Grand Bahama and Beyond
Enjoy some of the best diving in the Bahamas on this 10 night liveaboard adventure!
- Possible Tiger Shark & Hammerhead Shark encounters
- Colourful wall diving
- Excellent wreck dives
Areas visited on this liveaboard itinerary include:
GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND
West End / Tiger Beach
Tiger Beach is a 52 km2 (20 square mile) area located around 30 nautical miles oﬀ the West End of Grand Bahama Island and the best known point for tiger sharks, Caribbean reef and lemon shark encounters, as well as the occasional appearance of great hammerheads. At a depth of around 8-10m (26-33ft), and average visibility of 25 metres (80+ ft), this white sandy bottom area is the ultimate site for photographers and videographers to get their dream close up shots. We usually meet pregnant female tiger sharks that remain in these shallow waters for several months on end.
During a trip to Tiger Beach, you will not only encounter these impressive sharks, but are likely to get to know and discern 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
There are various mooring/ anchor points throughout the Tiger Beach area at relatively shallow depths where we will stop for these breath-taking dives. Guests will be invited to dive in groups of 8 where they will form a ‘V’ formation kneeling in the sand, with one of our expert shark divers at the apex of the ‘V’. The tiger sharks typically arrive soon after we enter the water, at which point the show will begin.
An average dive at Tiger Beach can bring as many as 6 (sometimes many more) tiger sharks into the area. The majestic tigers will swim from the outer limits of your ‘V’ formation to the apex where our feeder will be waiting with the bait box.
After feeding, the sharks will be redirected back down the middle of the ‘V’ allowing for some amazing close encounters and jaw dropping photograph opportunities. In addition to the tiger sharks, there are good chances of seeing bull sharks, black tip reef sharks, lemon sharks and, if you’re lucky, you may even see a great hammerhead!
Located not far from Tiger Beach, 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 parrot ﬁsh that can be seen all over the wreck. Lying in only 6 metres (20 feet) 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.
The peak of this 450+ metre (1,475 ft) 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 top of the pinnacle is relatively shallow at around 18 metres where there is still plenty to see amongst the awe inspiring coral canyons. A range of shark species, sea turtles, manta rays and dolphins often visit the site.
The aﬀectionately named Mini Wall, or Shark Ledge as you may ﬁnd it called in some guides, is exactly as it sounds. A beautiful ledge that drops from around 5 metres to 21 metres (approx. 15 - 70 feet). 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.
Built in Norway in 1958, the 70 metre (229ft) long cargo vessel was owned by the Bahama Cement Company and used for transporting cement during the 1970s under the name MV Island Cement. She was taken out of service in 1980 and scuttled to create an artiﬁcial reef and dive site in 1982.
Located approximately 2.5kms (1.5 miles) oﬀ the coast of Grand Bahama, the wreck rests on her port side on the sandy bottom at a depth of approximately 30 metres (100ft) between the reef and the continental shelf drop oﬀ. Due to her location, currents can be strong depending on the tides; Her position is marked by buoys attached to her stern and bow, which are also used as descent and ascent lines.
During her 30 years at rest on the ocean ﬂoor, Theo's Wreck has become rich in marine life with sponges and corals covering many parts, and is easily penetrable for those with the certiﬁcation and experience to do so.
Shark Junction is one of the signature dive sites of Grand Bahama and is famous for its large schools of reef sharks. Located close to the reef on the south coast of the Grand Bahama, just outside of Port Lucaya, Shark Junction is also known for its large groupers. The sandy bottom, with scattered coral boulders also plays host to a variety of more elusive marine creatures, including stingrays and moray eels.
Sea Star wreck
Intentionally sunk in April 2002, the Sea Star II, formerly known as Emmanuelle, is a 55 metre (180 ft) long freighter, split into two parts, which rests upright at a depth of around 28 metres (92 ft). Cement ballast and holes that were part of the preparation for the vessel's sinking are still visible in the large cargo hold which is easily accessible for exploration from the main deck. Divers who are more experienced in wreck penetration can also explore other areas such as the kitchen, crew quarters and wheelhouse.
The wreck is home to a varied species of marine plants and ﬁsh including grunts, jacks, the occasional barracuda and schools of snapper which hang out in the small crane located on the main deck.
Located close to the edge of the reef, near the drop-oﬀ along the Port Lucaya coast line, 'The Caves' are actually an arrangement of reef formations with a lot of swim-throughs. With so many cracks and crevices providing hiding places for ﬁsh and critters it's hard to know where to look for fear of missing something. Along the reef, sharks can frequently be spotted as well as a variety of groupers and jacks.
Bimini Barge wreck
The 60 metre (200 ft) long Bimini Barge wreck sits upright on sand at a depth of 30 metres, on the north-western edge of the Great Bahama Bank. Due to her proximity to the wall, along the edge of the Atlantic Gulf Stream, currents can be strong and unpredictable but, with them come a variety of sharks and other pelagics. Around the wreck, nurse sharks and southern stingrays are often spotted resting on the sand while the vessel itself is overgrown with corals and sponges creating a beautiful artiﬁcial reef where grouper, jacks and barracuda can be found hanging around the vessel's hull.
Bimini Trader wreck
Just south from the Bimini Barge is the wreck of the Bimini Trader; a 27 metre (90 ft) freight vessel that suﬀered substantial damage during Hurricane Andrew in 1992. She sank oﬀshore from South Bimini and now rests upside down at a depth of approximately 26 metres (85ft).
As with the Bimini Barge, currents can be very strong as the wreck is close to the continental shelf and gulfstream, but it's a great location for schooling ﬁsh, goliath groupers, turtles and a variety of sharks.
SS Sapona wreck
Built by Liberty Ship Building Company and launched in 1920, the SS Sapona was a concrete hulled cargo steamer which was used as a ﬂoating warehouse for liquor storage and distribution during the US Prohibition Era. She ran aground and sustained substantial damage during a hurricane in 1926 and was subsequently used for military target practice by the US Navy during WWII. Today she still remains upright in just 5 metres (16 ft) of water with her superstructure more or less intact and sitting proud above the water.
Tuna Alley reef
Often called one of the best dive sites in the Caribbean, Tuna Alley gets its name from the large numbers of tuna that are frequently spotted along the reef. Gulf Stream currents keep the corals vibrant and healthy and, when present, make for a great drift dive along the wall which starts at 13 metres (45 ft) and slopes gently down to 30 metres (100 ft) with caves and swim-throughs to explore along the way.
Running parallel to the western shoreline of North Bimini for almost 1.5km (1 mile) this stunning reef is teeming with life from small, brightly coloured reef ﬁsh to dolphins, rays and sharks. Despite its namesake, it is rare to ﬁnd Hawksbill turtles here but the abundance and variety of other marine life will not leave you disappointed.
EXPERIENCE REQUIRED: Divers must be advanced, 18 years of age over and have at least 50 dives to enjoy this itinerary.