19: Bahamas 2013 | Drift Diving

2013 Bahamas Expedition | Round Three 
About a year and a half ago, this trip's blogger became an intern diver in the Giant Ocean Tank at the New England Aquarium. Luigi loved being at the Aquarium so much that he became a volunteer diver after his internship was over. He also joins Aquarium divers to help collect fish, under special permits, so that visitors in Boston can appreciate the splendor of a healthy Caribbean reef.

Luigi joined the dive team on a recent trip to the Bahamas to collect animals for the new exhibit.

Hello again! Today will be our fifth day of diving here in the Bimini Islands. When we woke up this morning we were a little disappointed to see that it was pretty windy out and the water was really choppy. Luckily a little cold weather wasn't enough to stop our awesome team of divers from going out and collecting fish for the Giant Ocean Tank!

Though the visibility wasn't going to be great no matter where we went this morning, we decided that the conditions would be best back in the area of Frank and Johns (the same site we dove yesterday).  When we first jumped in there was somewhat of a surface current, but as we descended down to about 40 feet of water, the conditions were perfect for catching some fish. On our first dive, we saw two really cool large hogfish!  On our second dive that we decided to do at Frank and John's, we saw a large great barracuda and collected a lot of little chromis fish!

Brown chromis

Our third and final dive of today was a new one for me. We decided to take the R/V Coral Reef II over to an area called Dollar Harbor. It was here that we did a drift dive. Basically a drift dive is a dive where you go with a group of divers and there is no need to navigate. One of the divers holds a reel attached to a dive flag, and you just drift along in the current. The captain of the boat gave us all a time (40 minutes) for when we needed to surface. We would surface wherever we were and the captain would meet us on a little Zodiac boat.

Getting the Zodiac ready to launch

We would then take off all of our SCUBA gear in the water, hand it up to the captain, jump into the little boat, then get a ride back to the Coral Reef II.

Not needing to navigate made the dive very relaxing, and it was an extremely productive collecting dive. Though we didn't collect any of these guys on this dive, we saw lots of big and colorful sea stars!

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