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Dive Review of Neal Watson's Bimini Scuba Center/Bimini Sands in
Bahamas/Bimini

Neal Watson's Bimini Scuba Center/Bimini Sands, Jan, 2014,

by Brent Barnes, OK, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 10 reports with 3 Helpful votes). Report 7593.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Florida Keys, Flower Gardens in Gulf of Mexico, Cocos Island in Costa Rica, Cozumel, Curacao, Dominica, Saba, St. Eustatius, California, Cayman Islands
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, rainy, cloudy Seas choppy
Water Temp 76 to 79 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 20 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Only restriction was on designated Great Hammerhead dives in which divers were asked to remain in a designated area and hammerhead sharks were baited to come very close to the divers
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish For Subscribers Only
Small Critters For Subscribers Only Large Fish For Subscribers Only
Large Pelagics For Subscribers Only

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

Subject Matter For Subscribers Only Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's For Subscribers Only Shore Facilities For Subscribers Only
UW Photo Comments The boat had ample room for cameras but no designated camera table. There was no rinse tank for the ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here

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

Accommodations For Subscribers Only Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude For Subscribers Only Environmental Sensitivity For Subscribers Only
Dive Operation For Subscribers Only Shore Diving For Subscribers Only
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ For Subscribers Only
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced For Subscribers Only
Comments I returned from an excellent dive trip specifically to get close to Great Hammerhead sharks in Bimini. This is an elusive shark and Bimini is one of the few reliable places in the world you can get very close to great hammerhead sharks. The Shark Lab in Bimini has been tagging and following the great hammerhead sharks for several years but this has just opened to recreational diving in the last 2 - 3 years. The great hammerhead sharks show in Bimini in late December or early January each year and are gone by late April, presumably to cooler waters. As there is really only one or two scuba operations in Bimini, a land based dive trip to see the great hammerheads in Bimini requires advanced planning as the dive spots fill quickly from January to April and the dive boat is chartered for groups to spend a week with the great hammerheads. There are several live aboard operations based out of Florida or Nassau that visit Bimini for the great hammerheads in the spring. The only land based operation on South Bimini near the great hammerhead dive spots is Neal Watson's Bimini Scuba Center which opened in the last two years and is based out of the luxurious Bimini Sands resort on South Bimini. The day to day operations are run by Neal Watson Jr. I had dove with him in Eleuthera in the Bahamas a couple of years ago so was intrigued to dive with him again in Bimini. My dive buddy and I actually began making reservations for the January, 2014 trip in July of 2013 and found that there were only 3 weeks in the entire spring in which dive spots were open, so it is wise to reserve this dive trip well in advance. The only daily air flight from the U.S. mainland to Bimini is through Silver Airways which is a regional airline out of Ft. Lauderdale. We made our reservations with the dive shop, the Bimini Sands resort and Silver Airways a full six months in advance for mid January and everything seemed to be fine. However, we were suddenly notified three months before our trip that Silver Airways was canceling a week of flights and could get us to Bimini on our reserved arrival date but could not return us to the mainland through Ft. Lauderdale for a week after our expected returned date. It initially appeared that we would need to completely cancel our trip as the rescheduled dates that Silver Airways was flying to Bimini did not match dates in which spots were open for div ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here
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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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