Reef Diving – Abacos

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to do some diving with Dive Guana on Great Guana Cay. It was my first dive since doing multiple dives over about four to five weeks in the Florida Keys back in October/November.

It was really nice to be diving again, although I was a little disappointed with the quality of the dive. I had expected that the dive would exceed or at least rival my diving in the Keys, which was outstanding. Both the quantity and variety of sea creatures were much less on my Abaco dive than on my dives in the Keys, especially Key West. Also, there was not as much coral present. Now, don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed it. But, it just didn’t meet my, perhaps inflated, expectations.

This was a two-tank dive trip. The first site was a place called Grouper Alley in the Fowl Cay Preserve area. The highlight of this dive was an encounter with a Caribbean Reef Shark. There were domesticated grouper and yellow snapper that followed us around everywhere because they are used to being fed by the dive master. The second site, of Man-o-War Cay, was at a place called The Towers, so-called because of two towering reef formations at the site. There were numerous swim-throughs in this area. Neither site had much current, but there was significant surge present, especially in the swim-throughs.

What follows is a short video of this dive trip (shorter by far than my Keys diving since there just wasn’t as much to record). I think you’ll still enjoy the underwater footage, especially of the shark encounter.

Last Days in Treasure Cay (for a little while)

Cindy on Beatitude's stern, secure in the slip

Cindy on Beatitude’s stern, secure in the slip

On Monday, January 26, we arose earlier than usual and walked Julie and Tracy out to their taxi which arrived at 5:45 a.m. We hired Alex, the same driver who helped us in Marsh Harbour. He transported them to the airport in plenty of time for their flight home which took them through Nassau and Atlanta prior to landing in Pittsburgh. Cindy and I returned for a bit more sleep before facing the day. Around 11, we decided to head over to the beach again. We enjoyed about 2 hours of wonderful sunshine, although the wind was blowing 25-35 knots. The beach was largely protected from the wind since it was blowing from the west. Just before the rains arrived, we ascended the beach to the Coco Beach Bar for lunch. The grouper fingers are delicious. Later, we grilled some hot dogs for dinner and relaxed aboard Beatitude.

On the way over to the beach area.  Coco Beach Bar in the background

On the way over to the beach area. Coco Beach Bar in the background

Cindy relaxing and reading on the beach

Cindy relaxing and reading on the beach

Beautiful blue waters and wonderful white sand beaches.

Beautiful blue waters and wonderful white sand beaches.

A mid-day rain storm at the beach bar.

A mid-day rain storm at the beach bar.

Tuesday was primarily a day of preparation to return to the States. We dropped our laundry off at the resort laundry where they do the laundry for us and we pick it up later. Their is no extra charge for them doing it. You just have to pay the $4/wash and $4/dry per load that the machine requires. We put away fenders and lines and did some general cleaning aboard the boat. I made arrangements to have Beatitudes bottom cleaned while we are away. I also made arrangements with a young man named Remy to clean the boat during our absence. I made arrangements to have Alex pick us up Wednesday morning to take us to Marsh Harbour Airport. Our taxi ride is scheduled to leave for Treasure Cay at 5:45 a.m.

The best Cinnamon Roll I've ever had was here at "Cafe la Florence."  Pictured here is Florence at work.

The best Cinnamon Roll I’ve ever had was here at “Cafe la Florence.” Pictured here is Florence at work.

I made a brief visit to the beach, but it was really too cold and windy to enjoy it. The winds continued throughout the day at 15-25 knots and the temperature was in the upper 60s. I’m glad we decided to leave Beatitude on Treasure Cay while we are away. If we had returned to Marsh Harbour, we would have missed this world-class beach.

From our dock, looking onto the Tipsy Seagull Bar and restaurant.

From our dock, looking onto the Tipsy Seagull Bar and restaurant.

Intently at work using the Coco Beach Bar wifi.

Intently at work using the Coco Beach Bar wifi.

