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Old 13-12-2019, 18:23   #1
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Sailing / Diving Bahamas

Planning on sailing down to Bahamas for couple of weeks. Want to do some diving off our boat. I read the Padi recommendations but find that a bit comercialized. We have dive gear, tanks and lots of dives. Looking for good anchorages with easy (skiff) access to some nice dives.
Not doing deep dives but put 70 ft or so.
Would appreciate your suggestions.
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Old 13-12-2019, 19:16   #2
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Sailing / Diving Bahamas

I went and took all my dive gear as well, tanks etc.
Didnít really see any shops, one in Georgetown, but there was never anyone there.
But it seemed to me that any diving will be on the Ocean side.
Maybe 15 years or so ago we did a liveaboard dive trip on the AquaCat, there is a lot of diving, good diving, but I donít know where to tell you to go or where to get tanks re-filled.
Now I stayed away from the big towns, so maybe that is where you have to go?
On edit we also did a two week diving trip at San Salvador. There is phenomenal wall diving there, we went diving and stayed at the Riding Rock inn, but itís off the beaten path.
For wall diving itís about the best I have ever done
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Old 14-12-2019, 07:57   #3
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Re: Sailing / Diving Bahamas

Padi is very resort oriented, starting with their weekend certification that gives you just enough knowledge to go kill yourself. Try the Bahamas Diving Association, and this link, which at least gives some information on basing at Freeport, keeping you out of Nassau.

https://www.scubadivebahamas.com/?gc...IaAsEDEALw_wcB
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Old 15-12-2019, 00:11   #4
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Re: Sailing / Diving Bahamas

You’ll have to hit big islands or resorts to get tanks filled, which are typically not where you want to be... best case scenario put a compressor onboard (you’ll also suddenly be everyone’s favorite person and make lots of new friends)!

That said... we stayed/cruised the Bahamas for several months before continuing south and never even pulled the tanks out. The Bahamas and most of its reefs are extremely shallow and easily snorkeled. Not to say you can’t dive deeper, but you’ll often be heading much further offshore.

Where to go? It’s all good!
The Exumas are amazing both above and below the surface. The cuts between islands make for good water flow and bring in good life. The marine park is stellar and we swam with huge bull sharks and eagles rays literally right under the boat!
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Old 15-12-2019, 09:28   #5
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Re: Sailing / Diving Bahamas

I think you can get tanks refilled at Brendal's Dive Shop in White Sound, Green Turtle Cay and also Dive Guana at Great Guana Cay. Even though in the Abacos, I believe their both open for business again? Should be able to find websites if you google them or even possible Active Captain? Make sure you resist the urge to shoot anything like lobsters or fish while using your tanks!!! It's illegal unless snorkelling or free diving only.
Have fun!!!
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Old 15-12-2019, 09:32   #6
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Re: Sailing / Diving Bahamas

Many people pass it by as a little off the track for making way south, but Moraine Cay in that NE corner above Abaco has a very nice reef.
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Old 15-12-2019, 09:49   #7
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Re: Sailing / Diving Bahamas

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Originally Posted by Oldwheels View Post
Planning on sailing down to Bahamas for couple of weeks.

SNIP
Rather short time. Most routes are a day to Bimini or West End and often spending a night there. Other options are night and day to Morgans, Great Harbor, somewhere else. Same to get back. Probably another day or two to decompress from crossing the Gulf Stream and going through customs and getting settled. Even skin diving on shallow reefs probably means some down time to recover from activity in the hot sun.

All this does not even take into account a day, or more, to get to some of the best dive locations; and maybe more importantly any weather issues. It is common for the weather to cause delays at the worst possible time.

Not trying to be a wet blanket and I think you can have a successful trip. But you need to figure out just where you can get in a very compressed time frame. As others have mentioned for the most part there are plenty of interesting dives in very shallow water. You might consider simply crossing to Bimini and diving that faux Atlantis Road, shark dives, the wreck ship, and maybe a trip to Gun and Cat Cay for dives there. That way you could maximize your dive time and minimize your travel time. While I am not the biggest Bimini fan there is a lot to do there.

