Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Brothers Bond

Alex, Bryant and Nick

Our first diving experience was at Small Hope Bay Lodge in 2003 on a family vacation. We did the Discover SCUBA course and were immediately taken with diving.

Soon after that trip my brothers and I received our Open Water SCUBA certification and have since taken trips to the Florida Keys and Mexico; however we have yet to find an experience that could compete with the one we had at Small Hope.

When we were putting together a diving trip for the youngest brother Nick’s graduation in 2010 we knew that we wanted to be back at SHBL. In the six years since our last visit, not much has changed, but everything we loved when we were kids is still here, the cabins tucked right next to the beach, the extreme variety of diving (wall, reef, Blue Holes, wreck dives), great conversations with the other guests at the communal dinner every night and an attitude among the enthusiastic staff of making sure every guest feels at home.

As you fall asleep at night listening to the waves on the beach you can’t help but feel like you aren’t at a resort but rather a good friends place in the Bahamas, and of course you always wish you could stay for one more night.

Alex, Bryant & Nick Boucher
Colorado Pin It Now!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

50th Anniversary speech by Jeff & Margo

th Anniversary speech by Jeff & Margo

This Christmas was an extra special time to celebrate as it was Small Hope’s 50th Christmas & Anniversary!  
Here is what Jeff and his sister Margo had to say about this very special occasion!

A snap shot of Small Hope
Click on the link below to watch the video........

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas at Small Hope Bay Lodge 2010!

Christmas at Small Hope!

Friends, family, food, drinks…..all the fixings of a wonderful Christmas day!  The highlight was the CULINARY EXTRAVAGANZA prepared by Renauldo and all the kitchen crew. A fabulous time was had by all.

 Next up…..a FANTASTIC New Years Eve  Celebration!!!     

Click on link to watch our Christmas video....... 

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Learning how to Cave Dive...........

In October Small Hope dive masters Joe and Antonio were lucky enough to go to Abaco and learn how to dive in caves. Here is an account of how the training went from dive master Joe

Cave Training Day 1

OK Antonio and I arrived on Abaco Island Friday afternoon and spent the evening in the classroom looking through the manual and watching the slide show. We are doing 4 courses Cavern Diver, Intro to Cave, Apprentice Cave Diver and Full Cave Diver. Our instructor Brian Kakuk who runs Bahamas Underground has been exploring and surveying the caves of the Bahamas for 20 years.

We started today by getting all our equipment together and running through some of the drills for laying lines, low visibility and gas management issues in the yard where questions were easy to ask...

Trying on all the gear



We then went down to Mermaid reef a shallow 10’ dive to practice what we had learnt in the yard and get used to the new equipment setup. We spent over an hour doing line drills, practising buoyancy and doing out of air situations.
After lunch we did our first cavern dive at Dan’s Cave which was spectacular...

Cave Training Day 2


Today has been a busy day we have done 3 dives in 3 different caves all staying inside the cavern zone. The first was at Magic Blue Hole which is an enormous cone with the top cut off the pool is about 30’ across but just below the surface it opens out to about 100’ and it is DEEP.
Magic Blue Hole

For the next dive we went back to Dan’s Cave Which is a MASSIVE Cavern but it is silty so you have to be careful with buoyancy and fining.

Brian showing us Dan's Cave

Then we did Reel Breaker which is one of the ocean blue holes as our last cavern dive. This one was flowing so hard you had to drag yourself along the bottom to get in but the ride on the way out was fun and the amount of lobsters in the cavern was staggering.

Once we got back to the shop we tidied up and then took the test.

Cave Training Day 3


WOW started Intro to cave today and did 2 mind blowing dives in Dan’s cave. We are allowed to go past the STOP sign now and into the dark. WOW Check out this video I found of Dan’s Cave they go much further than us... We got to about their 03:40 mark

Cave Training Day 4

OK so today we have finished off intro to cave with two amazing dives the first was at Dan’s cave and the second at Ralph’s cave.We PASSED the exam so we are starting Apprentice Cave tomorrow. Yeah!!

Cave Training Day 5

Now its all starting to come together we did 2 dives at Dan,s Cave today the first was 120’ for 75mins and the second was 74’ for 104mins. We are allowed to go deeper and stay longer now and do some more complex navigation which opens up much more of the cave. Today we went to the Good Lands and the Bad Lands.

Cave Training Day 6

Two more dives out of the way today and we are done with apprentice cave. Tomorrow we are starting Full Cave which means that we will have to do more of the planning and navigation ourselves. Today we dived a new cave called Lost Reel it was darker and spookier than the others. There are the remains of crocodile skeletons and giant tortoise shells preserved in the oxygen free water it was a strange place. The second dive was back at Dan’s cave, here we did the second half of a circuit that we had set up the day before.

Cave Training Day 7

Full Cave started today and we were back at Dan’s Cave for 2 dives. Now we are doing more complex navigation with multiple jumps and we are going deeper in to the cave system.

Cave Training Day 8 LAST DIVES

We have done our last two dives for the course today and all has gone well. We dived at Dan’s cave this morning and Ralph’s Cave after lunch, both dives were spectacular and I am going to miss not diving in caves every day.
We have still got to take the final exam but we are going to do it tomorrow which gives us time to study up It is also good to have a night off book work.
Tomorrow Brian is going to take us on a special dive which we are excited about it will be much longer and more challenging than the dives we did for the course but there will be no skills to do which will be nice...

Fangorn Forest


Today we have gone deep into Dan’s cave to an area called Fangorn Forest. It is about 2000’ into the cave and you have to drop down to 150’ for a bit so it is a long dive with some long deco stops on the way out. The dive was 120mins long and there was a lot of swimming to get there and back but it was amazing

Small Hope has two more cave certified dive masters. So a big congratulations to Joe and Antonio. Pin It Now!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Sex 'N' Pan a favorite of everybody..................Now you can enjoy it at home and the memory of Small Hope..............

