Bahamas 2005

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Bahamas 2005
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  2005 - First Season The Bahamas    
 

 

Rum Cay

Conception Island

Cat Island

Abacos

 

   

The winter weather pattern in The Bahamas is for a series of regular weekly cold fronts to pass through on their way southeast from the United States. This has required us to find protected anchorages for two to three days each week while these pass. The winds during these frontal passages have reached 35 knots. This pattern results in good weather "windows" of around three to four  days for moving further south so we have been very much behind schedule. Also the water has been quite cold up to the middle of March, but as we reached further south this is improving.

 

On the Banks side of the islands, the water is too shallow to make a worthwhile dive and on many occasions it has been too rough on the deep Exuma Sound side to safely anchor the dinghy. Most of the diving action is at the entry to the cuts between the islands, but here the currents are very strong and diving is only safe at slack tide.

 

However, the weather is now improving, the water is getting warmer, we are becoming more confident in finding interesting places where we can take the boat, so hopefully we will soon have a diving page on this site.

 

We bought new Zeagle Stiletto BCDs and 2 additional high pressure dive tanks to add to the 2 already on board. The compressor was rebuilt before we left Fort Lauderdale, so we are ready to go. 

 

Rum Cay: We managed to find the one surviving place mat from the defunct dive resort restaurant which shows the best dive sites around Rum Cay, reportedly some of the best diving in The Bahamas. Unfortunately these were printed without GPS coordinates, so we set off in Dream On to locate a particular reef by use of the depth sounder. This proved to be more difficult than anticipated. However, we anchored well offshore in 35 feet, with the depth sounder showing a significant drop off. It was not the reef we had hoped to find and the coral only started at 20 metres.

 

In a subsequent dive on some shallower coral, we managed to drown the waterproof camera. So there are no dive photographs for this page.

 

Conception Island: A national park with a 300 foot wall to dive. We joined up with John and Mikki Powers from the yacht Wanda for this dive. We went round in two dinghies and moored to a mooring buoy which has been installed there to protect the reef.

 

The reef started at 18 metres and the main coral heads continued down to over 30 metres. We were immediately inspected by a large Caribbean Reef Shark which spent the whole dive with us. There were large coral heads, some with tunnels through from the shallower sand leading to the deeper west wall. There was a good selection of fish, but visibility was not great. Due to the depth it was a short dive.

 

Cat Island: We took the dinghy out of our mooring in Hawk's Nest Creek and moored to one of the dive site mooring buoys over Twilight Reef, just off Hawk's Nest Point on the southwest corner of the Island. This was very similar to the Conception dive in that the coral heads start at around 18 metres. No sharks on this dive probably because of poor visibility. A good selection of fish and coral.

 

Abacos: Although The Abacos claims many good dive sites, any that are over 8 metres are on the Atlantic shore, where it is impossible to anchor Dream On securely. Also, if Dream On were anchored inside on the shallow banks, there would still be no secure anchorage for the dinghy while diving. To dive safely on the Atlantic shores requires at least three people, so that one can remain with either the boat or the dinghy.

 

So, we dived on a well known snorkeling spot at Sandy Cay. Although the maximum depth on sand was only 8 metres, this made for a secure anchorage for Dream On with the wind holding our swim platform right over the edge of the reef, which rose to around 2 metres below the surface. Despite the shallow depth, we had an obvious advantage over the snorkelers above us and it was an enjoyable dive. The water was very clear with a number of eagle rays, and a good variety of fish and coral.

 

 

 

         
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