This article was guest written by one of our instructors, Mike Walters.
I am often asked by students, "Of all the places you've dived, where is your favorite?" I have been to some great destinations, but I still have to answer, "The Bahamas."
In December Dive Utah took a live aboard trip aboard the beautiful Aqua Cat. This 102' private luxury dive yacht cruises weekly from Nassau, Bahamas to the Exuma Islands.
There were a number of highlights from the trip. The first was the weekly shark dive. We all descended down to sandy bottom and kneeled down in a circle around a medium profile coral head. The captain of the boat tied off a 5-gallon bucket sized frozen "chumsickle". We spent the next 45 minutes watching about eight Caribbean Reef Sharks rip it to shreds. It was amazing to see those animals up close and realize just how powerful, fast, agile, and graceful they really are.
Another highlight was the three drift dives we made. The current was running at 12+ miles per hour on all three! We entered the water by jumping off the back and sides of the Aqua Cat in turns (we felt like navy seals as the divemaster called out, "Go! Go! Go!" signaling that it was our turn to jump). Once underwater we were treated to effortless scuba diving as we "flew" past beautiful coral heads and tropical fish.
Many in our group also enjoyed a shore excursion to Allan's Cay. It is one of the last homes to the rare Bahamas rock iguanas. Because of being hunted to near extinction, this is one of the only places in the world where you can still see these ancestors of the dinosaurs. We were able to feed them bread and cookies by hand.
One of the best parts about live aboard diving is that everything is very convenient. Your roomy cabin is close to the dining area and dive deck. We were able to make up to five dives each day which didn't make you feel guilty if you sat one out because we all knew we would be on another great site a few hours later.
Dive Utah's trip on the Aqua Cat was a great answer to the winter doldrums of December. The diving and weather were great and the company was even better. All who went had a great time and many of us look forward to returning to dive with Aqua Cat Cruises again in the future.
Let's go diving!