Dive Abaco, June, 1995. "Family rented a house on an out island and a 22' boat, the only access to our house (it became our 'car'). . . . Reefs had almost no fish - only small fish, like diving in an aquarium. No small critters either, like on Bonaire. Fish in Keys more numerous, larger, colorful. . . . I went to 'Dave's Dive Shop' in Hope Town to rent tanks. He was there, the door was open, it was his regular business hours, but he was closed it was raining. When I asked him if he would open tomorrow, he responded that he would if it wasn't raining. Even when I protested that all I wanted was to rent tanks and not charter his boat, he became indignant - he was 'closed because it was raining' . . . I made the 20-mile round trip to March Harbor to rent from Dive Abaco; accommodating with regular business hours (9-5) seven days/week. Equipment, trips, and air was expensive ($10/fill.). All diving was less than 60', with most 20-40'. Lots of fans, but that was about it. Saw nurse sharks, eagle rays, turtles, small fish. No critters, no large fish. Nice coral formations. Not spectacular, but for my wife it was perfect as was her first ocean experience. She was impressed. I was not. We paid first-class price for third class diving. . . . Great family vacation, but expensive and not for experienced divers or photographers. I showed up with a Nikonos RS and no divers that I ran into had ever seen one. That was a clue that no serious divers visit this area. . . . Could have gone to Bonaire, spent the same money, and dived ourselves silly." Doug Welsch, Fennville, MI
Small Hope Bay Lodge, June, 1994. "Great wall dives - do unusually deep dives. Have their own ideas about tables after 30 years of diving without anyone getting bent. One dive goes to 225' to stand in a cave in the wall (a three minute experience) those who don't want to participate hover at 70' and watch for their return. Canyon and crevice diving was great. Cave diving is also available. The blue hole has fresh water coming up and the bottom is at 125 feet. Huge parrots and angels hang out there. Great color combinations of algae in the wells. . . . The island is mostly a fresh water wetland. If the wind isn't from the east, you can small the swamp. Also no wind brings out the bugs. Plenty of fresh water for rinsing equipment. Ceiling fan over the bed is a requirement for sleeping. Cabanas are private but not luxurious (basic). This is a friendly, family run operation." Glenn Thomas & Jean Porwoll, Monson, MA
Small Hope Bay, July, 1995. "They have specialty diving for an additional charge of $75 per day, per person on top of the daily rate of $65 per person. Blue Hole diving and deep diving excellent. However, too expensive as the rooms had no air conditioning, many insects and few amenities." Anon.
Bimini Undersea Adventures, The Compleat Angler, June, 1995. "This hotel, while having the distinction of being where Ernest Hemingway stayed and got drunk every night, was hot despite air conditioning, not clean, and not in good repair. A live band played in the bar downstairs every night that made it hard to sleep. Stay somewhere else and party at the Angler. Bimini is not a first class vacation destination; but the diving is good." Steve Williams, Highlands Ranch, CO
Bimini Underseas Adventure, September, 1995. "Always late leaving the dock. Took all day (8 a.m. to 10 p.m.) to get in four dives. Told different groups different departure times." Frank Minter, Winston-Salem, NC
Tim O'Donnell's Scuba Bimini, South Bimini Yacht Club, 1995. "My favorite dive destination. Having been diving in various places (Australia, Hawaii, all over the Caribbean). I have just returned from my 19th trip to South Bimini. If I am able to dive continuously in Bimini, (which seems right in my back yard, closer than the Keys), I will see many sites that would require making multiple and expensive trips, at much greater intervals, traveling to exotic parts of the world to experience. . . . I've dived the Bimini Wall, the Bimini Road, Victory Reef with its honeycombed swim through, Shark Reef, Tuna Alley, Moray Alley the list is long with new sites always. I have seen mantas, spotted eagle rays in groups of swooping glory around my head, sharks (bull, Caribbean, lemon, great hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, bonnet head, nurse, black tip), peacock flounder, grass eels, banded jaw fish, African pompano with their glorious long trailers posing in mid water, turtles of many kinds cruising curiously by, or tiptoing on the sand, huge decorator crabs, huge super males, (five of the green and orange ones together on one reef), a spotted snake eel, Spanish lobster with claws (not the usual lobster for these waters) sailfin blennies dancing, spotted drum (one at least 8 inches long), puffers at least one and a half feet long, cleaning stations for everything from grouper to file fish, Caribbean octopus scurrying around and speckled dolphin leaping. There are also various anemones