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Scuba diving in Eleuthera & Harbour Island

With more shipwrecks than any other area in the Bahamas, Eleuthera and Harbour Island delight wreck divers but also please reef and cave enthusiasts.
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Highlights

The March of the Spiny Lobster

Agitated by the arrival of fall storms in October and November, large groups of spiny lobsters ‘march’ to deeper water near Abacos and Grand Bahama.

Drift Diving at Current Cut

Between Eleuthera and Current Island, a narrow channel takes divers, sharks and eagle rays on a drift dive with waters that reach a speed of 4 knots.

Train Wreck at Devil’s Backbone

One of the most unusual wreck dives found in the Bahamas, Devil’s Backbone is home to a sunken train from the 1860s complete with a steam locomotive.

The Lost Shipwrecks of Rock Sound

Once notorious as a settlement of “wreckers” who lured in unsuspecting ships with false navigation lights, there are dozens of sunken ships to explore.

Bone Cave Inland Sinkhole

For tec divers, Eleuthera offers an inland limestone sinkhole known as Bone Cave. Inside you’ll find artifacts from an ancient Lucayan civilization.

Diving in Eleuthera & Harbour Island

Quick facts

Eleuthera and Harbour Island have the largest number of natural wrecks in the Bahamas. Most of the shipwrecks like Train Wreck or those at Rock Sound lie within Open Water limits (above 60 feet/18 meters).

Furthermore, the coral reefs and walls here are pristine and colorful, with the added benefit of healthy marine life. They are also range from shallow to deep making this a great place for both beginners and advanced divers alike.

Advanced divers will have the chance to drift dive as well. Tidal currents have formed deep cuts in the reef over the years. The currents in the area can move as fast as 4 knots, so sites like Current Cut are great for gaining some drift diving experience.

The diving from the Eleuthera and Harbour Island mostly takes place from small speedboats, but a number of shore diving opportunities exist.

Keep in mind that spearfishing or collecting organisms while scuba diving is prohibited. A fee for diving in nationally protected areas may apply.

When to go

Diving in the Bahamas is best from November to May when the most marine life is active. June to October is hurricane season and best avoided.

June to October

The Bahamas enjoys a hot and sunny climate year-round, although June to October is considered the rainy season. It usually rains once a day, every day but for only short periods of time.

June to October is also considered hurricane season. If you are planning a trip to the Bahamas during these months, consider taking out travelers insurance on the off chance a hurricane forms during your vacation.

Air temperatures during the summer months range from 75-91°F (24-33°C) while water temperatures are approximately 88°F (31°C).

If you enjoy getting the best deals and diving at uncrowded dive sites, book your trip from June to October. This is low season in Eleuthera and Harbour Island. Besides the sometimes stormy weather and the number of fish present, diving in the Eleuthera and Harbour Island changes little from month to month.

November to May

November to May is the dry season in Eleuthera and Harbour Island. During these summer months, you can expect sunny, hot and mildly humid conditions.

Air temperatures during the winter months range from 65-77°F (18-25°C) while water temperatures are 75-80°F (24-27°C).

In addition to great topside conditions, November to May is also the best time for shark diving. The most Caribbean reef sharks and blacktip reef sharks can be seen during these months.

However, November to May also represents high season for tourism in the Caribbean. So be sure to book early in order to get a good deal on accommodation and flights.

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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Where to dive

Shallow reefs and walls that drop to infinity exist around the island. Wreck divers will want to look to the far northern and southern points.

    USD 249Per night
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    Snorkeling in Eleuthera & Harbour Island

    As with most islands in the Bahamas, snorkeling is a popular activity around Eleuthera and Harbour Island. If the wind is calm, both sides of the island can be comfortably snorkeled. However, often the Caribbean is far better for topside spotting. In particular, Current Cut, Gaulding Cay and Twin Sisters are popular for their shallow depths and plentiful marine encounters.
    At 110 miles (180 kilometers) long, Eleuthera and Harbour Island have a lot of coast to explore. There are dozens of dive sites including walls, reefs, wrecks and inland sinkholes. Below we’ll detail a few favorites. Devil’s Backbone is a collection of sub-sites where wrecks are king. Here you’ll find Train Wreck and even three separate shipwrecks piled on top of each other. The shallow and jagged reef is located off the northern tip of the island. Plateau and the Pinnacles are advanced sites due to their depths. Each features mounds of corals undercut by ledges. Current Cut is one of the most famous dive sites. Here you can ride along a 4-knot current while passing reef sharks, eagle rays and a wide array of tropical fish. Inland, you’ll find Bone Cave, a limestone cave that bottoms out at 100 feet (30 meters). Throughout the cave, tec divers regularly find artifacts of ancient civilizations.

    What to see

    You can see a flabbergasting variety of creatures while diving in the waters surrounding the smaller islands of the Bahamas. Eleuthera and Harbour Island are home to Caribbean reef shark and the occasional bull shark. Shark baiting and diving here is in its infancy. You can expect to see an array of brightly hued tropical fish, and maybe even a dolphin or two. In the shallows, keep an eye out for rays burrowed in the sand or eagle rays floating in the current.

    Once, sea turtles nested heavily on the islands. Unfortunately, the turtles no longer lay their eggs here. However you can still come across green, hawksbill, and giant loggerhead turtles feeding on the sea grasses.

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