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Dive Review of Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas in
Bahamas/Nassau

Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas: "Stuart Coves shark adventure ruined me for future dive excursions", Sep, 2018,

by James Devine, MD, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 10617 has 1 Helpful vote.

Photos Submitted with this Report


Click on an image to see an enlarged version and captions

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

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude N/A Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Who would deny that seeing sharks is one of THE most exiting aspects about SCUBA diving? In 43 years of diving all over the world I haven’t seen all that many of them and, whenever I did, it was ALWAYS memorable. Stuart Cove promised me I would see sharks this day. They kept their promise…. BIG TIME!

I have to say that this shark encounter probably ruined me for most other future dive excursions. For wonder, fascination, excitement and pure adrenaline Its gonna be hard for me to find another dive that could possibly measure up. This was shock and awe at the primeval level and was possibly the greatest single day of diving I have ever had (and I have had MANY great dives). For a comprehensive video of this entire experience you can see my YouTube page at [youtube.com link]

There were 2 tanks for today's Shark Adventure dives. The first was kind of an introductory to all the good stuff in the Bahamas: They drop you off at the shark arena, you then swim over to a nearby wall which you then proceed to swim along for about 10 minutes whereupon you come upon a large wreck (Ray Of Hope?) then return to the boat for the the second dive; the main event; The shark encounter proper.

Upon departure from the dock the ride took only about 15 minutes, well within sight of land. The minute we hit the water several sharks started circling and "escorted" us out of the area as we swam along the bottom to the nearby wall. Once we reached the wall they dispersed. Along the wall (a nice dive itself) the coral was healthy, vis was excellent and water temp was bathtub (88 degs F). Upon reaching the wreck a couple sharks resumed patrolling around us like a squadron of fighter jets on combat air patrol. After about 15 minutes on the wreck we returned back to the dive boat to prepare for the main event. MAX depth maybe 60 ft. On this dive alone I encountered, CLOSE encountered mind you, more sharks than I had ever encountered on any of my previous 500+ dives. But I hadn't seen nothin yet.

For this next dive I was told to leave my camera selfie stick on the boat as the sharks associate such items as a possible food serving source. We were also required to wear a full black wet suit (brutal in the 88 deg water; luckily I just had a full body sheath with no rubber). The guides Nico, Nacho and Rene (more on them later) gave us very specific instructions on how we were to act on the next dive. Some of the instructions were “kneel on the bottom and don’t try to swim anywhere”, “don’t make sudden movements”, don’t stick your arms or legs out... These are absolute wild animals, they are NOT aquarium sharks. Stuarts does not "keep" them, they just bring them an afternoon snack and that is it. Those sharks didn't get this big on these snacks.

The sharks already knew it was party time because they started gathering down at the bottom before we even got there. And, as we started to descend in 1's and 2's, they started to gather in ever larger numbers. Once we gathered on the bottom they started to get more excited and come in A LOT closer than before… and there were a lot more of them, and they were bigger than before. And then came Nico, the guy with the food box and THAT’S when the action REALLY took off. He wore a suit of chain armor like the kind that medieval knights used to wear… He would need it.

For the next half hour the feeding frenzy was ON… Sharks were EVERYWHERE, banging into each other, smacking us in the face with their tails, pushing us off to the side with their pectoral fins. I saw Nico the feeder guy get bit at least 4 or 5 times and you could actually hear their teeth grinding on his suit. It was a crazy free-for-all, kinda like when people feed the seagulls at the beach but only a lot more serious, and infinitely more exciting. Nico even had to fight the sharks who kept trying to steal the whole box of food and others that kept trying to cram their head inside the box to get more fish for themselves. Meanwhile Rene kept the camera rolling (individual still pix $15 each, full video DVD $99) while the cloud of thrashing carnivores swirled all around him (and us.)

How close did they get? Close enough to smack me in the head with their tail and knock my mask loose, several times. Close enough to shove me aside on their way towards Nico. How many were there? A couple dozen, maybe more, some of them considerably larger than any of us humans. I saw more sharks on this DIVE than I have in all my other dives COMBINED (including the first one of this day). It was like being in the middle of a whirlwind.

Then the food ran out, Nico swam off with the empty box and, as the whole pack followed him, we kinda sifted around in the sand searching for shark teeth (some were found, but none by me) for a few minutes and then ascended back to the surface and got back on the boat with the help of Nacho who was waiting on the surface to help us all get our gear off.

High praise to Nico, and Nacho who guided this excursion, Rene who captured it all on video and Capt Derk who led the crew (and kept my bubble watching wife company topside during the diving.) They were true professionals. Their emphasis was always on safety and even during the most insane moments of the frenzy I felt completely at ease in their presence. They were continually roaming the boat helping people with their equipment and getting off and on the boat and providing the information that reduced our uncertainty and provided the reassurance we would need to do something like jump into a sharknado for 30 minutes.

This was a true bucket list filler for me.... I believe it would be for anybody. Highly recommended but NOT for the faint of heart.

Hotel pickup time was 11:30 AM and after a 45 minute bus ride from Atlantis you arrive at the dock and dive shop of Stuart Cove. Here you submit your paperwork (filled in during the bus ride) to the office staff, rent any equipment you need and then board the specified boat that is taking you out. I purposely selected mid-Sept to come here because I knew that this was by far the lowest point of tourist season in the Bahamas (notwithstanding that there were 3 cruise ship in Nassau harbor on this day). The desks were well staffed for the arrival of the mini-bus loads full of divers from the different lodgings all over the island, going on various excursions and the process went smoothly (we had perhaps 8 divers and one bubble watcher (my wife) on this trip. I can imagine at high season this process might be somewhat chaotic but it was not on this day.
Websites Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Belize, Keys, Cozumel, Cancun, NY/NJ, California Channel Islands, Truk, Palau
Closest Airport Nassau Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas
Water Temp -°F / -°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility - Ft/ - M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available?

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]Once you show people your pictures from this dive, its going to be hard to find anything else more impressive
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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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