including the beautiful orange ball, which are really coralimorphs but spectacular. . . . I have even been tracking the elusive West Indian Top Shell, which can be found in profusion in certain dive sites, the type of thing that can only be recognized if one is privileged to dive repeatedly in the same spots. So I have begun to also adopt Bimini as my home grounds. . . . John Norwood is the captain for Scuba Bimini, known as the best boat captain in the Caribbean. He is from Bradenton, FL and is knowledgeable and experienced. He will get you to a fantastic spot every time; rough seas are no problem if you're determined to dive. Harper the Scuba dog will accompany you on the boat and leap off the bridge for your entertainment. . . . The activities of Dr. Gruber's shark lab spill over to the Yacht Club so you can become aware of their activities. . . . Percy Duncombe, who runs the South Bimini Yacht Club will go to any lengths to make your stay enjoyable and by the time you leave you feel that you are part of the family. . . . The food is wonderful. Sandra does wonders with stuffed or broiled lobster, conch chowder, cracked couch, fresh fish and broiled chicken, always accompanied by delicious rice and beans. Fresh key lime pie is often on the menu. Salads are available for the diet-conscious. . . . Karen and Rob, of Bimini Island Air take care of getting you to the island in time for your afternoon dive. . . . Scuba Bimini is as much fun as you can hope for." Claudette Barker, Jacksonville, FL
Greenwood Inn, July, 1995. "Excellent Bahamas diving. 85 degree water, 100200 foot vis., you can dive your own profile without restriction. I have made several trips and they have all been rewarding. Highly recommend." Jeff Joel, Boca Raton, FL
Green Turtle Cay
Brendel's Dive Shop November, 1994. "Even right after the hurricane, with viz lower than usual, the sea creatures were out. There were more chop and current than usual, but the wreck dive was up to its usual great standard. Brendel has a new dive boat and I do mean dive boat, not, as so many Bahamas' operators have a boat used for diving. He takes a real interest in his divers, but does not limit their dive experience if they show him they are competent divers." Carl Mintz, Washington, D.C.
UNEXSO, August, 1994. "Everybody on board the vessel had the minimum certification of Advanced Open Water, so divemaster left the restrictions open to everybody to use common sense on all of the dives. Excellent conditions, weather, visibility (80100 ft), staff. . . . So much to do, so little time. Had I known how fantastic it was, I probably would have gone a lot quicker than waiting till I did." Capt. Robert F. Day, Jr., Cocoa Beach, FL
UNEXSO, Port Lucaya, January, 1995. "Not the time of the year to go to Grand Bahama. Too cold, water 71 degrees." Anon.
UNEXSO, Clarion Atlantik Beach Resort, April, 1995. "The famous Underwater Explorers Society. I booked with the 800 number, a travel operator in Ft. Lauderdale. They assured me that I needed to schedule my dolphin dive, but that all the other diving should be scheduled upon my arrival. They also assured me that the Atlantik Beach Hotel was the finest available. . . . The hotel under renovation; the Radisson next door was much nicer. We walked to UNEXSO to check-in. To my surprise most of the dives we wanted to take (Theo's wreck) were fully booked. After a short discussion about getting my money refunded they decided to squeeze us on. Apparently the Ft. Lauderdale operation doesn't bother telling folks that they need to sign up for all of their dives. We were told to show at 8:00 a.m. for a boat that leaves at 8:30. We showed up and found ourselves at the edge of an 18 foot pool (thank the Lord it was bath-water warm) with our fins and masks. We were told to don tanks and weights and proceed to the bottom via the ascent/descent line. On the bottom we had to prove that we could read our depth gauges (which was tough since they were so old and scratched, so made up a reading). Then we had to take our masks off and put them back on and clear them. Then we had to remove our regulator and return it to our mouth. Finally we had to swim to the line and ascend. Once we passed the test (you get to keep trying until you do) we headed for the dive boat that left the dock at 9:15. . . . UNEXSO only offers single tank dives, the first guided. Were told to follow the guide, that he would keep track of everything and life would be wonderful, blah, blah. We never got within 30 feet of our guide. Several folks used air faster than he and had to leave the group for the surface, without his knowledge of course. Now we qualified to fill out a special waiver to dive on the buddy system (gee, thanks). . . . Diving was rather nice, it was warm and there was plenty to see. When we finally got to do Theo's we found out that we had to go back to guided diving (oh boy, what a thrill). Theo's is a great wreck to dive, but I'm not into someone holding my hand. I took a top