Bimini is becoming one of the most popular shark diving destinations in the world with divers and underwater photographers flocking to these tiny islands in The Bahamas to experience diving with Great Hammerhead Sharks. The dive offers the opportunity to get up close to these impressive sharks that can be up to 5m in length.
We arrived on the south island and jumped on the ferry to take us the 2 minute crossing over to the north island and our accommodation for this part of the trip, Bimini Big Game Club. This is where the Neal Watson Bimini Scuba Centre is located and where, once we had unpacked, we would be heading out for our Hammerhead Shark experience. The hotel hosts plenty of sport fishing boats, and because of the gutting of the catch each evening, the water surrounding the hotel is filled with Bull Sharks. It makes for a special post dive beer on the balcony, watching them gliding below the surface from your table.
The hammerhead shark dive is based quite close to shore, and so the journey out to the site is short; however, the preparation time and the wait for the sharks to turn up can take several hours. In our case, we were very lucky and the first sharks appeared almost instantly and we were soon gearing up and jumping in the water, but not before a thorough briefing from the crew to ensure everyone knew where to go and how to behave…
Descending down the line we could see three Hammerhead Sharks already slowly circling the sandy seabed, as well as a handful of Nurse Sharks and a solitary Bull Shark on the periphery. We took up our position, kneeling on the sand, and waited for the sharks to come in close, and they do come in very close! It is an incredible experience and one that is unique to this island, as you sit on the sandy seabed in less than 10m of clear blue water and these magnificent sharks swim past you. One dive guide is situated in the middle of the group, with a bait box, occasionally giving a shark a fish for their troubles, and an additional dive guide stays behind the group to watch over proceedings.
As it is so shallow, and the whole experience is really relaxed, you can stay for as long as your tank lasts and then head back to the boat for refreshments and a new cylinder, before heading back down for some more hammerhead action. This dive is a real treat for divers and underwater photographers alike.
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Text, Images and video by Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown of Frogfish Photography – www.frogfishphotography.com