Dive #123 - Rich Torkington's Dive Log
© Copyright 2010 Rich Torkington Mesa, Arizona

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Bottom Time to Date:


Dive Info:

Dive Start:

Bottom Time:
48 minutes

Maximum Depth:
48 feet

Safety Stop:
Long time in shallows

Beginning Air:
3000 psi

Ending Air:
2000 psi

Weather Conditions:

Surface Conditions:

Surface Water Temperature:

Bottom Water Temperature:

50 feet
* * *˝
October 14,
Linda, Janel, Johnny, Cedric, Troy
Troy and the red grouper share an embrace
Videograph by Rich Torkington in the Bahamas 2002 
Dive Journal: DAY 1 IN THE BAHAMAS: Linda, the “Travel Queen,” spent many hours on the Internet considering a new dive destination. She soon centered on an area called the Abacos, part of the Bahamas. We’d heard about the Abacos from a fellow family of divers we’d met while on Salt Cay.

The first day took us from Phoenix to Fort Lauderdale, with a delayed layover in Newark. We made plenty of impolite fun about the whiny Newark airport. Stayed at the airport Sheraton in Fort Lauderdale for only $35 complete with limo transfers, thanks to the Queen.

DAY 2 IN THE BAHAMAS: The Sheraton limo driver had a hard time finding the Air Florida gate building, well away from the main terminal. We liked the personal service given by Air Florida and they were actually cheaper than Continental. The 8-seater plane out to March Harbor had only the four of us and the pilot, so it felt like a charter flight. We enjoyed the great views over the Gulf Stream and the Bahamas from only about 5000 feet.

In Marsh Harbor (located on Great Abaco Island), we grabbed a taxi at the airport and visited a grocery store for provisions. Johnny and Janel had fun picking out breakfast cereal, especially a German-made box of “Cin-X” with wacky cartoons on it. After a longish wait in the heat with cheeseburgers, we finally boarded a small ferry for the trip out to Great Guana Cay, one of the out islands of the Abacos. Great Guana is about 10 miles long, less than 1 mile wide, and directly faces the Atlantic. The island is known for its gorgeous 7 mile long beach, and for the watering hole called “Nippers.”

One of Linda’s best travel finds was a great house right on the beach on Great Guana Cay. The house featured about 3000 ft2, a 360 degree wraparound porch, full kitchen, a/c, outdoor shower, beautiful grass yard directly on the beach, private stairs over the dunes, and a neat widow’s watch on top. We enjoyed the widow’s watch almost every morning and night with excellent views of the beach, sound, island, and sunset/sunrise.

We spent the remainder of the day unpacking, walking the fabulous beach, exploring the house, swimming and body surfing the waves, and snorkeling some of the rocks in front of Nippers. The housekeeper provided us a cold six-pack of Kalik. Welcome to the Bahamas!

DAY 3 IN THE BAHAMAS: We used our big-wheeled golf cart to carry us and our gear over to the Dive Guana dive shop, located on the sound. There is an interesting-looking ramshackle watering hole set up under a tree next to the dive shop. We meet Troy and Maria, husband-wife owners of the dive shop, pick up some soft booties for Johnny (his feet are getting bigger), and ready our dive gear.

Troy and Maria have a nice dive boat, maybe 36 feet long. Big enough to provide a nice stable platform, but cozy enough so as not to be a cattle car. We head southeast down the inner side of Guana Cay, past Scotland Cay, and then vector through an ocean pass northwest of Fowl Cay, staying inside the reef, to a site called Grouper Alley.

There is a 14-year old also diving with us named Cedric, a resident of Great Abaco Island I think. He’s doing his first or second PADI OW cert dive with Troy, and is also taking pointers from Marie. We are puzzled that Cedric does no skill demonstrations during the dive, but perhaps Troy runs the course differently than what we experienced.

The day is quite overcast, but otherwise the conditions are good. Water temp is about 82F or so – a shorty would have been perfect but we all have our 3mm full suits with us. Troy starts peppering the water with bread or cat food or something and there is immediately a swarm of yellowtail snappers. These snappers follow him around the entire dive so he must be really putting out an aroma.

There are cool schools of chub that buzz us. Visibility is so-so for the Caribbean – a little hazy coupled with little sunlight. A very diver-friendly red grouper comes out at one spot and Troy pets him and gives him a “kiss” with his mask. There’s another friendly Nassau grouper that shows up, too.

We head to the seaward end of the reef and visibility worsens a little. There is occasionally a reef shark or other larger critter out here but not today. We do come across a medium-sized Southern stingray buried in the sand, tail-less. Cedric later explains that fisherman often cut the rays’ tails off to prevent them from stinging anyone (what a dumb practice).

Nearing the end of the dive, I see another new fish called a scamp, another nicely decorated member of the grouper family.

Mares Avanti Quattro
U S Divers Matrix
80 ft3 Al
SeaQuest Spectrum 4
Dive Type:
Body of Water:
Caribbean Sea
U S Divers
Spectrum XR2
plus Oceanic
Slimline octopus
10 lb
Water Type:
Video Equipment:
Sony DCR-TRV11 digital handycam in Top Dawg housing