Sunday, August 30, 2009
Doug and Jess came down here for their first time. They came down with (little) Doug‘s stepfather, (big) Doug who came down to Small Hope to teach a 7 day IDC course our full time staff member, Ashley, our summer intern, Tanya and Jeff Birch’s son, Brian.
During Doug and Jess’s stay, Doug completed his rescue diver certification, and Jess completed her open water certification as well as her advanced open water! They dove almost everyday, and were ecstatic that they were able to do two shark dives at our signature Shark Emporium dive site.
“Small Hope Bay is the epitome of a nice, down to earth resort with the relaxation and comfort of a five star resort. The diving is an absolute glorious experience I have not seen anywhere else. All the staff makes you feel like your family, and belong on the island. I would recommend this resort to anyone that wants to experience total fun in combination with relaxation.” – Douglas
“This was one of my favourite vacations. Fun in the sun, diving, kayaking, diving, bicycling, and of course diving! The staff is amazing!! So personal na ddown to earth. They don’t feel like strangers, they feel like family.” – Jess
Congratulations to Ashley, Tanya and Brian for completing a grueling 7 day course. Now they are off to write their Instructor’s exams in the states, in order to be fully certified as diving instructors. Thanks to Course Director, Doug, to come down here, bring his family, and dog “stuart little”. It was a great experience! Pin It Now!
Friday, August 28, 2009
Doug and Gloria returned to Small Hope Bay for their 5th year anniversary. 5 years ago, Doug brought Gloria here telling her that they were standing up as witnesses for a wedding at Small Hope Bay.
On the day of the wedding Gloria came out of her cabin, with a beautiful dress and her hair done and proceeded out to the bar. As Gloria recalls, when she tells this story now, “I thought to myself, this is great music that is playing, it’s all my favourite songs…”
Doug was standing up at the bar awaiting for Gloria, when she arrived he started making his speech, at the end of which he said: “and Gloria, this IS your wedding!”
On the day of their anniversary, the staff at Small Hope came out of the kitchen singing with instruments in hand along with a cake. Happy Anniversary Doug and Gloria!
Watch our wedding videos here, or look at smallhope.com to find more about having your wedding at Small Hope Bay Lodge. Pin It Now!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
The 2009 Miss Universe was held this year at Atlantis, Paradise
Island in the Bahamas. Androsia Batik Fabric was used during the August 12 and August 23rd fashion show and our classic Androsia Pareos were worn during the August 23rd swimsuit fashion show.
We are so proud to see our fabric, that first started as an experiment in 1973 with wax and dye, to turn into what is now referred to as “The National Fabric of the Bahamas”, was featured in more than two thirds of the Miss Universe Competition. Follow this link to watch a video of the fashion show, where the Androsia Fabric was worn and designed by Bahamian designers such as Basheva Eve.
Androsia Fabric is made on Andros Island, which first started in 1973 by Dick Birch and his wife, Rosie. The first six years the Androsia fabric was made at Small Hope Bay Lodge, the diving resort on Andros, which Dick opened and operated at the time. In 1979, Androsia Batik Factory and Androsia Outlet were opened in Andros Town.
All Androsia Fabric is hand-stamped, hand-dyed and hand-sewn, and is really one of a kind. Watch the process for yourself on our YouTube Channel. The factory creates fabrics, uniforms, outfits, beachwear and anything you can imagine to the other islands in the Bahamas. Visit the Androsia shopping cart for a full list of items available!
To find out more about Androsia Batik, visit the Androsia Website. Pin It Now!
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Dr. Howard Khani, has been coming here for over 20 years. Usually bringing along his son, Josh, who was certified here at Small Hope. This year, Howard and Josh made this a boys retreat and brought along father and grandfather, Fred, and their cousin Mike. The boys enjoyed diving, relaxing, bone fishing and socializing at the bar. Click here to hear Fred talk about one of his favorite times during his vacation.
Before leaving, Josh wrote testimonial describing his time here: “We’ve been coming to SHBL for about 20 years, and regardless of weather, time of year, or Jeff Birch’s mood the diving, relaxing, and partying is always amazing and we will continue to be SHB guests for eternity.” – The Khani Family Pin It Now!
