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Dive Review of Xanadu Undersea Adventures/Mayfield Beach and Tennis Club in
Bahamas/Grand Bahama Island, Freeport

Xanadu Undersea Adventures/Mayfield Beach and Tennis Club, Aug, 2002,

by Jody and Elissa Thompson, CA, USA . Report 203.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Bimini, Bahamas, Cozumel, Akumal, Palau, Papua New Guinea, California Channel Islands
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, noCurrents
Water Temp 84 to 85 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 75 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Common Sense. Dive times were kept to 45-50 minutes
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments Each boat has a seperate camera rinse tank and shaded seat area which easily served as a camera table. The dive shop has a nice classroom with some outlets available for recharging batteries. It is also air conditioned which allows for fog free film changes. The shop has MX-10 cameras available for rent as well as videographers on staff who shoot the shark dive as well as do custom videos. Underwater photo and video courses are available by arrangement.

The Mayfield resort were we stayed has plenty of outlets for battery chargers.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This was our 7th year diving with Xanadu Undersea Adventures. Each year just gets better. While other dive shops have stopped providing free hotel pickups for guests, Xanadu still does (even if you are staying in Lucaya). This year they bought a nice new van for pickups. They are very customer oriented and run a good shop.

Don't get Xanadu Undersea Adventures confused with the Xanadu hotel. Though they are adjacent to each other, that is where the similarity ends. The Xanadu hotel is run down and in desperate need of repair. Apparently it is receiving some badly needed maintenance at this time. Until it is completed, don't stay there. Instead, Xanadu Undersea Adventures offers packages in association with the newly renovated Royal Oasis Golf Resort.

We stay at the Mayfield Beach and Tennis Club, an older, very clean, well maintained beachfront 2 bedroom condo timeshare across the channel from Xanadu. Sometimes condos are available for rent. Email Christina at mayfield@coralwave.com for availablity.

The reefs around Freeport are alive with fish and coral, but there are areas covered with algae. This year the visiblity was exceptional. Our favorite dive, Theo's wreck (max depth 110 feet, 200+ foot long freighter)could be seen from just below the surface! This dive is usually affected by currents but all week it was absent. This site makes an awsome night dive, but only for advanced, confident divers. Enormous sleeping parrot fish make their evening cocoons inside the wreck. Cuttlefish and crabs move about, and bristle worms crawl across the hull. Since this wreck has been down 20+ years it is encrusted with life.

A new wreck, the Sea Star II was sunk 4 months ago. Sitting perfectly upright, it is also a great dive. Though not encrusted yet, it is surrounded by schools of fish. There are many interesting swim through features for those so trained.

With enough interest, Xanadu Undersea Adventures will take divers to the West End, we did this a few years back, trying to discover new dive sites. We found a 40 F thermalcline produced by underground springs venting to the ocean. Dolphin pods are commonly encountered here.

This trip, We encountered eagle rays, eels, grey reef sharks, and a good assortment of "caribbean reef fishes". Only occasionally did we see turtles.

Shark feeding dives are perfomed on Tuesdays and Saturdays in an area known as shark alley. This year marked our 15th such dive. On the days between shark feeds, we dove here, encountering several grey reef sharks, all of which lazily swam around the reef.

Freeport is easy to get to; a half hour plane or 4 hour boat ride from Miami. The diving is consistenly good and inexpensive. Many positive improvements have been made to Grand Bahama Island in the past year.

See our website www.descentline.com for more info and photo gallery.

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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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