Vacation Spotlight: Bahamas

Being an avid scuba diver, scuba diving with sharks was something that I had always wanted to do. A notorious spot for shark diving is near Nassau, Bahamas, where my mother and I ventured for a vacation several years ago (January 2009). My mom doesn’t scuba dive, but joined for the beaches and relaxation while I spent each morning on the dive boat. I booked the dives through Stuart’s Cove, a well-known dive center that offers a variety of courses and dive adventures. I completed two boat dives each day and was signed up for their infamous Shark Dive on one of the days. The reef diving was pretty good, mostly overrun by the invasive lionfish, but the wreck diving was much better. Many of the dive sites that they bring divers to have been used in films, such as Into the Blue. The shark dive, however, was my absolute favorite. Before the dive, a divemaster or instructor enters the water suited up with a chainmail suit and bait box. The dive site, also known as Shark Arena, sits in ~40 feet of water attracts around 40 Caribbean Reef Sharks during each dive. The divers descend into the water and form a circle around the divemaster or instructor, and are instructed to not make any sudden movements with their hands, but to keep them to their sides for the entirety of the dive (you don’t want your hands to be mistaken for fish!).

ImageSharks swim directly above you, to the side, and even bump into you! This was a dream come true for me and I enjoyed it so much that I signed up for a second day of it. Words can’t even express the joy and awe that I felt during this dive!

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ImageWhen I wasn’t diving, I spent some time on the beach, explored the hotel, or walked around the busy downtown area.

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My mom and I also visited the Ardastra Gardens and Zoo, where I was able to hand-feed several species of exotic birds and watch a marching flamingo show!

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Overall, it was a great trip for some scuba diving! Have you ever been to the Bahamas? What was your favorite thing about it?

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4 thoughts on “Vacation Spotlight: Bahamas

  1. I actually did my Open Water certification through Stuart’s Cove! I agree that diving the shipwrecks was an unmatched experience. My dive instructor was testing my use of a compass and simply told me to swim east and nothing else. Imagine my surprise when out of the dark blue came the looming shadow of a ship!

    We ended up unknowingly doing a shark dive as well. It was my 3rd dive ever in open water and there were a dozen nurse sharks swimming all around us. My Open Water training in the Bahamas definitely taught me to prepare for the unexpected.

    Looks like you had an amazing time!

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