Sharks, Turtles & Pigs in Abaco (watch video)

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Another island on our hit list of places to dive that we had not previously visited was Abaco in The Bahamas. This part of our island-hopping tour was to see us landing on the main land of Abaco and then jumping on the ferry to take us to Bluff House Beach Resort on Green Turtle Cay.

The ferry ride is about 20 minutes and they pull up on the resort’s own dock. There we were given a golf cart to use for our short stay so we could easily move all our diving and camera gear from our house to the dock each morning and evening.

We were going diving with a legend over the next couple of days, with Brendal’s Dive Centre, and we were looking forward to hearing a bit about the history of diving in The Bahamas, as well as seeing what these islands have to offer divers.

We were not disappointed. Brendal’s is a family run dive shop, so while mum, Mary, got our paperwork and equipment sorted, dad and son, Brendal and Kyle, were preparing the boat and they soon had us heading out to dive a wreck of the first US steamship the San Jacinto, which sank in 1865. The wreck is broken up and scattered over a large area in shallow water that makes it home to a huge array of marine life. It was a great start!

On the way back we explored a pristine reef, checking out lobster and eels hiding in every crevice as the sun shone down on us on this shallow and relaxing dive. We stopped for a bite to eat in a shallow sandy bay and watched in amazement as eagle rays glided by. Then, to top off an already excellent day of diving, we spent the rest of the day being entertained by the swimming pigs.

The following day, we headed out to do a shark dive, attracting Caribbean Reef Sharks to the reef by hanging fish scraps in a box off the bow of the boat. Soon we had five big sharks, and one tiny one circling us, occasionally letting their senses get the better of them and trying to grab a scrap from the box. Large grouper also hung around in the hope of getting left-overs at the end of the dive.

As we surfaced, the conditions which had threatened to prevent us diving at all, had started to worsen. We feared the worst, but Brendal and Kyle steered the boat towards shore and a sheltered bay and started throwing some fish scraps into the water. Soon we were joined by sharks, turtles and rays in shallow water over sand and seagrass. We were left to decide whether to scuba dive or just snorkel. The storm broke as we entered the water, but a bit of heavy rain was not going to stop us enjoying this experience! We enjoyed the company of Lemon Sharks, Caribbean Reef Sharks, Hawksbill and Green Turtles and Southern Stingrays all in about 3 meters of water. They were going to have to drag us out!

We celebrated an excellent couple of days diving with a super meal back at Bluff House. Alas, the weather did prevent us diving with Dive Abaco the next day, and so instead, Keith gave us a fantastic tour of the island. For us, it was time to move on once again.

For more information please visit:

www.bluffhouse.com

www.brendal.com

www.bahamas.com


Images & text by Frogfish Photography

Equipment used:

  • Olympus OMD EM-1 MKII
  • Nauticam Housing
  • Inon Strobes
  • Paralenz Dive Camera
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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