Monday, February 29, 2016

Some More Sustainable Practices at Small Hope!

As you may have read from a previous post, we at Small Hope maintain a continuous effort in being as Eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable. This means many things to us - it is why we installed solar energy and use only solar heated hot water, it is why we use water saving devices in our plumbling, why we have LED light bulbs in all fixtures on the property, and most recently, why we have started removing all of the Casuarina trees (also know as Australian Pine) from the property.

The Casuarinas are an invasive species and contribute to excessive beach erosion. In place of these trees we are planting many more coconut palms, as well as many varieties of native grasses and shrubs. Our staff can frequently be spotted along our beach planting and maintaining these new plants.

Come down and see our efforts for yourself, or let us know what practices you think are important for us to try!

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Friday, February 26, 2016

The Most Geological Diversity in Diving . . . and all within a 20 minute boat ride!

People always ask me where my favorite diving locations are. That's a tough question because there are so many factors involved - water visibility, water temperature, fish and sea life, the quality of the dive operation and dive staff, and the location itself (the local people, landscape, and food).

But to me Small Hope Bay Lodge has it all. There are 3 main reasons why I think this is my favorite diving location in the world:
  1.  The most Geological Diversity within a 20 minute boat ride. This means we have the opportunity to dive sheer walls that start at about 70 ft and drop down 6000 ft in to the Tongue of the Ocean. We have wrecks, two of which (a barge, and a small airplane) were sunk specifically for Small Hope as dive sites. We have many coral gardens, at shallow, mid-level, and deeper sites. We have great caverns with little pocket rooms and swim throughs. And we have blue holes (both ocean and inland) for some of the coolest dives you will ever do in your life! And all of these sites (totaling somewhere between 60 and 100!!!) are within 20 minutes from our dock.
  2. We are the only people diving this reef! This is the third largest barrier reef in the world. And there is no one else around. It is a rare day indeed when you spot another boat on the water and even more unusual to see other divers. This means we have the reef and dive sites all to ourselves. I have been on many dives in other locations when in the middle of a beautiful dive a swarm of 20+ divers descends on the reef, starts kicking up sand, etc. I have been on night dives in other countries where we had to wear a certain color glow stick on our tank to differentiate our group from the many others that were there too. Not here! Just our divers and no one else!
  3. The best dive staff EVER. They are safe. They are professional. They are FUN! There is no minimum number of divers for us to go diving. If we only have one person who wants to dive - we're going diving. We also have the highest ratio of staff to guests in the water that I have ever seen. As a dive professional myself, this is key. 
 In addition to the above reasons, Small Hope also has gorgeous weather year-round. 21 cabins right on the beach. The kitchen staff prepares incredible food. The staff and Andros locals are some of the friendliest in the world. The water temperature and visibility are awesome! All these things make it a no brainer. I wanna dive at Small Hope Bay Lodge!

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Get to Know the Staff: Meet Dennis!

Introducing . . . . 
the amazing, Dennis!

Dennis has been around Small Hope for many years. He is known by all as a wonderful, kind, and fun-lovingly man. Most people know him as one of our fabulous Divemasters, but few know that when he started at Small Hope he started in the maintenance department and didn't even know how to swim! Well, those days are long gone. He is now practically a fish - first person in the water on a dive, and last person out of the water. He is also now a PADI Open Water Instructor and has taught probably hundreds of men, women and children how to dive.

He is also our senior Nature Tour Guide and Audubon certified birding guide. He truly does it all here. So if you don't see him on the dive boat, maybe he will be mixing up your favorite cocktail, or pointing out  the elusive Bahama Oriole, or jumping with you in to Captain Bill's Blue Hole.

Fun Facts about Dennis:

# of Years at Small Hope: He celebrated 9 years at Small Hope in September of 2015

# of Kids: Four  (3 girls, and 1 boy)

Kids names: Denise, Denicia, Kendranique, and Xavier

Favorite Thing to do Outside of Work: Explore the nature trails of Andros.

Best Part about Working at Small Hope for him: Variety. You never know what the day will bring. Meeting new people, going on new adventures.

