Welcome to my vacation. I arrived in Freeport, Grand Bahamas, with my husband Mike, my brother Cliff, and Sharon his fiancée. We were welcomed at the Ocean Reef Yacht Club with complimentary Bahama Mamas at Esters pool bar. A nice way to start a vacation! But one was just not enough!! Grand Bahama Scuba is located at the resort, very convenient for the avid diver. Our plan was to scuba dive everyday. We met with the Fred Riger, the dive master and operator of Grand Bahama Scuba and we were in!!
Our first dive was an ocean reef at 60 feet with shipwrecks Papa Doc and Badger. Water temperature was 85 degrees. Perfect! Well, the first thing I saw was a sea turtle. Awesome!! In another direction, gracefully approaching us swims an eagle ray ... Wow!! Beautiful creatures! Then out of the distant blue, several large Caribbean reef sharks appear! Holy Sh…!!!
Grand Bahama is home to Shark Junction, one of the world's first and best shark encounters. What happens is that the sharks slowly circle towards you, always keeping one eye on you as they get closer and closer. Suddenly, they turn and disappear, only to reappear moments later from another direction. This is a dive everyone should try!! After experiencing the sharks, the wrecks were not as noteworthy.
The shallow reefs are full of colorful fish and coral that rise from twenty feet almost to the surface. It also helped that a few divers were seasick aboard the boat and chummed the water, attracting even more fish. This is a great place for a leisurely second dive for more experienced divers.
The wrecks we dove included the world famous Theo's Wreck, a two hundred and thirty foot freighter found in a hundred feet of water. The freighter is resting on its side. It is a must see if you visit Grand Bahamas. As we descended the tag line, the freighter was barely in sight. The closer we got the larger the freighter became, looming in the deep blue water. What a humbling experience!
The newest shipwreck was the Sea Star. It also was in relatively deep water, around 90 feet. This ship was intentionally sunken to create a reef system. Fred Rigger was studying the fish it attracted and if the ship was encouraging sea life to multiply. It had a lot of cabins and rooms you could explore. It was really cool to stand at the helm of the ship in 90 feet of water.
The Bahama Mama Booze Cruise had many fatalities. This cruise is worth the money. They picked you up at your resort and dropped you off at the dock. All the Bahama Mamas you can drink, each made with 151, and a cruise around the island. Yikes!!! It didn’t take long for the entire ship to be rocking. I have a vague recollection of the ride back to the resort!!
Driving on the Island is a true challenge. Our first remark to each driver was "stay left, LEFT, LEFT, LEFT!!!!" Watch out!!! I am not used to driving toward oncoming traffic and worrying if I am on the right side, whoops! I meant left side of the road! The most striking thing we noticed was the many uncompleted homes on the island. Are they waiting for investors? I thought about it ... maybe I need a raise.
There are many different things you can discover in Grand Bahamas if you are not a diver. We did explore Ben’s cave and the national park area. This is a mangrove swamp. The International Bazaar and Port Lucaya Marketplace is the place to do some shopping and find a quaint place to eat. Paradise cove sets the stage for drinks and watching the sunset or any type of water sport. The Parrot Jungle Garden of the Groves is a beautiful park with cascading waterfalls, botanical gardens, scenic trails, a petting zoo with animals and tropical birds to feed and take photos.
Stay tuned for more exciting travels.