Monday, August 30, 2010

Andros Island Blue Holes.....

Diving an Ocean Blue Hole

Blue Holes are unique geological formations created over thousands of years and multiple glacial and interglacial periods.
There are many types of Blue Holes, but they are essentially caves that formed in a air environment when sea levels were low as a result of  glacial retreat. When the ice retreated the caves flooded and this process of being dry and flooded was repeated several times over as the glaciers came and went.
In Land\Ocean Blue Hole Conch Sound Andros Island
As the caves tops grew thinner from erosion or experienced mechanical stress many of them collapsed leaving large holes often leading to hidden cave systems. These holes got the name Blue Holes due to the fact that the bottoms of the collapse is deeper than surrounding land and when viewed from the air appear rich blue in colour in the ocean, some are dark blue and even black in appearance inland. The inland Blue Holes collect a less dense freshwater lens on top of the ground seawater and are connected to the ocean Blue Holes by cracks and fissures typical of the limestone composition. Imagine a sponge.
Diving an Ocean Blue Hole
The tide moves seawater back and forth between the inland Blue holes and the ocean Blue holes via these cracks and fissures during the high and low cycles of the tide.
Often the Blue holes have strong inflow and out flows as water is exchanged. The cooler hypoxic/anoxic inland water (caused by oxygen dissolving into the limestone)flows out of the ocean Blue holes and this mixes with the warmer sea water. Where the two meet it creates a mixture of haloclines, chemoclines and thermoclines often referred to as a "density interface"
Each Blue Hole has its own personality and offer an opportunity for divers to experience a glimpse of the past geology and formations. Proper training is a must to dive these beautiful structures in safety. Even the cavern portions require experienced guides.
Check out the August edition of National Geographic Magazine for more great facts and pictures.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ted,Mike,Dave & Joan Visit Small Hope Bay Lodge

We recently had Ted,Mike,Dave & Joan visit for some diving and some relaxing for Joan, we have a few words from Ted on behalf of the group........

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Family Holiday Small Hope Bay Lodge Andros Island Bahamas

Just this past month we have been fortunate enough to meet some great families. Here are some words from  Elizabeth Luce about her stay here with her family...............

Our family of four (children 12 & 10) visited Small Hope Bay Lodge for a week. Every day was full of wonderful adventure. Each of us found favourite activities, for Clara (10) it was the Androsia Batik Factory and the chance to make her own fabric, discover scuba diving and her friend se met. She also loved the resident dogs, collecting coconuts and racing hermit crabs. 
Our son Jackson (12) was an all round participant in the wonders of Small Hope. He learned how to scuba dive and went on two 40' dives, caught and tamed lizards!, played ping pong tournaments, best of all for Jackson was fishing. On a guided trip he caught his first bonefish and many other fish. He ventured to the mangroves with a generous guest who taught and guided our over joyed young fisherman.

After 14 years hiatus my husband and I both went diving again. The calm easy going dive masters made it so easy to get back in the water. We enjoyed the lovely conversation with staff and guests. As an amateur photographer I had fun taking pictures of the nature. On a walk through the mangroves there were birds and landscape like none other I've seen before. 
We took a family bike trip to Captain Bills Inland Blue Hole and had a blast jumping off the the platform.

The most amazing thing about Small Hope Bay Lodge, no matter the amazing activities, is the generous, open, personal people who live and work here. We haven't even left yet and the children are asking when can we come back! And I couldn't agree more.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Henri and Florence visit Small Hope Bay

Recently we were lucky enough to have a  visit from French couple Henri and Florence, they stayed with us for a week and enjoyed some diving and some relaxation time, here are a few words they had to say......

(Florence diver master Moose and Henri)

Would that be what paradise looks like?
We just spent one of the most unforgettable weeks of our life’s....... and it breaks our hearts that we have to leave now. 
Small Hope is one of those places where you know you can find peace. The beauty of the nature is absolutely overwhelming. We are completely fulfilled with the marine life, diving with gracious eagle rays, majesties sharks and uncountable other magical species. 
The corals are so healthy and rich that you feel like you are evolving through beauty itself.
The cocooning in the lodge is all the more pleasant as is the staff who are kind and attentive.
We just wish the time could stop now.......
If this is not realizable, then be sure we’ll be back, still reaching a little more peace of our own
Henri and Florence

We were also lucky enough to have there few words translated for us so here is the French version as well

