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Dive Review of Grand Bahama Scuba/Island Seas Resort in
Bahamas

Grand Bahama Scuba/Island Seas Resort: "Grand Bahama Scuba", May, 2014,

by Patricia A. Sinclair, La, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 31 reports with 9 Helpful votes). Report 7901.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Grand Bahama Island Dive Trip – Memorial Day week
Had an uneventful flight from MSY to ATL, where I was to meet my dive buddy for the week for the first time. We met as planned at the gate for our flight from ATL to FPO. The flight from ATL to FPO was fun, since there were many children aboard and the ones that scream bloody murder the whole flight seem to always end up right by me. Got through customs without any hassles, grabbed our bags, grabbed a cab and went to the Island Seas Resort. I had gotten a really good deal on a one bedroom suite there for the entire week. The additional non-monetary price was that I had to listen to a timeshare spiel. Now I admit to the fact that I never had any intention of buying, but I sure had fun playing cat and mouse with the salesman. There is no way a timeshare is cost effective, to me, for 1 week a year.
We got settled into our room and gave Grand Bahama Scuba a call to let them know we were in safely and ready for a checkout dive anytime the next day. We then headed to the beach to just hang out by the sea. Lovely beach, clean and well kept. The sun was warm and the breeze was blowing – relaxation!!! We had a very nice late lunch at the bar along with some coffee and iced tea.
Sunday morning was the Timeshare fun and Sunday afternoon was the checkout dive. We did that dive in the canal right under where the boat was tied up. The upside of the canal checkout dive as that the piers are covered in life. The downside was that the visibility was less than 5 feet, maybe around 2.5 feet. Oh well, it sufficed for me to find a problem with my just-got-serviced BCD which kept inflating and deflating, wasting a lot of air. Fred R. (owner of Grand Bahama Scuba) was able to do a temporary fix (aka jury-rig) to the BCD for me and I was able to use it for the whole week.
Notes on Grand Bahama diving overall – the reefs are largely deeper than most Caribbean reefs that I am used to diving. Most start at around 55 feet. Water temperature at the end of May is still a bit cold (79-80) and you would do well to use at least a 3mm shorty or a 3mm full suit. I dove with just a nylon dive skin and was cold towards the end of each dive. For whatever reason, the water was very silty and there was a lot of green due to algae bloom (which, of course, is a good thing.)
I came specifically to see the sharks and attempt to do underwater photography, so the place to go for me was the Shark Junction site. Grand Bahama goes to this site multiple times during the week. It is always a toss-up as to whether or not you will moor there, since other shops also use this site, primarily UNEXSO, who feeds the sharks when they are doing the site. For close-up photography, doing a shark feeding dive with UNEXSO does provide a better chance to get the shots you want. I wanted natural shark behavior, so Grand Bahama Scuba which does not feed the sharks, was my ticket. Once the boat hooks up to the buoy, the sharks appear. The sharks have learned to associate boat motors with food. So when you drop down, they check you out, if you don’t have food they leave. Luckily sharks do not seem to have long term memory, since after about 10 to 30 seconds they come back around to see if you have food. Getting close to the sharks without food is a trick, but it can be done. If you are lucky you can/will be in the right place at the right time for a very good shot. As I know, chasing after them (like chasing fish) never works, though others in our group seemed not to see that. The site is sand bottom over an upside bottom of a boat. When there are too many divers, it will silt it up rather quickly. On our first dive on the site, I was last into the water and by the time I made it down to where the sharks were, it was totally silted up. Needless to say, I did not get many keeper shots from that particular dive.
Near the Shark Junction site and near where the sharks are fed is a small coral head that is a cleaning station. Large grouper go there and hold still for quite a long period of time. They have no fear of divers, so you can closely approach (slowly) and get a number of very nice pictures of them. Seems like there is a waiting room at the back of the coral head, where I found another large grouper which moved up to the cleaning station after the first grouper left. Even if you are not a photographer, just watching the action at this cleaning station is fascinating.
We dove the following wrecks: Badger, Freebex, Duncan’s and the small boat at Laura’s , which was used in the film Octopussy. I am not a wreck fan, but I sure did like the Badger wreck – lots of fun with it and a fisheye lens, which I was using for the first time. We dove reefs – Shark Junction, Pygmy Caves, Tunnels, The Chamber (named for the old hyperbaric chamber on the site), Silver Reef, Moray Manor West and of course the aforementioned Laura’s/Octopussy Garden. On this last dive, I saw something I had never seen before, male sharks! 2 juveniles, both were less than 4 feet long. Like most juveniles they were all over the place, chasing the turtle, the fish, and shaking their heads. It sure seemed like (to me, anyway) they were playing. All of the sharks we saw on the other reefs, including Shark Junction, were large breeding females and over half of them were pregnant. Male sharks tend to be transitory while female sharks tend to be resident to an area. We do know that one specific shark (named Harvey) went away (pregnant) for 3 days and came back after having her pups. That would indicate that where they pup is somewhere close and probably in the coves of Grand Bahama Island.
I managed to get in 10 hours and 56 minutes in the water (of 54.66 minutes per dive average.) Grand Bahama Scuba does not go out at all on Saturdays and Sundays are their “teaching” days where they hold classes for Open Water and higher certifications. Diving is Monday through Friday each week and we got 11 dives in during that period, plus the checkout dive (total of 12). If you are lucky and Fred R. is on the boat with you, you will be treated to his marine biology observations, stories about the individual wrecks and how they got there, his observations concerning water level increase and what he bases it on. He has a very informative YouTube channel (Fredgbscuba).
We ate all our lunches, save the first day, at the Ocean Reef Club, which is next to the Grand Bahama Scuba shop. Most of our dinners were eaten at the Island Seas house restaurant. I was told that there were several nice restaurants in town, to which we have gone but the taxi ride to and from was fairly expensive, so we opted to just stay at the resort. By the way, the taxi ride to and from the resort was $22.00 plus tip each. The ride wasn’t more than 2 miles.
Melinda R. (Grand Bahama Scuba) provided transportation to and from the resort for us daily. She even brought my gear to me when I ended up sick on the last dive day and could not dive. Personal service at its’ finest! I will go again – the sharks fascinate me. Next time I will try to stay at the Ocean Reef Club, where I can just walk down to the dive shop.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Caymans (all), Florida, FL Keys, Bimini, St Eustatius, Jamaica, Curacao, Bonaire, Philippines, Roatan and more
Closest Airport Freeport Getting There Fly to Miami and catch short flight tnere

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas calm, choppy, no currents
Water Temp 79-82°F / 26-28°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 60-90 Ft/ 18-27 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Not deeper than 110 ft
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Take that FE lens for taking shark shots.
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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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