Best snorkel cruise from Nassau...

Old May 21st, 2004, 09:06 AM
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Best snorkel cruise from Nassau...

I'm looking for recommendations for the best snorkel cruise from Nassau, either 1/2 day or full day. Do any go to the outer islands? Thank you.
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Old May 21st, 2004, 05:18 PM
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Emily; do you want a package that includes drinks, lunch, etc.? Or, are you just interested in snorkeling over some beautiful Bahamian coral reefs? Many of the sailing operations take you to islands near New Providence (Nassau), but they're not considered the "out islands." Barefoot Sailing Adventures, Born Free Charters, Sea Island Adventures, Robinson Crusoe Shipwreck cruises, Flying Cloud catamaran cruises, etc. all take you out for snorkeling trip packages. However, you may want to contact a local dive operation to merely snorkel in more beautiful coral reefs. Bahama Divers and Stuart Cove's dive operations take you to such sites. A strategy is to learn the most pristine and beautiful coral reefs first, then find the dive shop schedule, and make sure you're on board when they visit those particular reef sites. If you decide to go the dive op. option, let me know and I'll mention the best coral reefs for snorkelers around New Providence. The snorkeling tour packages don't stop at particularly awe-inspiring coral reef sites, but are still nice. Robert
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Old May 21st, 2004, 06:27 PM
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We would prefer just to snorkel. We are not into the *free rum punch* on the trip back in thing. We have snorkeled in Gr. Cayman and Hawaii, and have our own gear now. We are staying at Compass Point. Any further recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time. And have a wonderful weekend.
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Old May 22nd, 2004, 05:34 AM
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Emily: If you chose the dive operation option (I don't like "booze cruises" either...kind of defeats the real purpose of discovering the underwater world), check their itinerary for these reef sites: Thunderball, Cannonball and Angelfish are beautiful and are safe, all are shallow reefs. Thunderball and Cannonball are exposed to northerly swells, setting just north of the southern end of Rose Island of of Nassau. Remember the James Bond film Thunderball with the British NATO Vulcan bomber? Remnants of it are still remain in shallow water, covered with colorful corals and sponges. Remember the Bond flick Never Say Never Again, where a Tiger Shark with an electronic sensor attacked him in the ship? This freighter known as the Tears of Allah is still there in 36 feet of water. I guess Hollywood recognizes good film settings when they see one. This ship has since been overtaken by beautiful corals and reef fish; I don't know if it's too deep for snorkelers, though. Also, another neat snorkel site is the LTC Barge in only 20 feet of water, with visibility over 50 feet. A very easy and completely sheltered snorkeling site; it's just east of Athol Island off of New Providence's northern shore. The wreck sits upright in 20 feet, with the wheelhouse only several feet below the surface.Ask a dive op if they'll take you to the LTC Barge, which is a WWII landing craft used to take freight from Nassau to Exuma.In the 50's, the barge took on water in a storm and sunk just off New Providence by Athol Island. The wheelhouse is only 3 feet below the surface. Great snorkeling here, but watch out because the ship is encrusted with fire coral...don't touch. Sponges and sea fans of all colors also there. Rent an underwater housing with a VCR to take shots, if you can. Barracuda Shoals is in 20 feet of water, with three distinct reefs in a triangular formation. I scuba'd this site for a reef survey but a few snorkelers hung above me on the surface. Red and blue fan and hard corals, with colorful sponges, and many barracuda, snapper, grunt and grouper. Defiinately snorkel Cannonball Reef, where the James Bond film was made. About 6 to 20 feet depth with Nassau Grouper congregations, coney and neat French and Grey Angelfish. Groups of parrotfish seen as well, with huge stands of elkhorn coral which probably made the hollywood film makers decide to film several Bond movies there. Also off Athol Island by Nassau is Angelfish Reef, in 20 feet of water, heavily populated by my favorite fish, the bright yellow and black Rock Beauty and other angelfish like French and Grey. The fish are friendly and follow you around. Stingrays also will be seen here. Just NE of Paradise Island is the Fish Hotel...hit this too! In an overcast sky, I did a reef fish survey and the thousands of blue-stripped and french grunt literally reflected and lit up the available dim light with their bright yellow color. Many purple, blue and green sea fans here as well. Contact a dive op and name these sites specifically, if their going to them while you're there, you're a step ahead of the game. And bring an underwater camera, or ask the dive op if they make videos of your snorkeling experience. Hope this helps. There The Orange Hill Inn is just down the road from you, heading back to Nassau from Compass Point. The beach from CP past Orange Hill Inn is nice and usually deserted. Nice snorkeling sites there, too. Ironically, I did a reef survey on the beach several years ago, over Xmas time. Mostly near shore, scrubble-type habitat. You're also next to Love Beach, which is nice as well. But, not awe-inspiring like the coral reefs described above. I have logged down, recording many staghorn coral formations with grunts, squirrelfish, barracuda, some reef sharks, angel fish and damsel fish amongst them along Goulding Cay off southwest ocean. I went there with Stuart's Cove, but I saw many unsupervised snorelers brush up against the coral with their flippers. We then went to the Bahama Mama wreck and a few of us brave soles hung onto a rope while Caribbean Reef sharks where fed directly below us in a pail of chum lowered. Hope I've given you some ideas. Robert
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Old May 22nd, 2004, 11:47 AM
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Thank you for such detailed information. It helps immensely. Snorkeling at a wreck site sounds great. Thank you again, and have a great weekend.
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Old May 22nd, 2004, 12:56 PM
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Emily, while on a cruise stop in Nassau, we went on the Barefoot Sailing Adventures cruise which Robert mentions. We took the 1/2 day cruise and loved it. Beautiful old wooden boat, limited to about 15 cruisers, true sailing with no motor for a good part of the time. The captain pointed out the cruise-sponsored catamarans loaded with up to 100 people, motoring, and called them "cattlemarans" - we were very happy with our choice.

Here's the URL:
http://www.bahamasvacationguide.com/bsc.html
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