Recently I took a week-long dive trip to Grand Bahama Island with my girls. While they made sand castles and lounged on the beach, I took advantage of two tanks a day, in 6 or 8 different spots along the reef. The diving off Grand Bahama is gorgeous. I imagine that the economic hit the Caribbean has taken since the hurricanes of ’04 and ’05 has probably provided some welcome relief for the coral reef in that area.
From the unique perspective of a dive boat half a mile offshore, you really get a feel for the slump in tourism that has come as a result of natural disaster and a global economic downturn. Incomplete construction projects dot the beach, where new tourist ventures seem to have been halted in mid-development. And where there is life on the sand, the industry is clearly not flourishing as it once was.
Cynical though it may sound, this is all good news for the tourist who prefers to avoid the crowd, and see the wildlife unspoilt.
Below is a video I shot from one of the last dives, “Shark Alley.” These Caribbean Reef Sharks are actually on their way to meet another group of divers that offers them food in exchange for photo ops. We just intercepted them along the way.
Special thanks to Aquatic Adventures of Alexandria, Virginia and the crew at Viva! Diving in Port Lucaya, Grand Bahama.
all photos © Jeff Nesmith