Our Bahamas vacation

Last night, Beth and I got back home from our big vacation of the year. We went to the Bahamian island of Andros, where we stayed several days at a dive resort called Small Hope Bay Lodge. Andros is the largest and least explored island in the Bahamas. Small Hope Bay is an all-inclusive dive-oriented resort on the eastern coast.

We got in 15 dives in 6 days, which quadrupled our experience level. Before this, we’d only done 5 dives total – 4 to get certified and then 1 more after that in Akumal, Mexico. So now we’ve got 20 dives under our belts! There were many memorable dives, but I think the one that’s most unique is the Big Blue Hole dive, which Small Hope is famous for. The dive staff really took good care of us, which is a good thing, because the dives are generally oriented to divers who have more experience than we do. We went on one dive to 120 feet depth, which is pretty deep for beginners. But the divemasters kept a close eye on us.

The accomodations were OK – unique, but not outstanding. The cabins were built in 1960 out of local Bahamian pine and coral by the Canadian who founded Small Hope Bay, and the coral walls are literally decaying! Every day, there are crumbles of coral on the floor, bed, and everywhere else. The housekeeper would sweep the coral dust up every day; she earned her keep.

The food was buffet style, and good but also not outstanding. I suppose there’s no way to make a really excellent meal served as a buffet. The cooks rotated menus a lot, and every lunch and supper was accompanied by at least 2 desserts – sometimes 3! Being an all-inclusive, we also got all the drinks we wanted as part of the price. They had a bartender on duty in the evenings, but during the day, the bar is just open for anyone to make whatever they want. I’m not sure if it was the heat and humidity, or a side-effect of diving, but I didn’t drink much at all because it had a much stronger effect than usual.

The night before and the night after Andros, we stayed at Bahia Mar Beach Resort in Ft. Lauderdale. We were able to walk around town some and do some shopping. And Friday night we went to a really good Brazilian steakhouse called Chima. We’ve been to a similar place in Denver, called Rodizio, but Chima’s definitely a step up from Denver’s equivalent.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I didn’t take any photos. I didn’t want to bother with bringing a camera. But I did get a DVD of one of the dives we went on, so if you want to see it sometime, let me know.

Categorized as Travel

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