Bahamas dive, help pick spot

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Cinders

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Hi all!

Have 2 blank tickets for SW airlines (so anywhere they go with 1 stop between). I think Mexico or Bahamas is in order, my g/f is a brand new diver, this will be her first dive outside of class. I'm more experienced, but I'm looking for
+visibility (June timeframe)
+easy diving for her
+underwater scenery
+easy wreck dives if possible

Please nowhere with a shark, I think she'd never get back in the water, lol.

I've been to Cozumel, which had amazing diving right off the coast, and seemed very easy for a newbie.

Options are:
Cancun
Nassau
San Juan
Aruba
Punta Cana
Montego Bay
Cabo San Lucas
Puerto Vallarta
Florida

Appreciate the input!
 

diversteve

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Nassau is probably a no-go if you're serious about the g/f shark fear. One operator is Stuart Cove's - world famous for shark dives. Also a lot of wrecks, both natural and man-made (movie props etc.) so when the sharks aren't being fed guess where they are?

Bahama Divers is the only other option on the island. If you don't do their Blue Hole dive, your chance of seeing sharks is less but still possible. The Bahamas are known for shark encounters at most of the islands.

Aruba is probably a good option for you both, likelihood of a shark sighting there is small and it's easy shallow diving. You can even shore dive there if the g/f is comfortable with it. Lots of pretty reef in the ABC islands also. 5 of the best Aruba wreck dives

Another option is Curacao, it's only 50 miles/$60 r/t mid-week from Aruba - double on the weekend. Some easy entry shore diving there - mostly off beaches. And the boat dives are easy - there's really not a lot of current anywhere and the reef parallels the shore. Not a lot of wrecks on Curacao but the Tugboat is a famous dive site and only 17' deep. The pier nearby goes to about 40'? and is decent also. Superior Producer is the signature wreck but it's deep. Curacao also has guided shore dives with the Dive Bus, Atlantis Diving, Bas Harts Diving or others. Scuba Shore Diving Region: ABC Islands

It's possible the visibility off Curacao and Aruba will be better than the Bahamas.

On your list, San Juan has poor diving. There's good diving elsewhere on PR though if you're willing to drive across the island. I personally have never considered Punta Cana a dive destination. Although other parts of the DR are supposed to be pretty good.

my .02...
 
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SouthSideScubaSteve

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Lots of shallower dives in the upper keys, although a bit of a drive from FFL (don't think SW fly's into Miami)

---------- Post added April 20th, 2015 at 07:55 PM ----------

One other FL thought. The SE Coast has some outstanding drift diving, but the depths tend to be near the max for an OW Diver...

There are ops all along the coast from FLL heading north that are well regarded; I've had some great dives with Underwater Explorers out of Boynton Beach
 

RJP

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Not sure what your budget is, nor how much diving you want to do, but how about a liveaboard in the Bahamas?

Aggressor/Dancer Fleet often has deals on their Carib Dancer boat. When my buddy and I went two years ago I think we paid less than $1300. That's for all diving, food, drinks, etc, etc for a week. A very cost-efficient trip, especially if you've got free airfare to get there. https://www.aggressor.com/bahamas.php


You can kick it up a notch to the AquaCat, which is more spacious/luxurious... and more expensive. http://aquacatcruises.com/

There are also even-less-expensive options such as Blackbeards, but they are sailing vessels and a bit more "camping at sea" as compared to Carib Dancer and Aqua Cat. Bahamas Scuba Diving Liveaboards - Blackbeard's Cruises

As for sharks? Don't show her this video from our Bahamas trip...

[video=youtube;WcEuirwpXm4]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcEuirwpXm4[/video]
 

Jordan23

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hi

we are also couple with 40 dive expiriense.. trying to find also afordble spots that have +visibility (july- august timeframe), +easy diving
+underwater scenery

i chacked the agressor its 2300$ not
d I went two years ago I think we paid less than $1300...

thanks for your help
 

RJP

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Thanks. And what in bonair ,etc?

Bonaire is all about shore diving. Rent a pick-up truck, load it with tanks, drive around, go diving.

bonaire2.jpg
 

ColoDale

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Nassau is known for sharks and Cozumel can have strong currents.

Agree - been to both.

We saw fewer sharks in Exuma Bahamas than around New Providence (Nassau) and the diving easy. Alot of sand tho. We did dive a blue hole which may not be suited for your girlfriend. It is nearly vertical so you could see light. There are a few small wrecks around. Exuma has the Thunderball grotto (Staniel Cay) and swimming pigs for topside fun. You would have a connecting flight from Nassau.

I think Cozumel is easy drift diving. Alot of beginners are hesitant to dive Cozumel but with decent bouyancy they can handle it. You have been there so you can gauge it. Only one wreck. You would need to do the bag drag from Cancun and then ferry to Cozumel or take a short flight to Cozumel.

You might consider diving south of Cancun. Maybe around Akumal. I will be doing that in June for the first time. I understand lots of turtles and the current less than Cozumel but it could still be there unless you are in one of the bays. Cenotes would be near also.
I prefer the reefs in Cozumel to those in the Bahamas and the reef around the Mexican mainland should be similar to Cozumel (except walls possibly). Vis should be good. I don't know of any wrecks there though. There should be some reports in the Mexico forum here.

Aruba seems like a really good option and maybe Curacao even better. We looked into the latter but unable to pull the trigger on it. Of all the options, this one is the most appealing especially with free airfare.

You could check into flying into south Florida and getting to the Keys. I have not been but my wife has and she liked it. She was a newer diver when she did them.
 

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