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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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April 2022    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 48, No. 4   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Small Hope Bay Lodge, Andros Island, Bahamas

safe-feeling super-congenial hideaway

from the April, 2022 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Dear Reader:

Small Hope Bay Lodge sits on the edge of Andros Barrier Reef, the third-longest in the world it falls into a 6,000-plus foot trench, the "Tongue of the Ocean". A fascinating system of caves connects freshwater sources on the island, including freshwater blue holes, to as many as 200 salt-water blue holes offshore. So, the Lodge offers geological diving diversity -- including a unique air dive to 185 feet -- unlike any I've seen in the Caribbean.

On Small Hope Bay ResortThe congenial boutique hideaway is where this 1000+ dives baby boomer chose to go in December after spending the last six years taking Asia-Pacific dive trips. Within minutes of taking off my medical mask to sip my first welcome cocktail, the only mask I wore was while diving. My decision to make SHBL my first "COVID coming out dive vacation" felt comfortable from the start.

While SMBL is indeed a diving resort, it is as much a social resort. Rather than quiet evenings where photographers silently sit at their computers trying to coax maroon hues out of their lionfish photos, at night people mingle, swap stories, and share laughs. In fact, the resort does not have a dedicated camera area, perhaps one reason no one else here was a serious photographer. The socializing, not the shutter bugging, made this dive trip enjoyable.

During my week, the guests could have been featured in a Reader's Digest "The Most Unforgettable Character I Ever Met" story. A former staff member to Secretary of State Madeline Albright painted scary pictures about aggressive foreign powers' military maneuvering behind the scenes. An English lawyer smugly pontificated about how backward the U.S. was about gun control. Young Florida pilot's club member who gave a thrilling goodbye by buzzing the dive boat at low altitude. And a personal fitness coach who, with his wife and two daughters, had a run before breakfast, and returning from a dive, would get dropped a half-mile out for a swim back. So, after a two-year hiatus, the camaraderie of making a bunch of new diving friends, plus a solid diving operation, a good lodge, and a safe feeling during the time of COVID, made it a winning stay....

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