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Dive Review of Blackbeards Cruises in
Bahamas/Bimini

Blackbeards Cruises, Apr, 2005,

by Lucius "Bud" Foster, MN, USA . Report 1893.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving California, Lake Superior, Hawaii, Jamaica, Bahamas, Cozumel, Anguilla, S. Florida & Keys, Roatan, Palau, Saba, and Grand Cayman.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas choppy, noCurrents
Water Temp 74 to 76 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 30 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 130' max and no deco. diving.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Large rinse tank trash can filled with fresh water for camera's/video, no real specific place for camera/video storage or work area, and no photo/video pro on staff like some more expensive live-aboards.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This was my third cruise with Blackbeards and I have to say, for the $890 US dollars or so, it is the best dive live-aboard deal for the money around. However, you must understand before going that if your concept of experiencing the great outdoors is going to a Sheraton, then Blackbeards Cruises is not for you. Blackbeards has three boats the Pirates Lady, Sea Explorer, and Morning Star. The sleeping quarters are bunk beds (some double size for couples)with a privacy curtain and a total of three shared bathrooms and only one shared shower. Anotherwords, no private rooms. So, if you enjoy sailing on the open ocean, are not a chronic suffer of motion or sea sickness, likes camping out and kinda ruffing it, Blackbeards Cruises is the best dive vacation for the money. Each day basically goes like this, 3-5 dives a day and a couple of night dives during your week. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is buffet style and as much as you want to eat. The cooks are wounderful and if you dont like what they are serving and want something special or have special diet needs, just tell the cook and he or she will take care of your needs. Normally on Wednesdays in the late afternoon the boats goes into port for the night and you can get off and take a private hot shower and hit the town for a night of wild partying. The diving is best near Bimini and accounts for some of the top 10 great wall dives in the Carribean such as South Peak Wall, Tuna Alley, Yellow Brick Road, and my favorite Nodules that has a eerie story attached to it, it was told to me like this: A few years back the Pirate's Lady was ancored to the site and setting up for the first of the morning dives. Captain James Boddi and the first mate decided to take a quick dive before the passengers awakened. They dove down and followed the sand chute to the wall at approximatly 130' were they were to take a left with the wall to there left shoulder coming up very slow until they reached the next sand chute and then were to swim back up gradually until they circle back to the ancore line. When they got to the 130' first part of the wall dive, James signaled to the first mate he was going to do the Sponge Tunnel and he would meet him at the ancore line. Legend has it that at approx. 210' there is a huge sponge that has grown straight out from the wall and then comes back in the shape of an upside down U swim-thru. The deal is to swim under the sponge and then look back up toward the surface. Captain James never meet the First Mate back at the ancore line and there is now a plaque with his name, birth date, and missing date on it were the permenant mooring line attaches. If the story is not true and he was just missing from the dive and never came back, it has keep me from ever going below 130'. The Bahamas also has alot of great reef dives and wreck dives and many trips change locations basied on the weather. If the weather is bad in one area, there is always another that is good. My only complant is that at some dive sites closer to the Andros area, I saw alot of carpet alge covering coral. I know that Blackbeards is involved with special dive trips that relocate sea urchins to help with this problem and I have heard they are having some success. Last but not least, the Bahamas still allows shark chuming dives. The dive site is called Bulls Runn and it is a really cool dive site that is set up like an ampetheater with the coral to your back while you watch the divemaster with a line feed the sharks with barracuda on a stick. As soon as the sharks are finished they split and one or two will hang around with a few large groupers for some close up shots!
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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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