WORLD CLASS, UNIQUE DIVES
In addition to world class reef diving, excellent visibility, warm water, wrecks, caverns and marine life, The Bahamas also has some special activities that are offered in a variety of different areas. Shark diving is one of the most exciting and unusual types of activities in The Bahamas, matched only by the thrill of dolphin diving! We've devoted a section of this guide to both. And, just in case you or a member of your family hasn't had the time to learn to dive, we've also included a section to give you the information you need to enjoy yourself on a vacation that includes a little bit of education as well!
A DIVER'S PERSPECTIVE
Seen from the air, The Bahamas is a swirling mass of deep blue ocean, dotted with patches of light blue and green water and occasionally with islands rimmed in white sand. While most folks concentrate on the breathtaking view, what you are really seeing is a unique natural resource that The Bahamas enjoys and that no other diving island can match! To be a world class diving destination, you need the right combination of deep, clear water for excellent visibility, marshes, estuaries and shallow areas for juvenile marine life development; and islands strategically placed so divers can enjoy both the visibility and the marine life. Since The Bahamas is so close to the United States (Bimini is only 60 miles away), let's take a look at the three distinct advantages The Bahamas enjoys over other diving destinations:
GULF STREAM: Far more important than any political border, the Gulf Stream originates in the crystal clear, very deep waters just to the south of Florida and The Bahamas. The water is warmed by tropical sun and pushed north by the trade winds. The Bahamas benefits in several ways from the Gulf Stream. The Gulf Stream acts as a giant ocean fence, protecting The Bahamas from Florida's rain and river runoff, ensuring the water remains crystal clear and the coral reefs pristine. Also, the easterly part of the Gulf Stream provides the islands with one of its sources of clear water.
BAHAMAS TRENCHES: If the Gulf Stream weren't enough, The Bahamas is also the home to oceanic trenches. Again, this provides the islands with clear water and allows any sediment to settle deep into the ocean, not on the reefs. Nearly all of the popular diving islands have access to these areas of very deep water.
BAHAMAS BANKS: The Bahamas is also dotted with very large oceanic banks, plateaus rising from the deep ocean and covered with sand. Only 20 feet deep in most places, the banks are a giant breeding and feeding ground for marine life. The islands are also fertile breeding grounds for marine life of all types. The banks and the islands combine to make The Bahamas one of the fishiest places anywhere.
INCREDIBLE MARINE LIFE: As great as these natural resources are, if they were all bunched together it would be a disaster for divers. You would get a lot of fish but the visibility would be dismal from the sand and estuaries. Here's where the geographic diversity of The Bahamas works to divers' advantage! The banks, trenches, estuaries, Gulf Stream and islands are all nicely spread out over 100,000 square miles of ocean. Less than five percent of this is land! That's how you get the combination of clear water, prolific marine life and dramatic diving that is the signature of The Bahamas.
Our appreciation goes out to the Bahamas Diving Association who provided the content for our Bahamas scuba diving section! Please patronize there members with extreme bias! Call to receive your free Bahamas Dive Guide, Dive Guide Video or CD-ROM Dive Guide for your PC Computer.
The Bahamas Diving Association