Here's the Nassau Crew, August 1998: Padma Duvvuri, Curt Harpold, Sherrie Stanton, Ken Alvares, Nancy and Pat Duley, and me. Not pictured: Ron Zera, Deborah Yeskey, and Carol Thompson.
This was one of those trips that wound up great despite a bunch of setbacks. The hotel lost our reservations and a major hurricane was bearing down on the islands. Fortunately, we got our accomodations straightened out and the hurricane stayed safely away.
By far the best part of the trip was the shark feeding dive at Stuart Cove's Dive South Ocean. Stuart got started in the shark business by providing shark footage for the James Bond films and can be visited at his shop outside of Nassau, which served as the set of the town in the 1996 film Flipper. Shark feeding dives have been a subject of a lot of controversy world-wide lately. They've since been banned in Florida and Stuart Cove's is one of the last places you can go to experience one.
We only saw about three Caribbean reef sharks on our first dive on Shark Wall, a dive that was really geared mostly to getting used to being around the animals in their natural habitat. Later, on the second dive at Shark Arena, the divemaster brought down a bait bucket filled with fish pieces that immediately attracted about thirty-five sharks. The sharks are all around us, heading in to, or out of, the bait bucket, just a few inches away.