Off to the Bahamas again. We love it there so much. As it will probably be our retirement spot for winters in a few years we are trying out most of it now. 🙂 Its clean and lovely and the water is so warm and clear. And it’s not overcrowded in places like Grand Bahama.
This time to Freeport, Bahamas. We took AA from Seattle to North Carolina and then on to Freeport. Delta airlines which we prefer over AA, canceled their routes to this area. Which makes this trip a bit longer than it needs to be. You have to take a red-eye to North Carolina, not my favorite. We had a 7-hour layover in that airport. But then home we came through Miami. Miami is a really busy but modern and well laid out airport. Their business/first class lounges are pretty good, shower, full bar. But usually pretty full.
We were once again on a liveaboard. This is a trip that Brad has wanted to do for a very long time. Diving with the sharks. And no this is not cage diving, this is actual diving in the water, with the sharks. Tiger sharks, Great Hammerheads, Reef Sharks and Lemon Sharks.
The divers are trained for a couple of days on how to sit in a formation on the bottom of the ocean, how to be alert, how to listen to the dive masters for oncoming sharks, to be aware and alert at all times. The sharks are fed by one or two dive masters and they will come right up to you as you can see in the photo above.
The diving is never deeper than 6 or 7 meters. You can see the divers and the sharks from the boat deck.
Brad said that its a heart-pounding, exhilarating experience. These creatures are large and fantastic.
There have been very few accidents on these trips. But they do tell a couple of tales of people not following instructions and getting bit or hurt.
The boat is part of the Worldwide Dive and Sail fleet, which includes the Masters and the Sirens.
This was not the best liveaboard we have been on. It was run down, needed a lot of work. We did have one of only two large cabins on the boat. But it was in need of great repair. The bed did not fit in the space that they allocated for it, the curtains were hand towels duct taped to the windows, the tiles in the shower were coming up and sticking to our feet each time we took a shower. There was rust along the shower head and the soap dispenser.
It did have working AC and the room was a good size.
There were a few concerns by the divers. There was rarely a safety diver on the boat deck and no one was ever ready with the zodiac for a real emergency.
I think that they have some real issues to clean up on this particular dive boat.
The food on the boat was good, the staff was good sometimes but its the first time on a liveaboard that I saw so much flirting between the staff and sometimes even getting our dinner late because some of the staff was too busy making out. LITERALLY!
They were not always prepared to serve the boat. Most nights we had to pour our own drinks and get our own snacks. All things I have already complained about. But….
We met some really great people on this trip, from all over the world. Canada, The Netherlands, Spain, France, Malaysia, and Missouri, California, Florida. It was the first liveaboard I have been on where we ALL got along the entire trip and had a splendid time and lots of laughs. Usually, there is at least one asshole on a boat like this. One guy or girl who thinks very highly of themselves or is a very unsafe diver. But we were like family and it was great fun!!
- NOTE: There were a couple of cooler evenings so bringing a light sweater or jacket is a plus.
- There are crossings where the water is rough, so motion sick pills are a plus. We prefer these as they have no side effects, don’t make you tired and don’t affect your ability to dive. Motion sickness pills.
- Brad dove with his Shark Skin which is equivalent to a 3M suit. The water is pretty warm.
- There are sharks on every dive so swimming or snorkeling on this particular trip is very unlikely.
- Sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, always a must
I always recommend the Bahamas for a family trip, a couples trip, retirement, etc. It’s a beautiful place. Still has fresh clean water with plenty of sea life. It’s not outrageously expensive and its fairly easy to get to.
We will be on another master liveaboard in February in French Polynesia so here’s to hoping it will be better in all ways. The photos look better, but you never know.
As always if you have any questions or complaints please feel free to email me, or find me on Twitter, or Facebook.
Cheers and happy travels.