We left our mark among others on the walls of Coco Beach Bar.

We left our mark among others on the walls of Coco Beach Bar.

On Wednesday, we arose before 5 a.m. in order to be at the Marsh Harbour Airport for our 7:25 a.m. flight. The flight back to the states was uneventful on Bahamasair. We picked up our rental car at the Orlando airport and drove to Lakeland where we will stay for the next 12 days. Last evening I worked the first of 12 shifts in 11 days in the emergency department. After that… Back to Treasure Cay!

No more words to describe it.

No more words to describe it.

Treasure Cay

Saturday in Treasure Cay was a day of relaxation and lounging around. After breakfast, we walked over to the gorgeous beach again. Cindy and I reclined in the sun and read while Tracy and Julie went in the water. They discovered that there was some sea grass and rocks on the southeast part of the beach with sea life. They were just about to go in with snorkels when they spotted a Caribbean Reef Shark about 15 feet from shore. They changed their minds.

Julie and Tracy - looking for treasure at Treasure Cay?

Julie and Tracy – looking for treasure at Treasure Cay?

No, I didn't paint my nails.  This is just the way the powdery sand adhered to my feet.

No, I didn’t paint my nails. This is just the way the powdery sand adhered to my feet.

Julie and Tracy on the white sand beach of Treasure Cay

Julie and Tracy on the white sand beach of Treasure Cay

Relaxing on Treasure Cay.

Relaxing on Treasure Cay.

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The wind blew hard all day long at 20-30 knots. We were expected a lot of rain, but only had a brief, moderately strong shower around four in the afternoon. With the cessation of the rain, the air cooled and the wind diminished. It was a pleasant evening in the Bahamas. The afternoon and evening were passed with lunch and dinner, game-playing (Jeopardy, golf, dominoes) and rum runners. The evening’s sunset was spectacular. The sky and its reflection in the water were a fiery scarlet.

What a sunset!

What a sunset!

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Sunday was a drop-dead gorgeous, sunny Bahamian day. We walked over to the beach in the late morning to soak up some rays and enjoy the aquamarine waters. The beauty of this beach overwhelms me every time I come over the top of the dunes and its spectacular blue-green waters and glistening powdery sand come into view. I can’t believe the exquisite beauty that stands before me. In between periods of enjoying the seaside, we had lunch at the Coco Beach Bar, which sits right on the sand with a policy of “No shoes, no shirt… No Problem!”

Starfish in the shallows.

Starfish in the shallows.

Tracy about to do some snorkeling

Tracy about to do some snorkeling

Julie and Tracy enjoying their vacation

Julie and Tracy enjoying their vacation

I don't know who this little girl is, but she was awful cute playing in the sand.

I don’t know who this little girl is, but she was awful cute playing in the sand.

Lunch at Coco Beach Bar

Lunch at Coco Beach Bar

Good thing it was "No Roblem!"

Good thing it was “No Roblem!”

Looking out over the beach from the Coco Beach Bar

Looking out over the beach from the Coco Beach Bar

Buried "Jewel"

Buried “Jewel”

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The evening was spent back aboard Beatitude where we grilled some burgers and played more games. It was sad to think that this was our last evening with Julie and Tracy. Monday morning, they would fly back to snowy and wintery New Castle, PA. We had a great time aboard Beatitude, making the most of our last evening together. Maybe next winter, they will join us further south in the Caribbean.

Cindy says I may have too many photos of sand and water.  But, with this picturesque beach, I can't help it!

Cindy says I may have too many photos of sand and water. But, with this picturesque beach, I can’t help it!

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More white sand and blue water

More white sand and blue water

Cindy made brownies fitting for life on the sea - topped with blue frosting and little fishes.  (She bought this icing some time ago and had no idea it was so nautical)

Cindy made brownies fitting for life on the sea – topped with blue frosting and little fishes. (She bought this icing some time ago and had no idea it was so nautical)