Eleuthera, but with at least one challenging climb
down, this is the essence of Bahamian blue hole diving.
The Arch is the southern portion of the long reef system
bordering Harbour Islands east (Atlantic) side, called
Millers Reef. This particular site refers to a 50-foot
long tunnel/segmented archway cutting through a spur and
groove formation reaching a depth of 114 feet. The majority
of the dive is done at a depth of 65 to 85 feet.
A massive reef ranging from 35 to 80 feet, the Plateau is
actually three moored sites. The overall profile leans to
a spur and groove formation with large overhangs often forming
arches/swimthroughs. This interconnected system is host
to everything from grouper to tarpon to snapper to tiny
tropical gems. Keep an eye out for eagle rays, sharks or
schools of Horseeye Jack.
This spectacular offshore site is best suited for advanced
divers. The mooring sits at 99 feet and drops to a 128 feet.
While the no-deco limits are admittedly short, the big black
corals, large barrel sponges and the ever-present possibility
of spotting big, blue water pelagics makes this a tremendous
A nice deep wall lying on the southeast corner of the island,
Black Coral Wall begins between 50 and 80 feet. As the name
suggests, divers can expect to see a large number of Black
Coral than normal. In December, this site is also host to
an annual gathering of mating Tiger Grouper.
Starting at only 45 feet and slipping over the edge of the
wall to sport diving limits and beyond, impressive hard
coral growth is one of the big attractions. Predominate
invertebrate growth include large Purple and Yellow Tube
Sponges set off by large stands of Deepwater Sea Fans and
Wire Corals. Black Grouper are also common.
Currents can be strong at Tartar Point and, while not always
present, should be expected. This offshore pinnacle peaks
at 40 feet beneath the surface. Three quarters of a mile
across, the edge starts at 60 to 80 feet and then but drops
into the abyss. The appeal of this site is the opportunity
to see open ocean pelagics swirling around the pinnacle.
One of the prettiest and healthiest coral reefs in the entire
country, Dry Heads is only 23 feet to the bottom. Purple
sea fans wave in the air like flags, and a single, pristine
Star Coral stretches at least 18 feet off the bottom, protecting
and sheltering schools of French Grunts and individual angelfish.
Most dive operations dont go quite this far north
on the west coast, but will often accommodate special requests.
Highburn Wall is a generic name for a stretch of wall along
the northeast side of the northern Exuma Cays. Steeply sloping
or vertical and riddled with gullies and swimthroughs, Highburn
is very pristine and accessed by day trips from Nassau and
Grotto (Bond Cave)
Made famous in the James Bond film Thunderball, this is
where Bond confronts the villains in an undersea cavern.
Aside from the movie lore, this dive merits attention on
it own. Located in the backwater behind Staniel Cay, it
is a hollow dome half filled with water and illuminated
by beams of light coming through openings in the ceiling.
The cuts separating the islands of the Exumas present striking
reefs, largely due to the constant flush of water back and
forth on the tides. This flow of nutrients and clean water
from the banks to the sound and back is a perfect feeding
and cleansing environment. Sharks, turtles, grouper, rays
and much more simply hang in the cuts awaiting their next
This simple blue hole in Stocking Island, across from Great
Exuma, is perfect for novice divers. Ninety feet deep at
the back, the accessible portion only extends in a total
of 400 feet. The resident Angelfish inspired its moniker.
Begining only 25 feet below the surface, the cavern slants
back. At 50 feet, divers can turn toward the surface and
witness the classic blue hole silhouette.
Sitting just south of Great Exuma, Crab Cay Crevasse appears
deceptively simple. A broad, oblong opening leads into a
rather complex system. There is a vast expanse of cavern,
very wide and comfortable, but divers should be cautious
and always keep light within view.
Ocean Blue Hole
Sitting about 10 miles off the east point of New Providence,
the Lost Ocean Blue Hole is 10 feet across, almost perfectly
circular with isolated coral heads dotting the edge and
drops into a classic bell shape. Southern Stingrays lay
in the sand surrounding the hole while Caribbean Reef Sharks
lurk under the lip. At the bottom, around 200 feet or so,
lays a conical debris cone, of sand and organic detritus.
