Friday, April 15, 2011
Sun , Sand and Sharks... Bahamas Dive Trip 2011
How is it that I can be out of town on vacation for ten days and yet have three weeks worth of work pile up while I'm gone? It's got to be some sort of weird Murphy's Law thing.... for every day of enjoyment while on vacation you automatically accrue 3 days of bullshit chores upon your arrival home. Such is life , always a price to pay for everything and in this case it was well worth it.
With my wife and I both being scuba divers we try to make a trip to a tropical locale once a year to appreciate the underwater world minus the wetsuits , drysuits and various other neoprene accessories required when we dive here locally (Ozarks). Normally we just spend a week somewhere diving but this year we decided to do things a little differently and take our first cruise.
After some planning we found a 4 night itinerary that spent a full day at each island only traveling at night which gave us enough time to do some diving at each location. With that the planning was set in motion...a couple days in Miami then off on a big boat to the Bahamas and upon returning a couple more days to visit some of our favorite places (think fresh fish and cracked conch to die for!) along Highway 1 in the Keys before catching a flight back to KC.
I set up two tank dive excursions in Miami , Grand Bahama and Nassau which was a few less than we would normally get in a week but still enough to make it feel like a true diving trip. As much as I enjoy flyfishing , I have to say the rush I get every time I suit up for an ocean dive just can't be matched.
That might have something to do with the fact that we live in Kansas...with nothing that even resembles diveable water within our reach , but even at that there's just something wonderous about not knowing what lies beneath the surface of that great ocean just waiting to be explored.
We got to see most of the usual suspects like turtles , rays , grouper and barracuda along with lots of pretty tropical fish and although we've seen all these creatures before I'm still always amazed at the shear beauty of the underwater world.
We had an awesome trip , weather was great...spent some time underwater...made some new friends... and only one casualty of the trip , my digital camera didn't survive a free-diving session on Great Stirrup Cay.
It's supposed to be waterproof to 25 feet and my dive watch showed 28 feet , unfortunately that extra 3 feet probably cost me a new camera as it hasn't worked since. I came home sunburned , 10 pounds overweight and I'm not sure but I think I might have developed a drinking problem as well.
What more could anyone want from a vacation?? I kept telling my wife the beer was only a means to increase my lime intake which I was using to ward off scurvy , after all we were on a boat in the ocean.
The highlight of our weeks diving was a two tank shark adventure on Nassau with Stuart Coves dive shop. It took some convincing to get my wife to sign on but in the end she enjoyed it almost as much as I did. These guys are well known for being experts at the whole shark dive / feed thing and they gave us one hell of a show.
Until you've been within arms reach of up to twenty white-tipped reef sharks in a feeding frenzy you can't truly realize your place in the whole food chain. While I could talk about it all day and show you lots of pictures I still couldn't do the experience justice , it's just one of those things that you had to be there. My underwater photography skills and equipment leave a lot to be desired but you can at least get an idea of what the experience was like from the photos...pure adrenaline rush!!
Needless to say if you're a diver I highly recommend doing this if you have the opportunity , it'll be something you'll never forget. These are some amazing creatures and it really is too bad that so many other countries allow their senseless slaughter for no good reason.
While this wasn't a fishing trip I still snuck the seven weight into the luggage along with a few ugly saltwater imitations that I had tied prior to the trip. I only got one chance to string it up and it was our last day in the Keys. We spent an afternoon at Bahia Honda State Park and while the wife was lounging on the beach I took the flyrod and ventured to the other side of the island , I didn't expect to catch anything (and I didn't) but at least I got to throw some line around in the salt for the first time ever. Now I've got a box full of gotchas and crazy charlies just sitting around gathering dust...guess I'm gonna have to start thinking about that salt trip I've always wanted to take , I just hate it when a plan comes together.
Posted by HighPlainsFlyFisher