of the line diving computer with me, but computer profiles are strictly forbidden, unless you have dived Theo's with them recently. . . . I would gladly do a thousand guided dives in a freezing pool for another chance to dive in the open ocean with dolphins that I can pet and yes even get a kiss from. The video and pictures they took ($35 for the video and $8 each for color slides) were professional and I gladly paid my money. Theo's wreck is a nice dive as well. . . . Rental equipment varied. The Nikonos V was in perfect shape, but the BC's belonged in a museum; junk, old and faded. The regulator my friend rented was acceptable but older Scubapro. . . . The shark dive involves sitting on the bottom and watching a guy in chain mail feed a dozen or so reef sharks. Real neat, but it has succeeded in removing the natural fear in those sharks. On two dives we were circled by them looking for handouts - we weren't approached, but I would suspect that that's only a matter of time. . . . I would dive with UNEXSO again, but schedule ahead several dives on Theo's and maybe even two dolphin dives ($70 surcharge beyond the $30 for the dive)." Joe Skehan
UNEXSO, Clarion Atlantik Beach Resort, August, 1995. "Dolphin dive was great and is a must. Shark dive was exciting, an experience you will never forget. It's not for the faint of heart. Dive crew is friendly and helpful. Shamie, Ian and Bea were great. Hotel accommodations at the Clarion are first class." C.L. Murphy, South Haven, MI
Xanadu, Princess Hotel, May, 1995. "Great resort. Good price. Dived with Xanadu, got Nitrox certified. Dave good instructor - has lots of common sense. Package reasonable. Average $25 per dive and $30 shark surcharge. Only negatives: boat has no head, blaring rap music on boat; operators push boat too fast in rough water." Tom Alsup
New Providence Island
Dive Dive Dive, November, 1994. "No shopping or entertainment in the vicinity. However, the staff has a regular shuttle that will take you to and from Nassau or grocery shopping every day. They also have a car rental option at a modest price that will give you the freedom to see the rest of the island. . . . The compound is quiet and pleasant but the accommodations vary quite a bit. The unrefurbished bungalows rate less than one star while the refurbished ones are quite nice. Be sure to check which one you have reserved. All facilities are near the dock so there is no problem reaching the boat from your front door. Rinse tanks are nearby. You don't have to carry anything more than a few feet. The staff at D3 was wonderful. They are some of the nicest people in the world. Helpful, friendly courteous, kind, cheerful, etc. . . . in the boat, however, it was a bit different. Dive sites were discussed in a cursory fashion, and directions were often sketchy. The staff never dived with us. You got the impression that they wanted to get you in and out of the water as fast as possible. We often felt hurried though not harried. Dives averaged about 35-40 minutes. It was rush to the site, dive, get back on the boat, rush to the next site, dive, get back on the boat and head back. They were competent but not overly supportive. We were advised to dive our computers and not go below 100 feet. Most profiles were in areas where 80 to 100 feet was more than sufficient. . . . The fish and the coral were disappointing. Many areas seemed rather barren and somewhat deserted. The wrecks were uninteresting. It was probably OK for novice divers but we found that the areas on the north of the island on the previous year's trip to be better. D3 offers shark dives (which I am too chicken to go on - remember how they used to feed bears in the parks until they began attacking tourists?) that look exciting, and night dives. The operation allows morning two tank dives and, if space is available (it isn't always), you can go out again in the afternoon for another dive at no charge. Grabbing a lunch in that turn around time, however, is a bit tricky. Tanks were always more than 3000 psi and the rental equipment seemed in good shape. . . . There is a small local restaurant near the compound where one day the food is great, the next day not so hot. Avoid their wines." R. Anthanasiou, Troy, NY
Nassau Scuba Center, Le Meridien, February 1995. "No clocks in the hotel rooms. . . . Bag of dive gear too large for dive boat. Scuba Center provided mesh bags as replacements. Overall a good time." Joseph Vargo, Midlothian, IL
Nassau Scuba Center, Pirate's Cove Holiday Inn, March, 1995. "No more than 10 divers; luxury boats with lots of tanks and equipped for photo gear - dry space and photo rinse tanks (clean head that worked). Lunch between diving is available. Dive-master helpful and experienced. Will find critters and discuss marine ecology. Shark arena is a must, wrecks and walls fabulous. Dive with Fraizes the co-owner - he's an aquatic phenomenon. . . . Pirate's Cove Holiday Inn on Paradise Island; upscale hotel with a third rate quasioperation on the premises. Snorkeling OK, beach nice. Great for money. . . . Nassau Scuba picks up guests from hotel at no charge and returns them at end of dive day. Recommend this as a fun and affordable adventure." Linda Takvorian, Belmont, MA