This drops to caverns spiraling off the base of the hole,
caves which have not been fully explored.
Just a mile and half from the Lost Ocean Blue lies this
triangular reef in 30 feet of water. If you love shallow
reefs, long bottom times, lots of fish and healthy growth,
Barracuda Shoals is a sure bet. As it sits within the Great
Bahama Bank, the visibility is variable.
Fish, fish and more fish are the featured attraction of
the Fish Hotel. Situated north of Paradise Island, the reef
is a simple pockmarked limestone bottom adorned with soft
corals and very sparse hard corals. The potholes dip at
least a couple of feet into the ocean floor with undercut
ledges. In these corners are found eels, crab, lobster and
other reclusive creatures. There are also clouds of mixed
French and Blue-striped Grunts along with Trumpetfish, various
angelfish, Porkfish and other visitors.
Graveyard (The Shipyard)
Off the north shore of Paradise Island, several vessels
have been sunk in the last 10 to 15 years as artificial
reefs. The Ana Lise, the Helena C and the Bahama Shell sit
in 90 feet of water. Nearby, in only 45 feet of water, the
Mahoney rests as a victim of a 1929 hurricane. Broken into
two pieces, both are richly encrusted with sponge growth
and are well-populated by a wealth of fish.
Once a Bahamian mailboat, the Willaurie now sits fully intact
and upright, its propeller and stern are richly encrusted
with sponge and algae growth, tunicates and other invertebrates.
This name refers to a single group of wrecks sunk for the
edification of movie audiences around the world. Due to
its consistently clear waters, excellent dive support, talented
and knowledgeable local stunt divers and shark wranglers
and easy access to stateside support, Nassau has become
a preferred underwater studio for Hollywood. This group
of wrecks includes the Tears of Allah from Never Say never
Again and the Vulcan Bomber from Thunderball. The Vulcan
Bomber is has become a sponge and gorgonian encrusted beauty,
possibly the finest photo backdrop off New Providence.
The Caribe Breeze was abandoned dockside in the Nassau harbor.
Saved from the scrap yard, she now sits upright in 90 feet
of water just south of Stuart Coves Dive Bahamas serving
as both a playground and a training ground for wreck exploration.
Training lines run through this former oil tankers
hull, winding from one hold to another.
Razorback lives up to its name, a sharp-edged reef running
along the edge of the wall. The sand flats inside the reef
are alive with Southern Stingray, Peacock Flounder, and
Garden Eels. Beginning at 65 feet on the sand flats, the
reef climbs to a peak of 40 feet before sliding down the
slope and over the wall. A nearby site named Playpen features
an oval coral patch with tons of small schooling fish. Both
sites are easily visited on a single dive.
This expansive reef spreads across a huge area south of
New Providence. Elkhorn and Star Corals reach close to the
surface with sea fans swaying in the gentle current. It
reaches to within five feet of the surface and drops to
only 40. This has been a favorite area for both snorkelers
and divers for decades.
Wall, The Arena, Edward Williams
Shark diving is one of the most popular activities off New
Providence and there is no doubt this is the singular most
popular shark site. Situated eight miles south of New Providence
along the Tongue of the Ocean, it is three sites in one.
Shark Wall is the deep wall side. Shark Arena is the primary
40 foot deep shark feeding area. Inside is the wreck of
the Edward Williams, a decommissioned Bahamas Defence Force
cutter. On each of these adjacent sites, sharks are part
and parcel to the experience. The feeding dives are done
with divers arrayed in a semi-circle, a feeder in front
of them, a safety diver behind the feeder and another behind
the guests. The feed is truly extraordinary.
The SS Frascate is one of the favorite shallow wrecks in
the Bahamas. The bridge crew of this freighter (originally
the Danzig), managed to miss running onto San Salvadors
shore by running aground on the surrounding reef. The wreck
was dynamited for water traffic clearance, and is possibly
the finest shallow wreck of The Bahamas. Intact boilers,
cranes and other decking provide great shelter for marine
Marked by a telephone pole lying on the white sand bottom,
Telephone Pole has a 20-foot-long tunnel cutting through
40-foot bottom through the reef and emerging at 60 feet
on the face of the wall. Nassau Grouper on the outside are
joined by Blackjacks within the cavern. This is a must dive
site for visitors to San Salvador.
