The following is a sample itinerary of dive sites we may visit during your liveaboard safari on board Bahamas Master. We wish to show you the very best diving possible, however, a number of factors can determine which sites we visit. Our Cruise Director and Diving Director, along with the Captain will take weather, tides, currents and many other factors into consideration to determine which route the yacht takes, and which sites are selected for diving. Whilst we attempt to ensure the number of dives we have scheduled is fulfilled, bad weather can hinder the yacht's ability to reach a specified dive site in good time. The safety of all on board is paramount and we always do our best in offering diving at alternate locations should we be unable to visit those sites listed below. This itinerary involves some long distance (overnight) travel.
The diving day on board Bahamas Master has a typical schedule as follows:
Light Breakfast followed by Dive 1
Full Breakfast, relaxation period, Dive 2
Lunch, relaxation period, Dive 3, then open pool
Dive 4 sunset dive or night dive, where possible
Dinner will be served after sunset dive and before night dive
When in the Tiger Beach area, dives 1-3 are scheduled baited/shark feeding dives during which divers are strategically positioned on the bottom facing the shark feeder. Extra weights help divers to maintain their position in the water as to fully enjoy the shark action.
In addition to the core baited 'feeding' dives, at Tiger Beach we will also offer a mix of traditional reef and wall dives. Weather dependent, we will also offer multiple sunset and night dives throughout your trip, these may be traditional dives over the reef areas, or when conditions are perfect, a night feeding dive.
Much of the diving in the Bahamas is comparatively shallow, which allows for 'open pool diving' after the scheduled baited/feeding dives until sunset. For your final day aboard, we schedule two morning dives to allow plenty of time for off-gassing before disembarkation and your flight home. Guests are responsible for their own dive profiles and for obtaining suitable dive insurance to cover all diving activities.
Dive sites we visit include but are not limited to:
Tiger Beach - Grand Bahama Island
Tiger Beach is a 20 square mile area located around 30 nautical miles off the West End of Grand Bahama Island and the best known point for tiger, great hammerhead, Caribbean reef and lemon shark encounters at a shallow (8-10m/26-33ft) white sand bottom. This is the ultimate site for photographers and videographers.
b lue o two SIREN FLEET THE JUNK
Nurse sharks can generally be spotted, even though they tend to be shy. Bull sharks make an occasional appearance.
We usually meet pregnant female tiger sharks that remain in these shallow waters for several months on end. Therefore, we are familiar with these ladies and we consider them our friends. During a trip to Tiger Beach, you will not only encounter these impressive sharks, but are likely to get to know and discern the several individuals, like Emma and Princess. The theory is that female tiger sharks, after mating in the deep waters, seek the protection of the shallow sandy plateau to fulfil their pregnancy. Where these ladies give birth is yet to be discovered.
Baited Feeding Dives
We have various mooring/anchor points throughout the Tiger Beach area at relatively shallow depths where we will stop for these breathtaking dives. Guests will be invited to dive in groups of 8 where you and other guests will form a 'V' formation kneeling in the white sand, with one of our expert shark divers at the apex of the 'V'. The tigers typically arrive soon after we enter the water, at which point the show will begin. An average dive can bring as many as 6 (and sometimes many more) tiger sharks. As part of your comprehensive safety briefing, you will be taught to point at all sharks you see. The majestic tigers will swim from the outer limits of your 'V' formation to the apex where our feeder will be waiting with his/her bait box full of tasty treats, after feeding, the sharks will be redirected back down the middle of the 'V' allowing for some amazing close encounters and jaw dropping photographs! In addition to the tigers, the ultimate stars of the show, there are good chances to see bull sharks, black tip reef sharks, lemon sharks, bull sharks as well. And if you're lucky, you may even see a great hammerhead!
Open Pool Dives
Our open pool dives are exactly what they sound like. Our dive team will open the dive deck to all guests allowing you to dive at your leisure. Typically, the open pool dives will be at the same site where the vessel is moored for the feeding dives, and will usually take place immediately following a feeding dive meaning there should still be plenty of activity; you can enjoy your diving accompanied by bull, lemon, and reef sharks, though the tiger sharks tend to move on pretty quickly once the bait box comes out of the water.
Though purely weather dependent, we will always do our best to offer guests multiple sunset/night dives throughout our itinerary at a range of sites, depending on where the vessel is moored at any given time. The thrill of seeing the amazing sharks of the Bahamas during the day can only be surpassed by seeing these magnificent creatures switch into hunting mode by night. Our vessel carries underwater torches as part of our rental gear in case you did not bring any, We will also issue all divers with a colour coded beacon to attach to your first stage to ensure our guides can keep track of your whereabouts at all times on the night dive. Conversely, our guides will have beacons of a different colour for your ease of recognition.
As well as being world famous for its crystal-clear waters and powdery, white sandy bottom, the Tiger Beach area is also home to a multitude of reef networks mini walls, and of course the continental shelf with drop offs to more than 600m/2,000ft, though our average dives in these areas are no deeper than 30m/100ft.
The peak of this 450 meter-plus tall coral-encrusted underwater pinnacle lies at the outer reaches of the Tiger Beach area. Although this site is best explored as a deep or even technical dive, the peak of the pinnacle reaches 18 meters where there is still plenty to see. A range of shark species, sea turtles and dolphins often visit the site.
The affectionately named 'Mini Wall', or Shark Ledge as you may find it in some guides, is exactly as it sounds. A beautiful ledge, that drops from 15 feet to about 70 feet (4.5-2lm). The site is covered in a mix of healthy soft and hard coral, and is patrolled by multiple Caribbean reef sharks, and large groupers. Occasionally, you will also see turtles and eagle rays here. You may even be lucky enough to spot one of the large great hammerheads that also visit the area.
Sugar Wreck was an old sailing ship that sank whilst carrying, unsurprisingly, sugar, to the Caribbean. Abundant in fish life, the bones of the ship are now home to congregations of snappers, grunts, wrasse, gobies, angelfish and parrotfish that can be seen all over the wreck. Lying in only 20 feet (6m) of water, this is a dive site accessible only with our tender. In addition to the wide array of fish that can be seen at the site, sometimes you will also see reef, lemon, nurse and tiger sharks lingering.