The Bahamas are an archipelago of 700 islands situated where the Western Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea. The waters are amazingly clear and offer scuba divers a range of dive adventures on flourishing reef dives, along vertical walls, over wrecks and through tunnels, caverns and blue holes. The subtropical climate provides approximately 340 sunny days each year and the dive conditions are impressive year-round. Each island dive destination has its signature experiences. The waters off New Providence, where Nassau is the main city, provide drop-offs that are close to shore, blue holes and caves, historical wrecks and thrilling shark diving. Diving off Grand Bahama Island gives you the chance to see dolphins and visit several shallow wrecks. On Long Island, you can dive the world’s deepest blue hole, find great reefs, visit wrecks and look over walls that drop into the deep blue. Directly exposed to the Atlantic, the pristine reefs of the Abacos are slightly different from much of the Bahamas with many relatively shallow dive sites – 18 meters/60 feet or less. Andros has wrecks, blue holes and spectacular wall dives off the deep Tongue of the Ocean. The warm waters of Bimini are filled with an incredible diversity of sea life. Eleuthera and Harbor Island offer a rip-roaring drift dive. The Exumas have an intriguing combination of beautiful walls and rich shallow reefs. San Salvador boasts vertical walls, underwater caverns and many wrecks. All islands have a laid back vibe and soft, white and pink beaches to relax on after diving.
Shark Buoy, New Providence – Out in the middle of some of the deepest, bluest water in the Bahamas, and about an hour out from New Providence, is the large yellow Shark Buoy. The buoy attracts a lot of marine life, but the main attraction is Silky Sharks.
James Bond Wrecks, New Providence – Relive the adventure of 007 by diving the Vulcan Bomber, a wreck purpose-sunk for the movie Thunderball, and the Tears of Allah another wreck that was used in the movie Never Say Never Again.
Sugar Wreck, Grand Bahama – This old four-masted sailing ship went down during a hurricane in the late 1800s carrying a cargo of sugar. Located off the West End of Grand Bahama, it lies at about 6 meters/20 feet making for a nice sunlight dive with an abundance of fish life and coral.
Littlehale’s Lair, Grand Bahama – Named for the National Geographic photographer, Bates Littlehale, in the 1960s, this site has two small caverns (lairs) – one that you can swim through, which was created by coral growing around surge channels. Home to grunts and snappers, this site is popular with underwater photographers.
Comberbach, Long Island – This purpose-sunk 34 meter/110 foot British freighter sits upright on a 30 meter/100 foot deep coral reef with lots of sponge and fish life. It’s been opened up to make exploring safe for divers and includes a 1975 Ford van inside its open cargo hold.
Conception Island Wall, Long Island – This wall begins in 14 meters/45 feet and drops off to dramatic depths. Visibility is usually amazing and the entire wall is decorated with stunning sponge and coral formations.
Shark Rodeo at Walker's Cay, Abacos – This famous shark dive is reknowned for the large number of sharks that come to the feeding. Divers wait on a sandy bottom in about 11 meters/35 feet surrounded by coral reefs. Normally, more than 100 reef and blacktip sharks arrive and the rodeo truly begins.
Coral Caverns at Green Turtle Cay, Abacos – Tall coral formations create a series of twisting alleys and large swim-throughs to explore. Schools of silversides and a large variety of reef fish can be seen gliding in and out of the coral caverns.
Andros Wall, Andros – Called one of the greatest of all Bahamas’ walls, the Andros Wall begins at 21-27 meters/70-90 feet and offers many sites with interesting canyons and unusual life due to the depth.
Great Blue Hole, Andros – This hole is the second deepest blue hole in the Bahamas. You start at the entrance at 12 meters/40 feet, then descend down an ancient waterfall chute and pass under a swim-through called the sky light room. The big room is next on the tour, where you can look down into the abyssal depths of the hole.
Bimini Wall, Bimini –The North Bimini Wall begins in 38 meters/120 feet of water and is typically a drift dive for experienced deep divers. To the south are many other shallower walls, such as the South Cat Cay Wall, Victory Cays Drop-off and Riding Rock Wall, that you can drift dive with the chance of seeing large pelagic species pass by.
Sapona, Bimini – This cement vessel grounded on Turtle Rocks reef in 1926 during a hurricane. Sitting in only 6 meters/20 feet of water, half the wreck is above the surface. Below, the Sapona is encrusted with invertebrate life and is home to numerous fish species.
Current Cut, Eleuthera – Experience the fast flow of water that moves through the narrow channel between Eleuthera and Current Island. It’s a fast trip with the possibility of seeing sharks and eagle rays as well as lots of reef fish.
Devil's Backbone, Eleuthera – An incredible number of ships have wrecked on this jagged reef over hundreds of years. Great for snorkeling and diving, in the shallow waters you can see remnants of many wrecks like the Train Wreck, a Civil War era barge that sank carrying a steam locomotive.
Anglefish Blue Hole, Exuma – This hole is located in an enclosed bay and goes down to about 27 meters/90 feet. Jacks circle the entrance and eagle rays and turtles often swim past. Looking up from the hole provides nice silhouette photo opportunities.
Amberjack Reef, Exuma – This beautiful reef at about 15 metes/50 feet is full of interesting creatures, such as garden eels, and is known for its abundant fish life including pirate blennies. See schools of jacks, black groupers and several shark species.
Hole in the Wall, San Salvador – Along this coral covered wall is a huge indentation – the hole in the wall – that is about 30 meters/100 feet across and goes back about 45 meters/150 feet. Big sponges and soft corals line the hole's entrance and large gorgonians hang off the wall.
Vicky’s Reef, San Salvador – Swim along large coral ridges and then peek over the wall that drops off into the deep. Look for black coral trees on the wall and a variety of life on the reef, including colorful sponges and bluebell tunicates.
Visibility – Average visibility in the Bahamas is 24-30m/80-100ft.
Water Temperature – Average of 24°C/75°F during the winter, 27°C/80°F in spring and 31°C/88°F in the summer.
Weather – Lots of sunshine in this subtropical climate makes diving great all year long. The average air temperature during winter is 18-25°C/65-77°F and 24-33°C/75-91°F during the summer. June through October is hurricane season in the Caribbean, with the highest risk around September.
Featured Creatures – With a diverse array of marine life, you’ll see a large variety of fish and invertebrate species. Look for the Nassau Grouper – the national fish of the Bahamas. Spiny lobsters are also common and the “March of the Spiny Lobsters” takes place a couple times a year in shallow water. Divers will also likely see conch, dolphins, sharks, rays, sea turtles and the invasive lionfish.
Recommended Training – Take the PADI Deep Diver and Drift Diver courses to be prepared for the fabulous wall diving in the Bahamas. The PADI Wreck Diver course will get you ready for exploring the diverse wrecks. The AWARE – Coral Reef Conservation course will help you appreciate the many marine protected areas and coral monitoring programs in the islands.
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