THE EXUMAS, THE BAHAMAS
Walls, drifts and sharks in the heart of The Bahamas
Season: Year-round diving
Water Temperature: 27-29°C/81-84°F
Diving: Walls, sharks, sea mounts, swim-throughs, caves
The Exumas Land and Sea Park is a protected marine park where divers can enjoy a variety of sites from walls, sheltered shallow bays, high speed drift dives or even some thrilling shark diving! Located between Exuma Sound on the east and Great Bahama Banks on the west, the central chain of 350 Bahamian islands is one of the most attractive strings of islands in all the Bahamas and offers some very pleasant year-round diving. The Bahamas is known for its excellent (in a global context) shark life and divers are often treated to sightings of Great Hammerhead Sharks as well as a plethora of reef sharks from Caribbean Reef Sharks to Blacktip Reef Sharks to Lemon Sharks and Nurse Sharks. The Exumas are no exception and the further south you go the better your chances of seeing sharks.
Amberjack Reef is a patch reef that has prolific fish life. Reef sharks and grouper patrol the area and Horse-eye Jacks number well over one hundred. The intact wreck of the Austin Smith, a Bahamian Defense Force Cutter that sank in 1995 while being towed to San Salvador lies in 20 metres of water and is well worth exploring and photographing. The Cathedral is a very picturesque swim-through where sun light filters down from above reflecting off the thousands of silversides that occupy the cave. The wall has large pillars of black coral as well as the wonderfully contrasting orange elephant ear corals hanging off it. Strong currents on Jeep Reef keep the corals very healthy. This dive can only be done at slack tide because of the strong currents. It is in the middle of the Exumas Land & Sea Park, so you will find a very healthy population of fish. This dive site gets its name from a coral encrusted jeep that sits near the mooring. Another thrilling current dive is The Washing Machine where a strong incoming tide of up to 6 mph takes scuba divers through a narrow cut where water drops off a ledge and then makes a sharp bend to the left. This causes the water to swirl like the water in a washing machine. This swirling water will toss scuba divers head over heels. Scuba divers who wish to avoid being tossed around can stay to the right where you will have a smooth fast trip through the cut. After passing through the cut you will then glide over a large patch reef. Enjoy the ride! At Wax Cut Drift divers ‘fly’ over this shallow reef at over 2 knots. Sharks and rays often join divers zipping between the coral pillars.
COMBINATIONS: Why not combine a week on Aquacat with one of our other Bahamas destinations such as Riding Rock Dive Resort in the unspolied south? Talk to us about the possibilities.