Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Child Friendly Resort

Small Hope Bay Lodge is a family owner and operated, all-inclusive resort on Andros island in the Bahamas. In addition to be a great place to come with your friends or loved ones for some diving/fishing adventures or perhaps a little relaxation on the beach, Small Hope Bay Lodge is the perfect destination for a family holiday!

With so many activities for them the choose from the kids will have a great time. Searching for crabs on the beach, kayaking the bay, jumping into Captain Bill's Blue Hole, catching some wahoo on a deep sea fishing trip or learning how to dive are just some of the things the kids will do while here at Small Hope.

This week I sat down with some youngsters that came with their families to talk about their trip, the activities they enjoyed and making new friends at Small Hope. Check out the video below.... 

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Bahamas Beachside Wedding

Nick and Jessica came to Small Hope Bay Lodge in February to celebrate their wedding. While they were here they also became open water certified divers! Congratulations to them on both accounts. 

Check out this video of the ceremony!

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Goofy Divemasters

It is always a treat to have divemaster Tony on the dock or out in the dive boat. It is never a dull moment when he is dancing or signing or just goofing around. Check out this video of some memorable moments from Tony's time at the Small Hope Bay Lodge Dive Center

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Small Hope Bay Lodge's Positive Impact on Young Diver

Gabriella is a young girl who came to Small Hope Bay Lodge last summer with her parents. Both mom and dad were divers and being that she was 10 years old she decided it was time she became a Junior Open water Diver. Ella worked hard during her stay and within a short time she was certified! She was able to go on many dives with her parents including two dives to Shark Emporium.  This dive was particularly fun for her. It was her first time seeing sharks and diving with them was something she was curious about and something that had a big impact on her life. 

When Ella returned home she took part in an educational program done by the organization PeaceFirst. While the fundamental lessons of the activities she took part in would be very beneficial to children of her age, Ella was quite dismayed by the misrepresentation the activity made about sharks, which she had come to love so much. The activity painted sharks as vicious and likely to harm/kill people. Below is her response to these activities. Ella took it upon herself to voice her opinions to the organization and in turn they have decided to change their curriculum. 

Ella is aware, as many of us are, that shark populations are facing more trouble than ever before. As well she can appreciate that as apex predators they are extremely beneficial to our ocean's ecosystems. Many factors are contributing to their declining numbers, however humans are at the top of that list. The motivation behind Ella's mission to change the curriculum at PeaceFirst is simply that we need more people to care and stand-up for sharks. If everyone knew the truth about sharks, that they are not blood-thirsty, man eating machines, but instead beautiful, curious and impressive creatures, ones that are vital to the survival of our seas, they might, like Ella take a stand and protect them. 

We are very proud of the work Ella has done. Being courageous enough to stand up for what you believe in at such a young age is quite impressive. May we all learn from Ella's experience and do our best to advocate for those who can not advocate for themselves. 

Please read Ella's letter to PeaceFirst below and well as the response she received from them.

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Conch Chowder!

Always a favorite around the Small Hope lunch table is Conch Chowder. This is the perfect meal to replenish your energy after a morning of diving or out on the flats fishing. Now with this recipe you can bring some of the Bahamas and Small Hope Bay Lodge to your lunch or dinner table. With all the snow this winter this is the perfect dish to warm you up after shoveling the driveway! Enjoy!


Vegetable oil                         2 Tbs
Onion, small dice                 1
Celery, small diced         2 pcs
Sweet Pepper small diced 1
Tomatoes, small diced         2
Garlic chopped (cloves)       4
Tomato Paste                 ½ cup
Flour                                 ¾ cup
Conch                                 2 lbs.
Fish Stock, as needed         3 q.
Carrots, medium dice         2
Potatoes, medium dice 2
Thyme                                 2 Tbs
Salt, as needed              1 Tbs
Pepper, as needed         1 Tbs
Pepper sauce                  ¼ teaspoon


1.      Sauté onions, pepper, and tomatoes in a pot with the vegetable oil until a little brown and tender.
2.      Add tomato paste, flour, and cook until aroma rises, and brown a little.
3.      Add conch and mix until well blended with mixture in the pot.
4.      Add Water to pot increasing amount as necessary.
5.      Season with thyme, salt and pepper.
6.      Let come to a boil, and reduce down to a simmer.
7.      Add carrots, and potatoes.
8.      Cook for 45 minutes, or until carrots and potatoes are tender and soup has thickened slightly.
9.      If not proper consistency then mix 1 cup of cornstarch with 1 cup of cold water, then add to the pot.
10.  Chowder can now be served

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Dive with Sharks in the Bahamas

Small Hope Bay Lodge Shark Observation Dive

Divers and snorkelers can enjoy a thrill of a lifetime while learning about some of the most misunderstood creatures in the ocean. Our shark observation dive allow divers and snorkelers to view sharks up close, in their own habitat and witness the beauty and majesty of these incredible fish. 
At Small Hope Bay Lodge the objective of the shark encounter is to raise awareness, evoke a sense of responsibility and to have fun! Our shark encounter provides the sharks with a small amount of supplemental food on an irregular basis, not making the sharks dependent on us as a food source, yet still allows us to experience the thrill of being up close and personal with one of the ocean's top predators. 
As the boat approaches the site, we can see the sharks begin to gather. An average of a dozen Caribbean reef shark at a time show up for a frozen chum ball feed. The chum ball, composed of frozen fish parts, hangs suspended on a fixed line 40 feet below the surface. Divers kneel off to the side on the sandy bottom at a depth of 60 feet. Other than providing them a free meal, to which they help themselves, we do not interfere with the sharks or molest them in any way. 
Join us for an experience of a lifetime! 
Check out the the Small Hope Sharks Experience Here
Learn more about these incredible creatures below...

          cSharks have roamed our oceans since before the time of dinosaurs, but their long reign at the top of the ocean food chain may be ending. The onset of industrial fishing over the past 60 years has drastically depleted their populations. Of the shark and ray species assessed by scientists for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 30 percent are threatened or near-threatened with extinctionThere are many threats facing sharks today that include by-catch, where sharks are killed when other seafood is being targeted, recreational fishing, sharks being used for ingredients in cosmetics or health supplements, destruction of habitat and more. Shark fins  are now among the most expensive sea food product in the world. In general sharks are slow growing, late to mature and over long lifetimes will produce few offspring.This leaves them quite vulnerable to over exploitation and slow to recover from depletion. Being that sharks are a top predator within the ocean their depletion presents risks for the entire ocean ecosystem. A decline in the population of Tiger Sharks in a certain area will directly effect the population of sea grass beds. With nothing there to prey on the sea turtle population they will flourish and in turn deplete the vital sea grass beds, which would be an important and devastating loss of habitat.

 How can you help

Visit these sites to see how you can get involved and help preserve the world's shark populations. Keep fun and educational programs such as the Small Hope shark observation dive going by helping to conserve our ocean's sharks!

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