Went to the Bahamas this last weekend and was seriously disappointed. We had a great time but the visibility was terrible. In many places the vis was less then 20 feet. We drove all over the place burning gas that cost $6.15 a gallon looking for vis and didn’t find a lot.
The best vis we found was on a little strip of reef by the north end of Guana and actually some spots in the sea of Abaco had pretty good horizontal vis. All our plans of deep diving off the uninhabited keys were shot by the vis and the massive swells. On the outside of the reef there were huge swells. They had a long intervals so they were far apart but they were big, creating huge rolling waves where they hit the reef.
Catherine got really screwed by the vis, even when the vis was decent on the last day there was so much sand suspended in the water it really interfered with photos. That aspect of the trip was pretty frustrating. Well that and it took me like a day or so of practice to be able to hit the side of barn with a pole spear.
The first couple days kind of sucked discovering the bad vis, finding out it’s everywhere almost. I also seemed to miss everything the first couple days, Cal picked up shooting his gat-ku pole spear pretty much instantly while I was missing like crazy. I have to make sure I spend a couple days practicing with the pole spear before I go again. I also need to tighten up the band a little I think. I was shooting a sea stinger with the stock band which was lovely to load but I think it was under powering it a little. The first afternoon we got there I think Cal got a yellow jack . I got a couple queen triggers for the novelty of it. The next day we drove the boat all over finding all the bad vis. Then once we gave up we dove some stuff right near Guana and Cal got a Nassau and I got a horse eye jack. We found a cool swim through and decent ledge. We saw a small black and huge Nassau on the ledge but couldn’t get the shot on them.
The next day my luck seemed to be changing, I shot around 7# trigger shore diving. Apparently big ocean triggerfish cruise around in the inshore waters in Guana. There is actually some pretty awesome stuff to shore dive but I will get to that later. Next we drove around forever the other direction and found the vis sucked that way also, Cat and Cal’s mom tried to swim with some dolphins but the dolphins just laughed and flipped them the bird, staying just out of camera range.
I knew that all that commotion was going to draw fish in so I swam quickly to the spot and saw what at first I thought was an impossibly big mutton snapper but then I realized it was a dog snapper. I dropped on him slow as possible and followed him toward the reef he started swimming but didn’t spook. Inch by inch I closed the gap, then the fish messed up cutting to the right and I shot him in the tail. Fish took off like a rocket but I horsed him to the surface and he was in the boat shortly. After that we had a ton of fish so we went into the Sea of Abaco and looked for lobsters but didn’t find jack. Perhaps the same hurricane that screwed the vis drove the lobsters deep?
The next day we took it easy and tried to find stuff to dive in the sea of Abaco. We found some conchs and ate them cracked & fried that night. We did a tour of the island, checked out the beaches. We dove a little jetty and I saw a school of porgies some of which had to be pushing seven or eight pounds. We ate at Nippers, a restaurant on the island which I think sucks.
The next day in the morning while everyone else was sleeping Cat and I swam back to the jetty. When we swam up there were several huge triggers, a monster margate, two muttons and porgies which actually dwarfed the muttons all hanging out in front of it. Pretty awesome to see all those fish in fifteen feet of water, like a hundred feet from shore. The only problem is they all ran as soon as they saw us. I worked down the jetty, crawling over the top of it trying to ambush the porgies on the other side and couldn’t make it happen. The we swam around a small peninsula and hanging out in the grass there were two muttons, one of which had to be pushing 15#. I tried but couldn’t get close enough to get the shot.
Everyone was up and we headed to reef after that. We dove some new shallow spots, there were ok but not that popping. Cal and I both got another Nassau and he got a little mutton, I got another trigger. We had some close encounters with a frisky reef shark.
On the last day we found an awesome ledge and basically failed at getting any of the big fish on it. We saw a black grouper that had to be around 30#. There were two 15# Nassaus on it as well. I did get a nice cero though. Then the wind picked up and skies went gray. We all getting pretty beat from all the diving so we called it early.
The last day we went to the jetty before our flight, Cal was too lazy to swim there so he drove a skiff there and scared all the fish off it.