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Ideas after Blackbeards this October

Discussion in 'Bahamas' started by bvbellomo, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. thatmark

    thatmark DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Baltimore, MD
    Like several other folks above, I had a good time diving with Stuart Cove’s. I didn’t do the shark feeding, just 4 dives at different sites around the end of the island. The “Bond Wrecks” were fun for me since I’m a fan of the books.

    Non-diving things I’d suggest while in Nassau:

    Daiquiri Shack on West Bay Street across from Melia. Kind of at the end of a parking lot next to a little tourist market area. A guy with blenders, ice, fruit, and rum. You pick your fruit, he cuts it up, and makes you a drink. When I was last there two years ago his line was, “Three fruits, six dollars!” Cash only.

    Fish Fry at Arawak Cay. A whole area of small places doing variations of the same seafood dishes. Conch fritters, conch salad, crack(ed) conch, and fish done a whole bunch of ways. I’m partial to Oh Andros, but everyone has their favorite. I will warn you you’ll get hit up by folks offering to sell you all sorts of things (counterfeit Cuban cigars, etc...) as you walk around the area. Not 100% remembering if it was cash only, but thinking it might have been.

    Have Fun!

    KathyV likes this.
  2. Dannybot

    Dannybot Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    I did the shark dives with Stuart Cove's after my Blackbeard's trip. It was a bit pricey, but it was also a good experience. It is a two dive trip; each about 35 min with a 45 min SI.

    Both dives are at the same place. The first will either be a wreck or wall dive depending on the current. We did the wall, the coral was in good shape and plenty of fish, including reef and nurse sharks. The second dive is directly under the boat. There is a little 'arena' where they feed the sharks. You sit at an assigned spot for the feeding and the sharks swim between you, often rubbing and bumping up against you.

    After the feeding, they will let you dig around for teeth for a few minutes.

    The ` $200 covers transfers from and to your resort.
  3. Gnarcosis

    Gnarcosis Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Northern Arizona
    I just did Blackbeard’s at the beginning of the month. I spent two days after just relaxing. The queen sized bed and long showers at the holiday inn were blissful.
    Redfoot and KathyV like this.
  4. jstownse

    jstownse Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Chicago
    I just finished a Blackbeard's trip on 9/20, wasn't leaving until 9/22 and decided to do the Stuart Cove's shark feed dive. There was some pretty poor weather (rain, strong wind) which ruled out just lounging at the beach and I didn't really find Nassau all that appealing, so I figured the money was worth it for something to do.

    First dive was pretty basic a long a small wall, guided - which was kind of nice after Blackbeard's - but fairly short, just about 35 minutes. Second dive was the feed, sat around a semi-circle, while the guy in chain mail fed the sharks out of a box, also fairly short, about 30 minutes. The feed was pretty cool, it was enjoyable and beat anything else I would have been doing. That said, the cost of ~$200 plus $20 tip for the crew doesn't really scream value.

    I was picked up in the Cable Beach area, so the trip wasn't that bad at all, others were going back toward downtown/marina and it was conveyed that with traffic it was a decently long ride.
    Redfoot and KathyV like this.
  5. Redfoot

    Redfoot Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Detroit, Michigan
    How was your Blackbeard trip?
    KathyV likes this.
  6. jstownse

    jstownse Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Chicago
    I suppose this is as good as spot as any to post my thoughts. I had brief inclinations of writing a full blown detailed review, but, well, you know.

    The trip was a lot of fun. First live aboard, I wasn’t really sure how much I would like it. Many of my previous trips have included diving, but not necessarily the main focus. Maybe I’d go do two dives in the morning and my own thing in the afternoon. Dive a couple days then take a break. That sort of thing.

    So I had some hesitation with respect to a totally dive focused trip. I’ve spent months in hostels around the world, so wasn’t concerned about the dorm style sleeping. I also feel comfortable socializing but also tend to like some time alone to read or whatever, so had some slight concerns about space.

    Also had some concerns about the weather/hurricanes, felt a bit odd wondering about my trip when thousands of people were doing their best with Dorian 100 miles north.

    I was on the Morningstar with Captain Red, the crew was wonderful, I’ll echo what has been repeated many times in reviews, the food out of that galley was fantastic. Part of it is the context, that tiny galley, 20+ people, out on a boat in the sea. Really good.

    Got going Saturday afternoon, weather was a concern, no diving on Saturday, motored south all through the night until mooring at around midnight.

    Diving schedule:

    Day 2: Parrotfish Reef, Danger Reef, Danger Reef, Parrotfish Reef (night)

    Day 3: Goombay Reef, 2 Peaks Reef, Whaleshark Wall, Austin Smith (wreck), Pillage Reef (night)

    Day 4: Up Jumped the Devil, Austin Smith (shark feed), Crab Mountain, Madison Ave., Madison Ave. (night).

    Day 5: The Blue Hole, The Blue Hole, Perriwinkle Reef West, Perriwinkle Reef East.

    Day 6: Attol Reef

    As a novice, all the dives were fun, a fair amount of sea life, I've got about 40 dives in Roatan, which I'd probably rate as a notch better.

    We were a bit limited by weather and logistics, which meant missing the Washing Machine and also repeat dive sites. I give them credit for making sure we squeeze in 19 dives. Captain Red said a few times that they advertise up to 19 dives, they don’t guarantee 19 dives.

    I did all 19, water was routinely 86 F. I averaged about 50 minute dive times. Almost always came up with about 1Kish PSI. Part of the relatively shorter bottom time was a mixture of (buddies air, navigation, boredom).

    Buddies air is self-explanatory. Navigation on the other hand, all of my other dives have been guided, so that was another initial concern was self guided dives. They emphasize that they want you to surface back at the boat and kind of shame you if you need the dinghy because you surfaced a ways away. So we were fairly conservative to make it back to the mooring line with air to spare.

    The other divers were all agreeable, I had no problem socializing, finding a buddy team (came on this trip solo). Besides the first night which was ungodly hot, had no problem sleeping. The beer was cold and the rum punch was tasty. The crew hunted a couple of lobster which made for a nice snack. We did some swinging off the halyard line.

    No fishing, no excursions, that was fine by me.

    I wish the Bahamas would allow lionfish hunting, there were many and some were huge.

    I followed advice and packed very light, good recommendation. I brought clips for hanging clothes to dry, but that was unnecessary, there were plenty. I brought some “shower wipes” that combined with daily baths in the sea and the fresh water hose in the stern, I didn’t use the shower once.

    Overall it was a lot of fun, I’d do it again, probably won’t become an annual thing, but every few years maybe.

    This was kind of a random set of thoughts, if there’s any questions, I’d be happy to respond.

    Here is a link to a few minute montage video I made.

    Blackbeard/Bahamas September 2019 Montage : scuba
    Glenn Charles, Redfoot and KathyV like this.

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