Friday, August 21, 2009
Keith Hanson, an experienced tech diver and long term guest comes to Small Hope to buddy up with our manager and expert tech diver, Mike Hornby, together they do some of the most exciting tech and deep dives discovered on the tongue of the ocean. A common joke between both of them was the pink crocs and pink fins they wore in the water! “Only real divers wear pink!”
To hear Keith talking about some of his tech diving experiences, and describing the new deep dive him and Mike discovered visit our video channel here. Pin It Now!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
During April 2009 Scott Schultz, Small Hope’s Guest Chef, came down and helped revamp Small Hope’s delicious menu! This summer Scott returned to help again with our new Culinary section of our website, and to do a little extra for our guests in the kitchen!
His first debut was Mexican Night, Small Hope guests started off the night with homemade tortilla chips and homemade salsa (along with our one of a kind conch fritters of course!). The main course started with black bean soup, make-your-own burritos, Mexican style beans, jalapeño rice, chicken and beef enchiladas, and grilled fish. As guests enjoyed seconds of the delicious main course, Scott passed around baked tortillas with cinnamon and whip cream spread! Finally for dessert was Mexican Flan in Nassau Royale Rum. We can’t wait for more meals from Scott, and for the innovative and delicious ideas he has for Small Hope Bay’s cuisine! Keep an eye on SmallHope.com for our new culinary section. Pin It Now!
Monday, August 17, 2009
The Snow family came to Small Hope Bay Lodge looking to spend quality time together as a family. Isabelle, age 11 and her Dad, Ben, took the discovery scuba diving course and enjoyed diving some of our 40 foot dives! Oliver, age 9, and Mom, Alison, enjoyed snorkeling around the dock and on the beaches of Small Hope.
The Family also took a trip to the inland blue hole where they enjoyed an entire afternoon jumping off the dock and swimming in the giant fresh water blue hole. It took a little encouragement to get Isabelle to jump off, but after her first jump, anyone 20 miles around could hear her yell "That was Awesome!". Isabelle set the new Small Hope record for most jumps off the Blue Hole dock, when jumping 46 cannonballs in a row!
Watch a video of the Snow's and other guests time at the Blue Hole here.
Before leaving, Isabelle and Oliver made thank you cards about the fun they had here at Small Hope Bay Lodge.
“Dear Small Hope Staff,
Thank you for being the best resort staff that I’ve ever had. In a few days you guys made me and my family feel like family. You taught me how to dive, to never-ever do a belly flop again and the song “Buttercup Baby”. It was fun to learn your personalities. From acting to diving, to jumping off a platform into deep water really well.
When I grow up I want to work in Small Hope as a summer job. Thank you for giving me the stay of my life.
From Isabelle, August 7- 12th 2009”
“To all staff,
Thank you for a wounderful stay it was very fun.
From Oliver” Pin It Now!
Friday, August 14, 2009
On June 9th 2009, Small Hope Bay Lodge had the pleasure of hosting Dayana Mendoza, Miss Venezuela and winner of Miss Universe 2008. Dayana was here to promote the 2009 Miss Universe competition that was held earlier this August in Nassau.
Dayana spent the morning with Small Hope’s staff, Mike and Danielle, who took her on her first dive ever. Dayana could not have been more thrilled after her dive at Central Park, a dive signature to Small Hope Bay Lodge.
After she dried off, Dayana visited The Androsia Factory, learning a how the unique fabric is individually stamped, dyed and sewed. Dayana made her own personal fabric, signing her name in wax and stamping with her favorite design. She then went shopping in the outlet boutique located beside the factory where she took some time shopping through our various designs, colours and outfits!
You may have seen the Androsia fabric featured in the 2009 Miss Universe competition this August. The fashion show included many Adrosia Batik fabrics, to see some of the contestants wearing the national fabric of the Bahamas click here.
Androsia is one of the most unique fabrics you can buy, each hand made, stamped and dyed, many of our guests who work within the corporate world wear our shirts and fabrics to work. Visit our YouTube to hear from Robert Young, a repeat guest to the Small Hope Bay Family. Pin It Now!