Sometime in the dim past, a cataclysmic event caused a 200-foot
long portion of this vertical wall to split away. It sits
there now, hanging, but joined still at its base and creating
a double dropoff. Drop over the first edge of the wall at
35 feet and you find yourself hanging over a 150-foot-deep
chasm. The separated edge of the wall peaks at 80 feet and
then falls away vertically into the abyss. One of the most
impressive San Salvador sites, it features big sponge growth
and big and fearless grouper.
Three deep lines gouged straight down the face of the wall
give Devils Claw its name. A series of three impressive
gullies drop from 45 feet on the face of the wall and join
at 85 feet. Plate corals coat the wall and black corals
sprout off it along the usual profusion of sponges. This
is a great area for Hammerhead sightings.
Named for the extensive stands of Black Coral sprouting
from its convoluted surface, Black Forest is one of
San Salvadors first-rate dive sites. Situated on the
southwest corner of the island, Black forest typifies the
diving of French Bay. Massive spur and groove systems spill
over the edge of the wall. Divers following these systems
will find themselves following cavernous grooves leading
through the reef, eventually emerging into the cobalt blue
of the Bahamian deep.
Shark Rodeo is undoubtedly the most unique shark dive in
the Bahamas. While nearly every shark dive is done by hand-feeding,
Walkers Cay chooses to use a shark popsicle, made
of fish remains frozen in large barrels, then suspended
in the water between a buoy and anchor weight. Divers can
watch 150 to 200 sharks circling and nuzzling the chumsicle,
licking and biting and ignoring both divers and snorkelers.
This long sloping canyon drops from 65 to 95 feet and has
two distinctive features. First, it drops to several tunnels
in which sharks of several varieties lay sleeping on the
bottom. Second, hundreds to thousands of Bermuda Chub gather
seasonally at twilight. As the sun sets, they begin a spiraling,
vertigo-inducing dance, swirling in the decreasing light
as they prepare to rest.
Esther K and the Dorothy H
Recently placed on the ocean floor, these two very similar
ships are now resting in about 100 feet of water. Both are
upright, have been prepared for penetration by divers and
are very inviting. They sit in close proximity to each other,
but are done as separate dives. Growth is minimal at present
but will certainly increase with the passage of time.
This immense maze of easily explored caverns is a benchmark
Abaco dive. An ancient reef system, extinct within but healthy
and thriving on top, it presents a cathedral-like appearance,
purple coralline algae coating the interior limestone walls.
Beams of light shine through chimneys in the ceiling, dancing
within the interior rooms. Divers pass from room to room
through these beams of light, exploring corners and parting
A Spanish cannon and anchors strewn across the reef mark
this site. Acres of low-lying coral are topped by Elkhorn
Coral and broad fish population adds both motion and color
to the scene. Shallow depths make it accessible to snorkelers
Caverns/Original Tarpon Dive
These two sites are positioned slightly to the north of
Green Turtle Cay. Both are very similar with high, pillar-like
and undercut coral heads and grouper, snapper and lobster
taking shelter within the reef system. Depths range from
seven to 50 feet at Coral Caverns and 30 to 50 feet at the
Original Tarpon Dive. As may be expected from the name,
Tarpon are common residents of the Original Tarpon dive.
Both sites have what may be called pet grouper, Calypso
on Coral Caverns and Junkanoo at Tarpon.
Brought down in a ferocious storm on New Years Day
in 1865, the San Jacinto was a 234-foot Civil War screw
frigate, a square-rigged experimental vessel, and was one
of the first ships built to test a new form of propulsion,
the steam-powered engine. Her life spent in blockade service
during the Civil War, she now lies in 50 feet of water north
of Green Turtle Cay off Manjack Cay. Flattened on the bottom
by years of sea action and storms, she is coated in fire
corals, soft corals and scattered, small hard corals. A
resident Green Moray will certainly make an appearance.
