Carib Dancer

Welcome to the Bahamas and aboard the Dancer Fleet’s liveaboard dive boat the Carib Dancer. This vacation package is exactly what your should treat yourself to. Your 7-day scuba diving adventure departs from Nassau and takes you to the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park where you will explore lush coral reefs and dramatic walls in crystal clear tropical Atlantic Ocean waters.

Located just 50 miles (80 km.) off the coast of Florida, the more than 2,000 islands and cays of the Bahamas cover some 100,000 square miles (260,000 square km.) and boasts an incredible diversity of marine life. Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park is a protected marine park consisting of more than 350 small islands and cays over an area of 176 square miles (455 square km.). The Carib Dancer will transport you to remote dive spots where you will experience thrilling shark encounters, mysterious blue holes, caverns, and shipwrecks. Beginning and experienced divers alike will spot every type of ocean critter imaginable, from Angelfish and Butterflyfish to Barracuda and Grouper. On night dives you will experience another world of critters and their unique behaviors.

Just two seasons make up the climate in the Bahamas: summer, from May through October, and winter, from November through April. The summer months bring a fair amount of rainfall in the form of short, intense showers. Air temperatures range between 76° and 90°F (24.4°-32°C) and water temperatures are warm, averaging between 78° and 84°F (25.5°-29°C). During the winter months air temperatures can be between 72° and 85°F (22.2°-29°C). Water temperatures range from 75° to 80°F (24°-26.6°C), although in late January they can drop to 72°F (22.2°C) when strong winds from the north bring some rain and cooler temperatures. Even though the hurricane season occurs over the summer months, the probability of a hurricane hitting the Bahamas at this time of year is comparatively low, making summertime an ideal time of year to visit. Because of the number of dives you will be making each day, it is recommended that you wear a light wetsuit. Some people prefer a 3-5mm. suit for added thermal protection.

All dives will be made from the dive deck of the Carib Dancer. You will be able to make up to five dives each day, including a night dive. Two dives will be offered on the last day. Before making your first dive, you must show the divemaster either your c-card or some other proof of diving certification. With pleasantly warm winters, the diving season in the Bahamas is year round. Underwater visibility can be upwards of 200 feet (61 m.).

The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park stretch down from New Providence to the islands of Great and Little Exuma. The Exumas are considered an island chain within the chain of the Out Islands. The most exotic of the Out Islands are the Cays with clear aquamarine waters, dramatic walls, and shallow reefs teeming with life.

While at Nassau, you will visit Lost Blue Hole, the rim of which lies in 40 feet (12 m.) of water. Lost Blue Hole is the site of the first Lionfish sighting in the Bahamas. Coral heads, Sting Rays, and numerous schools of fish surround the rim. A crevice at 80 feet (24 m.) is filled with Lobsters. Banded Jawfish, Tobacco Fish, and Seminole Gobies swim around the sandy area that surrounds the hole. In the spring, a large school of Blacknose Sharks inhabits the bottom of this 200-foot (61 m.) hole.

The fish are prolific at Amberjack Reef in Exumas. Look for big animals such as reef sharks and grouper, and also small critters such as Garden Eels and Pirate Bennies. Typically one hundred or more Horse-eyed Jacks congregate under the boat when it is performing a safety stop.

Resting practically intact at a depth of 60 feet (18 m.) is the wreck of the Austin Smith, a 90-foot (27 m.) Bahamian Defense Force Cutter. In 1995, while en route to San Salvador where it was to be sunk for use as an artificial reef and wreck dive location, the Austin Smith accidentally sank just east of Normans Cay. Today the Austin Smith flourishes with amazing corals, sponges, and sea fans, making it a nearly perfect artificial reef. The marine life in the area of this wreck includes Barracudas, Eels, Grouper, Sharks, Damselfish, Wrasse, Angelfish, and Parrotfish. This dive can be enjoyed by scuba divers of all levels.

Other dive sites include Barracuda Shoals, a bankside patch reef where you can see both small critters as well as large schools of fish. Frequent Hammerhead Shark sightings occur at Blacktip Wall. With several large swim-throughs, massive Cracked Coral Head rises 40 feet (12 m.) off the bottom. Pillar Wall, with its numerous caves and crevices, is an excellent wall dive. Starting at 30 feet (9 m.), this wall slopes downward to 50 feet (15 m.), where from here, it drops to the abyss, some 5,000 feet (1,524 m.) to the bottom. Look for a large colony of Yellowhead Jawfish in the area of the reef.

At the Washing Machine, a strong incoming tide carries you through a narrow cut to where the water drops off a ledge and then bends sharply to the left as you travel through a series of canyons. As you move into each canyon, the current spins you from one side to the other. It is this spinning water that gives this dive site its name. For a smooth trip through the cut without being tossed around in the water, stay to the right or close to the bottom. Current diving requires some level of dive experience. When the tide is slack, the Washing Machine is considered an easy dive. Once through the cut, a large patch reef awaits you.

Another interesting dive site is Cave Rock off Southwest Eleuthera. Hammerhead Sharks frequent this area where several small coral heads surround a larger coral mound in 50 feet (15 m.) of water. At Monolith, you will see large mounds of coral rising out of the sand along the edge of the wall. These mounds start at depths of 100 feet (30 m.) and rise to 55 feet (17 m.). A colony of Garden Eels resides in the sand near the mounds.

The Dancer Fleet strives to provide scuba divers and vacationers with the highest quality and most innovative liveaboard experience possible. In addition to unmatched scuba diving, guests aboard the Carib Dancer will enjoy excellent accommodations and delicious meals as part of their vacation package.

The Dancer Fleet’s dive boats afford guests both safety and comfort as they travel to the best diving locations around the world.