Nassau Scuba Center. April, 1995. "Great operation. Good for all levels of diving. Great friendly service. Super diving, clean boats. What a trip." Bill Roe, Rocky Hill, CT
Nassau Scuba Center, July, 1995. "Dive operation was good, the personnel were interested and interesting." Karen Ferrera, Indianapolis, IN
Nassau Scuba Center, Coral Harbour, August, 1995. "Excellent dive operation - friendly, courteous and accommodating. Good dive sites. Saw sharks and large grouper on several dives. Also saw spotted eagle ray, sting rays, lots of tropicals, octopus - excellent variety of fish, wrecks, walls. Prefer Nassau over Grand Cayman - more fish, more variety of fish and larger fish. I have dived with this operation twice before and have taken groups each time. This is consistent with what I expect each visit." John M. Davis, Chattanooga, TN
Orange Hill Inn, August, 1995. "A moderate property, but it is clean, well run, and the people go out of their way to make you feel comfortable. I've taken groups there three times, and wouldn't think of staying anywhere else. Best value on food on the island - good quality at reasonable prices." John M. Davis, Chattanooga, TN
Stuart Cove's, South Ocean Beach Resort, September, 1994. "Stuart Cove is friendly and accommodating. Office staff is great. If you stayed with the divemasters, the dive was hurried. I would spend more time on my own next trip. 81 degree water. The bad - unthoughtful divers using camera rinse tank for masks, fins etc. Divers smoking made trips on the boat unpleasant. Inexperienced diver bolted to the surface, no injury thank goodness. Also, one diver broke her leg getting back on the boat in the rough seas." Carole Ott, Foyds Knobs, IN
Stuart Cove's, South Ocean Beach Resort, November, 1994. "Stuart Cove runs a superior dive operation. He has good, fast, uncrowded boats; efficient, friendly and helpful crews; a nice dive shop with great clerks; and three huge guard dogs for security. There is plenty of storage space for your dive gear, including hangers for dive suits. They seemed to have a complete line of rental dive equipment and some u/w cameras and lenses, but no E6 service on site. They do a 2tank trip in the morning and you can also do the 2tank shark dives on some afternoons. They offer night dives and an allday 3tank trip to a neighboring island. The divemaster gives you a briefing on the site and the depth and the time limits 80 feet, 30 minutes or 50 feet, 45 minutes, and return with 500 psi. No one hassles you if you don't exactly meet the criteria. There are some nice wall dives, some beautiful shallow dives with coral heads on sandy bottoms, some interesting shipwrecks and movie sets, and, of course, the shark dives. The day we dove Shark Wall, there were only two reef sharks. But several showed up for the feeding. While I don't approve of modifying fish behavior, it's interesting to watch these magnificent creatures up close and personal. . . . The resort is beautiful and the hotel staff is friendly and efficient. While most divers stay in the beachfront buildings, I stayed at the hotel. . . . Ramada is no longer the owner/operator and the new owners have a lot of repairs and upgrading to do. The rooms are clean, large and comfortable, with TV and phones, and quiet (probably due to the lack of guests in the wing I was in). There is a pool at the hotel and at the beach. The hotel is surrounded by acres of wellmanicured golf courses, which seemed a popular attraction to locals and hotel guests. Breakfasts were served in the hotel restaurant and lunches at the poolside restaurant by the beach. Dinners were served on different nights in the hotel restaurant or a posh one on the hill overlooking the golf course. The restaurant/bar at the pool by the beach is open for lunch and until 7:00 for early dinners. All the food was good, if somewhat expensive. The hotel is a 30minute drive from Nassau (much quicker to the airport) and has a scheduled van service to town, the Crystal Palace (a large gambling casino and hotel) and to Paradise Island. Tours can be arranged of the island and other sites. . . . If you're staying at the hotel instead of the beachfront property, it's a quartermile down the road and it can take a while if you wait for a golf cart and driver to take you down." J. Warren Mayes, Sacramento, CA
Stuart Cove's, South Ocean Beach Resort, January, 1995. "Stuart's dive operation was the best of the fourteen dive boats I have been on the last three years. . . . Hotel restaurant was always understaffed, overpriced and featured poor food. Restaurant help was lazy and rude. We took bus to town. Restaurant by the beach was well run with excellent food and help. Maids, cart drivers, desk clerks were pleasant and helpful." Anon.
