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Old 08-14-2007, 04:21 PM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Location: Florida
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NEWS FROM THE BAHAMAS

Just got back from Small Hope Bay Lodge near Fresh Creek on Andros. Lionfish are fairly common there. On one dive on the wall, we saw three inside a small head including a juvenal. My primary camera flooded (25 yrs. since the last time) so I had no camera to use at depth. Fortunately, Nick Goddard was carrying a nice housed Canon Rebel and graciously provided the five underwater photos used in this account.


The juvenal is labeled "A" with the two adults marked A and C at around 95 ft


A closer view of the trio

Nick is a dive instructor, hails from the UK and does an excellent job of running dives and instruction at Small Hope Bay Lodge just north of Fresh Creek. He comes from Marine Engineering and is on sabbatical in Andros.


Nick at the helm on the way to the reefs

Britt, also a very capable instructor and boat operator teams with Nick and other staff on runs out to the reefs several times a day. She told me about seeing 15 lionfish hanging around one of the steel channel marking structures offshore of the Fresh Creek inlet. Britt comes from a background in Geography, has a strong interest in expanding into cave diving and mapping. Like Nick, she is an effective but low key leader on the dives.

BTW, the diving is interesting and staff at SHB do an incredible job, excellent view, clear water, easy peaceful times ashore, good food, it's a great place to go hang out. The wall is impressive and comes up as shallow as 80 ft. in spots, there are a variety of blue holes to checkout and the shark dive is a hoot. We had about 12 reef sharks show up and swim around for 45 minutes. SHB is a low key, unpretentious place only 50 minutes away from Ft. Lauderdale, FL by plane. I am still evaluating this but it is possible this part of Andros may be treated to fairly regular, kiteable thermal winds. More about Small Hope Bay Lodge at: http://www.smallhope.com/


Britt checking things out

Later on in the dive we saw a particularly large lionfish at least 18 cm perhaps longer around 105 ft. near the edge of the wall.


The big guy




The head the big guy was in along the wall


Small Hope Bay Lodge is located just north of Andros Town on the northeast coast of Andros

On another dive along the wall, we saw FIVE lionfish distributed singly along the path of the dive.

I also met a long time resident of the area, Dr. Tim Turnbull who first dove the area in 1969. He is a marine biologist specializing in reef studies who estimates the lionfish first appeared in the area around 6 years ago.

Also, down in Key Largo I met a guy who remembers seeing lionfish around New Providence in the Bahamas about 20 years ago. I hope to receive more info from him about these old sightings.



SHB, less than an hour away from Florida
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Last edited by RickI; 08-16-2007 at 03:37 PM.
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