Carib Dancer Bahamas
I dove the Turks and Caicos for one week and looked around for more of that, before I head back to Germany. By chance I stumbled across the maiden voyage of the Carib Dancer out of Nassau and hopped onto that. Maybe it was not too good an idea, to do an Aggressor Boat and right after join the next. You would always compare the first with the second one.
I spent 4 days in Nassau to see places, stayed at Nassau Palm a modest place but close to downtown. The city is a real hurly burly place, especially with the huge cruise ships coming into the harbour. Sometimes I counted 5 of these in port, then it seemed millions of people would pour into town. I visited the local straw market, enjoyed meals in fancy and crazy places like Senior Frog, Fish and Fry, Luciano, Blue, Green Parrot etc. Nice to see is Potter Cay with stalls offering local specialties like conch salad, chowder and fritters and a small market with fruits, veggies and crabs. On Paradise island is the Bahamas handicraft center and not to be missed Atlantis Hotel/Casino plus Aquaventure waterpark, a beautiful way to spent one whole day on the beach, in pools, on slides and running down white water canals sitting in tubes. There are huge aquariums with sharks, rays, humongous groupers where they offer diving or snorkelling, a dolphin pool with encounter. In town you will find older places of Bahamas history, old churches, parks, beautiful beaches.
Dancer has the same customer internet forum asking for arrival date, dive experience, special requirements as Aggressor. No transfer was provided, so I had to take a cab to the Marina, walk through customs and security check and down to the boat. Dancer had most of the amenities of TCA, looked a bit smaller, had less storage place in the cabin. AC didn´t work well the first few days, preferred to sleep on deck. There sometimes was a strange smell coming out of the heads, they managed to get rid of that with bleacher, the Nitrox compressor didn´t work, so no chance on N-dives The Dancer was fully booked, mostly US citizens, 3 Germans. Welcome and information on how to handle things was a bit short, “what if” procedures were mentioned in 10 seconds only, nobody wanted to look into my log book, c-card, physical, DAN insurance, which I found a bit strange. All guys working on the boat seemed to only slowly getting used to their jobs again. Kitchen and food was 3 star, they offered gluten free stuff for me. It was a maiden cruise so naturally all kind of problems appear out of nowhere, which I had no problems with.
The boat went down to the Exumas and our first dive was on the famous Blue Hole, which I loved. Again they let me run on rather long leash, so diving was more enjoyable to me. Then we were heading further south. Water was 26 – 27 degrees C, vis in the shallows sometimes poor, on the walls stunning down to xxx meters. Like in the Turks most dives went along a reef wall. Here lots of swim throughs, crevices, tunnels, canyons and boulders invited to cruising around, sometimes I wondered if I would ever find my way back to the mother boat. We had sharks, rays and turtles there, but again not much of it. On the edge of the wall were beautiful coral, sponge, gorgonia and fan gardens with a much better fish population than on the Turks. Night dives were in these areas, you could find small interesting creatures everywhere. Once we did a wreck, the Austin Smith. Dive operators from Nassau started shark feeding here, so some reef sharks were cruising around hoping to grab some snack.
Nearly everywhere we found lion fish, I doubt the Caribbean will win the fight against this immigrant, even though they started to put it on the menu. Weather was cloudy and windy, sometimes even rain, only 2 really good days with sunshine.