SCUBA Diving with Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas – New Providence, Bahamas

, SCUBA Diving with Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas – New Providence, Bahamas

We, eight of us, arrived to dive at Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas, about an hour after our arrival at the cruise ship pier, clearing customs, and a 45-minute bus ride. A couple divers rented some gear, then we boarded the “Phoecena” and headed through the cut to the open ocean.

, SCUBA Diving with Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas – New Providence, Bahamas

Heading Out to the Dive Site – “Big Crab”

We assembled our gear on the quick trip out to the first dive site, called “Big Crab” where we would see two sunken vessels, “Ray of Hope” and “Bahama Mama” lay. We descended the mooring line.

When we got to the bottom, we immediately spotted several sharks from nine-foot reef and white-tips to smaller four-foot silky sharks. Another dive boat was in the area conducting a shark-feeding adventure, so there were sharks prowling all over the area.

, SCUBA Diving with Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas – New Providence, Bahamas

Sharks All Around!

For some of our group, even seasoned divers, this was their first encounter with large numbers of shark all around us. It was fun watching them weave in and out of our group, sometimes circling, sometimes cutting between us.

The water was about 79 degrees F, the day began overcast and stormy-looking, then cleared up. Visibility was about 50-60 feet vertically, and 80 feet horizontally. My 3 mm wetsuit was quite comfortable.

, SCUBA Diving with Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas – New Providence, Bahamas

Then for Some Wreck Sights

On the “Ray of Hope” and “Bahama Mama,” we saw lots of large grouper, and other solitary fish like a giant midnight parrotfish. Inside the first wreck was a room filled with a school of small fish who seemed to be hiding from the sharks circling outside.

There was a bit of current at each wreck, but nothing difficult.

A small two- to three-foot chop made getting back on the boat a precision timing drill; it felt good to time the rise and fall perfectly and let the boat haul us up out of the water, gushing salt water across the swim platform.

, SCUBA Diving with Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas – New Providence, Bahamas

Second Dive – “Pumpkin Patch”

After our surface interval, we headed to the next dive site called “Pumpkin Patch,” probably named for the huge coral heads full of fish.

We dove at about 30 feet, had very little current, and saw every variety of Atlantic and Caribbean tropical fish imagineable. There was a hefty green moray, large spade fish, parrotfish, grunts, butterfly fish, jacks, damselfish, angel fish, and more.

We did see some lion fish, however, the dive master said they don’t spear them in such close proximity to where the shark-feeding activity occurs. They said that killing the lion fish might cause the sharks to come looking for handouts from us. Yikes!

, SCUBA Diving with Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas – New Providence, Bahamas

Evening Recap

At dinner that evening, we compared notes, looked through our fish guides, and planned to share our GoPro footage. We discussed upcoming dives, made a plan to dive the same time next year on a longer cruise, and then discussed some NASJAX Skin and Scuba Club upcoming year plans.

, SCUBA Diving with Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas – New Providence, Bahamas

Dive Tech Notes:

My first tank had a bad O-ring, so that was replaced, and feeling a bit pressured due to the delay, I got my gear on quickly and checked my air pressure. 1000 pounds. I couldn’t believe it.

Earlier that month, I had contacted iDive where I purchased my BC and regulator, and inquired about the Suunto recall. I also had contacted Suunto, and it seemed that unless you actually had already experienced a problem with your pressure gauge, then it most likely did not qualify for the recall. If it wasn’t working, I would have found out by then.

, SCUBA Diving with Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas – New Providence, Bahamas

The dive assistant quickly detached my gear, and put me on a new tank. That tank also read 1000 pounds. At this point, it was looking pretty bad for my pressure gauge. I suggested we try one of theirs, we did, and the tank still read 1000 pounds. That was good news for me; that my pressure gauge was probably working, but bad news, because we were already at the dive site at this point, with a couple divers in the water, and I needed a third tank.

Due to my health and extremely low consumption rate, I probably would have been fine, but I wasn’t willing to give it a try. A third tank was slapped on my rig, 3000 pounds, and off we went.

, SCUBA Diving with Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas – New Providence, Bahamas

What I learned: The first delay on the O-ring delayed me checking my tank. Not much I could have done about that, as I was checking it the moment the tank was placed in the holder. I learned that the more familiar you are with your gear; the faster you can recover from a tank change!

What to read next: SCUBA Diving at Coco Cay – Little Stirrup Cay – on RCCL “Enchantment of the Seas”

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