The night of August 11th, guests went out to lie on the dock around 11 pm until the early hours of the morning and enjoyed looking up into the sky watching an amazing meteor shower. Since Andros Island is all rural towns and farms, Small Hope Bay Lodge doesn’t get any white light pollution in the sky, so many of the guests were able to see a few meteors per minute! The meteor shower was called the 2009 Perseids Meteor Shower and happens once a year and with the full moon, guests and staff were able to see 80 meteors a minute. Pin It Now!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Small Hope Bay Lodge took 15 guests and two car loads 20 minutes down the road and into the inland Andros to visit Captain Bill’s Fresh water inland Blue Hole.
Blue Holes are submarine cave systems. Their name is derived from the fact that when viewed from the air, they often have a deep blue color--deeper and bluer than the waters that surround them. To understand their formation, one needs to go back to the beginning of the Bahama Islands themselves, back over 150 million years ago when marine sediments began to accumulate in the warm shallow seas of the tropical Atlantic. (The origins of the name Bahamas is from the Spanish words Baja Mar, meaning shallow sea). It was during this time that early corals began to colonize along the banks of sediment. These tiny corals slowly grew to form a fringing reef, which eventually solidified into limestone barriers, which in turn acted as retaining walls, trapping the sediments. Andros Island has over 350 known inland and ocean blue holes.
You can take the plunge from 15 feet off the dock to cannonball into the freshwater, or walk down the dock and slip right in. Many of the guests enjoyed their afternoon jumping, swimming and keeping their eyes peeled for the legendary Lusca. The Lusca is a old myth of a half-octopus half-shark monster that lives in the Blue Hole, this kept many of the children on the island from diving too deep into the water, so their parents could keep an eye on them! Although no Lusca was spotted the guests enjoyed their afternoon of swimming, and their cannonball competition where eleven-year-old Isabella beat everyone with her record of 46 cannonballs off the dock!
Afterwards everyone came back to Small Hope to watch a slideshow of pictures from their afternoon adventure! Follow this link to watch some cannonball action, the reaction and the excitement from Captain Bill’s Blue Hole. Pin It Now!
The Kalsi family has been coming to Small Hope since 1984. Now that the kids are all grown-up with their own families every year they all get together to see eachother and reunite with the Small Hope Bay. Reunite with each other and the Small Hope Bay Family. It is a right of passage to turn the age 10 within this special family, because at 10 you can learn how to dive. Which the majority of the family have earned their open water certifications here at Small Hope. With a grandmother like Ise, who is extremely experienced in cave diving, it’s not hard to understand that the whole family inherited the “love for diving” gene. To see a testimonial from Ise about specialty diving and her experiences at Small Hope click here. We welcome back the Kalsi’s every year and always look forward to them returning to Small Hope Family. Follow this link for a video from Indra, John, Andrew, Fletcher and Carmen on why they love Small Hope Bay Lodge.
Before leaving, Kalsi, the grandfather wrote us a testimonial about their past and present experiences at Small Hope Bay Lodge:
“We have been coming to Small Hope Bay Lodge every year since 1984, because we have found this place to be the ideal place for family vacation – wonderful diving, snorkeling, hermit crab catching, lying in the hammock, kayaking, watching satellites… and so much,much more! It always feels like coming back to a family home!” Ise and M.S. Kalsi, &family. Pin It Now!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Wayne and Sheila first visited SHBL 31 years ago on their honeymoon, and returned to the Small Hope family to enjoy a week of snorkeling, diving, hammocking and going on a tour of the many eco trails we offer where they could enjoy bird-watching the many rare species that are native to our island.
Wayne and Sheila also met up with Kevin and Rachel who were newlyweds here on their honeymoon. Kevin and Rachel learned to dive here together while doing our discovery scuba course and enjoyed days snorkeling around Goat Cay Island. Click here to hear about honeymooning at SHBL from the two couples.
“Small Hope – Large Hearts – Deep Dives – Renewed Energy. We first came to Small Hope 31 years ago on the second half of our honeymoon. We wanted the nightlife and excitement of Nassau and then wanted to dive and ‘unwind’ in a small resort away from the lights. We’ve been back to Small Hope several times since then and haven’t returned to Nassau, no desire to go back. Every time we return to Andros we ask about our first dive master, Abe, our hostess, Danby and...“the family”. Small Hope Bay Lodge is all about “the family”, because we became apart of the family, and that’s the way Dick Birch planned it. Diving is the central theme, as it should be, but people are the focus. Our desire to dive, hike, bike, kayak, explore, relax and share experiences with other guests always leaves us with something to do ‘the next time’, and there will always be a next time. Families always plan reunions.” - Wayne and Sheila Pin It Now!
