Newsletter

Above & Below Abaco Newsletter May 2007

Articles Included in this Newsletter

Article 1 HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM ALL OF US AT ABOVE AND BELOW ABACO!
Article 2 CONGRATULATIONS!
Article 3 STINGRAY CLUB
Article 4 FEATURED DIVE SITE “CUDA ALLEY”
Article 5 FEATURED SEA LIFE ABACO’S “PACIFIC LION FISH”
Article 6 NEW ADVENTURES “THE GREAT ESCAPE”
Article 7 NEW DIVER CERTIFICATIONS

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM ALL OF US AT ABOVE AND BELOW ABACO!

We are nearing the end of our first year as “Above And Below Abaco”.  We wish to thank all of you for a very successful first year of business.  Thank you for diving with us and supporting us.  And, thank you for the joy we receive when sharing new and wonderful underwater adventures with you!

We’ve had wonderful adventures!  We’ve cavorted with friendly sharks and groupers, explored the amazing nooks and crannies of the “Magical Blue Hole”, discovered new and interesting dive sites on our reefs and most of all we have enjoyed our wonderful guests.  

We are so happy to be located at Abaco Beach Resort, one of the most beautiful spots in the Bahamas.  A magnificent marina, beautiful accommodations, beach, pools, restaurant, and gorgeous landscaping make it the perfect location for a vacation, retreat, or business meeting.

CONGRATULATIONS!

We would like to congratulate Lisa Kemp, Kristin Jones, and Shaun Diehl, three of our terrific Dive Team members, for completing their SSI Dive Con (Dive Master/Assistant Instructor) Certification during the past year.  This required many hours of studying and a multitude of presentations and dive briefings.  You can frequently see them in the pool conducting free “Try SCUBA” classes or updating certified divers with a “Refresher Course.”

STINGRAY CLUB

Shaun Diehl of Above and Below Abaco, hoping to develop a program serving the youth of Abaco, created our new “Stingray Club” for Abaco children and young adults.  The club welcomed it first members, five Abaco girls 11 to 13 years of age, in September of 2006.
 
The Club provides a social environment where Abaco youth have the opportunity to discover the wonderful underwater world surrounding their Island.  The girls discuss and learn reef biology and ecology, explore Abaco’s shorelines in kayaks, and play water games in the pool and on the beach.  Additionally, they learn snorkeling and SCUBA diving skills and complete academic requirements to become certified SCUBA Divers. 

 

The girls encourage and motivate each other with teamwork and safety in mind.  The ultimate goal for the club is to help students develop a lifelong love for the ocean, respect for life within it, and the skills to enjoy it.  Their motto says it all – “Have Fun!  Be Safe!  Dive Well!”  

FEATURED DIVE SITE “CUDA ALLEY”

Our featured dive site is “Cuda Alley” named in honor of a school of Barracudas waiting to greet divers.  This is a magnificent dive site for beginning as well as seasoned, advanced and professional divers.  Located at the North End of Guana Cay the reef is alive with beautiful tropical fish and lush coral gardens.  Depths range from 20 to 60 feet.  From any depth the reef reaches the surface and is loaded with interesting nooks and crannies.  A huge ledge undercuts one end of the reef and leads to a magnificent cavern filled with millions of Silversides in the summer.  Parrot Fish, Jacks, Yellowtails, Groupers, and a multitude of other fish dart in and out.  Morays, Lobsters, Eagle Rays and an occasional Reef Shark make this reef their home.

Future “Featured Dive Sites” will include Shark Ledge, Guana Coral Caverns, The Fish Bowl, Coral Mansions, The Maze, The Magical Blue Hole and many others.

FEATURED SEA LIFE ABACO’S “PACIFIC LION FISH”

Why are they here?  No one knows for sure. Whether released from aquariums, carried in the bilges of ships, or relocated by storms and ocean currents one thing is for certain, the elegant Pacific Lion Fish are here.  Local Abaconians fear they may change the ecology of waters surrounding the Islands.  Fishermen believe their lobster/crawfish harvest will suffer.  Others worry Lion Fish will compete for food eaten by Groupers.  Lionfish typically feed on juvenile fish, and crustaceans such as crabs and shrimp.

We are finding beautiful Pacific Lion Fish under logs and other debris in the shallow waters of the Sea of Abaco.  So far we have not seen any of these animals on our reefs. The three Lion Fish we have been observing seem to be territorial, each staying in a separate location for months at a time.  Unless molested or feeding they move slowly and are great subjects for underwater photography.  However, they are poisonous.

The venom lies in their 12 to 13 dorsal spines, 2 pelvic spines and 3 anal spines.  The poison is administered like a syringe, entering the victim when the spine is compressed down.  The effects of the venom are severe pain and swelling around the wound, nausea, dizziness, muscle weakness, shortness of breath, hypotension, and headache.  The venom is made up of proteins that are vulnerable to heat and denature easily. 

If stung the wound should be immediately immersed in very hot water for 30 to 40 minutes.  Medical attention is strongly recommended.  According to our research there has never been a report of death due to Lion Fish stings. 

NEW ADVENTURES “THE GREAT ESCAPE”

“The Great Escape,” is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy snorkeling close to shore, along the beautiful beaches of South Abaco.  This adventure has become quite popular for a good many reasons including the following: 

  • Occasionally we get cold fronts dipping down from Canada in the winter.  These create high seas and unpleasant snorkeling and diving conditions on our reefs. 
  • Some of our guests want to stay on land but also want to enjoy snorkeling and our beautiful water. 
  • Other guests just want an adventure away from their boats. 

The Southern half of Abaco is home to miles of deserted, beautiful beaches where there are great places to snorkel in tidal pools and on shallow reefs.  Beach combing on these deserted beaches is a treat!  Treasures have been found ranging from the rare glass ball to colorful shells, messages in bottles, and beautifully tumbled sea glass.

Each “Great Escape” adventure is tailored to the wishes of the group.  We offer half day or whole day adventures that include stops at various beaches such as Little Harbour, Casaurina Beach, Eight Mile Beach, Old Kerrs Beach, Long Beach, Crossing Rocks Beach, Sandy Point Beach and others.

On some of our “Great Escape” Adventures we stop at Nancy’s in Sandy Point for a delicious, authentic Bahamian Lunch.  Guests can choose from whole pan fried yellowtail snapper, fried chicken, or lobster tails with peas and rice, coleslaw, and potato salad.  And, the view overlooking the Atlantic is spectacular. 

At the end of the day treasures are gathered up and stowed away.  And, just before leaving for home, our guests relax and enjoy fresh fruit, cheese and crackers, and some delicious frozen fruit juice or frozen rum punch. 

NEW DIVER CERTIFICATIONS

Congratulations to the following newly certified SCUBA Divers!
Arielle Cash
Sally Colwell
Alia Diehl
Charles (Fred) Drummond
Camden Donnelly
Adam Janacek
Philippa La Rosee
Lakeshia Lightbourne
Steven Lobb
David B. Miller
Felix Oberdorfer
Henry Oberdorfer
Javon Roker
Congratulations to the following Advanced SCUBA Divers!
Anton (Tony) Knoll
Keith Waller