Sex in the Pan
Crust:1 ½ cups Graham Cracker crumbs
2 tbsp Sugar
3 tbsp. Butter, melted

8 ounce Cream cheese
2 tbsp milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 ½ cups whip topping*
2 packages instant chocolate pudding 4 serving size (or any flavor)
3 ½ cups milk

Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Mix well and press into pan. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes. Cool completely. Blend cream cheese, milk, and sugar, until smooth. Whip up whip topping until of smooth consistency. Fold in half of the whip topping. Spread this mixture into crust. Mix the second milk with the pudding and blend until it thickens and of proper consistency. Spread evenly of cream cheese mixture. Spread remaining whip topping over pudding and put in fridge to set for 4 to 6 hours minimum. Garnish with grated chocolate or chocolate pieces.

*1 Large container of already prepared cool whip topping can be substituted and gives same result

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Big Congratulations!

Congrats to our return visitor, Dena!
On Saturday, Dec. 18th she was a lucky winner in a promotion to mark the 5 millionth visitor to The Bahamas for the year 2010. Her name was entered with other visitors from around the Bahamas Islands.

Dena was given a voucher for Androsia and a Small Hope Bay Lodge voucher to go towards her stay with us.

Dena and her family spent their second visit with us and we look forward to the next! Pin It Now!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sharptail Eel what a find!!!!

While on a dive at Liben's Point one of our many shallow dive site's, dive master Dennis was lucky enough to come across a very uncommon to rare fine here in the Bahamas, a Sharptail Eel.
The Sharptail Eel are relatively unafraid of divers, they usually hide in the day time and forage in the open at night. You more likely to find them anywhere from shallow grass beds to areas of rocky rubble to reefs. 
Below is a look at the Sharptail Eel in its natural habit do what they do.Pretty cool !!!

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Breakfast wonderful breakfast

Breakfast at Small Hope!

Start the day with a hearty breakfast! Decisions, decisions…..fried or scramble eggs, pancakes or French toast, ham or bacon…maybe a little of everything! We also have fresh fruit, a range of cereals, toast and jam and there is always a pot of coffee brewing.

If you are feeling a little adventurous, ask for the Bahamian Breakfast Special!

“Chicken souse”  boiled chicken & vegetables in a lemony broth

“Corn beef & grits” (known as Fire Engine, by the locals) -corn beef with green peppers and tomatoes in a thyme sauce

“Stew conch” a thick soup with conch and potato

“Sardines & grits” the name says it all!

Well, this makes me hungry, how about you? Pin It Now!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bonefishing Andros Island Testimonial

Jim and Liz were visiting Small Hope recently and enjoyed a day of bonefishing with one of Small Hope fishing guides "Bonefish" Bradley and here are a few words about their day...............

Jim and Liz enjoying some bonefishing with guide Bradley
My wife Liz and I decided to do some bonefishing while at Small Hope Bay. Their guide is "Bonefish" Bradley Mackey. We both had a great time. Bradley puts you on the fish and then it's up to you! We both caught fish, thanks to him, and added another super experience to our stay at SHB! If you want bonefish, see Bonefish Bradley!

Jim & Liz Smith
Eureka, CA

Small Hope Bay Lodge is now a Orvis Certified Fishing Lodge!! Come and stay with us for your next fishing vacation.............. Pin It Now!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Family Vacation Time

Here at Small Hope we are always excite to welcome new guest and it was our pleasure of hosting the Mitchell family earlier in the new. Here are a few words from Jeff, Lisa, Katie and Abby...........

We arrived at Small Hope Bay Lodge as novice divers and after one week, we feel like seasoned veterans, from the professionalism and expertise of the dive staff, to the friendliness and attentive service of the entire Small Hope Bay family. Our first stay was wonderful and it won’t be our last!! Until next time, thank you for a relaxing and exhilarating vacation. We came away from Andros with irreplaceable memories and a new passion for diving!!!!

The Mitchell Family(Jeff, Lisa, Katie & Abby)

San Francisco, CA

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Androsia Testimonials from guest


Here at Small Hope we offer all guest the chance to experenice the Androsia Batik factory. Where you can have a lesson, a tour around the warehouse were all the Androsia Batik is made. We offer this tour 3 times a week in the afternoon.
Here are some coments from guest who have already experenice the Androsia tour:

“We went to Androsia because we thought it would be an easy way to pick up gifts. We only planned to spend 10 or 15 minutes in the boutique but ended up staying over a half hour! There are so many beautiful, colorful products to choose from. I would recommend this excursion to anyone!”

Elena Killgore
“I have been there before twice. The Killgore family (my family) brought 15 people with us this time. When I come back, I’m still going to use the little writing utensils and I hope they have the praying hands in the wax. I appreciate them doing this for me and my family and friends. I look forward to seeing the factory and the people next time I come. My experience has been wonderful every time I have come.”

Caitlin Killgore

“After three times of visiting the factory and store, the magic of creating my own cloth has not diminished in the least. Our creativity is unleashed by designing marine life and then choosing a color to have it dyed in. Also, the shopping gave me a chance to buy my own apparel to make me feel even more connected to the island.”

Kayla Combs

“The experience was unique and I would do it again. I learned the techniques of batiking and was intrigued by them. I hope I can do it again.”

Lynn, Faith, & Buddy Best

“We truly enjoyed our visit to the factory to learn the technique of batik. My daughter enjoyed learning and making her own creative piece of art. A wonderful group of people! We loved it!”

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