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Tiger Beach Bahamas: When Currents Rip

strong currents at tiger beach

Occasionally, the currents at Tiger Beach Bahamas can get pretty strong.  We try to plan our dives when the current is mild, but conditions have been known to change in a matter of minutes. Because the scent trail is moving fast, it can lead to some pretty amazing dives, but there are a few extra special considerations.

strong currents at tiger beach
Tigers line up in the strong current. Notice he sargasm on the bottom and how quickly the divers bubbles are carried away from them!

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Weights.

extra weight tiger beach bahamas We suggest packing on the pounds while diving at Tiger Beach Bahamas. It may be a strange concept for some, but an average of 20 – 30 pounds of lead is typical. Most of our dives are static, meaning that divers are positioned on the bottom and need to stay in place for the dive. When currents pick up, underweighted divers turn into tumbleweeds and can find themselves in some pretty precarious situations. Because the dives are shallow and subject to surface surge and occasional strong currents, there’s really no downside to carrying some extra lead. We know that once divers are done discussing how little air they breathe and how long a tank lasts them, the next thing to brag about is how little weight they wear. Forget that concept for diving Tiger Beach! Nothing will drain you tank faster than fighting against the current to keep your position on the bottom.

Moving Around.

As already mentioned, the dives at Tiger Beach Bahamas are generally static and divers should stay put once in position on the bottom. When it’s necessary to move, there’s definitely a right and wrong way to go about it if the currents are moving fast. We suggest dives stand and walk backwards along the bottom. This keeps your eyes focused down current which is where most of the shark action will be. It’s also very difficult to swim against the current in full SCUBA gear, wearing all that extra weight and possibly carrying a camera. This is especially true at the end of the dive, when your tanks are already low. Take a calm, leisurely stroll back to the boat rather than a tiring swim.

Ascending.

There’s two ways to do this: The easy way, and the hard way. Typically, the currents are running from the bow to the stern of the boat, especially when it’s moving fast. We suggest divers walk backwards along the bottom to about the midpoint of the boat. Once in position, make sure the dive ladder is free and begin your ascent from this point. While going up slowly, the current will pull you to the stern and you should meet the ladder as you surface. Nice and smooth! Ascending directly below the ladder, or worse yet, just popping up and trying to swim to the ladder, is a recipe for disaster. By the time you reach the surface, you could be quite a distance away from the boat. If this happens, hopefully you didn’t drain your tank in the struggle and can drop back to the bottom and start over. The boat will be anchored with other divers below and cannot simply unhitch to go pick you up. We always put out drift lines as a backup in strong currents, but divers should be aware of the proper technique for returning back to the boat.  Here’s a quick video showing the technique:

Tiger Beach Bahamas

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