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Dive Review of Bahama Divers/British Colonial Hilton in
Bahamas/Nassau

March, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Laurie Gneiding, NJ, USA
Reviewer   (4 reports)
Report Number 3244
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Cancun, Cozumel, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Bonaire, BVI, Belize, Little Cayman,
NJ, ME, RI, MA
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
windy  
Seas
choppy, surge  
Water Temp
73   to 0    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
3
Water Visibility
30   to 40    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
no  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
80 feet; 30 minutes  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
1 or 2 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
None 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  1 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
2 stars  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
Dry area for set-up.  Separate rinse tank but masks, booties and gloves
were placed in with cameras.  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
5 stars
Food
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
2 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
2 stars   
Advanced
1 stars    
Comments  
We did four days with Bahama Divers (Nassau).  Pick up at hotel varied
between 7:30 am to 8:10 am.  Check in on first day consisted of being
ignored by surly employee for 15 minutes, then sharply told that the
counter needed cleaning/straightening before paperwork could be completed. 
Lots of standing around until boat was ready at 9:00 am.  

Boat is a 40-ft vessel outfitted to accommodate 28 divers.  There were only
12 of us on first day along with three crew members.  There is an onboard
head, fire extinguisher, radio, and first aid kit.  Water is
complementary but soda is $1/can and beer is available AFTER diving. 
Bags of kibbled dog food are pushed to feed the fish  not a good practice.
 Dive is videotaped (the camera is in your face a lot) and you can get a
copy for $39.95.  Mask defog is supplied and boat has separate camera tank
but a lot of masks, gloves, and booties were swimming with my new U/W
camera.

Bahama Divers follows a set schedule - Monday is X, Tuesday is Y, etc. and
it is difficult to get them to change.  Monday is the Blue Hole, which is
located approximately 12 miles east, in open ocean.  Monday was also
weather warranting small craft advisories due to 4- to 5-foot swells and
15-20 knot winds.  Despite these warnings, we endured a 45-minute,
spine-jarring ride where divers became airborne (sustained nasty bruised
leg after flying into the metal bench).  Told to suit up and put on weight
belts while boat still moving(!).  Briefing:  giant stride off the back,
swim on the surface to the front, drop down the anchor line, follow the
divemaster to 80 ft maximum for 30 minutes.  Jumped in and swam to the
anchor line with every bit of strength I had but it was too much  I was
exhausted (Im 51 but in pretty good shape) I couldnt stop
hyperventilating and turned back to abort the dive.  Then got really
seasick, despite all the necessary precautions.  

Day 2:  arrive at dive shop and stood around.  Weather same as Day 1, so
politely asked if we could dive in more protected waters.  Argument ensued.
 I countered that I paid to dive and not vomit and that I would take my
business elsewhere for the remaining two days.  Glaring looks.  On the
boat, the captain (different from Day 1) indicated that due to the
weather we would be doing two shallow dives (25) (yeah!).  First dive
unremarkable, second dive better as it was a shallow wreck.  Several
schools of schoolmaster and porgy and yellow and southern sting rays were
observed.  Water was 73oF and I was cold despite having a 3mm wetsuit,
hood, and a shorty.  

Day 3:  Winds died down to 10-15 knots. Wednesday is another Blue Hole
dive.  Boat more crowded with 22 divers.  Yellowtail snapper and sergeant
majors abound  because theyre being fed.  The big deal is to sit on the
stone ledge and get your picture taken.  YAWN.  Second dive at Piece of
Cake was shallow coral head (25-30) with lots of fish species and resting
nurse shark.  

Day 4:  Finally, relatively calm seas and winds less than 5 knots.  This
dive was to Travelers Rest, a gently sloping wall that bottoms out in
the hundreds of feet.  Dive profile was 80 ft, 30 minutes max., 2 minute
safety stop at 15 feet.  At least 20 minutes to get all 28 divers off the
boat.  Wall was completely unremarkable except for spotted eagle
ray/remora.  The second dive was 30 feet closer to shore than the first
with strong tidal surge and few fish.

Overall, the reefs around Nassau are in poor condition being colorless and
silted over  perhaps due to hurricanes, perhaps due to the enormous amount
of development in the area and probably a combination of both.  Visibility
less than 40 feet.  Little macro life and not much species diversity
(conducting fish census for REEF).  

Bahama Divers is more interested in selling fish food and videos than
service.  They cater to the cruise ships and the Atlantis resort on
Paradise Island while practically igoring individual divers.  We expected
to be returned to our hotel promptly, but it was routinely over an hour
after returning and only after three or four requests.  Groups always got
preferential treatment.  

You set up your own first tank, they did the second and they brought your
gear to get in.  When you were done, you handed up your weight belt and BC
then muscled your way onto the platform.  Not easy in 5 foot swells.  The
divemasters shepherded rather than look for critters (Calvin was the
exception).  On deep dives, it was follow the leader; shallow divers you
could go off by yourself provided you didnt go deeper than the prescribed
depth.  Surface interval between two dives was less than 15 minutes.  Two
of the four days students dove with us and when they ran out of air, the
dive was over.  EVERY dive I came up with at least 1200 psi but I was
motioned to get out of the water before I could finish my tanks.  Large
signs in the dive shop indicate NO REFUNDS on diving or snorkeling and they
mean it.  My husband became sick on the fourth day and couldnt dive -NO
refund.  If you go to the Bahamas, dive the other islands to avoid the
unhealthy reefs of Nassau and the uninterested employees of Bahama Divers.
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All Bahamas Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Bahamas
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.


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