On the Bahamas, the bright blue sea merges with the sky and the sand is soft as a cloud. Some people associate them with cocktails and beach parties, some other — with cruises and town excursions. And there are some who take a yacht, sail away from the coast and go diving. There are so many underwater wonders here enough for several lives to live. And we have picked the most interesting of them.
The Exuma Islands
The islands of Exuma look like gems in azure velvet from above. Water acquires such a delicate colour because of the small depths where life beats around. There is a unique underwater reserve with the brightest inhabitants created in these waters. This area is famous for its bizarre natural forms. As if the marine inhabitants wanted to create an amusement park here on the bottom.
Angelfish and Mystery Cave are two blue holes near Stocking Island. These large craters in the seabed look like an abyss under the divers. Jacques-Yves Cousteau has explored Mystery Cave in the middle of XX century, proving that it connects to a cave on the island itself. Angelfish is simpler but more spectacular. Be inspired by the wonders of the sea and rent a boat in the Bahamas until someone else hasn’t done that.
Amberjack Reef near Warderick Wells Cay is full of exotic creatures. For example, here in the burrows live garden eels, resembling more plants than living fish. Pirate blenny and rare black grouper inhabit these waters, and for those who like big fish, there are a couple of shark species.
Thunderball Grotto near Staniel Cay Island is named after the James Bond movie, so there are no thunderballs here. But even without them, there is something to see. Through a narrow rocky passage, you find yourself in a huge bright cave, similar to the dwelling of an underwater king. It is worth taking a yacht for rent and rushing here in full sail.
The Washing Machine near Shroud Cay is the most unusual of the Bahamian attractions. You swim near the seabed when unknown force suddenly grabs you, turns over and begins to drag somewhere. After 50 feet, it lets you go revealing excellent views of the underwater jungle. This is how a small current acts, on which you might want to ride for miles and miles (or perhaps until the air in the scuba gear is over).
This famous island is located next to the state of Florida, USA, because of which there are always a lot of tourists. It is full of hotels and city noise, but sail from the coast on a yacht for some miles — and you have a quiet sea surface. Which hides the whole world under the water.
Tiger Beach at the western end of the island is the best place for swimming with sharks. Here you can take a picture with a hammerhead shark, as well as a lot of others, including tiger sharks for whom the place is named. Sharks do not threaten people — unless you don’t provoke them.
Sugar / Theos Wrecks. The first one had sunk near the island at the end of the XIX century, the second one — at the end of the XX. One can find various marine life from sea turtles to dolphins near these steel giants covered with corals.
Littlehale’s Lair. Do not look at the ominous name, it is a mecca for underwater photographers, one of the most picturesque places in the Bahamas with rich marine flora and fauna. It is named after the photographer Littlehale who, in the 1960s, was the first to find the local beauties.
Olympus. Unlike the terrestrial namesake, this mountain is situated under the water, going down on 1,500 feet. Without deep-sea equipment, its peak is accessible at a depth of 60 feet, covered with fancy corals.
Bimini lies to the South-west of Grand Bahamas. Here flows the Gulf Stream which brings diversity in the underwater life adding the rare species of fauna.
Victory Reef. A five-mile strip is stretched to the South of Bimini for diving enthusiasts on a depth from 30 to 80 feet. Because of the Gulf Stream, this reef is full of life of all sizes and shapes from turtles, sharks and rays to bright underwater fish scurrying in the coral thickets. Underwater visibility is about 100 feet, the best places for filming are the Church, the Sponge Garden and the Rainbow Valley.
Bimini Road is a row of flat plates at the bottom of the ocean, strongly resembling a road or even the top of a wall. Rumour has it that the Atlantes had built it. To find this out, you have to go there by yourself.
The remains of the ‘Sapona' ship. This vessel had hit the underwater reef in 1926 and left forever in these waters. Its main feature is a shallow depth. Half of the ship is still above water, and you can inspect it first from above, and then from below, with an aqualung or even scuba equipment.
Hammerhead sharks. These unusual sharks migrate along the banks of Bimini from December to April. This time surprisingly coincides with the yachting season in the Bahamas, so do not miss the opportunity to make friends with a couple of sharks. Which, by the way, are considered modest in comparison with their relatives.
This is the largest of all the Bahama islands, and divers enter it as a separate item in their wish list. All because of the wildness and diversity of the local depths: here you can discover a new exciting place on the map, unknown to others.
The Crater is a blue hole in the Small Hope Bay. Once it was an underwater cave, but then the ceiling, which served as a bottom for marine inhabitants, collapsed. Now the local area resembles an underwater gorge, and its walls are full of marine fauna.
Andros Wall. One of the greatest precipices in the Bahamas, which begins at a depth of 70 feet. It is especially interesting to look at the Andros Wall at night. You swim up to the large dark rock, turn off the flashlight — and you see a dim light coming from everywhere instead of the utter darkness. It is the plankton living on cliff walls which produce the light.
The island with the city of Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, is not very interesting for visitors. But you can spend under the water for more than one week. Here you will find reefs, caves, and a lot of ships sunk during the 300 years of the city life.
The sunken ‘Vulcan Bomber' aircraft and the ‘Tears of Allah' vessel from the James Bond movies. The plane was sunk in the 60s, and since then has turned into a figured coral reef. But the ship, which fell to the bottom in the 1980s, now looks great on underwater photos. If you wish, you can even swim inside and greet the marine life there.
Runway Wall (Runway Wall). Thousands of divers from all over the world swim here to spend some time in the company of Caribbean sharpnose sharks. Due to the shallow depths, the diving experience is not necessary. The main thing is the love for sharks.
If you’re looking where to rest on a sailing yacht, then you’ve come to the right place. Eleuthera is one of the few Bahamian islands surrounded by shallow seas. Besides living creatures, you can find a lot of fascinating things here.
Current Cut. If you find yourself at high tide in the strait between the islands of Current and Eleuthera, you will feel a mighty tidal wave dragging you. From now on, relax and watch the passing by underwater world without any effort: the current will do everything for you. When it weakens, float to the surface and give a sign to the yacht captain, so that he could toss you again to the starting position.
Devil’s Backbone is a ship graveyard where everyone can choose an object he (or she) likes. For those who are fed up with ships, fate has prepared a sunken train: in the middle of the 19th century, a barge with a locomotive went under the water.
The rest of the wonders of the southern seas did not fit into the material: Abaco Islands, Cat Island, Long Island, San Salvador and other little-known islands, cays and reefs. But there is a solution: book a yacht in the Bahamas, wait for the season and go in search of underwater adventures. There will definitely be more of them than in this article.