TUNNELS Reef -
It is possible to swim through this smaller circular cavern. In the summer it is filled with silversides. Schools of horse-eyed jacks hover above the reef and, occasionally, spotted eagle rays are seen here. (60'-80')
Tunnel's Reef by Ray Lightbourne
Location: Theo’s Wreck – N 26º28.976’ W 078º40.212’
Theo’s Wreck dive site is located west of Silver Point and East of Xanadu Beach, about 1.5 miles from the coast. The wreck is about 230 feet long and rest on the ocean floor on its port side, between the deep reef and the drop-off at a depth of about 101 feet. The bow points landward and the stern seaward, she rests on a flat, sandy floor, among a few isolated coral banks. Two permanent buoys, one at the bow and one at the stern, mark the ship’s position. The waters around the wreck are subject to currents that vary according to the tides; use the buoys for safe resurfacing.
Since she was sunk in 1982, the ship has become home to numerous fish and is now covered with rich vegetation. The bow anchor chain, in particular, has splendid gorgonian sea fans. The shaded part of the hull is completely smothered in orange false gorgonians.
The Ship's History
Built in Norway in 1954, the M/S Logna was used to carry cargo between Norway and Spain. The Bahama Cement Company acquired it in 1969 to take sand from Fort Pierce, Florida, to Eleuthera and New Providence (Nassau). A million dollars was allocated for restructuring the ship so that it could be registered with Lloyd’s in 1981. However, the investment could not be amortized and the ship was decommissioned at the Bahama Cement Company dock. When the management decided to scuttle the ship in deep international waters, engineer Theopolis Galanoupoulos, an underwater sports enthusiast, suggested sinking it in shallower water as an attraction for scuba divers. The ship was towed to the designated spot, and the valves in the ballast tanks were opened on October 16, 1982.
We moor our boat to the buoy at the bow of the ship. A glance over the parapet reveals a light current, and the blue of the water is a guarantee of excellent visibility. The briefing is an important part of the dive and is done in detail by the Divemaster. We start the dive along a cable that leads from the boat platform to the mooring buoy and eventually to the wreck. Visibility is exceptional. We can see the outline of the ship clearly from the surface of the water and, looking over the parapet, I see a huge shoal of jacks and numerous Barracudas. We enter at the bow, where the anchor chain hangs down, covered with splendid gorgonians. The strobe light being used to make the film of the dive shows the corals in all the splendor of their true colors. Close to the bow of the wreck, the depth is 96 feet. The exploration starts on the bow deck and we move on to the first cargo hold. An enormous shoal of grunts almost blocks the way and, totally ignoring the divers, diapers inside the ship. We swim to the superstructure at the center of the huge holds. With a light, I can see the numerous animals hiding in the nooks and crannies. There is a lot of life down here. Many fish hide among the struts, the braces, and the ventilation pipes and the shoal of Jacks is still swimming around the deck and the toppled chimney. It is incredible how the ship has been covered in vegetation. The winches on the quarterdeck are beautiful. We intend to get as far as the propellers and the rudder so we leave quarter deck and head for the starboard parapet. There we feel the presence of the light current from which we were sheltered on the other side of the ship and inside the holds. The underside of the rudder and the enormous curved propeller blades are completely covered with flower corals in wonderful shades of orange. We see a long lone of big lobsters at the point where the hull disappears into the sand, just a few yards away from the stark outline of the drop-off. Sharks, rays and turtles come in at this point from the open sea to visit the wreck. Other divers told me of a 15 minute encounter they had with a school of spotted dolphins. Swimming toward the bow, we are sheltered from the current by the deck and are able to admire Theo’s Wreck in perfect tranquility.
Theo's Wreck by Chris Gjersvik
Sea Star II Wreck -
(Formerly Emmanuelle) was sunk in April 2002 by a small group of divers on Grand Bahama. The ship is approximately 180 foot long and sits upright in around 90 feet of water. As a freighter, she has a cavernous cargo hold which is open to exploration, where the diver can see evidence of how the ship was made ready for sinking, with cement ballast and holes in the side of the hull still visible.The wreck is now home to many varied species of fish and plant life, including some of the biggest arrow crabs in the area. Other interesting aspects of the dive include a small crane on the deck and the chance for more experienced divers to explore the galley, crew quarters and wheelhouse.
Sea Star II Wreck by Chris Gjersvik
CRYSTAL CAVES -
Sharks and spotted rays are frequently seen here. There is a coral cavern that passes through the reef for about 100 feet. The cavern is inhabited by soldier and squirrel fish. (65'-80')
Crystal Caves Reef by Chris Gjersvik
SILVER POINT DEEP REEF -
Located east of Theo’s wreck, and part of a massive reef system, with a permanent coral head mooring in 60ft of water. Silver point deep has wreckage, which is home to a massive green moray eel, and shoals of reef fish. This well patterned and easy to navigate reef has a drop off to 85ft,which allows for good viewing of lovely soft corals and sponges of various sizes and colors. Also home to lobsters, eels (spotted and green morays), most Caribbean reef fish and some large grouper. Rays are common too. Sea turtle have also been spotted here. Silver point also makes a good dive with its combination of sea life and geographical beauty.
Silver Point Reef Deep by Chris Gjersvik
BLAIR HOUSE -
Plate and deep water staghorn coral adorn the area. There are numerable swim-throughs at this site that can be full of silversides during the summers months. Dramatic deep channels house blue tangs, eels and schools of grunts. (65'-80')
Blair House by Chris Gjersvik
Plate Reef by Ray Lightbourne
PLATE REEF -
Many varieties of hard coral have formed here. Many plate coral overlap above the surge channels. The blue hole here is quite large and comes right out of the side of a high profile coral. Mahogany and yellowtail snappers, goatfish, and French grunts are usually seen. (60'-80')
About a 35 minute ride from Xanadu, the mooring at Freebex lies in 80 feet of water. Freebex is primarily a reef dive, consisting of a large fringing reef ranging from 60 to 90 feet in depth, the reef boasts a healthy variety of corals and sponges, a good chance of seeing hawksbill or loggerhead turtles, and a small wreck. The wreck is that of a military landing craft, originally used to land troops on beaches, and brought to the Bahamas by the French company COMEX. In the early 90’s this company operated a tour in the world’s largest clear sided submarine, and sank the wreck as an added feature on their tour. The submarine tour may be no more, but over the years the wreck has become heavily encrusted with coral growth, and is used as a home by a variety of marine life. (60-90 ft')
Moray Manor / LA Rose -
Moray Manor is a great reef on the south side of Grand Bahama, originally named for the large number of Moray Eels which reside there, the area is dominated by some of the biggest Boulder Star Corals in the area. The area became an even better dive site in June, 2006, with the addition of the wrecked tug boat, LA Rose. LA Rose was used for many years by a company from the island of Abaco to install pilings in the many canals and marinas on Grand Bahama. Finally reaching the end of her useful life, the 50ft/ 2 storey Tug was sunk in cooperation with the Grand Bahama Scuba Association and Bradford Grand Bahama, and is now a 5 minute swim south of the mooring at Moray Manor making this an outstanding reef/wreck combination dive. (60-95 ft)