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Old 04-08-2011, 08:39   #1
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Hookah vs Scuba for Bahamas

I am an experienced diver, and will be cruising the Exumas and Abacos. I was planning on taking two tanks, but was wondering about fills especially in the Exumas. I was thinking about a Brownie with 60 foot depth range or getting two more tanks. I thought about a compressor, but I have 40 foot cat, and the placement would be difficult. In general, I dive recreationally, having given up my need for stupid things like caves and mixed gases.

Any thoughts?

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Old 04-08-2011, 08:49   #2
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Re: Hookah vs Scuba for Bahamas

You can get fills in Georgetown. There are a couple of liveaboard diveboats that now sail out of Nassau, they dive around Highborne Cay a lot. They might help you out.
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:08   #3
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Re: Hookah vs Scuba for Bahamas

Diving off your own boat is more of a hassle than it's worth. To dive safely and still be in command of your boat you need at least 4 people, all the gear, tanks, a compressor, on and on. Much better to free dive in shallower water and go diving with an outfitter when available. Hookahs are great for bottom work and easy to set up, but not the same as diving.
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Old 04-08-2011, 14:30   #4
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We have a Bower compressor installed on a 44 ft cat. Tucked away nicely - doesn't take much space - runs off electrical motor from genset and nice to know we can fill our tanks any where at any time.
I would hate to have to search around for dive shops to fill my tanks.
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Old 04-08-2011, 14:58   #5
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Re: Hookah vs Scuba for Bahamas

I went through this exercise and decided on the Brownie F285X. The main reason being if I were to be way way out island, all I would need is gas versus a long expensive trip to get tanks filled. It does take up valuable space on my smallish boat but so would tanks.
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Old 04-08-2011, 16:32   #6
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Re: Hookah vs Scuba for Bahamas

In the Bahamas tanks are useful for diving the blue holes and deep reefs, but there is ample shallow water for snorkeling. My kids and I are NAUI certified, but have never felt the urge to use tanks while in the Bahamas. Furthermore, if you are planning on fishing in the Bahamas while underwater you may only use a Hawaiian sling. Spear guns are not permitted. Additionally I don't think you are permitted to fish while scuba diving,even with a sling, but you should check this for yourself.
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Old 04-08-2011, 18:20   #7
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Re: Hookah vs Scuba for Bahamas

I use an Airline by J Sink on my 42' cat...works well off inverter all day long with twin 60' hoses. You cannot fish in the Bahamas using any powered spears or with aux air...only snorkel/free dive. Bahamians apparently can get a license to lobster with tanks, but as far as I know this is not available for cruisers on a permit. The fisheries director for Grand Bahama often shows up for surprise inspections and wants to know what you're using.
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:28   #8
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Re: Hookah vs Scuba for Bahamas

Thanks for the advise all. I have dived blue holes in Andros, but the depths were 55 feet down to 300 feet. Since this is the first trip, I think I will stick with tanks and consider a compressor for the next trip.

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Old 22-08-2011, 21:52   #9
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Re: Hookah vs Scuba for Bahamas

We have Hookah on our circumanavigating 44' cat, and thought we'd use it for casual diving etc ... reality intrudes, and we only use it for bottom cleaning or freeing an anchor ... set-up and clean-up are a hassle ... takes 30 minutes on each end ... if we were to do it over, if we were serious about diving on our own, we'd get a few tanks, and find a place to put an electric compressor.

BUT ...

As it stands, we have had a lot of good luck with dive shops and divemasters and find their advice re: locations and their companionship re: safety a real asset ... we've dived our way across the Pacific and I am sure we would not have dived as much if we were all on our own (2 of us) ... net net, given cost of compressor etc., I am not sure the money would have been that different ...
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Old 28-09-2011, 13:12   #10
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Re: Hookah vs Scuba for Bahamas

We carry both a Brownie and two tanks. There are lots of places to refill in the Abacos but refills are hard to find in the Exumas.
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