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Old 07-21-2019, 03:23 PM
cdavisdb cdavisdb is offline
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Default Another year, another Seafari 25 Bahama Trip, 2019

This year something different, I took CSC’sTiny and his very intense, 9 year old, spearo son, Braden. It was good. My wife said it would be like a grandpa trip. So it was, a new and fun experience. I figured that Braden, who is just learning to freedive, would like things like the Bimini Road and the Sapoma concrete wreck. Nope, he wanted to shoot fish, period. The kid is a stone killer. I think he saw the Sapoma as interesting mostly because of all the fish. Believe it or not, he fed us(with a little help from his dad). I didn’t shot a fish the whole trip. Anyway, here’s a blow by blow.

We left out of Ft Lauderdale July 8, near perfect crossing weather. Spent the night in a beautiful and isolated little inlet on the east side of North Bimini. Next morning up early to go find dolphins. No luck, the ocean was empty. Looked for 3 hours, gave up and headed out on the banks to check some places I’d seen on Google earth. The first was a wreck from last year and the rest were new, airplanes, which were very neat. One was a five passenger twin, intact, laying flat on the bottom with the doors off. We could swim inside. Watch out for the lion fish carpeting the ceiling. Braden boated a fat margate somewhere in here and some other fish. The other airplane was something big, 4 engine, looked like it exploded on hitting the water, pieces all over the place. We grabbed some conch for salad and were set for supper. Back to the inlet for the night and feast.

Day 3 was heading south, dived the Sapoma, picked up some conch for bait and fed the stingrays and nurse sharks in Honeymoon Harbor. This was a kick, they mobbed us. Afternoon was spent deep diving, Victory Reef and Tuna Alley, but neither I nor Tiny was in shape to do much deep. My excuse is it was too early in the trip. Any excuse will do. Tiny and Braden put their Cuban yoyo to work on the dropoff and quickly put more than enough fish in the boat to feed us. I’d never seen one used before and was suitably impressed. Spent the night behind South Cat.

Day 4, south to Burrows Cay, tried to dive the sea caves but it was too rough for Braden. The overhead environment is pretty spooky with the shuddering booms from the waves. Feels like the cave is about to fall in on you when the shudder comes. Dived the shore for dinner, no problem. Afternoon was calming down and we went offshore for some deeper diving.

Picture this: 52 ft of water, 100+ ft visibility, no current, water so warm no wetsuit is needed, healthy, beautiful coral heads on the bottom, 10-15 ft high. Good fish all around. A shark or two off in the distance. Dinner is already in the boat, so there is no tension from the need to eat and no schedule we need to meet. I’ve really gotten into it, long, relaxed, easy dives, long hangs on the bottom with the fish coming up in my face. Some dives are long drifts, flying in mid water. Others straight down, bombing on the fish. Can’t resist setting up a few shots just to see if I can do it, but with no intention of actually putting a fish in the boat. The moment doesn’t last long, but it was just absolutely perfect.

Spent the night in fierce squalls behind Burrows Cay.

Day 5, supposed to be go home day, but the weather was weird. Fairly stiff Northwest wind from before dawn slowly shifting to NE by about 10 am, solid overcast after the squalls passed. Forecast was great, but I been bit by that before. We did not realize it at the time, but the squalls and other weather were an arm of Barry that extended from the NE gulf to Cuba. The last time I really got clobbered in the stream was an arm just like that from Tropical Storm Debbie when she was in just about the same place as Barry. For a while I tried to stay on schedule, but the north wind kept blowing. I wasn’t going out in the Stream in that mess, which gave us time to do other things. Baden and Tiny had shot some more bait, so we feed stingrays and sharks again and again they mobbed us. This time it was more sharks than rays and a bit scary, especially for Braden. Tiny was holding the bait and I was a little concerned that an overly aggressive nurse shark might not be able to see much difference between bait and fingers, but all was ok. I have some low quality video that is pretty impressive with Tiny beating off 6 ft nurse sharks with his fins and Braden on his back,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlkhPZYwTcI. Afternoon was deep diving on a line with Braden getting down to 39 ft, not shabby for a 9 year old. We rode the line over the dark, spooky wall in great visibility. From 70 ft, the 125 ft edge looked like it was close. I had not had a chance to do that in years, so it was fun to see.

Spent the night back in the inlet on the east side of Bimini, After a week of seafood we decided to finish the spaghetti sauce and pasta, so I took some grouper home. Thanks Matt!

Back the next morning in decent conditions, home in Sarasota by 4 pm.

I had intended to drop the crew and go back to Bimini for a few days, like last year, but the wind was up enough to make it a harder trip than I preferred. I’m guess I’m getting old.

A good time was had by all.


On a less pleasant note, Bimini is getting way too crowded, lots of small boats in Honeymoon Harbor, probably from the big US housing development on North Bimini, Dive boats sitting on some of my best numbers(twice!), the sand dredge island is being turned into a king sized tourist resort, YUCK!!!!


Next year its Andros or the bight of Abaco. Darn near nobody in either of those places.
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Last edited by cdavisdb; 08-03-2019 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 07-21-2019, 08:59 PM
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Terry England Terry England is offline
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I told Don V. the ticket would be mask, snorkel, fins and a Cuban yo-yo. Wait for slack tide, and lower that thing down on one of those 15# Nassauís out there on one of those 10 million reefs and snatch his ass out of there. You might need some fried chicken to lure him out!
Scuttlebutt is that Dannyís going to try to put together a little longer trip next year out to Elbow Cay. We can fly a second shift into Marsh Harbor.
Iím glad your propellers kept turning both ways for you.
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Old 07-21-2019, 09:31 PM
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Snookerd Snookerd is offline
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Did someone say Hope Town? Great trip report as usual, Conner! Sounds like another great adventure. I would be game to join forces with your salty, veteran crew and this year’s “Grand Cay pirates” to set a future plan in motion for a run deeper into the Abacos next July. It would be another “Mother” of a gathering!!
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Old 07-21-2019, 11:17 PM
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You guys are animals - one helluva trip. That 9 year old boy is a lot tougher than me. If I was in the water with 4 sharks, I would either run across the surface or faint.

Glad you enjoyed yourselves.
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Old 07-22-2019, 07:27 AM
cdavisdb cdavisdb is offline
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It was good. Less serious diving than usual, but very good in other ways. Braden was a kick!

I'm in early planing for a trip, Berrys, Exumas or maybe Andros + a week or so in Abaco next July. Love to get together with a bunch CSCers.
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Old 08-01-2019, 02:41 PM
Tiny Tiny is offline
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Connor, sorry for the late post. It was an awesome trip especially for my son. He really had a great time and he kept commenting on how good the food was...thanks for everything Connor, you've really got it dialed in!
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Old 08-02-2019, 06:58 PM
cdavisdb cdavisdb is offline
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I hope he enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed watching him. Funny thing was, I didn't have things dialed in. I know how to schedule a normal, serious diving trip, but with Braden, it was very different. How long things took and what was interesting was all new, challenging and fun as well. It worked out fine. Thanks for coming!
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Old 08-02-2019, 08:09 PM
gofastsandman gofastsandman is offline
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Great thread Connor.
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