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Dive Review of Small Hope Bay Lodge in
Bahamas/Andros Island

Small Hope Bay Lodge, Jun, 2004,

by Jean and Bob Kirkpatrick, KY, USA . Report 1114.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Many places in Caribbean; Palau, Yap, and Truk; Maldives; Indonesia; Solomons; PNG; Thailand.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, noCurrents
Water Temp 80 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Depth and time limits
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 1 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 2 stars
Comments We've been looking since 1985 for the perfect place for a family vacation, from babies to grandparents. Small Hope comes so close to being just that. The ambience is wonderful - you feel right at home as soon as you arrive. The staff - especially the locals - are very friendly and accomodating. The food is served buffet style for lunch and dinner on a beautiful, shaded terrace, and is excellent. The staff takes care of younger children during cocktail hour and dinner, and plays with them while the adults enjoy their meal in peace. The bar is on the terrace, and all drinks are included. Breakfast is indoors, with a selection of hot and cold dishes. There's a large lounge area, a library with reference books and game tables, a big playroom for children with a TV for videos, and a small shop. The resort is situated on a point with long beaches on each side and the dock in the center. The dive operation is not as convenient as some -the boats have center tank racks, which are hard to set up and cause traffic jams when people are between the seats and the tanks. Benches along the sides have covered storage, but that means you have to ask people to move in order to get to your items. They do furnish water, and a camera rinse tank, but there are no tables. You have to bring towels from your room. Tanks are loaded onboard, and you are responsible for getting all your gear to the boat. There is storage at the dock, but you go down a steep ladder to get to the boat. Nitrox is available at extra cost. The divemasters are very nice about helping guests by lifting tanks for entries and exits. The reefs are not very colorful and have a lot of algae, though they told me this is a summer problem. There are some interesting formations, such as the blue hole, and several specialty dives which are unique. Departing divers and snorkelers are given "Certificates of Accomplishment", which are nice keepsakes, and are particularly exciting to children. Boat trips to reefs for snorkeling were also exciting and fun for the children, and for the adults helping them. Three of our group were the first to ever take courses titled "Beach Ranger" and "Beach Naturalist". They graduated!!! and were given diplomas and T-shirts for the occasion. Another favorite activity is a walk down to the creek which flows into the sea near the resort, and swimming or snorkeling there. Fishing is also available, and there are nature walks. A fabric called Androsia is produced nearby, and a trip to this building to make your own design can be arranged. So - what could be wrong with this paradise? Well, it's hot. We hoped June would be cooler than our previous July trips, but it wasn't. The cottages, which are along one of the beaches, are not air conditioned, and the ceiling and floor fans just don't work well enough to cool in the summer months. Naps are almost impossible, unless you're happy in a hammock along the beach, hopefully with a little breeze. Sleeping at night was very uncomfortable most of the week we were there. The cottages are basic - some more spacious than others - and have no phones or TVs. We compare it to summer camp, and not a very fancy camp, at that. There's also a great need for shade on the long swimming beach. With very young children, there's nowhere else to go during the day, as the rooms are too hot, and there are no umbrellas or covered thatches to get you out of the sun. This is an easily remedied problem, and we hope they will take care of this soon. They also are discussing adding air conditioning, and we'll consider going back if they do so. We've tried many spots and this small operation has the best feel of any - if only you weren't so hot!
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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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