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Dive Review of Neal Watson's Bimini Scuba Center/Bimini Sands in
Bahamas/Bimini

January, 2014, an Instant Reader Report by Brent Barnes, OK, US
Sr. Reviewer   (10 reports, with 3 Helpful votes)
Report Number 7593
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Florida Keys, Flower Gardens in Gulf of Mexico, Cocos Island in Costa Rica,
Cozumel, Curacao, Dominica, Saba, St. Eustatius, California, Cayman Islands
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
windy, rainy, cloudy  
Seas
choppy  
Water Temp
76   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
5
Water Visibility
20   to 80    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Only restriction was on designated Great Hammerhead dives in which divers
were asked to remain in a designated area and hammerhead sharks were baited
to come very close to the divers  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
yes 
What I saw
Sharks
Lots 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
1 or 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
For Subscribers Only  
Small Critters
  For Subscribers Only
Large Fish
For Subscribers Only  
Large Pelagics
  For Subscribers Only
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
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Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
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Shore Facilities  
For Subscribers Only  
Comments
The boat had ample room for cameras but no designated camera table. There
was no rinse tank for the ...
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Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
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Food
5 stars
Service and Attitude
For Subscribers Only
Environmental Sensitivity  
For Subscribers Only
Dive Operation
For Subscribers Only  
Shore Diving  
For Subscribers Only  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
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Beginners
4 stars   
Advanced
For Subscribers Only    
Comments  
I returned from an excellent dive trip specifically to get close to Great
Hammerhead sharks in Bimini. This is an elusive shark and Bimini is one of
the few reliable places in the world you can get very close to great
hammerhead sharks. The Shark Lab in Bimini has been tagging and following
the great hammerhead sharks for several years but this has just opened to
recreational diving in the last 2 - 3 years. The great hammerhead sharks
show in Bimini in late December or early January each year and are gone by
late April, presumably to cooler waters. As there is really only one or two
scuba operations in Bimini, a land based dive trip to see the great
hammerheads in Bimini requires advanced planning as the dive spots fill
quickly from January to April and the dive boat is chartered for groups to
spend a week with the great hammerheads. There are several live aboard
operations based out of Florida or Nassau that visit Bimini for the great
hammerheads in the spring. The only land based operation on South Bimini
near the great hammerhead dive spots is Neal Watson's Bimini Scuba Center
which opened in the last two years and is based out of the luxurious Bimini
Sands resort on South Bimini. The day to day operations are run by Neal
Watson Jr. I had dove with him in Eleuthera in the Bahamas a couple of
years ago so was intrigued to dive with him again in Bimini. My dive buddy
and I actually began making reservations for the January, 2014 trip in July
of 2013 and found that there were only 3 weeks in the entire spring in
which dive spots were open, so it is wise to reserve this dive trip well in
advance. The only daily air flight from the U.S. mainland to Bimini is
through Silver Airways which is a regional airline out of Ft. Lauderdale.
We made our reservations with the dive shop, the Bimini Sands resort and
Silver Airways a full six months in advance for mid January and everything
seemed to be fine. However, we were suddenly notified three months before
our trip that Silver Airways was canceling a week of flights and could get
us to Bimini on our reserved arrival date but could not return us to the
mainland through Ft. Lauderdale for a week after our expected returned
date. It initially appeared that we would need to completely cancel our
trip as the rescheduled dates that Silver Airways was flying to Bimini did
not match dates in which spots were open for div ...
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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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