Top Ten Dive Sites in the Bahamas
The Diving Sport - Are you in?
Top Dive Sites of the Bahamas
The unique location of the Bahamas supports different marine life than some of the Caribbean Islands so it really needs to be set apart as a dive destination. The dive sites are popular for their walls and tidal blue holes. In fact, the place is the only spot we know with tidal blue holes although given the number of divers who may read this, we'll probably discover a few more! Its walls give drama to the coral reef formation that plummets to trenches that are a thousand feet deep.
The walls on the ocean floor of the Bahamas are basically found throughout the archipelago. Fortunately for the diver, they vary, with some plummeting to sandy bottoms at 20 to 30 meters, while others plummet to the seemingly infinite depths of the ocean. This is your chance to personally check the depth at which your megabuck watch implodes! Jokes aside, I hope you have a decent watch that can go down with you. Citizen has some good ones that are affordable or you can blow your brains out with the Swiss gallery of infinite hubris!
It is on this long cliff of deep reef that the magnificent corals and sponges can be found and where marine life is at its most vibrant with some varieties of reef fish you may not have seen. With the abundance of walls in islands of Bahamas, it is just proper to list down the most stunning, popular and accessible of them all.
Bahamas Visit - Have you?
Have you been to the Bahamas?
Diving as a Sport - Do you?
Do you scuba dive?
A group of about 700 islands, cays and islets in the Atlantic, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas as it is officially called, is famous as the first sighting of land for Columbus' expedition in 1492. The local inhabitants, the Lucayans, though not colonized were taken as slaves to what was then Hispaniola.
It was not until 1718 when the Bahamas became a British Crown colony. Many American loyalists moved to this place after the American war of independence. Bringing their slaves with them, these American loyalists started plantations. Today, as an independent state and one of the richest in the Americas, it has chosen Queen Elizabeth II as its monarch.
Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, is often visited by cruise lines. A walk around the city gives this air of prosperity but if you stay a bit more, the diving is one of the best.
For those who dive - Have you tried scuba diving in the Bahamas?
Have you been to the Bahamas to scuba dive?
1. The Great Lucaya or Grand Bahama Wall
The Great Lucaya or Grand Bahama Wall is situated on the southern coast of the island of Grand Bahama. It is lined with a fringing reef and drop-off.
The large wall features caverns, caves and swim-throughs. The wall's top can be dived at about 25 meters from the surface. Go to a good dive shop. You really need a carefully laid out dive program to catch the variety at acceptable depths.
The Grand Bahama Wall - The Great Lucaya Dive
2. Lyford Cay Wall in the Bahamas
New Providence Island
Off the coast on the northwest area of New Providence Island or Nassau, the famed Lyford Cay Wall can be explored. The cliff can be accessed by diving to 10 meters of water from the surface and it as great first open water dive for newbies.
3. The Tongue of the Ocean Dive
Southwest Wall, New Providence
The Southwest Wall boasts many sponges that cover the pinnacles protruding from the wall. This coral canyon faces the Tongue of the Ocean on the side of New Providence and extends up to several miles. The most colourful area is the one adjacent to the famous shark dive sites.
Diving in the Andros Wall - Just spectacular dives
4. The Andros Wall
The Greatest Bahamas Wall
Considered the greatest of the Bahama walls is the Andros Wall just off the largest island, Andros. This wall offers a vast array of mountains and canyons with various marine beasties inhabiting the area. Currents are fun and schools of fish abound. It's a favourite of many divers.
The North Bimini Wall - Watch these videos
5. The Bimini Wall
The North Bimini Wall
In the southern part of Bimini lies a continuous wall that faces the Gulf Stream. Bimini is on the westernmost part of the Bahamas composed of group of islands and is the closest point to the United States. The Bimini Wall covers vast areas and some sectors have become popular on their own.
The North Bimini Wall lies on the south entrance channel of North Bimini. Yes…..I said it right. This wall is for non-amateurs and shallow breathers since it requires drift diving in up to 40 meters of water to reach the wall. The southern part of Bimini boasts numerous walls such as South Cat Cay Wall, Riding Rock Wall and Victory Cays Drop-off. These walls start at 10 meters and go to 30 meters so if you are with companions of various competencies, this is a good place to center you diving. And you will not be disappointed by the variety as the whole host make it past here eventually.
Dives in Highbourne Cay - Exuma Wall
6. Highbourne Cay
A 25 meter vertical underwater wall just off the Highbourne Cay facing the Exuma Sound is also a popular spot for divers. The Exuma Wall hosts a variety of corals where one can find thriving marine life.
Good dive shops abound so unless you are really a stunter, rent your stuff and avoid a hassle at every airport. Mask and camera are enough to carry. Watching the post Christmas doofi with their truckload of new stuff is good sport, but listening to them whine about extra baggage charges is painful! Rent.
Chub Cay Wall diving - Watch this video on Chub diving
7. Chub Cay Wall
Also a popular site in the Bahamas is the Chub Cay Wall. It is a continuous wall along the southwest tip of Chub Cay to Whale Cay, just off the Berry Islands. The Chub Cay Wall has also become popular for its variety of wall formations. Dive shops have their own boats so they'll get you to these spots. But plan ahead and let them know you're coming. Boats get full fast.
A knife is a must for divers to carry when they go diving. The possibility of getting entangled in some of those diving adventures is not unheard of. As well, if someone wants you for dinner, you'll have a better chance at getting your own dinner.
The Szco Diver's Knife is often the one many divers prefer to bring. It is just the right size and its protective sheath ensures greater safety.
8. Diving in the South Central Part of the Bahamas
The Riding Rock Wall
The Riding Rock Wall stretches from the western coast to the southern tip of San Salvador Island in the south-central part of the Bahamas. The reef on the top of this wall combines hardpan and coral.
On the southern part is a mini wall that looks over a sandy slope to the wall. On the northern sector, the wall quickly slopes down to 40 meters so watch that gauge!. Big barrel sponges can be spotted all around the walls.
Occasionally, sharks visit the deeper part of the wall. Schools of chromis as well as Creole wrasse roam around the south side wall and if you have the patience, just watching one 2 meter square area of wall will open a world most divers seem to miss.
9. The Conception Island Wall
Colourful and dramatic
Considered as one of the most colourful and dramatic walls in the Bahamas is the Conception Island Wall. It starts at 15 and goes to 30 meters deep and is a great intermediate dive. The sponge and coral formations here really make it special.
The under water world of reefs and corals? - Do you enjoy the under water world?
Do you enjoy the under water world of reefs and corals?
Diving the Blue Holes - The blue holes of the Bahamas
10. The Blue Holes
And finally, the blue holes. On the shallows of Andros Island, the blue hole number hits 50 so you don't get crowded and you can really have a safe and exciting experience. There are also blue holes on the Grand Bahama Island, Exumas and Eleuthera. The popular blue holes are on off the coast of Nassau, Biminis and Out Islands.
The Bahamas are a unique and rather laid back dive destination. If you are with a family where some don't dive, it's a good place to go as there are lots of "Plan B" activities too.
Diving in the Blue Holes
Have you tried diving in the Blue Holes?
The Top Dive Spot in the Bahamas - Which one gets your vote?
Which of these dive spots in the Bahamas is the best?
Your Favourite Dive Spots - Vote for your top dive site
I have listed a few dive sites here. Please feel free to add your own top dive spot if it is not included here.
Which of these is your top dive site?
© 2010 Mary Norton