Stuart Cove's, February, 1995. "Nice place for relaxation diving. After 30 years of diving I want to take it easy but I was happy to escape to 205 feet without a lecture. Just like 30 years ago. Go with a friend, go buddy dive, enjoy it and relax. Great dive show." B.C. Dubois, Barrington, NH
Stuart Cove's Dive, South Ocean Beach Resort, May, 1995. "Head divemaster, Anthony Ball, was quite personable and knowledgeable took good care of the group. You were given a short briefing about what to expect, given time and depth limits, but were free to dive your computer and do your thing. Shark wall and shark arena are excellent dives but cost additional but certainly worth the expense. Other dive sites are good but not exceptional. 7779°, visibility 3060 feet. . . . Hotel is being refurbished, try to get a beach front room, it is closer to the dive operation. Food was quite good, but a bit pricey, small local restaurants are not much cheaper. . . . Hotel service was good, rooms fairly clean and beds were comfortable. Plan to go again." Julian Marshall, Ossining, NY
Stuart Cove's, June, 1995. "Great shark dive. Have seen sharks on other dives but have never been to shark feeding. Incredible, especially the first time. First dive is wall dive. Two divers went to 170'. I don't believe they were experienced but had computers. Only divemaster was cameraman. Really neat dive but divers on their own. Second dive feeding was great." Mike Parra, Irving, TX
Stuart Cove's, South Ocean Beach Resort, July, 1995. "Shark dives were excellent. Dive operation professional, good boats, somewhat limited opportunities for night dives. They went to some wrecks each of two night dives. Reef is in poor condition. Bahama Brown was predominant color. Feeding kept lots of sharks and groupers near sites, but the fish were infrequent and only a few lobsters, rays and eels. . . . They ran a three-tank trip that should be restricted to computer divers. The profile was conservative by my Orca Marathon, but you could not do the three dives on the PADI tables. Several novices on these dives had no idea how to figure their times. . . . South Ocean resort is adequate and convenient to the shop. A 30 minute bus trip for $2 gets you to Casions and fancy restaurants." David Hall, Baltimore, MD.
