Monday, November 26, 2007

Hellos and Goodbyes at Small Hope Bay Lodge, Andros Island, Bahamas

As the Holiday Season approaches, we greet a lot of friends, old and new seeking shelter from the winter cold. Guests enjoy not only the warmth of the staff and Lodge, but also the comfort of their favorite scuba diving spots. Recent favorites include The Great Blue Hole ( also called King Kong’s Cavern) and Dianna’s Dungeons; sites that highlight the diversity of Andros Island diving.

So named due to their deep blue color when viewed from the air, Blue Holes are a signature feature of Andros Island geology and scuba diving. Occurring inland and offshore, Andros has more Blue Holes per square mile than any other place in the world. The Great Blue Hole, just a short boat ride from the Small Hope Bay Lodge, is a favorite off-shore site for divers. Diving the Great Blue Hole doesn’t require lights or special equipment, and while not constrictive, has the feel of a cavern dive.

You’ll enter the Blue Hole at forty feet along an ancient waterfall, then pass through a huge swim-through as you begin a slow tour around the collapsed roof of the Blue Hole. Be ready with your camera as divers create dramatic silhouettes in the Sky Light Room. Huge boulders and enchanting lighting lead the way to your exit up an ancient riverbed. You just dived the King Kong Cavern!

In sharp contrast to the geological features of the Great Blue Hole, Dianna’s Dungeons is a riot reef life. You may follow your dive guide through the wide, well-lit but twisted corridors of color plunging through the false wall or strike out on your own along the crest of the reef enjoying the gently swaying soft corals and congregations of reef fish. The summer season brings Bar Jack and other predators looking to snack on the silversides that swarm the swim-throughs.

As for “Hellos,” guests have made several recent sightings of an eight-foot hammerhead shark cruising some of the shallower sights. We’ll have to wait and see if she is a resident or one of our new favorite guests. If she sticks around, we’ll need some suggestions to name her!

On the bittersweet side, we are saying “until we meet again” to popular dive masters Nick and Brittany who are returning to Britt’s hometown of Seattle. We know all our friends and guests will be missing them. Good Luck, Nick and Britt, from the Small Hope Bay Lodge family! Pin It Now!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Brads Mountain

Sun and calm seas make for a great afternoon dive at Brads Mountain. The second we entered the water we were greeted by a few friendly Caribbean Reef Sharks,
Schools of Atlantic Spade Fish,
Blue Chromis and Grey Sea Chubs.
Brads Mountain is a honeycombed coral “Hill” amidst a large dense coral garden. The base of Brads Mountain starts off at a depth of 50’ and reaches up to 25’. There is no need to venture off to far on this site, the Mountain is always teeming with life and there are plenty of nooks and crannies to poke around in, you never know what you might find. For those who enjoy exploring, just north of Brads Mountain is a large cable that runs from shore all the way down into the Tongue of the Ocean. The cable was laid by Autec the US Navy Base and now servers as a great navigational tool for divers who would like to venture off into deeper water.
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Friday, November 2, 2007


As you all know Noel has passed and the lodge is up and running.

The staff prepared the lodge in the event of a Hurricane, although Noel never reached such status. We laid sand bags, covered up window, doors, and valuable equipment. We moved all outside furniture to a protected area, set up protective nets around all cabins and cut the power leaving only the necessary areas with electricity. We relocated all boats to a sheltered area in Davis Creek, secured all items on the dock and locked down the dive centre.

The brunt of the Tropical Storm hit Thursday morning. By the late afternoon the wind died down and the sea clamed. Lucky the lodge sustained no damage. Only minimal clean up of the grounds was needed, due to the collection of debris deposited by wind and tidal surge.

We re-opened this morning, Friday Nov. 2nd with our first guest arriving this afternoon. The sun is out, the airports are open, the wind has died, and it is time to get outside and enjoy the weather! Pin It Now!