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Islands of The Bahamas - Top Five Dive Destinations

© By Adam Southwood
  Amidst The Fish 1. Andros - The "Tongue of the Ocean" is the world's largest and most famous destination for divers. Copious marine life exists in the barrier reef off the coast of Andros where it plunges 1,800 metres to a narrow drop-off. Subterranean caves fill with seawater and their ceilings collapse to reveal clear, deep pools, known as "blue holes," a favourite among divers. Most lie along a massive fracture system which starts at the edge of the Tongue of the Ocean and runs through the land and across South Bight. Within these mysterious blue holes, rare species, including cave fish and shrimps are found.
     National Geographic Magazine focussed on the South Andros blue holes way back in 1970 and in the early 1970's, Jacques Cousteau led an expedition dive into the blue holes. Recently, research by Dr. Stephanie Schwabe resulted in the discovery of new species of bacteria. Much microbial life here may be our only glimpse into early life forms.

2. Harbour Island: Eleuthera - is a thin and long island, and just north of the tip of Eleuthera is a small uninhabited island called Current. With the tide, millions of gallons of water are funnelled through this narrow channel. Current Cut, the underwater gully, flows swiftly with an array of colourful fish and coral and in 10 minutes, a scuba diver is carried three kilometres! If you wait until the tide is ripping and drop into the water, the current pushes you through the Cut at ten knots. Dive teams enter two at a time with a float so the boat can follow their progress underwater. At The Bottom
     At 50 to 60 feet divers whiz over the pockmarked bottom while large fish feed on smaller prey forced into the holes by the rushing tide. On a good dive a buddy team can make three passes. There's no point in bringing a camera as the current prevents shooting.

3. Bimini - The chief attraction here is that some claim the Lost Continent of Atlantis resides here with the famous underwater trail called Bimini Road, featuring perfectly cut half-kilometre-long underwater steps. Offshore reefs feature game fishing and excellent diving areas featuring millions of colourful fish and black-coral gardens. The top dive locations are as follows:
a) Bimini Barge: 100 ft. An ocean-going barge sits on the sandy bottom.
b) Victories and Tuna Alley: 40-90 ft. Sloping drop-offs feature swim-throughs and water caverns.
c) Little Caverns: Popcorn-shaped coral heads on a sandy bottom with tunnels and swim throughs.
d) Rainbow Reef: 25-35 ft. Shallow ledges hide nurse sharks and turtles.

Diver 4. Grand Bahama Island - "Sea Hunt," with Lloyd Bridges was filmed here 50 years ago, featuring thrilling reefs and myriad dive sites, including: The Wall, The Caves and Treasure Reef. Other popular dive sites are: Spit City, Ben's Blue Hole, and the Rose Garden.

5. Lucayan National Park - holds one of the longest underwater cave systems in the world, with over six miles of caves, caverns, and tunnels charted. The chilled dark recesses of the caverns offer shelter and nursery sites for migratory bats.

Adam Southwood writes for Canadian, U.S. and European magazines and newspapers. He is a graduate of both McMaster University in Hamilton and UWO in London with an interest in culture and history. He has produced several educational programs for TV.

Photo Credits
Courtesy of The Islands of the Bahamas

If you go
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Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bahamas
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/The_Bahamas
About.com: http://geography.about.com/library/cia/blcbahamas.htm
Islands of the Bahamas: http://www.bahamas.com/

What's happening, money, distance, time?
Media Guide: http://www.abyznewslinks.com/
Currency conversion: http://www.xe.com/ucc/
Distance calculator: http://www.indo.com/distance/
Time zone converter: http://www.timezoneconverter.com/

Transportation, visas, health, maps and temperature
Airlines (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airlines
Embassies/Consulates (Embassy World): http://www.embassyworld.com/
Health precautions (WHO): http://www.who.int/ith/en/
Google interactive map: http://maps.google.com/
Temperature (Temperature World): http://www.temperatureworld.com/




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