Bimini Diving: Reefs and Wrecks

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Whilst a huge number of divers are flocking to Bimini to dive with the Great Hammerhead Sharks over the winter months, there is a lot more to the diving in Bimini than just this one experience. Recently, the crew from Neal Watson Bimini Scuba were involved in a collaborative project to sink a series of wrecks off North Bimini to create an artificial reef. The sunken vessels are: 165 ft long J.P. Kipp Barge, 90 ft long Tug Manatee, 70 ft long Landing Craft, dubbed “The Lady in Red” and a 30 ft Cuban Refugee Boat. All at a depth of 25m (85 ft) and within swimming distance, the 4 boats make up what is now called “The Coach Sugar Memorial Dive Site” — named after Bimini’s beloved chief youth mentor, Grathen “Sugar” Robins.

We got the chance to have a look at these new wrecks and to see how they had settled in at the bottom of the sea just a few minutes boat ride from the dive centre. In the clear blue waters of The Bahamas, these wrecks can be easily seen from one to the next, making navigation easy. There is a real variety of wrecks that will soon be home to a huge range of marine life. In fact, even though these wrecks have been underwater for less than a year, already there is plenty to see, with juvenile horse-eyed jacks schooling around the site, a lionfish had also taken up residence in one of the ship’s main lights, and we also had the odd encounter with turtles and barracuda too. In sheltered areas, coral, sponges and anemones are also taking hold. We look forward to seeing these wrecks again next year when we return to Bimini and see how nature has adapted to live in this new artificial reef system.

Bimini is also a great place to chill out on a reef dive or two. We only got to dive a single reef dive on this short trip to the island, but it was a dive that shows just how healthy the reefs are in the area. The coral heads, popping up out of the sand, were covered in life, with huge schools of fish wherever you looked. Again, we saw turtles and barracuda, as well as stingrays and sharks.

In our next piece we will tell you about an amazing day trip to snorkel with wild dolphins in Bimini. Great for your day off diving and suitable for all the family.

For further information on diving in Bimini in The Bahamas, see:

www.bahamas.com

www.biminiscubacenter.com

www.biggameclubbimini.com

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown are a husband and wife team of underwater photographers. Both have degrees in environmental biology from Manchester University, with Caroline also having a masters in animal behaviour. Nick is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in underwater wildlife photography and he also has a masters in teaching. They are passionate about marine conservation and hope that their images can inspire people to look after the world's seas and oceans. Their Manchester-based company, Frogfish Photography, offers a wide range of services and advice. They offer tuition with their own tailor made course - the Complete Underwater Photography Award. The modules of the course have been written to complement the corresponding chapters in Nick's own book: Underwater Photography Art and Techniques. They also offer equipment sales and underwater photography trips in the UK and abroad. For more information visit www.frogfishphotography.com.

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