Est-ce cela le paradis?
On vient de passer une semaine inoubliable et ça nous brise le coeur de devoir partir maintenant.
Small Hope est un de ces endroits où l’on sait que l’on peux trouver de la paix, du calme. La beauté de la nature est complètement bouleversante. La vie marine nous a parfaitement satisfaits en plongeant avec des raies aigles, des requins majestueux et beaucoup d’autres espèces marines..
Les coraux sont tellement riches et sains que l’on se sent évoluer à travers la beauté elle-même. L’ambiance de l’hôtel est extrêmement agréable, tout comme le personnel, qui est charmant et attentif. On n’a qu’une envie c’est que le temps s’arrête a cet instant. Si vous n’avez pas réaliser, on est sur de rentrer un peu plus serin. 
Florence & Henri

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dinning at Small Hope Bay Lodge

Small Hope Bay Lodge dinning experience is something not to be missed. The evenings start at cocktail hour around the bar for chat about the day and what the plan is for the next day, then the conch fritters arrive.
The evening meal is announces by the chef of the night and the meals are a collective mix of cuisine's  done with a Bahamian flare.

Dinner is usually served at 7pm, as dinner is help yourself style there is no rush to eat, it is all at your own pace and we try to dine alfresco when we can so you can enjoy the
 beautiful Bahamian sunset as you eat.

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Friday, August 6, 2010

Father and son Bonefishing

Paul and Jackson were visiting recently for a family holiday, Jackson a fishing enthusiast and dad went out with fishing guide Jeff.C for a day of guidance and learning the fly fishing technique, they caught their first bone fish along with many other fish. 
Paul and Jackson were also lucky enough to met another fishing enthusiast staying with us and they all ventured off to the mangroves for an afternoon of fishing.   

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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Luz and Mike Diving Couple

We were lucky enough to met Mike and Luz Lyons. They stayed with us for a week and here are a few words from them about there stay here..............

After 9/11 I had been promising my wife Luz that we would take a vacation, just the two of us, to a warm, romantic location where we could re-connect. It took me nine years of deployments, promises, patience and searching to finally have the opportunity and location to fulfill those promises. Small Hope Bay and Lodge was the realization of our dreams. The location on Andros Island was easy to get to from Nassau; a short 15 minute flight on Le Air. When we arrived at the resort from the airport we knew it was going to be special. We were met by Bruna who gave us a tour of the resort culminating at our cottage. The view of the bay and the proximity to the water was an instant attraction for us. The beaches were long, secluded and beautiful; the water was warm, clear and refreshing.

The staff and the dive masters were friendly, sociable and professional. We opted to dive every day and since we hadn’t dove in 10 years took our dive refresher with Antonio, a Dive Master from the Small Hope Bay Lodge and Resort staff. His instruction was first rate; professional, patient and thorough. The next day we were out with the rest of the guests diving the blue, clear waters of the bay.

Small Hope Bay Lodge and Resort has over 60 dive sites with plenty to see and do at each location. The coral and aquamarine life is superb and the instructors are with you every moment providing safety, supervision yet with enough freedom to enjoy and explore all that each site has to offer. In the evenings they spend dinner with you reviewing the day’s events, planning for tomorrows and just socializing to get to know each guest while you get to know them.

We spent a week at Small Hope Bay Lodge and Resort. The week went by too fast; we felt we had been there a day instead of six. We are already planning our next trip! The cabins are clean, simple and well organized. The food is good, well prepared and presented. The Lodge is clean, tasteful and inviting. The island life of simplicity, relaxation and warmth is reflected in the décor, the food and the staff. One can easily loose themselves in such conditions.

Small Hope Bay Lodge and Resort is an all inclusive location. They do all they can to make your desires a reality. When Luz and I wanted fresh fruit they provided us with fresh watermelon, oranges, and mangos. When we asked for ice tea instead of alcohol or soft drinks it was prepared and ready for us each day.

The diving was world class with world class sites and staff. Mike, Moose, Aidan, Dennis, Antonio, and Joe brought the experience to life. The Bahama Islands didn’t have to do anything but be beautiful and accessible to us.

I highly recommend Small Hope Bay Lodge and Resort to anyone who wants to get away and enjoy the beauty of the Bahamas. It is perfect for that couple who wants to re-connect or that family who wants to dive together and open up the world of Open Water Diving to their children. No matter what you choose, the Small Hope Bay Lodge and Resort will make those dreams come true; like they do ours. Thank you Small Hope Bay Lodge and Resort!

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