Diving Cat Island

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Cat Island, Bahamas


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Country: Bahamas  Area: Bahamas

Water Temp: 24 - 31°C (75 - 88°F)

Visibility: 20 - 50m (66 - 164 ft)

Lobster March – Late Oct to Early Nov, Grouper Spawning – Late Jan to early Feb

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Home to the highest peak in the Bahamas, a huge 207 feet, Cat Island is a wonderful place to explore above and below the surface of the ocean.

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The Bahamas means “Shallow Seas” and consists of a group of 700 breathtaking islands at the top of the Caribbean above Cuba and starting just 50 miles off the coast of Florida.  This tropical archipelago has 16 main islands from which you can base yourself on to explore the rest of the area.


Climate & Sea Conditions

The islands all have a warm agreeable climate which hardly varies all year round, but they are more susceptible to weather during the hurricane season which runs from June to November.  Even so this doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t visit at this time as with fewer tourists you can get the dive sites all to yourself. 

The water is very warm and settled throughout the year, and ranges from 24C in the winter months of December to March to 31C in the summer months of June to August.  The dive season is year round and even in the rainy season the water is still very clear.  This amazing visibility is due to virtually no runoff from the land, nearly all the rain water is absorbed into the porous limestone of the islands.

Cat Island beaches, Credit

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The Bahamas offers a wide array of different scuba diving experiences for all levels of diver, ranging from diving colourful coral reefs teeming with life, underwater caves, sunken ships, spectacular blue holes and exhilarating Shark Feeding Dives. 

There is one of the best shallow reef dives in the whole Bahamas here called Dry heads as well as many other top shallow and medium depth reefs. There are also wall and wreck dives.

Thanks NASA, Credit

Diving the Bahamas you are likely to see many different Shark species, Nurse, Black tip, Bull, Tiger, Great Hammerhead and Caribbean Reef sharks all inhibit the crystal blue waters. Shark feeds, rightly or wrongly, attract quite a bit of attention as the Bahamas are one of the few places that does Shark Feeds. The opportunity to watch these fascinating creatures feeding at close range can be a memorable underwater experience. Most areas will have Shark Feeding dives available and most liveaboards will do at least one in the week.

The Bahamas is also home to a few strange wildlife events that happen at set times of the year.  These are the Grouper Spawning and the “March of the Spiny Lobster”. 

Groupers are among the larger fish well known to divers and seen throughout the Bahamas. Usually solitary creatures the exception is every year at the full moon in late January or early February.  At this time they will gather into huge schools sometimes over 30,000 in size.  This happens in many spots in the Bahamas.  Cat Island is one of those locations, along with Long Island, Andros and the Berry Islands.  

The other famous event of the Bahamas is “The March of the Spiny Lobster” which is a widespread Phenomenon occurring on the Great and Little Bahamas Banks near Abacos, Grand Bahama and Andros.  The lobsters are usually found solitary on the reef like the groupers but again gather in huge numbers for this event.  The march is usually triggered by the first autumnal storms that arrive from the north and west in late October or early November.  The lobsters agitated by the storms leave their ledges and overhangs and begin to march to deeper water.  Chains of lobsters can then be seen marching in single file, each lobsters vulnerable parts protected by the lobster behind.  This makes them become fearless and as a diver you can get very close and they will even march over you if you lie down in their way.

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How to Get there

Located in the centre of the Bahamas Cat island can be easily reached by a short flight or by ferry from most of the other islands in the Bahamas.

Curly-Tailed Lizard on Cat Island, Credit

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