Stuart Cove's, July, 1995. "Staff was informed, helpful, and friendly. Did not get in the way of experienced divers and were helpful to novices. The guides took us to good uncrowded sites with a good variety of life. Most sites had permanent mooring buoys. The boats were large enough to be comfortable and handle to six foot seas, but small enough that it didn't feel like a cattle boat. Our group was 10 divers who traveled together. On the shark dives about four others joined us. One boat had an antenna but I never saw a radio. The boats were equipped with oxygen." F. Dean Luse, Park Forest, IL
Club Med Columbus Isle, June 1995. "Terrific. They run three beautiful spacious boats with dive decks that match any live aboard. Even when crowded there was ample room and great snacks between dives. . . . Computer profiles were allowed with a limit of 30 minutes on second dive. This is all wall diving -keep your eyes open. We saw six hammerheads at close range, turtles, rays, and the largest groupers I've ever seen. . . . G.O.'s were friendly and helpful, and the accommodations were beautiful, with large rooms and every amenity possible. This is Club Med's first Caribbean upscale resort - it succeeds in every way." Jeff Benario, New Rochelle, NY
Club Med Columbus Isle, August, 1995. "Organized dive operation. Three identical boats; double hull, double deck, benches with tank racks lining the lower deck. These boats were comfortable and well designed for the Club Med style of diving. Safe operation. Instructors (G.O.'s) were helpful and friendly. Dives were on time. Ample supply of well-maintained equipment. Reasonable cost ($100 fee to add diving to the regular cost of the accommodations). Excellent choice if your party is a mix of divers and nondivers. . . . Outside of diving, this Club Med is excellent, the best I've been to out of four. . . . Usual Club Med diving restrictions. Cattle-car diving. Limited dives, two per day. Limited dive times (1st dive 130 feet, 45 minutes; second dive 70 feet, 30 minutes for computer users) regardless of how much air you have. No beach diving." Neil Quateman, Los Angeles, CA
Riding Rock Inn, November, 1994. "I thought I would go to Club Med, but the Riding Rock Inn has been on the island for several years and has all that experience with the diving and the dive sites. I picked well. The diving at Nassau was fine, but at San Salvador ... wow! . . . The walls are magnificent. Some walls overhang and some have cuts and tunnels down to a ledge at around 100 feet, then they can drop off to 6,000 feet. There are some wonderful shallow dive sites with coral heads rising out of a white sandy bottom. Sponges, corals, fans, etc. in amazing arrays. Fish - lots of them, including extremely friendly Nassau Groupers and sharks - even some Hammerheads. Saw several turtles, some eels. Didn't see much in the way of small critters for macro photography, except a few flamingo tongues, arrow crabs, Pederson cleaning shrimp, feather dusters. . . . The dive staff is small but efficient, friendly, courteous, helpful and nice people: two divemasters, Kevin and Darley; a boat captain; an airfill man; a clerk in the dive shop. They have two or three boats, although we only used one. The boat was large, comfortable and well set up for diving. For my first two days, there were only two divers and we did our three daily dives: two tanks in the a.m. and one in the p.m. You bring down your equipment the first morning, set it up for the first dive, and only touch it to have it put on you and taken off before and after the dives. Fills were consistently over 3000 psi. Dive briefings are thorough and clear and on dive limits they have one implacable rule: if you go below 130 feet, you sit out the next dive. They expect everyone to know either the charts or their computers and to dive accordingly. If you plan to go below 100 feet on a dive, they ask that you inform them ahead of time. They ask that you return to the boat with 500 psi at the end of each dive and do a three minute safety stop on the first deep dive and then five minutes on the third dive. They have two regulators hanging over the side in case you need more air on your stop. They check your computer or gauges after each dive and keep complete records of each dive by the dive site, your time in and out, and depth. . . . Because of the weather (We were diving in the rain due to Tropical Storm Gordon) my last diving day was limited to one morning dive. In the afternoon the dive staff took all the divers down to a secluded beach on the north side of the island for a shore dive. Kevin also runs the photo operation and can be helpful on u/w photography and does E6 developing. He put on a couple of slide shows for the guests of the resort, one of which was composed of slides by the divers, and showed some videos of dives around the islands. The resort recently constructed a wing of 'deluxe' rooms, which are large and comfortable, with a small balcony/patio outside the sliding glass doors. They are air conditioned, but the ceiling fan and open doors and windows were sufficient for a good draft and cool sleeping. The balconies also have handy pegs for hanging drying clothes outside (something that most resorts seem to overlook). Their older rooms either face the ocean or the pool and seem smaller than the new ones. There are also some timeshare units. . . . Meals are included in the package and are served in a large dining room. It's sitdown service at large