In truth, I never had much desire to visit the Bahamas. I mean, I visited back in 1991 on a Disney Big Red Boat cruise, but that hardly counts, right? I just sort of envisioned the whole country being one giant, tacky Spring Break destination like Panama City, or else littered with tourist eyesores like every port-of-call you visit in the Caribbean. Then I discovered diving in Abaco, and I was smitten.
This post was last updated in September 2021.
In truth, my preconceived notions were just plain silly, expecting a country that consists of 700 islands to fall under one large umbrella of generalizations. Because I’m here to tell you, you’ll nary find more crisp, clean, stunning water than we saw in the Abacos, the island chain in which we were staying. (In fact, it supposedly has the best visibility in the world, making it all the easier to see if a SHARK is approaching well in advance!).
Much like Canada before it and the Maldives before that, the Bahamas has stolen my heart, and it’s largely thanks to that first time diving in Abaco … even though thinks didn’t quite go as planned.
While there, too, I thought it would be fun to come back a few pounds lighter, as opposed to heavier like one usually does on this type of self-indulgent vacation (even though this was technically a “work trip,” when it comes down to it, let’s be honest, IT’S THE FREAKIN’ BAHAMAS, and really served as little more than an awesome, sunny, five-day break from chilly San Fran).
So I opted for a new diet, one that consists of contracting a deadly stomach bug likely from my germy 8-year-old airplane seatmate, and one that surfaces as you’re sailing upon placid water, so upon the first hour of severe vomiting on board, you mistake it for an odd case of motion sickness. Then, when 18 hours later, your stomach is still thrashing around like a fish trying to rid itself of a pesky hook, you realize, hmm, that’s really odd for seasickness and write it off as a virus that will dissipate after its scheduled 24 hours…or so you hope. And then you proceed to rid yourself of anything that enters your system for going on four days and come to the realization that 24-hour viruses don’t necessarily last only 24 hours and sometime stick around just to be a nuisance for a full 96. But hey, you do return home FIVE pounds less, possibly the only time that will ever happen after a Caribbean escape.
I felt really bad ditching Holly on our second day of diving, as not only was the first day a real blast, but we were the only two divers getting certified and we were, after all, Dive Buddies. I mean, what if she drowned without her buddy there for support? I wouldn’t want to go through life with that burden hanging on my shoulders (besides, I kind of adore the girl, so that would just generally suck all around). But she passed with flying colors and even swam with SHARKS(!), and upon getting back to the resort, accompanied me to the beach because I was feeling slightly better.
And because she’s a true pal like that and in her obvious Olympic spirit, she went as far as to join me in my intense pain, by possibly breaking a toe or two (no exaggeration) through performing a death-defying Nastia Liukin-like leap on a deserted beach. Because friends don’t let friends be condemned to the infirmary alone.
By day three, however, I was feeling well enough to hobble around in a hunched-over positions, so I completed my dives, and Holly and I got all grad-u-mated at Brendal’s Dive Center. Sadly, the caps and gowns were still at the cleaners.