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Dive Review of Grand Bahama Scuba/Ocean Reef Yacht Club in
Bahamas/Freeport, Grand Bahama

Grand Bahama Scuba/Ocean Reef Yacht Club, Sep, 2010,

by Gary Williamson, CA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports). Report 5699.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Monterey, Ca; Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo san Lucas MX; Fiji
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 86 to 86 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Limit dives to an hour
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Cameras were stored in a a large cooler. Food was also stored in the cooler.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Grand Bahama Scuba is based at the Ocean Reef Yacht Club in a Marina away from the beach. It is run by a Husband and wife team Fred & Melinda Riger. Fred has been based in the area for over 20 years.
My son and I dived three days with 2 dives per day. The dive sites are close to Freeport and we were there within half an hour. The boat we used on each occassion can carry up to 20 divers, however the most we saw were five on the 1st day. We dived Labor Day week and September is the slow tourist season (an even better reason to go at that time).
The first day we dived through Coral caves at Pygmy caves following Fred. We could follow along or dive our own profiles. The coral heads had merged overhead and made some nice swim throughs. There was a variety of tropical fish but nothing very large. The coral looked healthy. The 2nd dive was at Shark Junction, a well known local shark feeding area. It was busy with other dive boats in the area. We saw five Bahama Reef sharks which were swimming in the area. It was fun to sit on the bottom and just watch the sharks swim by. There was also an patch of garden eels nearby.
After the dive we washed our gear and Melinda stored it in a storage room. The next day it was set up on the boat when we arrived.
Day two we dived a wreck called Badger, a tug boat sunk in about 90ft. We saw a few Lion fish inside the wreck so limited ourselves to the outer hull. There was a large variety of tropical fish nearby also. The 2nd dive was back among coral heads (don't recall the name) at medium depth. Lots of parrot fish as well as a few groupers. The water was warm enough to dive without any wetsuit and still not feel cold.
Day three I opted for Nitrox. There was an extra charge of $12.50 per tank for 32%. We went down to another bigger wreck (Duncan, I think). Quite a few Lion fish in the area and large ones too. Also a number of large grouper. I saw a small Eagle ray and a barracuda as we swam around. The wreck had broken in half and exposed a lot of the interior to explore. Many different hard and soft corals were growing on the wreck. I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of fish, many which I didn't recognize. The 2nd dive we returned to Shark Junction and it was much more peacful as we had the place to ourselves. The old hyperbaric chamber is used as an anchor for a buoy near the site. There is not currently an operating chamber on the island. Once again we kneeled on the bottom and watched as about five different sharks swam around us. They came within three feet but in no way did they seem threatening to us.
Both Fred and Melinda dived with us the first days and on the last day it was just Fred with the two of us. We enjoyed the experience and would dive with them again.
The Ocean Reef Yacht club is a timeshare operation and we traded into it through RCI. It a friendly place with pool bar that made burgers and hot dogs and a full restaurant. We were welcomed with Bahama Mama drinks and they were served again at Monday night guest gathering. The rooms were spacious and clean, air conditiong worked great, the wireless internet was a little flaky but was usable. There was an energy charge of $86 per room for the week also. Because it is not on the beach, they provide a shuttle service to Lucaya market and Taino beach on week days and food/drink run to the market on Saturday night and Monday. We also walked to/from the beach several times (about 1 mile).
The local people we met were friendly and you have to go to the local Fish Fry on Wednesday night, a great time for a party. There is fresh water cave diving on the island but we didn't try it.
All in all my family and I had a great week on Grand Bahama.
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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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