tables. Breakfasts are cooked to order with the usual American favorites (including grits) and you have two choices of entrees at lunch and dinner. The food was good and the service was good. The staff is friendly and helpful. The resort includes in the package an island tour, which was interesting, and two rum punch parties, which were fun. About the only other place to visit, besides the small village about a mile down the road, is the Club Med, just a ways across the landing strip. The staff from the Club comes down one night a week for a party and joins the locals at the Driftwood Bar and the Inn. . . . Bring bug spray. Lots. They provide a spray can of bug killer in the rooms and recommend spraying the room completely when you leave for meals, diving. The local discount drug store carries alcohol with oil of wintergreen, which is wonderful on insect bites." J. Warren Mayes, Sacramento, CA
Riding Rock Inn, November, 1994. "Hurricane Gordon was south so we got wind, rain and overcast skies for the week; it put a damper on my 'sunny holiday.' The weather never stopped the dive operation. . . . Kevin Collins and the staff were tremendous. Three boat dives per day, two night dives per week. Said we dove the bottom third of their dive sites, most on western side of island near resort, but they were all terrific. Hammerhead sharks on every dive, turtles, nurse shark, rays, friendly groupers, large pairs of butterfly fish, porcupine fish, flying gunards. Coral formations varied and generally healthy. Dive staff took care of all our needs. Safety and service oriented. . . . Riding Rock was a pleasure. New rooms worth the extra dollars$ for quality accommodations. Regular rooms looked tired and worn out. Food was plentiful and fantastic. Never tasted better conch chowder and Bahamian bread." Yvonne Laning, Mentor, OH
Riding Rock, March, 1995. "One of our best trips. I take groups throughout Caribbean. Excellent food, accommodations, diving, dive services, dining room service. Highly recommend." Anon, Knoxville, TN
Walker's Cay, August, 1994. "Wasn't expecting much. Great vacation. Three dives per day: two a.m., one p.m.. Lots of different. Mostly shallow dives. Lots of bottom time, nice vis. Great small tropicals with a sprinkling of mantas and sharks. Charlie' the six-foot barracuda visited frequently. . . . Shark Rodeo was absolutely fantastic. Picture 30-50 sharks (five different varieties) waiting their turn for a nibble at the bait. They were graceful and beautiful and fast. Great coral channels and some caverns. Dive boats were well equipped and comfortable. Staff knowledgeable and friendly. Accidentally left regulator on boat and had to fly home. Dive shop shipped it. Resort known for fishing, we had fun diving with newly certified parents (age 58). Russ & Donna Honchen, Tampa, FL
Walker's Cay, September, l994. "Great allround dive location. I would strongly suggest that anyone looking for a great getaway, friendly people, good food, beautiful reefs and lots of sharks visit Walker's." Stan Pratt, Honesdale, PA
Walkers Cay, May, 1995. "We went primarily for the Shark Rodeo. The sharks are fed regularly with a large ball of frozen chum on a line. The divers kneel in a line and watch the sharks gather. After the initial frenzy photographers are encouraged to swim among them and take great shots, along with video sequences. Great diving through the canyons twilight diving not so good because we had to fight the current and were low on air by the time we got to site; same thing happened on a socalled drift dive. Generally Greg and Barry were helpful, friendly, caring, and easygoing. . . . Food was good and plentiful. Service was good and friendly. Accommodations were worn and are being repaired. Ask for a 'new' room. Two swimming pools, salt and fresh. Large marina." Marvin Glassmann, Huntington, NY
Walker's Cay, July, 1995. "Good for long weekend only. Once you've seen the sharks, you've seen it all. Hotel run down and shabby renovations badly needed. Resort manager hospitable and friendly. Dive shop manager, Gary, knowledgeable about area and sharks. Made everyone feel comfortable before jumping in. But they should tell you before you come down NO white diving gloves or bare hands you'll find out why when you get there." Steven Schwarta & Beth Katz, Great Neck, NY
Walker's Cay, Bahamas, July, 1995. "Super shark dives; safe, friendly, well-run dive operation; excellent seafood in restaurant. Recent efforts toward becoming a marine park should improve the numbers of fish." Sam Wheatman, Colorado Springs, CO
Walker's Cay, July, 1995. "Lots of sharks with a controlled, sane environment. They've got it down to a science and put divers into a situation where you can dive (within petting distance) with 100 plus sharks (mostly Caribbean Reef, black-tip and nurse) along with large grouper and hundreds of smaller fish. The other special quality to diving at Walker's is the numerous caverns to explore in 30-40' of water. Dive shop staff is top shelf. Dive shop manager Gary Atkinson actually lent his Nikonos V to me for two days after mine failed. All hotel staff friendly." Tom Lopatin, LK. Hopatcong, NJ
Copyright 1996 by DSDL, Inc., publishers of Undercurrent. All rights reserved. No portions of this report may be reproduced in any way, including photocopying and electronic data storage, without prior written permission from the publisher. For more information, contact DSDL, Inc., P.O. Box 1658, Sausalito, CA 94966.