The northeast corner of the Great Bahama Bank is bordered by the island of Eleuthera. Shaped like a thin boomerang, it is more than 100 miles long and only 3 miles wide. Founded in 1648, Eleuthera was the first settlement in The Bahamas and, in many ways, it is the most historic and interesting island from a cultural viewpoint. Today, it is one of the best developed and most prosperous of the outislands. Eleuthera is an island of extensive pink sand beaches edged by pine, casuarinas and palms, with an interior of rolling hills and high, dramatic cliffs overlooking a deep blue sea. Among the out islands, Eleuthera rivals Abaco in its concentration of quaint resort hotels. Special topside attractions include the Cave of the Eleutherian Adventurers where the early pilgrims found refuge, and the Glass Window, the narrowest point on Eleuthera, a thin, natural rock bridge linking two seabattered bluffs.
Charming little Harbour Island lies a short distance off the northeast coast of Eleuthera. Dunmoretown on Harbour Island, the original capital of The Bahamas, is best known for its lovely pastel colonial architecture and more than three miles of pristine, pink toned beaches. Many well traveled visitors consider Harbour Island the most beautiful in the archipelago.
The major diving areas of Eleuthera are reached from Harbour Island and include a vast area that is both diverse and extensive. Along the eastern edge of Harbour Island and continuing along the coast of Eleuthera is a long fringing reef that borders the deep blue Atlantic. This offshore area presents many miles of pristine reefs, rolling mounds of Star, Starlet and Plate Coral and an impressive mixture of inshore and pelagic fish. To the north, past the little island of Spanish Wells, is another lengthy fringing reef. Known as the Devil's Backbone, this extensive area holds the remains of dozens of ancient and modern shipwrecks in its grasp. Included in these is one of the most curious and interesting wreck sites in The Bahamas: three wrecks layered upon each other representing various periods of history. In between the northern and eastern fringing reefs are miles of shallow banks supporting patch reefs and a gleaming white sand bottom.
The dive areas include shallow mid and deep reef sites. A prime dive location easily reached from Harbour Island is a wide area known as the Plateau. Here are a series of rolling coral mounds, undercut by ledges and separated by deep sand fissures. Depths vary from 45 to 100 feet of water and the entire site is loaded with marine life.
The Arch, also close by, is a popular deep site featuring a giant arch of coral that forms a nearly concealed grotto. Often, schools of grunts, snappers and huge Horseeye Jacks patrol inside.
Perhaps the most unusual dive in The Bahamas is Current Cut, a narrow opening between two islands that produces a forceful three to eight knot tidal current. Divers ride this current through a marine menagerie that includes schools of fish and Eagle Rays. The Pinnacles are a 100 foot plus dive on a cavernous mountain of coral. The tall coral heads project from a deep sand bottom and provide a pedestal for giant sponges and trees of Black Coral.
The Eleuthera Train Wreck, in 25 to 35 feet of water, is one of The Bahamas most distinctive and unusual wrecks. Divers will discover huge sets of railroad wheels and other wreckage-the remains of a U.S. Civil War era train that slid off a barge during a storm. An interesting comparison close by is the wreck of the Carnavon. This is a 200 foot freighter that sank in 1919. It is still intact, sitting in 35 feet of water.
ROMORA BAY CLUB DIVE SHOP
(242) 333-2323, FAX (242) 333-2500
PO Box 146 - Harbor Island, Bahamas
VALENTINE'S RESORT AND MARINA
(502) 897-6461, FAX (502) 897-6486, (809) 333-2309
3928 Shelbyville Rd - Louisville, KY 40207
E-Mail - firstname.lastname@example.org
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