Diving The Exuma Cays
Bahamas live aboard scuba diving on the Sea Dragon
The Exuma Cays
Many consider the Exuma Cays to be the most beautiful chain of islands in the Bahamas. Stretching over 90 miles, they range from 30 miles southeast of Nassau (Sail Rocks) to Great Exuma Cay 90 miles to the south. This remote - and still virgin - territory is accessible only by boat while being only a few hours from the International Airport of Nassau with its direct flights from the USA and Canada.
Only a few cruising yachts and native conch fisherman visit the Exumas. The Cays themselves vary in size and terrain: some are low and barren with white sandy beaches; others have rolling hills covered with dense vegetation and small trees.
Between the islands are narrow channels sporting a maze of coral growth. The abundant coral reefs are protected in all weather conditions to create quiet anchorages and great night dives.
For the diver, the Exuma Cays present one of the best diving adventures in the Bahamas. Water visibility ranges from 80 to 150 feet, which makes it a paradise for the underwater photographer.
The spectacular drop-off runs parallel to the islands along Exuma Sound on the eastern side. The wall starts in about 50 - 60 feet of water and plummets to several thousand. The edge contains huge caverns, tunnels, and large fish of numerous species.
Just inside the wall are areas of reef formations in 20-60 feet of water. These reefs vary from shallow elkhorn and staghorn coral gardens to tall coral heads on white sand.
To the west of the Exumas Cays The Great Bahama Bank ranges 40 miles. Only 20 - 40 feet deep, the shallow coral reefs here teem with tropical fish and provide an excellent environment for the juveniles to develop. The tidal flow onto and off of the “bank” creates strong currents between the islands - ideal for drift dives over a mile in length. The tides change direction every 6 hours and leave “slack water” no current periods to dive reefs in the channels between islands. These Channel reefs are fed by the current flow and are some of the best diving in the Bahamas. Dive these reefs at “slack water” for a relaxing long dive or fly over the reef on a drift dive.
Night dives are available almost every night and reveal creatures often missed during the day. Diverse species of shrimp and crabs of all sizes complement the colorful corals and sleeping fish for a dive not to be missed.