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Dive Review of Dive Guana/Dolphin Beach Resort in
Bahamas/Great Guana Cay

Dive Guana/Dolphin Beach Resort, Aug, 2006,

by Rick Neumann, Md, USA . Report 2850.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving San Sal, Belize, Honduras, Cayman brac, G.Cayman, Little Cayman, Keys, Bonaire (12), Turks/Caicos, Saba, St. Thomas, St Kitts, St Bart's
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 82 to 86 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 100 to 140 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions we were free to dive our own profile. the sites were less than 70 feet, mostly.....the divemaster led the dives, but as veteran divers, we went wherever we wanted to....this was our 4th time diving with Dive Guana....Troy is organized, helpful, and attentive to divers as well as snorkellers.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments We had our own housed digital, and had no trouble. We were diving in small groups, and were the only divers doing photo/video. Divesmater/owner Troy Albury went out of his way to take a photo of my son with a huge barracuda in the background. With groups with more UWPs, more attention is given to their needs, dip tank, etc. There is a nice fresh water hose on board that is always working, and always avaiable. The divesites are within about 30 minutes or less.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments This was my 4th trip in 4 years diving with Dive Guana on Great Guana Cay in Abaco. The dive operation is run by Troy and Maria Albury, who are committed local Bahamians, parents of 2 young kids, and run an small, organized dive operation. The primary dive boat is beamy, sqeaky-clean, and updated. January-through March can be a crap-shoot diving here,and I don't recommend it, like anywhere in the Bahamas. Late May though early July would be my choice. Our recent trip in August '06 was a gamble during Hurricane season, but we had flat calm seas, mostly, with endless vis, mostly 100-120. There are 3 or 4 great sites that are well worth diving more than once in a dive week, like Shark Alley and Grouper Alley. We saw 3 or 4 big reef sharks, up close and personal (as close as 5 or 6 feet) in the 4 to 8 foot range on all our dives here. There are huge Nassau and black grouper here, that will allow you to hold and pet them like puppies, if you are still, and gentle. Troy is like their mother, as they eagerly snuggle into his arms! Gray angels, French angels, and a few porky lobsters were also sighted. We also saw enormous nurse sharks, under ledges. We did see one eagle ray and a turtle, briefly, on "fly by" sightings. Perhaps my favorite aspect of Guana diving is the caverns and swim throughs, in the 35 to 40 foot range! They are loaded with silversides to the degree, that when you get in there, you can't see anything but silver flashing, 2 inches from your face mask. When the sun hits a cut in the swim through, against the silversides, it makes a great photo op. Diving at the other end of the Island, the diving was a bit shallower,less spectacular, but still worthy. It was here where I saw my first ever Pacific Lionfish!! He lives under a hooded section of coral, and is remarkable to see and photograph. They are aggressive, and I noticed that there was not a small fish anywhere in his vicinity! When you arrive at Dive Guana, they also take care of your gear for your entire stay, including careful washing. I never picked up a tank. I'm not sure more than a week here, for serious divers, is the way to go. The diversity of dive sites is adequate for a week, but certainly not Bonaire-like. There is a nice wreck in 120 feet that we ran out of time to do, in fact. Troy and Maria are also at the forefront of a legal action against the Bahamian government to halt, or scale back, the project at Baker's Bay (Land Discovery Co.), that proposes to build a golf course on Guana Cay, certain to be harmful to the delicate reef system of Guana. I like to dive with people who are out there looking out for "our" critters, and ultimately, our diving. Troy also chases poachers in his capacity as an Island authority, which we witnessed a few years back, when he got after some bad guys stealing lobsters.

As for accomodations, Dolphin Beach Resort worked just fine for us. It is a small resort, tucked into a lush oceanfront property.There is damn good snorkelling just to the right, toward NIPPERS. There is a cute, clean pool in the courtyard, but no on-site restaurant. The Blue Water Grill sits above Dive Guana, 200 yards away, and is excellent, and not too expensive...and what a view! NIPPERS famous eatery/bar is a 5 minute ocean beach walk. The Nippers Sunday Pig Roast is a must! There are hotel rooms in the Dolphin Lodge, and also assorted pastel colored cottages. It is on the Atlantic oceanfront, 200 yards from Dive Guana, which is on the Sea of Abaco. On Guana, the way to get around is by golf cart, which is so much fun. My son and I locked ourselves out of our cottage late one night.....and had to wake up the owner/manager Rebecca, who gave us the key to a Lodge room for the night. We needed our "stuff", so we had to break the window, and get in to our cottage. They fixed this by 10 am THE NEXT MORNING, and refused to allow me to pay for it! Finally, Great Guana Cay is TINY!.....only about 120 folks live here! The ferry from Marsh Harbour takes 30 minutes.. In closing, of 35 dive trips and over 25 years, I'd rather be either here or in Bonaire.
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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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