SCUBA Diving at Sandals Royal Bahamian
During the Fall of 2016, my wife and I celebrated our 10th anniversary with a trip to the Bahamas. A long 10 years ago, our travel agent recommended we go to Sandals Negril, in Jamaica, and we LOVED it! So for our anniversary, we wanted to go back to Sandals, and we couldn't have been happier with Sandals Royal Bahamian.
As a certified diver, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to go diving in the Caribbean! One of the great things about Sandals is that they provide free SCUBA excursions for their guests. This made my decision to leave my wife for a morning a littler easier.
The process to dive was rather easy as well. I went to the dive shop they day or two prior to the day I wanted to dive. I talked with the dive staff, who were awesome! They made me feel right at home, and made everything super simple. They looked at my cert card, and logbook to make sure that I had dove recently. I dive regularly at work as a diver for the fire department. There was a medical waiver that I had with me as well, that was needed filled out by my primary physician. I had dropped the form off at my family doctor, who gave me a clean bill of health and filled out the paperwork. The Sandals dive staff wanted that paperwork as well.
The next day, I arrived at the dive shop around 8am. They handed out some rental gear, mask, and fins. I opted out of the wet suit, having become used to diving in cold water at home... I figured I'd be okay with the 70-80 degree Caribbean, and I was. Throughout the week, we had noticed the dive boat picking divers and equipment up at the main pier, but over the first couple days of our stay, the wind and waves had noticeable increased. We found out that for our dive, we had to board a small tour bus, travel to the other side of the island to escape the wind a little bit. We boarded the bus, drove for 20 minutes, to an inland pier where the dive boat was. Sandals dive staff did all of the heavy lifting, which was awesome! We boarded the boat, received some instructions and off we went!
The boat ride was about 30-40 minutes, and the waves made it interesting! I thought it was great, but someone that is prone to sea sickness could have had a problem with it. Everyone on the boat survived without yarfing up their breakfast and we reached our first dive spot.
Our first dive was the deep dive, max depth of 70'. We were going to dive along a shelf, then to a couple of wrecks. Here's the video!
My first thought when I got in the water was "well this doesn't look like 70', or 40' for that matter." Well, in the Caribbean, the water is a little more clear than the rivers I dive in... We settled into our initial descent around 50'. The shelf was just to our left, and was amazing! The drop of was drastic, and who knew what was on the other side! At times, we'd see a school of small fish swimming over the deep water, making me wonder what kind of ocean creature was going to come up from the deep and scarf them up! But that never happened... The first part of the dive, beside the shelf, was kind of dull. There weren't many fish, and the fish that were there, were deep into the coral. The coral seemed really thick, which allowed the fish to tuck themselves into it.
We swam quite a way along the shelf, then turned off and worked towards the wrecks. These were pretty cool. The first one was really broken down. Interestingly enough, the toilets were in the best shape! Check out the video, around the 2:20 mark, see the toilets?!?!
Last, we worked towards a small fishing boat, maybe a tug boat, that was sunk to the ocean floor. This ship was in much better shape! It was so cool to see the coral growing from it! I was able to get some close ups, be sure to check those out in the video. After we explored the intact ship, it was time to swim up to our safety stop, and our first dive was over!
Final thoughts on Dive 1
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Jack of All Trades, Master of None