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Bahamas December 2002

Bahamas December 2002

December 21st we arrived in Nassau to begin our next diving adventure,  We arrived at the sailboat (Avalon) around 3:30 PM.  tn_avalon060aGretchin, Marilyn, Paula and myself tn_avalon014were the last to arrive.  Already on board were Mai, Jeff, Phillip, Lori, Nick, Tim and Sarah.  The crew was Captain Jack & wife Renée; Dive Master and assistant captain John; chief chef, Chris; and engineer Joe.  We got underway and went to a close dive site of some coral heads not far from Nassau.  The water temperature was 73.  The visibility was poor due the late afternoon dive around the shortest day of the year.  We didn't take any camtn_avalon114aera gear with us on this time because we wanted to use it as a checkout dive.  We did see six lobsters.  We returned to the marina and stayed on the boat there. December 22nd we traveled to Nassau Blue Hole.  Visibility was 60 to 80 feet and water temperature was still 73.  Our next dive was at a location name Dog Rocks.  We did a wall dive.  The coral and fish life reminded me of the Cayman Islands.  The water temperature was 79 at this location.  The dive was in excess of 100 feet.  Everybody agreed that this was a great dive.  The third dive that day was at a sitecalled Closemon.  Great color at that site.  Huge porcupine fish was spotted.  We also saw many Christmas tree worms.  The last dive of the day and also a night dive was done at the same site.  I chose not to go - Paula, Gretchin, Marylin, and Jeff did the night dive, but returned to the boat after about 20 minutes because of a strong current.  December tn_avalon18023rd our first dive was at Barracuda Atoll.  The current was very strong so no camera gear was used on the dive.  The second dive on the 23rd was at Hammerhead Gulch.  No hammerheads but we did see a reef shark. The 3rd dive was a night dive at Hammerhead Gulch.  Just a few divers went because of the strong current.  Paula saw the biggest turtle yet and dove against the strongest current of her diving experience.  Dec 24th we dove the Austin Smith, a Bahamian coast guard cutter.  The wheel house had been torn off in a storm and was laying beside the boat.  The return to the boat was difficult, The waves were high and it was hard to get on and up the ladder with the camera gear.  Next dive was on Basket Star Reef,  This was a good dive with a large stingray checking us out.  We then went back to Hammerhead Gulch.  This was a great dive.  I had a great encounter with two tn_avalon207asharksthat made my heart beat fast for a short time.  We also spotted a large turtle that was missing one flipper.  We then did our Christmas Eve night dive at the same site (Hammerhead Gulch).  We spotted an octopus that touched one of my gloves with his tentacles.  Christmas day - our first dive was at Blacktip Wall.  I would have to rate this dive as just ok.  Again we exceeded 100 feet searching for fish life.  Sea creatures were few and far between.  The 2nd dive on Christmas was at Whale Shark Wall.  Paula got great still of a reef shark.  The next dive on Christmas was at Lobster No Lobster.  We encounter the largest nurse shark that any of us have ever seen.  I had a big stingray swim up to me and land on the sand right in front of me,  It made great video. December 26th we travel back to Nassau Blue Hole.  We saw a black tip shark and a nurse shark up high in the blue hole.  We saw the shadows of four sharks swimming around down below us.  Paula though it was a cool dive.  I would have rather tried a new dive spot.  The last dive of the trip was limited to Gretchin, Mai, Jeff and myself at Pinnacle Reef.  We brought some bagels and other leftovers and gave the fish a good feeding.  I was able to get some good video of the fish..  They were quite friendly since the glass bottom boat feeds the fish on a regular basis.  We now proceeded back to the marina for the rest of the trip.  We had some free time to visit the local casino and aquarium.  Felt sorry for many of the fish in the aquarium after seeing them swimming free in the great blue.  It was now time to head back to reality.  I tn_avalon411awould rate this trip overall as fair.  I have previously sailed with Lost Island Voyages on the Avalon once before and my wife was lucky enough to sail twice with them.  The previous trips were both rated fabulous.  The weather on our very first trip was far worse with very rough seas - still fabulous.  Paula's trip during July was also rated fabulous.  Calm seas and hot weather abounded during her summer trip.  This trip, even though we were on a live aboard, we never traveled that far from Nassau.  We could have made any site we dove in a half day trip.  A little disappointing. 

Pictures of trip