April 29, 2000 - April 30, 2000 - May 2, 2000 - May 3, 2000 - May 4, 2000
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May 1, 2000: Grand Bahama, Bahamas

A Bahamas 2000 dive
"Little Hale's Lair"
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We had bubble watchers (non-divers on the boat) with us that day. Currents were strong and we had at least one novice diver in the group. One situation popped up that showed that even a good and experienced diver can make bad choices or have bad luck.
Diving off of Grand Bahama:
  • Directions from Tampa: It's only about 55 miles off of the coast of Florida. You can go by boat or by plane ... talk to a travel agent.
  • Conditions on the day of my visit: Sunny. Warm and windy.

  • Personal Notes: During his briefing for this dive, Shamie told us to use the line that went along the side of the boat from the tag/drift line at the stern to the mooring line off the bow. Initially this seemed like a good idea since it's usually much easier to pull yourself around, rather than swim it. However, once in the water and looking at the line, it looked to me like it was a little too close to the boat (the surface current wasn't pushing it away from the boat enough for my comfort), and the boat was going up and down in the water quite a bit. Surface conditions were horrible, particularly for divers (up and down, up and down, swimming against the current, puffing on a regulator) and reportedly for the bubble watchers who stayed in the boat.

    My sister seemed to have a good idea when she decided to just make the decent from the stern, swim under the boat, and head for the mooring line. Looked like a good idea to me, and was probably the lesser of two evils. Dunno if I'd do that again though ...

    The current hammered us. By the time I got to the anchor of the mooring line, I was quite tired. I probably used quite a bit of air trying to get there, too. Once down all the way, though, it really wasn't too bad to move around. I guess it was just those mid-level head-currents that did me in.

    Sea life, as I remember it, was unusually thin at this site. We did see a 2 1/2 to 3 foot turtle who seemed to be napping under some rocks ...

    Getting back on the boat, the novice diver lost her weight belt (hey, it probably happens to everyone ... so far, I've been lucky). I saw it go down and considered going for it, but decided that it would be better if Shamie made the call. He decided to go for it and I pointed it out to him ... poor guy, he made it down there, but had to fight that head-current all the way back to the mooring line to make his way back up to the boat without floating away!

    Since some divers (and both bubble watchers) were seasick, the second dive was cancelled.

Pictures!

There were three dives on the same roll of pictures, and though there were some pictures that were obviously from one site or the other, many pictures could have been from two or three sites. Some of the pictures from the "Caves" and "Shark Junction" dive might actually belong here; but according to the negatives, these are all the scannable photos from this dive. There's even one picture on the "Theo's Wreck" dive that I did the next day that I thought was on this page until I checked its position on the negatives.
Little Hale's Lair
This is a shot of Shamie tying the boat to a mooring line. Shamie was our captain as well as dive master, so he would have to stand on the side of the boat, steering and working throttle through a window, until he was right near the mooring line, and then hang over the side of the boat like this to tie us up. Notice that his hair is dripping wet ... more than once his head was all the way in the water. On one dive, I swear I saw him doing this by one leg.
A turtle, hiding (or napping) under a rock.
When six divers show up and stare at you, it tends to get your attention. And if you're a turtle, it's not the kind of attention your used to, so you swim away. She (I think) was moving a quite a clip when I snapped this shot. Dunno who the guy in the shorty and yellow fins is, but the black fins on the right might actually be my brother-in-law.


Dive data for dives on this day:

Dive Site Name Max Depth Minutes Water Temp
46 Little Hale's Lair 58 feet 35 min. 74 F
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