ISLAND GREAT HAMMERHEADS
A BIG FISH EXPEDITIONS TRIP
IN A NUTSHELL:
Great hammerheads, great conditions (most of the time) and
Yet again, Bimini delivered! We have enjoyed
three straight years of exceptional hammerhead shark
encounters. In my humble opinion, Bimini Island deserves to
be included in the top ten shark diving destinations in the
world. The hammers show up like clockwork, there are plenty
of other species you can see and our Bimini based operator
(Neal Watson's Dive Center) continues to provide us with
safe, professionally handled shark interactions, day in, day
The hammerheads remain around Bimini in the
winter and early spring. The Bahmas can be stormy at that
time and we heard reports of other dive groups getting
weathered out earlier in the season but I am happy to say
that out of two solid weeks of diving we only had one day
that was too windy to head out to sea. On that one windy
morning, rather than waste a day sitting in the resort, we
snorkeled in the mangroves and then visited Bimini Shark Lab
for a hammerhead research presentation in the afternoon.
To mix it up, each week we also scheduled
some dives at Triangle Rocks with Caribbean reef sharks.
Triangle has about 20 or reef sharks that are used to divers
due to a study that is being conducted by the shark lab in
that area. When there is a little chum in the water, the
reef sharks are more than happy to hang around for photos.
On our second week we also snuck in a trip to
Cat Key to dive with the stingrays and even a day cavorting
with playful Atlantic spotted dolphins.
On our best day, 11 different great
hammerhead sharks showed up at the feed. Other notable
attendees included more nurse sharks than we knew what to do
with, a few bull sharks that we never feed because they get
too rowdy, and a fly-by from an 8ft long smalltooth sawfish.
Sawfish encounters are very rare in Bimini (or anywhere else
for that matter). This one was a frustratingly fleeting
glimpse so no one managed to get any images. Fortunately, we
have a dedicated sawfish trip to Andros Island (also in the
Bahamas) later in the spring, so we expect to get some
longer sawfish interactions then.
One evening on each week we also extended the
encounters into the night. Under the cover of darkness, the
hammers moved much faster, quickly materializing out of the
inky water, snatching the bait and then dissappearing back
into the night. It was a challenge photographing them
without peripheral vision but it was a fun new perspective
that everyone enjoyed participating in.
All told, it was an very sharky couple of
weeks in the Bahamas. Other than if we get caught in a
storm, I see no reason why our Bimini hammerhead trips
should not continue to delight divers for years to come.
Maybe next year we will even photograph that illusive
us next spring for our
Great Hammerhead Adventure