Newsletter

Above & Below Abaco Newsletter October 2007

Articles Included in this Newsletter

Article 1 FALL IN LOVE WITH ABACO
Article 2 THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!
Article 3 ENCOUNTERS
Article 4 FEATURED DIVE SITE: U.S.S. SAN JACINTO
Article 5 NEW ABOVE AND BELOW ABACO T-SHIRTS!
Article 6 IT'S TIME TO FALL IN LOVE WITH ABACO

FALL IN LOVE WITH ABACO

Summer's end is the time to "Fall In Love With Abaco!" When no tropical storms are brewing out in the Atlantic fall and winter are some of the best times to dive here. We have absolutely beautiful seas with all shades of warm, clear, turquoise water surrounding our reefs. And, we have our choice of dozens of uncrowded dive sites. Some days we are the only boat on the reef. September and October sea temperatures usually are in the mid 80's dropping to just about 80 degrees by the end of November.

If tropical disturbances crop up we have other choices available. One of those choices, The Magical Blue Hole, is an inland wonder. Looking like a pond back in the middle of the Pine Forest, most divers say, "We're not diving here are we?" However, they sound completely different at the end of the dive. We often hear comments like: "Where were we?" "It was huge!" "How did those gigantic stalactites get there?" "It felt like we were on some other planet, but I could see the surface the whole time!" "No matter how well you briefed that dive, there was no way to describe it with words." and "That was incredible!!"

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

We want to thank all of our guests who were diving with us during the summer. You made our summer season wonderfully successful! It was an absolutely magnificent summer! We had beautiful weather with warm, clear, calm seas. Our reefs were especially beautiful, and our caverns and tunnels were filled with gazillions of silversides and streams of light dancing all about. Most of all, we had the opportunity to share our love of the sea with some of the most wonderful people in the world. Divers are great!

ENCOUNTERS
Many of the fish and animals we encounter on our protected reefs have overcome their fear of divers and seem to enjoy greeting us and entertaining us with their antics. Groupers swim up to us waving pectoral fins like long lost friends. Caribbean Reef Sharks swim along side; sometimes above, below, and between divers without any sign of aggression. Eagle Rays circle divers again and again and come back to pose for pictures before swimming off. And, Green Morays poke their heads out of holes to look at divers up close.

Initially these animals may have been enticed to interact with divers who offered handouts. However, we observe these behaviors over and over again while diving without the use of any type of bait. Perhaps these animals enjoy our company as much as we enjoy theirs. One recent encounter left no doubt that the interaction was intentional.

While diving with two guests from New York, a stubby tailed Spotted Eagle Ray followed us along the reef at Sandy Cay. We stopped, and watched as it began making wide circles around us. Then, another Spotted Eagle Ray appeared. The two rays came together, circled and looped around each other, and swam out of sight. We were thrilled with this close encounter. Just as we started to swim away the same two Spotted Eagle Rays came back. They swam up together, side by side, and stopped right in front of us; as if to get our attention. Then, they began to dance. What a dance it was! They looped and soared and circled each other for several minutes. And just before leaving, as if to take a bow, they came right up in front of us and stopped again before swimming away.

FEATURED DIVE SITE: U.S.S. SAN JACINTO

A historic shipwreck, the U.S.S. San Jacinto, sits on the inside of Chub Rocks near Whale Cay. She ran aground New Year's Day, 1865 while running a blockade for the U.S. Navy. Her coral encrusted wreckage is scattered over acres of sea bottom ranging from 20 to 50 ft. Two boilers sit up in twenty feet of water and a piece of the stern is still intact at 50 feet.

The wreckage, home to literally tens of thousands of fish, is a great fish observation and identification dive. There are huge schools of snappers, jacks, parrot fish, goat fish, blue tangs and a great many more. Moray eels find great hiding places in the rubble, a few turtles cruise the area, and an occasional reef shark circles the perimeter.

The U.S.S. San Jacinto, a Civil War gunboat, was one of the first steam ships built in the U.S. She was 234 ft. long with a 38 ft. beam, and was first launched in New York in 1850. During her lifetime she provided support for the northern troops by capturing blockade runners, ran diplomatic missions overseas, and was involved in China's Second Opium War.

NEW ABOVE AND BELOW ABACO T-SHIRTS!

Our artists are currently designing our new Above & Below Abaco T-Shirt. In keeping with the fun and excitement other companies have enjoyed we are launching the Above & Below Abaco T-Shirt Photo Contest. Guests who purchase one of our t-shirts can email a digital photo of someone wearing the shirt. Prizes will be awarded to winners in several categories: The funniest photo, Photo taken the farthest distance from Abaco, Photo taken in the most unusual place, Photo taken in the most beautiful location, and Photo that most clearly depicts the spirit of Diving. Once we have received them, photos will be printed and posted on the wall in the shop. Winners will be announced September 1, 2008. If you would like to order one of our original art t-shirts, contact us.

IT'S TIME TO FALL IN LOVE WITH ABACO

 

We anticipate a great winter for diving. Since there is very little algae growth during the winter, the water on our reefs is exceptionally clear. And, the larger animals such as our Caribbean Reef Sharks and Spotted Eagle Rays swim closer to the reef giving us greater opportunities to observe and appreciate these beautiful animals. We would love to help you with your plans for a diving get-away. We would be happy to customize a trip for you that would include SCUBA Diving, Snorkeling, Island Hopping and/or Sunset Cruising. We have packages on our website that include lodging here at the prestigious Abaco Beach Resort.