Favorite Food: Crab n' Dough

Favorite Color: Emerald Green

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Friday, February 19, 2016

The Story of Dick's Tree, by Rosi Birch

Small Hope has such a beautiful and long history. There have been so many stories of love, loss, friendship, humor, and adventure here. Some of these stories stretch back over generations and several decades.

One such story is how Dick's Tree became known as Dick's Tree. Click here for the story, written by Rosi Birch, Dick's wife at that time.

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Monday, February 15, 2016

We have a New Glorious Booking Page on our Website

We are constantly striving to improve our guest experiences - before, during, and after their stay with us. This means we want our website to work flawlessly, giving great information about Small Hope Bay Lodge, our activities, our reviews, and make booking your next vacation a breeze!

That's why we recently made some changes to our booking page. It's now super easy to click the Book Now button, choose your dates and number of people in your group, and Voila! You can book multiple rooms at one time. You can sign up for our newsletters. You can build your own account in there too which will make booking your return that much easier!

And once you have finished booking your next vacation with us, our wonderful office staff will be in touch with you to help arrange your flights to Andros. It's so EASY!

Can't wait to see you here soon . . . . 

Step 1: Go to our website and click Book Now in the upper right corner

Step 2: Enter dates and number of people

Step 3: Select the room type you want.

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Friday, February 12, 2016

The Incredible Blue Holes of Andros Island . . .

Rainbow Blue Hole
Andros Island, Bahamas is know for many things - great scuba diving, world-class bonefishing, tons of bird species, etc. One of the things we are also known for are the many blue holes we have here! We have both inland and ocean blue holes, and we have hundreds of them. Some are good for diving, including cave diving, some are great for swimming, and many are so tough to get to we'll probably never know very much about them.

Diving the Ocean Blue Hole
At Small Hope we offer many opportunities to see and experience the blue holes of Andros. We have our very popular dive at the Ocean Blue Hole, a.k.a. King Kong's Blue Hole. We offer several specialty dives to inland blue holes to do some cave diving, such as Stargate, or the Guardian. And we also offer our more terrestrial guests tours and trips to inland blue holes like Rainbow, Cousteau's and Captain Bill's Blue Hole.

So many ways to see these incredible geological creations . . . What's your favorite blue hole?

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Monday, February 8, 2016

Fly Free from Nassau - Limited Time Offer!!!!

We are still running our fly free special. The offer ends in a week so hurry up and make reservation before February 15th!!!!!

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Friday, February 5, 2016

The Bonefishing Capital of the World!!!

If you are a serious fly fisherman there is a very good chance you have already heard about Andros Island. This is place to be for bonefishing. This large island, with our giant bights running through, and so many ocean flats to choose from, is ideal for the sport! Not to mention you probably won't see another soul around, just you and your guide all day!

This type of fishing is known for the challenge. Bonefishing is what we call "active hunting". This means you spot the fish (difficult to do since they camouflage so well with the water and sand), then you have to cast the fly just right (you can't cast it too far or the fish won't see it, but it can't be too close or the fish will spook); then, if the fish chooses to bite it is pound for pound one of the best fights you'll get!

It's no wonder bonefishermen are so passionate about it. Here are some Bonefish Facts.

We offer great packages for all levels of fishermen, and we have lots of different fishing spots to choose from. Check out our checklist of what to bring on your fishing trip.

Small Hope Bay Lodge is unique because we offer a multitude of fishing opportunities for beginners and experts alike. But we also offer activities (and inactivities) for other members of your group who may not want to bonefish all day!

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

We love our repeat guests!!!!

It's been over 55 years since we first opened our doors at Small Hope and we are still going strong. Over the past 5 decades we have had the most amazing people come and stay with us. And many of them enjoyed their stay so much they came back over and over through the years!

To say thank you to the guests who come back to us we started designing t-shirts for our repeat guests. We do a new one each year and every time a guest returns they get a new shirt! The back of the shirt is always different, but the front always says the same thing - "I am part of the family!"

We now have so many years of doing this we started hanging up the past shirts in our Games Room. Do you see yours? Do you have a repeat shirt that is not hung up here? If so, send us either the shirt or a high res photo of the back so we can display it!!!!!

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