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Grand Bahama Island Travel Guide

Scuba Diving

An extensive reef system runs along Little Bahama Bank's edge; sea gardens, caves, and colorful reefs rim the bank all the way from the West End to Freeport–Lucaya and beyond. The variety of dive sites suits everyone from the novice to the advanced diver, and ranges from 10 to 100-plus feet deep. Many dive operators offer a "discover" or "resort" course where first-timers can try out open-water scuba diving with a short pool course and an instructor at their side.

Sites

Ben's Cave and Blue Hole. A horseshoe-shaped ledge overlooks this blue hole in 40 to 60 feet of water. Certified cavern divers can further explore the depths of the cave with guided groups from UNEXSO or Calabash Adventure Tours. Otherwise, interested visitors can view it above ground when visiting the Lucayan National Park. Lucayan National Park, Grand Bahama Hwy., Lucaya, Grand Bahama Island.

Pygmy Caves. For moderately experienced divers, Pygmy Caves provides a formation of overgrown ledges that cut into the reef.

Sea Hunt. This shallow dive is named for the Sea Hunt television show, portions of which were filmed here.

Shark Junction. One of Grand Bahama Island's signature dive sites, made famous by the UNEXSO dive operation, Shark Junction is a 45-foot dive where 4- to 6-foot reef sharks hang out, along with moray eels, stingrays, nurse sharks, and grouper. UNEXSO provides orientation and a shark feeding with its dives here.

Spid City. Spid City has an aircraft wreck, dramatic coral formations, blue parrot fish, and an occasional shark. You'll dive about 40 to 60 feet down.

Theo's Wreck. For divers with some experience, Theo's Wreck, a 228-foot cement hauler, was sunk in 1982 in100 feet of water, and was the site for the 1993 Imax film Flight of the Aquanaut.

Operators

Caribbean Divers. This family-owned-and-operated dive shop offers personalized and uncrowded trips to coral reefs, wrecks, tunnels, and caverns, as well as shark dives. They also rent equipment and offer NAUI, PADI, and SSI instruction. A resort course allows you to use equipment in a pool and then in a closely supervised open dive. The professionally trained dive staff has more than 30 years of experience and the boat resides right on the channel leading out to the sea, so rides to most major sites are about 5–10 minutes. Lodging packages with Bell Channel Inn are available, in addition to snorkeling trips and private charters. Bell Channel Inn, King Rd., Lucaya, Grand Bahama Island. 242/373–9111 or 242/373–9112. www.bellchannelinn.com. Daily 8–5.

Stuart Cove. The Bahamas' famed Stuart Cove opened their newest diving operation at Old Bahama Bay Resort in fall, 2012. They are best known for their two-tank, all-day shark-dive excursions to Tiger Beach, only one hour away by boat from the marina (they will equip you with all necessary equipment). In additon to diving with sharks, this shop also offers reef dives, wreck dives, night dives, and snorkeling trips to see wild dolphins. Boxed lunches are available from Old Bahama Bay's Tiki Hut café. Old Bahama Bay Resort, West End, Grand Bahama Island. 800/879–9832, 954/524-5755, or 242/350–6500. www.stuartcove.com.

UNEXSO. This world-renowned scuba-diving facility with its own 17-foot dive pool, provides rental equipment, guides, and boats. A wide variety of dives is available for beginners and experienced divers, starting at $109 for a Discover Scuba Reef Diving resort course. Both the facility and its dive masters have been featured in international and American magazines for their work with sharks and cave exploration. UNEXSO and its sister company, the Dolphin Experience, are known for their work with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. Next to Pelican Bay Hotel, Lucaya, Grand Bahama Island. 242/373–1244 or 800/992–3483. www.unexso.com.

Viva Wyndham Fortuna Dive Shop. Offering daily dives to various reefs and wrecks on a large boat seating 21 divers, this professional PADI-licensed shop also offers certifications for all levels (all equipment is included). With five instructors on staff, this shop also offers snorkeling trips and private boat tours. Viva Wyndham Fortuna Resort, Churchill and Doubloon Rd., Lucaya, Grand Bahama Island. 877/999–3223 or 242/373–4000. www.wyndham.com.

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