Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Beautiful Night at Small Hope Bay Lodge

Now that hurricane Sandy has passed us here on Andros everyone was excited to get back out on our patio and enjoy the calm weather. The patio looked especially nice the last couple of evenings as we approached the October 29th full moon. Cocktail hour was made extra special with this amazing view captured by divemaster Fede. Guests and staff enjoyed Claudius's delicious drinks, yummy conch fritters and great conversation. 

Yesterday the view was spectacular as well with the full moon rising. This view had everyone out snapping pictures! Happy Birthday again to our guest and new friend Daren who celebrated with us yesterday out under the beautiful moon...we hope you had a great night Daren!!

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Great Day of Diving in The Bahamas

We Saw a Manta Ray!
 The day started out great when our dive staff and a few of our guests were treated to an amazing sighting out on the dock. While gearing up to go and dive our signature "Over the Wall" dive a manta ray came cruising by to say good morning.

We Went Over the Wall! 
If the manta ray sighting wasn't enough our divers then had an awesome time diving Over the Wall. There is nothing like nitrogen narcosis while sitting on an ancient beach and looking down at the 6000ft drop of the tongue of the ocean! A curious reef shark decided to join us at 185' to check out the view. A truly magnificent dive!


Plane Wreck! 

To top it all off our divers were lucky enough to be the first to officially dive our brand new site "The Landing Strip". This is a project that the staff of Small Hope Bay Lodge worked hard on this summer and it is great to see the guests enjoying it. Everyone got a little goofy and posed for some great pictures with the wreck! 


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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Laura's Delicious Brownies

With Small Hope being closed for annual renovations and maintenance the live-on staff have been taking turns getting creative and making delicious dinners for everyone to enjoy. One of our divemasters Laura has been honing her baking skills to the delight of all the staff who have been testing her cakes, cookies and most recently her brownies! Now we are sharing the recipe so you can enjoy them as well.

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Bake Time : 30-35 minutes
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9×13-inch glass or light-colored baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.
3. Put the chocolate, butter and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.
4. Add the eggs one at a time and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. You do not want to over-beat the batter here or the brownies will turn out more cake like. 
5. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then lift them out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into squares and serve.
7. Store at room temperature in an airtight container or wrap with plastic wrap for up to 4 days.
1/2 cup butter, softened 
2 2/3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/3 cup half-and-half cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cocoa powder
1. Cream the butter in a small bowl.
2. Blend in the cocoa powder (the amount desired for a light, medium or dark flavor), vanilla, confectioners sugar, alternately with the cream.
3. Beat with an electric mixer, until the desired texture is achieved.
Hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Season At Small Hope Bay

Another Season Come and Gone...

This year was filled with many great memories. We made new friends and reunited with old ones. We shared many laughs, many beers and many conch fritters! 

Some highlights from our 2011-2012 season

Jeffrey Birch being goofy over Christmas

Crab Fest 2012! 

We adopted another potcake named Izzy!

We created an artificial reef by sinking a plane! 

Ben finished the list...success!

This season at SHBL we were treated to not only one but two of John Rice's famous margarita parties. We enjoyed countless Black Monkey nights at the bar and even got to witness Ben aka 'Evil' become the first to complete every drink on the extensive Small Hope drink menu, not to mention the extras that were thrown in there just for fun! 

We went diving with sting rays and hammerheads, reef sharks and turtles. A pod of dolphins joined us at the Blue Hole and under the dock. We successfully sunk a plane and christened our second new dive site of the season. We watched our crazy divemasters play it up for the cameras on the day dives and dance in the beautiful bio luminescence on our nights dives. We bid farewell to two dear friends and fulfilled their wish of a burial at sea. Patrick Laing and Jim Spencer are missed and will forever be in our hearts. 

Petter, Sam and Laura with instructor Fede 

We went fishing, biking and kayaking. We swam in the blue holes and relaxed in the hammocks. We laughed at our crazy interns, who taught us how to "Bruk it Down" and what NOT to do when driving a golf cart on the dock! In turn they were taught how to rescue an unresponsive diver at the service during their Rescue Diver course, or how to conduct a correct dive briefing during their Divemaster course. 

Wedding party dancing the night away

Our spontaneous dance party was a highlight of the Spring and during the Summer we had one heck of a wedding reception! We battened down the hatches and rode out Tropical Storm Isaac, playing Backgammon and Jenga in the lounge as the rain poured down outside. When the storm cleared we finished out the summer with beautiful weather, spending days snorkeling or beach combing.

It was a great season finished in true Small Hope fashion with a wonderful and hilarious staff party. It was a year of friends, family, and fun and like every year at Small Hope Bay Lodge it gave us memories to last a lifetime. 

Watch this video and re-live some of our more memorable moments from the last year

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