And the adventure continues! May 25, 2016 and the stalwart Scuba Shack Tribe descended upon Nassau, New Providence Island, the Bahamas. Once again led by Scuba Shack instructor Peter Katz, our group of 20 assembled for the annual Memorial Day weekend of diving and fun in the sun. The weather gods were kind to us, since it rained each day but never interfered with the diving or the eating. I am happy to report that two of our divers successfully completed their Open Water certifications, including 10 year old Nikita, her enthusiasm and excitement were contagious.
The diving was superb; sharks, rays, eels and all the usual suspects were out and about. We did walls, wrecks, shallow reefs and Hollywood movie sets. Perhaps the highlight of the trip was the safari to the “Lost Blue Hole”. It was a shorter boat ride than the usual trip to Exuma, which was appreciated. But the dive was electric. The Blue Hole was formed when the roof of an underground limestone cave collapsed. It is approximately 100 feet in diameter with a depth of 300+ feet (no one dove down to check), which made exploration of the perimeter as interesting as probing the depths. We located the cavern located on the north side at 80 feet and I watched as fearless Elena explored the hidden recesses. Outside of the hole we observed Caribbean reef sharks, sharp nosed sharks and a good sized loggerhead turtle entering and exiting the hole. On the perimeter, numerous southern rays foraged in the sand. Lobsters and eels were found hiding in the numerous coral heads that encircled the opening. It was a more exciting dive than I experienced at the Blue Hole in Belize.
The Lost Blue Hole was followed by a second dive on the north side of Rose Island, a shallow reef system that was filled with tiny critters requiring patience and good buoyancy. While we were diving, the crew was setting up our lavish picnic lunch. Once back on board, they anchored the boat close to shore and the party started. Great food, some adult beverages and a lazy afternoon of sun, beach, and water. Our shore excursion over, we navigated the rest of the way around Paradise Island and New Providence Island giving everyone a wonder sight-seeing excursion.
Without a doubt, the trip would not have been as successful without the outstanding efforts of Stuart Cove and his staff. Right from making the reservations and dive arrangements with Pam Christman to our reception and easy check in at the Dive Shop with Liz and her staff. Elison in Fin Photo made sure we had an experienced photographer to record our adventures. Our dive staff; CleeJ our captain, Terri and Gigi our dive leaders were spectacular in their never wavering energy and excitement. They made sure our nitrox was on the boat, all the details for the Safari and the daily dives were well attended to as well as certifying our new divers. I know of one young lady who was very sad to have to say goodbye to her new found friends. As for the rest of us, we know we will be back for 2017!
But it wasn’t all diving, we had great times at Capriccio’s, Café Matisse, and Luciano’s. The food consumed along with a few glasses of wine and the stories told of the day’s adventures made for memorable evenings. Judy and her staff were on their A-game for the traditional barbeque on Sunday evening. I really think they out did themselves in the quality and preparation of the food. It is my humble opinion that Judy is the only person I know who can make the Caribbean lobster taste good, it is usually tough, chewy and tasteless. Her recipe was tasty and tender.
Fortunately, I was able to stay an extra night which allowed me to try dinner at Mahogany House located at Island House Resort and I have to tell you it was excellent. Now I have a dilemma, too many great restaurants, not enough nights. Perhaps we will extend next year’s trip by one extra night.