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jbd1954 May 8th, 2007 03:16 AM

Snorkeling in the Bahamas
 
Staying at the Westin - but interested in a snorkeling trip that is more than rum punch and feed the fish. Not sure if you are allowed to mention specific operators. But any general pointers on what to look for in a tour operator would be appreciated. Many sites mention "Rose Island". Any feedback would be appreciated.

blamona May 8th, 2007 05:48 AM

Are you staying in Westin on Grand Bahama or around Nassau-Rose Island is close to Paradise?Nassau.

travelbuff May 8th, 2007 08:23 AM

There are day trips out to Rose Island from Nassau and your hotel can arrange it for you. They will come to the hotel, pick you up and drop you off. But yes it is more a rum punch kind of day, but Rose Island is quite pretty.

If you want some better snorkling there are a couple of dive/snorkle shops on island that will take you out so see some interesting things, again your hotel will have info on that and can arrange the trip for you.

If you want a more interesting site, you might think about heading to one of the outislands for a day like Harbour Island and Valentine's or Fox Dive can take you out for a full or half day snorkle trip and there are alot of interesting wrecks off Eleuthera, including a Civil War TRAIN, yup, I said train. Headed to Cuba shortly after the Civil War, traveling on a barge and it sunk in I think a hurricane. Makes for an amazing dive/snorkle site more than 100 years later.

There are quite a few large reefs off Nassau toward Eleuthera but since the cruise ships and large ships come into port in Nassau there's isn't much in the way of snorkling until you head off island.

Hope this helps, have a GREAT trip.

Robert59 May 9th, 2007 05:54 AM

Check with "Custom Aquatics" in Nassau. You can rent a 28 ft. Boomer with platform and ladder, and explore the reefs on your own. You could also charter singly with them. They are very eco-conscious and are Bahamian participating members of Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) out of Key Largo, Florida. They would certainly indoctrinate you as to where the great reefs are and how to get to them. Some of the reefs have buoys to tie up to; those would be your best bet. Although Thunderball, Cannonball and Angelfish are beautiful and are safe reefs, all are shallow reefs and you can experience a surge in these shallows. Thunderball and Cannonball are exposed to northerly swells, setting just north of the southern end of Rose Island. I'd advise going with a chartered dive to these with "Cusom Aquatics", a man and wife team. If you explore by yourself, I would recommend Angelfish Reef for safety, because it is fairly sheltered. 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. Wreck sits upright in 20 feet, with the wheelhouse only several feet below the surface. The beach of Atlantis is interesting but uncomparable to the reefs offshore. Here's some more suggestions: There are many places to snorkel around New Providence. Bahama Divers and other dive ops in Nassau are reputable. Here's some great snorkeling sites: Barracuda Shoals is 20 feet, 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. As I mentioned above, better to 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. Lies in 20 feet of water, with the wheelhouse 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. 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 lit up the dim light with their bright yellow color. Many purple, blue and green sea fans here as well. I could go on forever; people don't know about these places. Contact a dive op and name these sites specifically, if their going to them that day, don't miss the exursion. I left out about a dozen more sites, but not enough space. Hope this helps. Robert


Bahama Divers conducts snorkeling excursions for a half day. You'll learn the safe places to snorkel, that are relatively sheltered, and places with buoys where you can fasten a boat if you eventually desire to venture out by yourselves. Also, check into Southwest Reef which has coral heads in shallow waters starting at 15 feet. Many elkhorn and staghorn coral formations with grunts, squirrelfish, barracuda, some reef sharks, angel fish and damsel fish amongst them. Personally, I like 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 this gives you some ideas and that you have a great time. Robert

Robert59 May 16th, 2007 08:39 AM

I forgot; the "Fish Hotel" is another nice site to snorkel. We scuba'd the site but some snorkelers went along too. The blue-stripped and french grunts were so numerous that, even though it was an overcast day, the reflections off their bright yellow colors lit up the place. Robert59


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