Another big consideration is your boat and it's capabilities in terms of anchoring out and how often you would need to get provisions/water/fuel/whatever. Not trying to eliminate lots of the other great places to dive in the Bahamas; just saying that a lot of folks don't plan for how long it will take to get from one anchorage/marina to the next.
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Old 15-12-2019, 10:25   #8
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Re: Sailing / Diving Bahamas

I've been diving out of UNEXSO since 1979. They have a fantastic dive center and all there are professionals and super friendly. They can take care of all your diving and vacation needs. Check out there web site.
Happy sailing all, as well as diving. Capt. Vince Rakstis, Retired
PS: They are in Freeport, have not been there since the huricane.....
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Old 15-12-2019, 11:37   #9
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Re: Sailing / Diving Bahamas

South Andros which is off the beaten path has amazing diving. Contact Jesse Leopold, owner of Andros Beach Club (https://www.androsbeachclub.com). You will not regret it! We got our Naui dive master certification with Jesse and he took us to some of the most amazing sites including in-land and ocean blue holes, wall dives off of the tongue of the ocean, a wreck and the most incredible untouched reefs. You could easily spend a week there alone.

Sailing is slightly difficult due to shallows but Jesse could guide you in to a dredged channel where you could anchor off of their property. Lock your boat if you are not on it. Theft can happen but it’s not malicious. The people on this island are beautiful and friendly. Unfortunately there’s just not a lot of jobs though.

There are a couple of stores for provisioning but they are not major grocery stores. You could also spearfish with Jesse for dinner. Good Luck!
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Old 15-12-2019, 11:52   #10
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Re: Sailing / Diving Bahamas

Usually the ocean side of an island is good diving close to shore. Often in 35 ft or less. You can often go through a shallow cut in an island string with the dingy and get there, while larger boats cant. Shark hours are am and after maybe 3:30 pm. Watch the big barracuda that follow you around, they'll take a fish on your spear in one second flat!
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Old 15-12-2019, 13:13   #11
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Re: Sailing / Diving Bahamas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldwheels View Post
Planning on sailing down to Bahamas for couple of weeks. Want to do some diving off our boat. I read the Padi recommendations but find that a bit comercialized. We have dive gear, tanks and lots of dives. Looking for good anchorages with easy (skiff) access to some nice dives.
Not doing deep dives but put 70 ft or so.
Would appreciate your suggestions.
The dive shop in Georgetown is operational but very small hehe. If you call you can have them meet you and they are usually always there when the supply boat docks. To that end, there is a great, blue hole dive right next to Chat & Chill. I'd recommend a guide from the dive shop in Georgetown though as the current pulse can be a challenge. The guide will show you how to spider crawl down the wall.

As others have mentioned, you can snorkel almost as much as dive, however, if you visit any of the dive shops in the Bahamas they will be happy to tell you good dive spots.
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Old 15-12-2019, 15:32   #12
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Re: Sailing / Diving Bahamas

Yes, speaking of G-town, I found the snorkeling outside Stocking Island/Elizabeth Island (the barrier strip islands protecting Georgetown) to be excellent snorkeling/diving. Just go through the narrow cuts between those islands to the outside reef. Great color, huge Parrotfish, Grouper, lobster and much more out there.
From Gtown south-ish is a one day trip to Conception island. It's "wilderness" out there and some great exploring and hugh coral heads surrounded by white sand at one end of the island. Great reefs off the other side too.
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Old 15-12-2019, 16:36   #13
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Re: Sailing / Diving Bahamas

I have many suggestions depending on where you plan to go and how long you are planning on staying. I have a web site that is more oriented to shallow diving and snorkeling, but will be updating it with more/deeper dive sites. The site has the coordinates included with pictures of the reefs and what you'll see there. If you let me know where you're going I'll be happy to recommend places that have not made it to the web site.



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Old 15-12-2019, 17:04   #14
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Re: Sailing / Diving Bahamas

I believe that Staniel Cay Adventures may offer tank fills.
https://www.stanielcay.com/exumas-ac.../scuba-diving/

See also ➥ https://travel.padi.com/d/exumas/
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Old 15-12-2019, 17:05   #15
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Re: Sailing / Diving Bahamas

Very few dive shop/ tank fill locations left other than Bimini, Nassau, Georgetown, Spanish Wells. We bring a HP compressor now to dive off the grid. I know lots of great spots, but will not post them here. PM me and I'll give you some ideas of places.
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