Bahamas Bound

From Microcosm Aquarium Explorer

Bahamas Out Island 476x300.jpg

Unspoiled beaches and healthy reefs are to be found on the 700-some small islands beyond Nassau and Grand Bahama. Corbis

Underwater Destinations in the Bahamian Out Islands

Thinking about a dive or snorkel trip to the Bahamas? Don't leave home or even look at ticket prices until you've read what Cyber Diver has to say. Great advice from people who know these waters and islands. A sampling...

"Sharkfeeding is to the Bahamas what sex and violence are to Hollywood. It is a proven formula that pulls in megabucks and as they say in the adventure TV show business, nobody ever went bust underestimating the intelligence of scuba divers. PADI shark feeding specialty anyone?

Thanks to its geographical proximity to the wealth and population density of America's eastern seaboard, the masses are in the Bahamas, pouring out of cruise ships, high-rolling in casinos, bargain-hunting in duty-free shops, trampling over white sand beaches and lining up in underwater theme parks where divers nonchalantly frolic with overfed sharks that "leap" through hula hoops and do just about everything except behave like real sharks.

Dangerous? MAYBE! Predictable? YES! Boring? DEPENDS. It's not our thing but to each his own said the "daring" young dive tourist who stood in line to kiss the hand-fed shark just like "I saw it on the extreme adventures TV show!"

World Factbook Map

700 Islands to Explore

Now before you write off the Bahamas as yet another overpriced, overdeveloped tourist trap and the dive industry's answer to jungle boat rides at Disneyland, remember that despite all of the amusement park hoopla about sharks, there is an extraordinary marine species diversity thriving in some 700 islands and over 2500 small islets (cays). With over 4,000 kilometers (2500 miles) of walls, caverns and blue holes, the possibilities in the Bahamas are really endless. All you have to do is avoid areas overrun by tourist hordes and find a dive operator that has not jumped on the merry-go-round and allocated most of their resources to boatload after boatload of "courageous adventure groups" waiting in line to pose for a snapshot with Silky, the "terrifying" and pleasantly plump reef shark. (see SCUBALINXâ„¢: What's Hot, What's Not - Bahamas Dive Centers)

A good start is to avoid the urban sprawl and obligatory sharkfeeding operators of Nassau and Grand Bahama. Head for Andros Island, Cat Island, Long Island or the Exumas. Or you can book a liveaboard but be forewarned: If you are philosophically and morally opposed to the business of shark feeding, if you are not buying the environmental spin on sharks as circus performers, there will be days when you want to jump ship after you keelhaul the captain and dive crew... Go to CyberDiver.com to read the full report:

http://www.cyber-diver.com/bahamas.html


Starting Points

http://www.bahamas.com/bahamas/index.aspx


WARNING

From Cyber Diver News Network (CDNN):

"Many unscrupulous dive operators in the Bahamas are exploiting and harassing sharks to make money off of thrill-seeking tourists who pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars for shark feeding dives. In addition to well-publicized shark attacks in which shark feeders, divers and swimmers were bitten and seriously injured at or near shark feeding sites in the Bahamas, there is growing scientific evidence that shark feeding has adverse effects on sharks and their environment."