This year’s annual Scuba Shack Memorial Weekend adventure in Nassau went off without a hitch. Again led by Scuba Shack instructor Peter Katz, a slightly smaller group, but no less enthusiastic, descended upon the renowned Orange Hill Beach Inn for five nights and six days of fun in the sun. And sun there was!
In my 15 years of running this trip I have never seen such incredible weather. Each day was better than the previous, with blue skies, calm winds, and flat seas. The weather gods were really smiling on us this trip.
Our first dive day, as well as each subsequent one, started with a dolphin escort out to the dive site. Turtles and dolphin were in abundance on almost every dive. As luck would have it, we ran into a pod of dolphins as we moved to our second dive site. This pod seemed to want to play with us, so we obliged. Our captain, Johran, stopped the boat and allowed us to jump in with masks and fins for 20 minutes of frolicking with our marine mammal friends.
Teri and Charlotte, our dynamic duo dive staff, were able to capture the moment on video courtesy of Jimmy Drew’s GoPro camera. If we saw nothing else on this trip, the time in the water with the dolphins was priceless.
Fortunately, we did see more. Turtles became an every dive event on this trip, both on the surface and underwater. And yes, hammerhead sharks were seen on two dives and this year I saw one of them. We were able to dive on three new dive sites, two on New Providence and one in Exuma.
As in previous years, the Exuma trip was the highlight of the trip. We returned to the swim through we named Beach Bum Tunnel and were amazed by the clarity of the water this year. This was followed by an incredible shallow drift dive that was remarkable for the speed and the quality of the coral. And then the beach. Johran found the “Corona Island” with the solitary palm tree, crystal clear water, white sand beach and the local fauna – iguanas. What an incredible afternoon!
But the fun didn’t end with the diving. We were well treated at our favorite eateries, Capriccio’s, Café Matisse, and Luciano’s. Wonderful evenings of dining under the stars. Judy and her staff at Orange Hill were able to do our traditional barbecue on the last night followed by an evening of good cheer with our dive staff in the Orange Hill bar.
It was a most spectacular trip and hopefully next year more of our regulars will be available to join us as well as some new faces.