After finishing up with our first dive and changing out tanks, we were on our way to our second dive location. We went to a shallow location, which was protected from the wind a little better. We had a little snack on the boat before diving. There were plenty of options and some water for everyone. There were a few more new divers that weren't qualified to dive at the deeper depth, so they took a little while to get into the water and settled. Once they were off the boat, the certified divers were able to get in and have at it.
Immediately, we were surrounded by a bunch of fish! The first thing we saw were a ton of Sergeant Majors! Then we saw a bunch of Yellowtail Snapper as well. There were a couple parrotfish, of some variety that you could actual hear chomping on the coral! At the 32 second mark of the video, I snuck up on a squirrelfish, hiding in a coral alcove.
This being my first ocean dive, I was shocked and amazed at how big the ocean was, but how small these individual environments were, and they were teeming with life! A whole world and ecosystem could be find on each individual coral bunch, it was so cool to see!
At the :38 second mark, you can see the parrotfish, chomping away!
As we swam on, there were a few blue tang couples swimming around. It was amazing to see how the colors changed as they moved. From one angle, they looked black, but as the turned, the dark blue color was amazing! I thought to myself, there is no place on the Earth that can replicate colors like that! You can see an example of how the colors change at the 1:45 mark of the video.
As we swam along, I was so focused on trying to pick out the different fish species, I didn't notice was I was swimming up on. It wasn't until my dive buddy tapped my leg and pointed to my right side. I was surprised and slightly scared at the gigantic submerged Atlas statue!
To see something this big underwater was shocking to say the least. It sort of snuck up on me. It's a 17 foot tall Bahamian girl, and pretty cool to see submerged. Around it where a bunch of artificial coral stations as well.
Close by, there was another statue of a man kneeling.
As the dive was coming to a close, we swam by the skeleton of a Cessna airplane. There wasn't much left of it, but still pretty interesting to see on the bottom.
And that was it! Check out the video below for the full experience!
After surfacing, we took our BC's off, kicked off our fins, masks, and started to dry off. We had an easier boat ride back to the dock, but it was a different dock. Some of the dive staff mentioned that a previous dive staff employee had a dock through a small canal. We found the dock, hopped onto the tour bus, and back to the Sandals Resort we went!
Final Review of Sandals Royal Bahamian SCUBA Experience
I had a great experience. The staff was great. They were friendly throughout the registration period and moments on the bus and boat. The boat was rather clean and relatively new. Having recently dove in Oahu, Hawaii, the Sandals boat was a bit outdated, but it was still plenty clean and capable of comfortable travel.
The SCUBA gear was pretty good too. I was happier with the dive gear I used in Hawaii, but Sandals Royal Bahamian provided quality, clean, and functioning gear. I wish they would have provided dive computers or integrated computer/gauges. This would have made me feel a little better about safety stops and depth/time issues.
The first dive was a little short of wildlife. I know this is hard to complain about and it's luck of the draw, but still. There was a weather component as well. I'm sure we would have dove in another location if the wind and waves were more reasonable. The second dive though was full of fish, color and coral! The shallow depth added to the colors, but the number of divers clouded up the bottom a little bit. The visibility was still amazing, but a little hazy compared to some other pictures and videos I have seen at the same area.
Overall, I was totally recommend Sandals Royal Bahamian, and any Sandals Resort for their diving experiences. Due to homework, fill out the proper paperwork and take it with you. Plan early and make sure you're prepared to dive, and you'll have an amazing experience! There is so much of the ocean to explore, and diving in the Caribbean was a special experience!
Jack of All Trades, Master of None