Bahamas Dolphin Diving
There is, perhaps, no underwater experience as meaningful as a dive with dolphins. The Bahamas offers several of the best and most reliable opportunities in all the world to closely interact with dolphins. And, these encounters happen off Grand Bahama and Bimini.
UNEXSO's Dolphin Experience includes both an educational encounter conducted within a scenic sheltered lagoon and an open water scuba program whereby divers can interact with Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins along an offshore coral reef Once the divers are on site, a small boat with a pack of trained dolphins swimming alongside will rendezvous. As the divers kneel on the sand bottom, the first thing they will notice is the high pitched echo location of the dolphins. Then, out of the blue will appear a vision of graceful beauty, the Atlantic Bottlenose. The dolphins swim up to the divers, peer quizzically into their face masks and seemingly pose for the cameras in a moving and inspirational dive. The trainers will execute a few commands and the dolphins will respond with actions that mimic their behavior in the wild. Occasionally, they will even find pods of wild dolphins at the site and divers have been treated to the thrill of watching Spotted Dolphins cavorting with their Bottlenose brethren.
For wild dolphin encounters, perhaps the best anywhere occurs along the White Sand Ridge of the Bahama Bank, off the northwest point of the island. Here, a resident pod of Spotted Dolphins has long been accessible to humans. Although they seem to prefer snorkelers to scuba divers (presumably the noisy exhaust bubbles annoy or scare them), these majestic mammals alternate between feeding (mostly by rooting in the white sand for crustaceans) and simply playing. The water is typically very clear here and, since the dolphins will generally allow a close encounter, the photo potential is worldclass.
The dolphins control the pace of this encounter. They usually show up each day but it is difficult to predict when or where. Several liveaboard boats include White Sand Ridge on their summer itineraries and have made a science out of assuring contact among their guests and the dolphins. Often, they will circle the area, creating a bow wake the dolphins enjoy riding. Once the pods are found, guests jump in the water on snorkel. Sometimes a diver riding a scooter will have good luck getting the dolphins to come close. The dolphins seem to regard all of this as a game; the most agile and active guests stand the best chance of enjoying prolonged interaction.
Most of the pictures taken of Spotted Dolphins in the wild or in nature films depicting dolphin behavior were shot right here on the Bahama Bank. If the subject is dolphins, the odds of a cooperative subject are better off Grand Bahama and Bimini than anywhere else in the world.Bahamas Dolphin Diving Operators
Many Bahamas live-aboard dive boats offer snorkel trips with the wild dolphins. Check with individual operators for itineraries..
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