Think Warm Thoughts
Ahhh... what better way to spend a cold winter’s day than with thoughts of the Bahamas! This incredibly beautiful island offers thrilling scuba diving experiences and plenty of things to do between dives.
The Bahamas is known for shark diving, and the original shark encounter is this feeding dive with UNEXSO at a site called Shark Junction. Watch scores of Caribbean reef sharks swirl around you in about 40 feet of water as chain-mail-clad feeders lure the predators with snacks.
Fish Fry at Outriggers Smith’s Point
Calypso and soca music fill the air every Wednesday evening at the weekly alfresco fish fry organized by the Outriggers Beach Club at Smith’s Point Beach. Bring your post-dive appetite to feast on Bahamian favorites such as peas and rice, broiled lobster, baked mac-and-cheese and grilled conch.
For an even bigger rush, visit Tiger Beach — one of the only places in the world with dedicated tiger shark dives. You’ll be armed with a safety bar to settle in on the sandy bottom (at about 30 feet) among the striped beauties, some up to 12 feet long. Hammerheads and lemon sharks often show up for the party too.
Lucayan National Park
The island’s topside beauty stars during 90-minute kayaking tours with Grand Bahama Nature Tours in the stunning Lucayan National Park, home to one of the largest underwater-cave systems in the world. You’ll stop to explore a cavern that’s home to two of the island’s famous inland blue holes.
The Sugar Wreck
The sweet treats on this wreck include clouds of curious gobies, angelfish, schooling snapper, wrasse, grunts and parrotfish. This sailing ship grounded and sank in just 20 feet of water while transporting a load of sugar.
Port Lucaya Marketplace
Raise a cocktail or tip back a frosty Sands beer with Bahamians and tourists at the clutch of colorful restaurants and shops at Port Lucaya. There’s a local vibe here in the evenings, after the cruise-ship passengers have sailed on. Bring your best haggling skills to the straw market to purchase a handmade hat or bag.
Edge of the Ledge
Ogle the continental shelf where it drops off into the blue at this dive site in about 100 feet of water. While finning your way along the ledge, you might spot eagle rays, mantas and hammerheads.
Ray of Hope
The Ray of Hope is a 200-foot long Haitian freighter that was sunk as an artificial reef in 2003. She is fully intact, allowing divers to penetrate her interior, cabins, and gangways. Sitting in just 40-60 feet of water, this is the perfect dive for all levels of divers. Living in and around the wreck are nurse and reef sharks, possible eagle rays, turtles, and lots of fish: snapper, angelfish, grunts, anemones, and grouper.
A dive into this otherworldly cavern — found in a Lucayan National Park blue hole — offers a view into how the Bahamas looked long before any cruise ships called in. Follow your dive guide down through the halocline to see ancient stalactites and stalagmites and fossilized shells in the cave’s trapped-in-time maw.
Gold Rock Beach
In an archipelago known for beautiful beaches, this sublime strip of sand across from the Lucayan caverns is near the top of the Bahamian beach heap. Stroll nature trails and boardwalks that lead to the turquoise water.