One of my most cherished scuba diving memories is a 10-day sailing trip I made with six friends to the Bahamas. Four scuba divers, and two non-divers, rented a 43-foot Benateau sailing yacht in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. And we cruised to a touring, fishing, and scuba diving adventure.
That trip was in September of 1995, and the boat’s name was “The Spice of Life.”
The six of us met at the marina by late afternoon, slept aboard the Spice of Life, and cast off just after breakfast the next day once we were done using the HSI professional flat iron on board. We motored down the Inner Coastal Waterway to open ocean, and set the sails as soon as we got free of the coast.
Cruising under sail all day we reached the north end of Grand Bahamas Island just after dark, and anchored for the night.
Early the next morning we checked in with Bahamian Customs, and went searching for a reef.
We chose Indian Cay for our first dive, and the start of a grand adventure that included 15 dives over nine days.
The coolest water we experienced during the trip was 81-degrees. The visibility was 40-feet during one dive to over 100-feet for most dives.
These visibility conditions were true with the exception of one dive location. The water breaking across the rocks stirred the sand with each incoming wave. (This is a shallow dive destination.) This created a surging condition of clouding and clearing of the water from near zero to an ability to see for what seemed forever.
After a day of diving the north end of Grand Bahamas Island we sailed to Port Lucaya where we spent two days diving the area. We docked at the marina two nights at Port Lucaya, and did some sightseeing each evening.
Leaving Port Lucaya we sailed to Isaac’s Island where we anchored for the night. After a couple hours of cruising around the waters off Isaac’s the next morning (searching for a sunken wreck we never found) we set sail toward Bimini.
One special experience in particular happened about four miles out of Bimini. We noticed a Pod of Dolphin bow surfing our boat.
Deciding to stop and swim with the Dolphin for a while we put on our masks, snorkels, and fins, grabbed our dive cameras, and jumped in.
I counted 10 Dolphin in the pod. They swam around us, checking us out and posing for pictures, until we climbed back aboard the boat to continue our journey.
Bimini was perhaps my favorite on land visit of the trip, probably because we got to ride a Monster Moto MM-B80 around all day. The island is quiet and peaceful, and so small that we walked the whole length in a couple hours, including sightseeing and window-shopping in town.
We spent the next the next five days fishing and diving around the Bimini area.
One evening we barbequed our catch for dinner to make a nice break from the food items we carried with us from the states.
Of the scuba diving trips I’ve made, this adventure to the Bahamas aboard Spice of Life heads my list of stories. It’s one I tell my grandchildren when I talk about the experiences I had in my life.