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February 2002 Vol. 17, No. 2   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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One More Bahamas Boat, the Rorqual

from the February, 2002 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

A new boat is plying Bahamas waters, the Nekton Rorqual. David R. Lamb (Salt Lake City), on Rorquals first cruise on their Southern Bahamas itinerary in November, visited Conception Island, San Salvador and Rum Cay. Sharks were abundant around Conception. Dolphins showed up, attracted by the scads of razor fish that hovered over the bottom and dived into the sand when you got too close. Most of the diving is on walls that start between 60 and 90 feet. Despite the snorkel first program advertised in their brochures and assurances when I called, there are no good snorkeling opportunities on this itinerary, which was a disappointment for my wife, who doesnt dive. The Rorqual is the same basic SWATH design as the Nekton Pilot. Its quite stable, but can develop a long slow roll or pitch if the seas are right, which made some people a little sick. The spacious sun deck (which includes a large covered area), lounge and dining areas easily absorb the 32 passengers. All can be seated comfortably in the dining area. The dive deck could get messy if everyone chose to dive at the same time, but they rarely do. After breakfast the dive deck is open until lunch, then the boat moves to a new site and the dive deck is open again until around 5:30 p.m. Youre free to come and go as you please whenever the dive deck is open and everyone is responsible for maintaining their own surface intervals.

Marianne and Jeff Daniel (Walnut Creek, CA), there in December, say its an excellent operation, as good as the Nekton Pilot. Friendly, helpful, knowledgeable crew, and a mobile dive platform (up and down) that is great for easy entries. Warm towels and fresh water rinse after each dive, steel 95 tanks. Food is homestyle good. Individual rooms with private heads, showers, and A/C controls. Dale Thompson (Del Mar, CA), also there in December, reports: Senior officers on board experienced, the rest young and willing. Crew training good for daily operations, but when a diver got in trouble (panic attack) the initial response was like an ant hill kicked over until the Captain took charge. Sites were off small islands of South Bahamas, a mix of healthy and pretty poor sites. Five dives a day. www.nektoncruises.com; (800) 899-6753 or (954) 463-9324 .

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