If you want to take a break from all the fantastic shark diving, maybe spend some time without a cylinder on your back, and want to simply take in the wonderful topside treats the Bahamas have to offer, then you cannot go far wrong with The Exumas.
The Exumas are made up of 365 tiny islands and cays that stretch out over 120 miles of gorgeous blue sea. Grab your camera (and underwater housing), sunglasses and some snorkelling gear and you are all set to spend a day exploring by boat. The Exumas are most famous for being a location for two James Bond films. But now, perhaps, the swimming pigs might be their most popular attraction.
The best way to see the islands is to hire a private speed boat for a small group of adventurous people. Ask them to take you to see the swimming pigs early, to beat the other tourist crowds that flock here each day. By missing out on the tours that include all the famous people’s houses, you can spend more time in the water with the lovely pigs of Big Major Cay. The pigs are now familiar with visitors and expect a treat or two as they swim out to all arriving boats. The water is crystal clear and so wide angle photography is a treat here.
Also make sure that your boat captain has the tide times in hand for another great underwater photography location, Compass Cay. If you time your visit right, and they are not dredging as they were on our only visit, then you can photograph nurse sharks in shallow water, as they swim over the pier in search of fish scraps. Even if the tide is too low for them to venture onto the pier, they will swim up to anyone wading into the water.
Thunderball Grotto is another popular spot to stop and cool off in the water. Here you can snorkel into the cave where a scene from the James Bond film of the same name was filmed. Light penetrates down into the water creating dramatic effects.
There is also a sunken plane to snorkel over. This was a drug running plane that came down in very shallow water and can be seen from the boat. Get into the water and you can snorkel right into the open cockpit, which now is home to lots of colourful fish.
The Exumas offers a perfect place to wind down and relax whilst still coming up with the goods when it comes to underwater photography. The tour is suitable for all ages and non-divers will really enjoy seeing such a wide variety of wildlife, wrecks and underwater scenery. Combine all this with wonderful white beaches and this will be a day out to remember.
For more from Nick and Caroline, visit www.frogfishphotography.com.