novice scuba diving

Aug 16th, 2003, 02:13 PM
  #1  
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novice scuba diving

Hi,
I have been told that there used to be a place in the Bahamas (maybe Freeport) that offered an incredible resort dive experience.
Can anyone tell me where that was and if it still exists?
Thank you
cpeicott is offline  
Aug 16th, 2003, 05:56 PM
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Hi,
Can anyone help me with this?
cpeicott is offline  
Aug 16th, 2003, 11:54 PM
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There are several places in the Bahamas, but you might check with Valentine's on Harbour Island. They offer a resort course and shallow dives, or if you are there long enough you can get your certification.

There are some great dive sites off island, some of the best diving in the area, and they also offer some great snorkle trips.

Try the Harbour Island website for more info www.briland.com.

Hope this helps.
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Aug 17th, 2003, 02:33 AM
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There are dozens of dive operations which train you in the basics of scuba. On Grand Bahama, there's UNEXSO at (800) 992-DIVE and Xanadu Undersea Adventure (800) 327-8150. On the Family (out) Islands, try Brendals Dive on Green Turtle Cay off of Abaco, Walker's Cay Undersea Adventures, Bill & Nowdla Keefps Bimini Undersea Adventures in Bimini; Dive Abaco in Marsh Harbor, Abaco; Riding Rock Inn in San Salvador, Bahamas; Exuma Fantasea on Exuma. Try calling the Bahamian Tourist Board, and request a booklet or free CD on all dive operations throughout the Bahamas. Robert
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Aug 17th, 2003, 10:00 AM
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Harbour Island sounds great! Can anyone suggest the best hotel for a family?
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Aug 17th, 2003, 10:21 AM
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There are lots of nice places to stay on island from a couple of B&B's to one of the nicest resorts in the Carribean, called Pink Sands.

Valentine's has rooms available, and a nice pool. All the rooms overlook the pool and the bay side of the island.

A few other options would be Coral Sands, right on the beach with a nice pool, beach bar/restaurant, restaurant, commons areas and all the rooms are right on the beach, most with ocean views.

Tingum Village would be on the less expensive side, close to the beach but no views of the water. The accomodations are bungalows. Good restaurant there, with the BEST hamburger you will EVER have, the kids will love it.

Romora Bay is a bit more upscale, the accomodations are villas overlooking the bay side of the island, nice pool/deck area, great restaurant (and it's close to Tingum Village), but a bit of a walk to downtown.

If you head to the www.briland.com site, you will find lots more info, and a map of the island.

As you may know I am usually on island once or twice a year and have been going there for almost 18 years.

There are some great snorkle and dive sites in the area, like a Civil War Train, that was on a barge going to Cuba, just after the Civil War and it sunk in a hurricane. Makes an amazing dive site 100 years later.

It's pretty easy to get there now, you can fly into Nassau and either take the FAst Ferry over, or fly Bahamas Air, the cost is about the same so you can fly one way and take the ferry the other.

Harbour Island was named the most beautiful beach in the carribean this year by the Travel Channel, and even during the high season, the beach is never crammed.

The island is very laid back, a few restaurants, a bit of shopping, a deli, 2 bakeries and a couple of ice cream shops.

Hope this helps and if you need any other inf, please let me know.
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Aug 17th, 2003, 02:16 PM
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Thank you SO much!
Do you think it will be boring for kids? My real objective is to find a nice place for my 2 kids (age 13 and 20)and myself, to try scuba diving.
Does this sound like a good fit?
We will only go for 3 or 4 days, so there doesn'e have to be TONS to do....
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Aug 17th, 2003, 02:48 PM
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It may be crunching the time a bit, because you can't scuba within 24 hours of a plane flight, either arriving or departing. Also, the Atlantic Ocean pounds that side of Eleuthera, so many dive sites can become choppy or with strong surges. I'm sure Valentine's, though, will be careful with inexperienced scuba divers. You could scuba at snorkeling sites, such as Sea Gardens or even Pink House Reef. Both are shallow and with a Dive Master guiding you to the shallow depths, there shouldn't be a problem. The Current Cut site has a constant 10 knot current...not good for beginners. I'd call Valentines and explain your plane schedule and get a gist of the dive sites they'll take you and your kids on. Robert
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Aug 17th, 2003, 04:21 PM
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Robert you always amaze me with your through information, thank you. I learn alot from reading your posts as well.

Valentine's has a great dive course and yes they do dives for beginers, and Robert is right about needing 24 hours before you fly. What you might do is take the fast ferry back to Nassau, stay overnight and fly home directly from there.

There is also a second dive operation on Harbour Island called Fox Dive, and you could probably get some info from them as well.

Your kids will have a great time on island, as there is an amazing beach and they should be able to make some friends while there.

You will find it relaxing and know that your kids will be safe even touring the island by themselves.

A fun thing you might enjoy is a day on a beach all to yourselves. We have done that several times. You can get a guide to take you on snorkle trips and have a picnic of fresh caught fish.

