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Dive Review of Grand Bahama Scuba/Ocean Reef Yacht Club in
Bahamas/Freeport, Grand Bahama

September, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Gary Williamson, CA, US
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 5699
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Monterey, Ca; Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo san Lucas MX; Fiji
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
86   to 86    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Limit dives to an hour  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Cameras were stored in a a large cooler.  Food was also stored in the
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
5 stars   
4 stars    
Grand Bahama Scuba is based at the Ocean Reef Yacht Club in a Marina away
from the beach.  It is run by a Husband and wife team Fred & Melinda
Riger.  Fred has been based in the area for over 20 years.
My son and I dived three days with 2 dives per day.  The dive sites are
close to Freeport and we were there within half an hour.  The boat we used
on each occassion can carry up to 20 divers, however the most we saw were
five on the 1st day.  We dived Labor Day week and September is the slow
tourist season (an even better reason to go at that time).
The first day we dived through Coral caves at Pygmy caves following Fred. 
We could follow along or dive our own profiles. The coral heads had merged
overhead and made some nice swim throughs.  There was a variety of tropical
fish but nothing very large.  The coral looked healthy.  The 2nd dive was
at Shark Junction, a well known local shark feeding area.  It was busy with
other dive boats in the area.  We saw five Bahama Reef sharks which were
swimming in the area. It was fun to sit on the bottom and just watch the
sharks swim by.  There was also an patch of garden eels nearby.
After the dive we washed our gear and Melinda stored it in a storage room. 
The next day it was set up on the boat when we arrived.
Day two we dived a wreck called Badger, a tug boat sunk in about 90ft.  We
saw a few Lion fish inside the wreck so limited ourselves to the outer
hull.  There was a large variety of tropical fish nearby also.  The 2nd
dive was back among coral heads (don't recall the name) at medium depth.
Lots of parrot fish as well as a few groupers.  The water was warm enough
to dive without any wetsuit and still not feel cold.
Day three I opted for Nitrox.  There was an extra charge of $12.50 per tank
for 32%.  We went down to another bigger wreck (Duncan, I think). Quite a
few Lion fish in the area and large ones too. Also a number of large
grouper.  I saw a small Eagle ray and a barracuda as we swam around.  The
wreck had broken in half and exposed a lot of the interior to explore. 
Many different hard and soft corals were growing on the wreck.  I was
pleasantly surprised by the variety of fish, many which I didn't recognize.
 The 2nd dive we returned to Shark Junction and it was much more peacful as
we had the place to ourselves.  The old hyperbaric chamber is used as an
anchor for a buoy near the site.  There is not currently an operating
chamber on the island. Once again we kneeled on the bottom and watched as
about five different sharks swam around us.  They came within three feet
but in no way did they seem threatening to us.
Both Fred and Melinda dived with us the first days and on the last day it
was just Fred with the two of us.  We enjoyed the experience and would dive
with them again.
The Ocean Reef Yacht club is a timeshare operation and we traded into it
through RCI.  It a friendly place with pool bar that made burgers and hot
dogs and a full restaurant.  We were welcomed with Bahama Mama drinks and
they were served again at Monday night guest gathering.  The rooms were
spacious and clean, air conditiong worked great, the wireless internet was
a little flaky but was usable. There was an energy charge of $86 per room
for the week also. Because it is not on the beach, they provide a shuttle
service to Lucaya market and Taino beach on week days and food/drink run to
the market on Saturday night and Monday.  We also walked to/from the beach
several times (about 1 mile).
The local people we met were friendly and you have to go to the local Fish
Fry on Wednesday night, a great time for a party.  There is fresh water
cave diving on the island but we didn't try it. 
All in all my family and I had a great week on Grand Bahama.
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