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Scuba diving in Long Island

An island of superlatives, Long Island in the Bahamas is home to the world’s deepest blue hole, one great wreck and colorful offshore islands.
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Highlights

Blue Hole Diving

Long Island in the Bahamas is home to the deepest ocean blue hole on Earth! Dean’s Blue Hole is accessible to scuba divers and freedivers from shore.

The Comberbach

This 110-foot (94-meter) British freighter was purposefully sunk. Today she sits at 100 feet (30 meters) and its hold has been opened for exploration.

Conception Island Wall

While Long Island is a scuba destination in its own right, it’s also the jumping off point for Rum Cay and Conception Island with its sponge-filled wall.

Diving in Long Island

Quick facts

As the home of one of the longest running dive operations, Stella Maris, you know Long Island in the Bahamas must boast some great diving. The island itself features shallow reefs with some deeper sites on the western wall. It’s also home to the world’s deepest blue hole and a few historically important wrecks.

Additionally, Long Island is a great jumping off point for Conception Island and Rum Cay. These islands host coral walls populated by a colorful array of marine life.

Beginners will rejoice in the calm, shallow dive sites of Long Island. However, advanced divers can head deeper along the walls and tec divers can enjoy exploring the blue hole.

While it is possible to access a number of the shallow reefs from shore, the majority of diving around Long Island takes place from small speedboats. Most of the dive sites are within a five to ten-minute boat ride from shore, but Conception Island and Rum Cay require a longer journey.

Keep in mind that spearfishing or collecting fish while scuba diving is prohibited.

When to go

November to May is the best time to dive in Long Island when the number of pelagic species rises. 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 only for short periods of time.

June to October is also considered hurricane season. A hurricane comes into contact with Long Island about once every three years. 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 on Long Island. However, besides the sometimes stormy weather and the number of pelagic species present, diving in the Bahamas changes little from month to month.

November to May

November to May is the dry season in the Bahamas. 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. During these months, you have the best chance of encountering dozens of Caribbean reef sharks at Long Island.

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

Beginners can explore the shallow reefs near Clarence Town and Seymour's. Advanced divers should head to the northern shore and Conception Island.

    Pricing on request
    Pricing on request
    Pricing on request

    Snorkeling in Long Island

    Caught between the Atlantic and the Caribbean, Long Island offers snorkelers the best of both worlds. At Poseidon Point, you’ll see huge tarpon swimming along the reef, and at Rainbow Reef, elkhorn corals grow to huge sizes. Other popular snorkeling areas include Columbus Harbour, Flamingo Tongue Reef, Rock Pools, Turtle Cove and Watermelon Beach.
    Boasting fewer dive sites than its neighbors, Long Island still maintains the diversity of sites typical to the Bahamas. If you love wreck diving, be sure to dive the Comberbach which is detailed above. The HMS Conqueror is another wreck worth seeking out. This British naval vessel sank in 1848 and has disintegrated, but its canons, propeller shaft and petrified planking are still visible. For great marine life dives, head to Shark Reef or Grouper Valley. Both names perfectly describe the attraction to these sites. Barracuda Heads is another shallow reef dive. Finally, Conception Island sports the best wall diving in the area. Just be sure you’re comfortable without seeing any trace of the bottom before heading to this offshore island. The foot of the wall is at 6,000 feet (1830 meters).

    What to see

    Long Island, like many areas in the Bahamas, is most famous for its sharks in terms of marine life. In particular, scuba divers flock to the area for one-of-a-kind encounters with Caribbean reef sharks.

    Graceful dolphins also travel around the islands, and keep an eye out for the Nassau Grouper, a goliath fish that can reach almost 20 pounds. Many of these are fed by local dive masters and maintain near pet-like status. Frantically swimming around the grouper are their little friends, the wrasse, which clean the grouper in exchange for protection. Tarpon can also be seen in abundance near Poseidon Point.

    Perhaps the most iconic aquatic creature is the Queen Conch, a massive (and delicious) mollusk that slowly make their way across the sandy bottoms. Prized for their colorful and extravagant shells, conchs are often harvested in great abundance.

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