A long-time favorite among Abaco sites, Maxi Caves is a
coral ravine with several small coral grottos. The coral
walls surround sand flats with scattered coral pillars,
undercut to the point of nearly toppling over under the
weight of their coral crowns. No deeper than 40 feet and
as shallow as 12 feet, this is a popular site for snorkelers
as well as divers.
Possibly the most beautiful reef in Abaco, Sandy Cay sweeps
from the island it takes its name from down to about 30
feet of water. Elkhorn Corals at the surface spread down
to Pillar, Brain, Star and other corals. The surrounding
Tiloo Bank is a great place to find tiny sand dwellers.
Grand Bahamas preeminent shipwreck was placed in 110
feet of water on October 16th, 1982. She was donated to
the dive community by Theodopolis Galanoupoulos and is now
known as Theos Wreck. She is 230 feet long, and sits
upright just yards from the drop off. Her anchor chains
drape off the bow and stern all dripping with soft corals,
hydroids and other colorful invertebrates.
Inside she holds schooling grunts, grouper and a very large
Green Moral Eel. Outside, divers can expect to see cudas,
schooling Horse-eye Jacks and visitors from the deep blue.
Southern Stingrays rest in the sand and Yellowhead Jawfish
inhabit burrows in the rubble at the stern.
Shark Junction is one of the best shark dives in the county.
A sand flat in 50 feet of water with scattered coral formations,
Southern Stingrays hunkered down in the sand under Nassau,
Black and Tiger Grouper, huge Mutton and Dog Snapper, Green
Morays and all types of other marine life.
The dive itself is conducted with divers arrayed in a semi-circle,
to view Caribbean Reef Sharks swooping over their heads
to take fish from the feeders hands. The feeder and
safety divers wear full body chain mail suits.
If your dreams have included dipping and diving in the ocean
with a dolphin, this is the place. UNEXSOs Dolphin
Experience was the first operation in the world to allow
divers a controlled interaction in the open ocean with bottlenose
dolphins. Given a place of safety in Sanctuary Bay, an enclosed
bay connected to the ocean by, over a dozen dolphins happily
make their home here. The pens enclosing the area are only
a few feet above the water. Dolphins can leap at least 10
feet in the air. If they want to leave, they can. They choose
Encounters include a simple familiarization with dolphins
while sitting on the dock, listening to a presentation and
petting dolphins as they voluntarily approach. Or visitors
can snorkel within the confines of the bay and swim with
the dolphins. Finally, two mature dolphins follow a staff
boat and a dive vessel out to a 50 foot deep sand and coral
flat and interact with divers.
A relatively shallow reef area lying off Lucayan National
Park, Gold Rock doesnt exceed 45 feet and is a shallow
as 28 feet. It is good for both casual and intermediate
free-divers and for scuba divers. A spur and groove formation
with lines of coral spilling into the Southwest Providence
Channel, Gold Rock is rich with soft corals, sea fans and
schools of Brown and Blue Chromis. Healthy stands of Pillar
corals are also a prominent feature of this tightly packed
Also known as Bens Cave and the Burial Mound Cave,
this blue hole was explored by Ben Rose, a local fisherman.
Two separate blue hole surface openings are interconnected
beneath the crust of the earth. This is a delicate system
and is available to visiting divers only by a pre-existing
appointment. A maximum of four divers per day is allowed.
Four Lucayan Indian skeletons were discovered in 1986 in
one of the caves chambers. Entry to this chamber is
The diminutive yet broad coral heads strewn across the sea
floor give this site its name. They appear to be similar
to the cross-legged, squatting and smiling form of Buddha.
Feathered soft corals and sea fans create haloes surroundings
these coral heads. You may find Nurse Sharks sleeping within
the shelter of the heads, but you may also expect various
other reef sharks as well as rays and pleagics.
