Dive report: Juliet Liveaboard in the Bahamas
In November 2019 M. Kruk and his wife boarded the MY Juliet. A sailing and scuba diving yacht, that moves around in the Caribbean. Their itinerary was sailing and diving around the Bahamas. M. Kruk wrote up this Dive Report and is sharing it with the readers of Dutch Mermaid. Enjoy! Ps. also all pictures are taken by the Kruk’s!
Sailing and Diving in the Bahamas
My wife and I recently completed a Bahamas trip on the Juliet which departed November 2 – 8. It was a wonderful and truly memorable experience! We dove twice in the morning, did one afternoon dive, and one night dive every day (except the last day which omitted the night dive). Dive sites varied each day and we bounced around between Bimini, Gingerbread Grounds, Ocean Cay, and Cat Cay. Weather was generally favorable with a brief sprinkling of rain on one or two days of our journey. I was a bit nervous about the ocean crossing to/from the Bahamas but it wasn’t too rocky as previously thought.
The Juliet Liveaboard boat
We had accommodations in the suite ES2 room which was beautifully furnished with classic wood interior with plenty of outlets for charging cameras/lights, storage space for clothes and gear, twin bed and bunk option, as well as a personal shower and marine toilet. Earplugs for sleeping were very helpful as the A/C noise was noticeable and I am a VERY light sleeper. On deck and in the dining room area, there is plenty of room to stretch out and read, doze, or chit chat. We never felt crammed.
Liza, the ship captain, wore many hats during the trip. She was a welcoming host and great conversationalist for the downtime between dives. She would routinely check up on us throughout our diving trips to answer any fish ID questions or ask about any preferences for diving. Her knowledge of the dive sites was very welcome especially for our night dive octopus searches! We loved anytime the resident dive boat cat Rico would make an appearance and ask for scratches too!
Hillary, the chef, accommodated diet restrictions and served a wonderful variety of foods for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and mid-morning snacks. It was tough to not go up for seconds! Once the diving was done, the liquor cabinet and beer cooler were raided for nightcaps and had a variety of craft beers and liquor.
Before each dive, the dive master Jeanneau (I hope I spelled that right!) gave us a rundown of the dive site with a detailed map and gave us clues where to find certain wildlife.
Catching a lionfish and eating it
After the dive briefing, Brittany the biologist provided us with a “Fish of the Dive” challenge to spot a particular fish on our dive, and could answer some biology questions or fish ID questions. She also was a great source of corny aquatic related jokes that made us all laugh. Upon request, she can show you how to use a lion fish spear and “zoo keeper” for hunting lion fish, which was a neat challenge for my wife. After spearing a lion fish, Max the engineer on board, showed us how to properly prepare a lion fish safely and how to cut out fillets for cooking.
Scuba Diving in the Bahamas
We appreciated that every dive was self-lead and we could dive as long as we wanted to (most of our dives were over an hour!). Having a compass and navigation skills down is critical to enjoying your dives. Each diver had a tank assigned to them with an associated “cubby” storage unit for keeping all dive gear secured. For photographers there are multiple camera buckets for rinsing off cameras, which are gently lowered to you after jumping into the water. There was ample room to gear up and we took advantage of the Nitrox option since we dive all available dive opportunities. We expected to encounter sharks regularly on our dives, but we only had several carribean reef sharks tag along with us on certain dive sites. Green and loggerhead sea turtle encounters were very frequent and flybys with massive loggerheads was truly magical! Our favorite dive location was the Sapona, a very shallow wreck that was a veritable aquarium that was a host to a vibrant cast of characters at night.
It was sad to depart after a week of fun diving, but we were very impressed with our experience on Juliet (compared to the Aggressor liveaboard we did in the past) and are already talking about booking another trip in the next few years!