You can also snorkle right off the beach as there is a reef, about 50 yards off shore.

Have a great time.
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Aug 17th, 2003, 04:37 PM
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Hi,
Thanks, this is getting excited. Sounds like an awesome place!
I have done quie a bit of research and I never befor heard about the 24 hour rule. I appreciate the information!
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Aug 17th, 2003, 04:39 PM
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I meant exciting!
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Aug 18th, 2003, 04:43 AM
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cpeicott; Since more and more people are enjoying scuba, and jet to 30,000+ feet before alighting on some Caribbean retreats, more should be learned about flying and scuba diving. Many people on short (3-4 day vacations) learn to scuba and dive the same day they touch down. There is some who say this is no problem diving after arrival, but that flying AFTER diving is. Many claim you can definitely dive after landing. You could have a tiny air bubble left in your system after several days of diving; many scuba divers do but they don't notice it because it eventually clears by itself. But, such a tiny bubble may enlarge when ascending rapidly to 30,000 feet on the way back home. Most people I've known wait 24 hours before flying. I tried to put on what the experts say in the last post, but it keeps coming back to me; here's a synopsis of what they say:
SCUBA diving exposes your lungs to a high pressure environment, whereas airplane travel is a low pressure environment. Your lungs undergo a dramatic change in pressure when going between these two extremes. The bigger the change in pressure the greater the risk for arterial gas embolism. The best thing you can do to avoid this is to leave at least a 24 hour period between your last dive and the time you board the airplane for your flight home.
Many avid divers who want to maximize their dive time are tempted to schedule their flight home in the evening, to get in one last morning dive -- you should avoid this! Your last day in the islands should be spent re-acclimating to sea level pressures.
This will also give you and your companions time to observe you for the symptoms of arterial gas embolism. If you manifest any symptoms, such as lightheadedness, dizziness, mental confusion, numbness or tingling or sensory disturbances of any kind, you should be brought to a re-compression chamber. Under these circumstances, the last thing you need is to be up in a plane.

So take it easy on your last day in the islands, and avoid the temptation of diving on the day of your airplane departure.

But, don't assume you can dive after landing. It MAY be a problem. DAN's statistics for '03 show that ~38% of diving injuries, and ~70% of AGE events, occur on 1st first day of a dive trip. Divers who arrive jetlagged, dehydrated, fatigued, and feeling lousy & irritable could arguably contribute disproportionately to these numbers. Best not to dive after landing unless you arrive alert, well rested, well hydrated & in good spirits.
If you have an airbubble in your body after diving, these bubbles that cause problems for the flying diver consist almost entirely of nitrogen rather than air. And, it typically is not just a bubble, but rather masses of bubbles that are responsible for problems.
When flying, The bigger the change in pressure the greater the risk for arterial gas embolism.

The most frequent problem with flying too soon after diving is that the pressure change precipitates Decompression Sickness (DCS) rather than Arterial Gas Embolism (AGE), although the latter can have more serious effects.

I'm sure Valentine's is a top-notch operation, and are aware of the dangers of flying and diving. But remember, even 30 feet under is two atmospheres of pressure; they'll most likely train you on one day in a pool session, then take you out for your open-water dive the next. Valentine's have been around a long while and has a seasoned staff, with Dive Master(s) who will be with you during your first open-water dive. Just something for us all to think about. Robert
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Aug 18th, 2003, 04:44 PM
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Hi,
Thank you so much, Robert.
I guess I had taken this whole thing much too light heartedly.
I apprecitate you sharing some of the dangers with us!
We would still like to try diving, but I will look more into it more.
Thanks again.
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Aug 18th, 2003, 05:29 PM
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Hi, cpeicott; I posted that info for the benefit of the order, for all those taking resort courses and scuba diving on their vacations. I don't mean to worry you excessively, for Valentine's is a good operation and you will be experiencing your first open water dive with a pro, certified Dive Master, who knows the reefs well. They'll be with you and your kids every step of the way. You'll love seeing the stingrays and masses of reef fish. No worries!! Enjoy!! Robert
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Aug 19th, 2003, 07:56 AM
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Coral Sands on Harbour Island is a great place for families, but just to clarify while the entire resort property is technically right on the beach, the rooms themselves don't actually sit right on the sand. It was about a 3 min. walk from our room to the beach which is really nothing. I do believe all rooms have a view of the ocean and some are very near the beach, but the property sort of sits upon a bit of a hill, so all of it isn't on the sand. But it's as close to being on the beach without actually being. Our family loved it. Commanders bar and grill has to-die-for ocean views, sitting right above the beach.

My husband and I actually walked 10 min. to Valentine's Dive shop. Fox's wasn't much farther than that by golf cart. It's THE mode of transportation on the island. Nothing is too far away from anything else as the island is very small.

The diving was beautiful, hope you decide to go there and enjoy!


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