Lattimors Mound is one massive coral head, segmented
and very interesting in terms of its topography. The marine
life is representative of the entire area with small tropicals
and many schooling reef fish. If you investigate the rubble
area surrounding the mound, you will discover jawfish, both
Yellowhead as well as Banded, and many other hardscrabble
Resting on the west side of the Small Bahama Bank and within
the exclusive reach of dive live-aboards, Memory Rock is
one of the very best western Bahamian wall sites. Beginning
in only 40 to 50 feet, the wall crests and then spills over
into the depths of the Florida Straits. Huge sponges, cascading
plate corals, wire corals and black corals decorate this
A long time Long Island favorite, Barracuda Heads is an
extensive reef, with over a half dozen massive coral formations
at least 50 feet in length, at least half as wide and rising
some 25 feet off the sea floor. They are highly convoluted,
undercut and segmented coral heads with an amazing assortment
of invertebrate growth as well as an astounding variety
of fish, lobster and crabs. Black, Tiger, Yellowfin, Red
and Nassau Grouper. The namesake Great Barracuda are also
This shallow dive and snorkel site is an area of isolated
coral heads, each alive with activity. Pillar Corals, blankets
of Staghorn Coral and fields of soft corals are surrounded
by clouds of tiny schooling tropicals. The biggest draws
are the mass of activity and the wide variety of sea life.
Flamingo Tongue drops to 35 feet with coral heads rising
15 feet off the sea floor. It is named for the large number
of Flamingo Tongue snails you will discover on sea fans
and soft corals here. Generally low-lying, Flamingo Tongue
does feature very large sea fans, some easily six feet in
diameter. The reef begins nearly at the shore on the south
end of Cape Santa Maria/Calabash Bay, but slopes out to
depths of 35 feet.
A 102-foot British-built freighter, the MV Comberbach, sits
at the north end of Calabash bay, commonly called Cape Santa
Maria. She was saved from the scrap yard in 1986 and intentionally
sunk in 100 feet of water. Sitting upright, her superstructure
reaches to within 65 feet of the surface. Tons of fish surround
her and inhabit her interior.
This was very first shark dive in The Bahamas, begun nearly
35 years ago. Today it is done a little differently than
most. Divers descend to the 50-foot bottom with a safety
diver. After they are positioned, a bucket of chum is thrown
into the water. The 15 to 20 sharks in attendance go into
a feeding frenzy, ripping into the bucket and devouring
the fish. After the frenzy, divers can explore the reef
while the sharks circulate.
Blue & Big Green Blue Hole
These two blue holes sit to the north and south of Clarence
Town, a significant settlement on the southeast side of
Long Island. Jim King bottomed out Deans Blue Hole
in August of 1992 at 650 feet, the deepest recorded in this
archipelago. Both sit just inside the shoreline, have distinct
connections to the ocean and have a significant amount of
sea life within them. Turtles and dolphins have even been
seen near the surface. Big Green Hole sits in a shallow
lagoon, but can only be penetrated to a depth of 66 feet.
Conception Island, uninhabited but home to nesting turtles
and migrating sea birds, is surrounded by some of the finest
walls in both The Bahamas as well as the Caribbean. The
south side of the island allows some of the finest views
over the wall and down into the depths of the central western
Atlantic. The walls are reminiscent of those found off Cozumel,
sand chutes spilling over the edge abutted by large coral
heads liberally draped in plentiful and colorful sponges.
You will certainly spot turtles as well as sharks meandering
through the reef. Spotted Eagle Rays and other pelagics
are often seen too.
Stretching to the northwest of Conception is a lengthy reef
line called Southampton Reef. It is named for the resident
remains of an English 32-gun frigate that crashed onto the
reef in 1812. The cannons were salvaged, but anchors, props,
parts of the hull and machinery remain. The reef system
is very interesting as well, but recent hurricanes have
made navigation difficult and limited access.
Named after the snow-white sand surrounding the coral heads,
Snow Fields is well-suited to macro photographers, snorkelers
and casual divers. Formerly an extensive Elkhorn field,
it has taken a real beating in the path of hurricanes over
the past decade. It will no doubt regenerate quickly as
this is a very fast-growing barrier coral. Fish are still
numerous and the invertebrate life excellent.
This is a great Rum Cay wall site beginning at the top of
the reef at 50 feet. It is named for a tunnel dropping from
the sea floor 40 feet through the body of the reef and emerging
into a coral grotto at 90 feet. From this grotto, a sand
ravine spills over the reef and finally dumps over the edge
of the wall at an ancient shoreline at 130 feet. The growth
includes very large barrel Sponges and commonly found schools
of Horse-eye Jacks.