Diving Seasons of the Bahamas
Weather conditions and diving in the Bahamas
The Bahamas have some of the best diving in the world. The crystal clear waters are teaming with fish, coral reefs, blue holes, and marine life. The diversity of diving from one end of the Bahamas to the other, a distance over 500 miles is amazing. A diver will need to experience many different destinations in the Bahamas and 4 different weather seasons to get a taste of the variety of diving and seasonal differences. Seasonally different pelagic fish concentrate in the Bahamas. Spring is mating season for many fish and lobster (crawfish), schools of Mahi Dolphin fish are abundant. June Mutton Snapper school. Late summer the Orange Sponges spoor. October Manta Rays are more common. December/January you can find massive Nassau Grouper mating schools. Winter you may see schools of Hammerhead sharks (San Sal and Conception) or a whale shark.
The Bahamas lay between 23 and 26 degrees north of the equator. This brings about seasonal differences in the length of the daylight portion of a day from 14 plus hours in June to less than 10 hours in December. Daylight saving time is in effect from Late March to early November. *Longer daylight days allow longer and/or more dive opportunities*. Water temperatures vary by season. Lows in January to March may reach 70 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (wetsuit diving), while April may reach 75-77 degrees, May 77-80 degrees, June gets into the 80’s and summer water temps reach the mid 80’s. Fall water temps stay above 80 degrees until the first cold front arrives sometime in November.
Weather Patterns in the Bahamas:
The gradual arrival of the winter weather pattern begins in November with the first “Cold Front”. Cold Fronts arrive from the north west and are a burst of cooler denser air preceded by a line of thunderstorms followed by clear blue skies (sometimes breezy north east winds for a few days). January through March Fronts arrive about once every 10 days. Some fronts are mild and only show a wind direction shift. Some fronts are strong (locally called “Anchor Rattlers”) which might reduce water visibility for a day or two. Cold fronts are generally over by April. April and May are “Spring” months, while June, July, August, and September are of a “Summer” pattern. Summer weather has a consistent east to southeast wind 10 to 15 knots or less, with the long days, warm waters and calm seas, The “Summer” months have great diving conditions. Summer is also “hurricane” season in the Caribbean. In the Bahamas the peak of this storm risk is mid September, oddly enough September has the calmest sea conditions of the year - unless you get a hurricane. On average The Bahamas get a storm every 5 or 6 years, they last about 2 days but stir up the visibility for a couple of weeks. June and July have low risk of storms , but by mid August we watch the weather forecasts closely. We usually take September off for resupply. October begins The “Fall” weather pattern of warm water diving with cooler evenings and excellent diving until the winter weather patter begins sometime in November. Early December may have periods of “Indian Summer” for those who might want a dive trip in the lull between “Thanksgiving” and “Christmas”
The “SEA DRAGON” has a formal dive schedule between April and December.
Our primary summer trips are from the end of May to September (Conception Island and South East Bahamas). The first dive trip in this group departs from Nassau, the last group of the Summer trips returns to Nassau. Our mid summer base is Great Exuma Island.
Spring and Fall Dive trips are based from Nassau and travel to the Exuma Cays.
We have several non-published private dive trips and will consider requests for private charters at other dates of the year. For best availability make your charter dates request a year in advance.