Saturday, August 8, 2009
The Youngs, Robert, Kathy, Robbie and Kylie, have been visiting us for 12 years. The Small Hope Bay family welcomed them back during their most recent visit here, where Robby earned his certification as an advanced diver! The family enjoyed diving, snorkeling and visiting the Androsia Batik, where Robert keeps his tradition of buying a new shirt every year and wearing it to work back in the states! Follow this link to see a video from Robert.
“Howdy, We’ve been coming to Small Hope Bay every year since 1997 when Robby was 5 and Kylie was 2 (missing only 1 year visit). This year Kylie dove the backside of the Blue Hole and Robby went Over the Wall at night with Dad for the first time. It has been a great place for the kids to grow up and for us to relax and recharge every year. Now we have the opportunity to visit with friends that we have met in past years as well as all our friends that live on Andros. Share some our memories by visiting www.docrob.fotki.com” Pin It Now!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
This morning SHBL’s divers left the dock early at 8AM to visit the Backside of the Ocean Blue Hole. The reason for the early morning was due to the changing of the tides in order to see the ancient underwater riverbed, the mixing zone, and the “Spider Webs”.
Due to the change of tides, divers witness an underwater riverbed and a mixing zone while diving the Backside of the Blue Hole. During outgoing tide, fresh water from the interior of Andros Island migrates to the Blue Hole through connection cracks and fissures as a result of the tidal lag or the freshwater hydraulic gradient, causing denser saltwater, forming two layers. During our rainy season the denser saltwater is cooler than the above salt water by as much as 5 degrees Celsius. This allows divers to visually see 2 levels of water and what appears to be an underwater river!
The third phenomenon is “Spider Webs” or what they have also been affectionately referred to as “Whale snot”. During low tide, the decaying vegetation, which was deposited in the Blue Hole thousands of years ago, breaks down into hydrogen sulfide which is eaten by small marine life. The digestion of the hydrogen sulfide creates spider-like webs of organic material which can range in size from a few inches long to well over 20ft. in length.
This is by far one of the most unique dives Small Hope has to offer,and is the only dive like this in the Bahamas! Many divers this morning commented, “They never experienced any dive like this before”. Follow this link to watch a video on the Backside of the Blue Hole and for more information on our Blue Holes and other dives offered at Small Hope click here. Pin It Now!
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Six year old Caleb came down during the last week of July with his family- grandma and grandpa, Charlene and Randy, Mom and Dad, Stacy and Chris, big brother, Ben, Big sister and her boyfriend, Ashley and Cody. Follow this link to read about the family's time here and their testimonial to Small Hope. Caleb enjoyed fishing and SASSY diving with his family in the mornings.
However, His mission for the week was to find and eat a real coconut from the Bahamas! On his last day some of the staff got together to help Caleb find his coconut, crack it open and enjoy the coconut water, and eat the delicious pulp. Click here to watch! Pin It Now!
During last week of July Small Hope Bay welcomed back the McCalls: Randy, Charlene, Chris, Stacy, Ben, Caleb, Ashley and her boyfriend Cody. The family is long-term repeat guests here at Small Hope all whom love to dive here on Andros. Cody started diving for the first time this year while doing his discovery scuba diving course. Ben finished his certification for Advanced Open Water Diver while he was down here, and is planning to come back next year and do his Rescue Diver. Their week was full of diving, fishing, relaxing and finding the perfect coconut for six-year-old Caleb!
"One of the few running jokes among the family and some of the divemasters is when the dive boat motors start, I’m on the boat, so don’t bother asking if I’m diving tomorrow, which is absolutely true. It has been said by many kindred spirits before me that the sea seems to call me, lure me back to it time and time again, especially at Small Hope Bay. The combination of the variety of dive sites, knowledge and experience of dive staff, friendly atmosphere, and beautiful surroundings prove too strong to resist. Every member of our family settles into the island’s rhythm of fun, rest and true relaxation." - The McCall Family Pin It Now!