Abaco Dive Forecast – October 2011

What you looking at? Photo credit: DIVE ABACO!

Since the passing of Hurricane Irene, many have asked about the impact of tropical storms and hurricanes to the reef ecosystem. Opinions vary. Some believe that the effects are destructive. In some cases, visual evidence of damage to the reef can easily be seen by the corals, sponges and sea fans washing ashore. Areas of reef may be destroyed, thus eliminating habitat for many sea creatures. Winds and waves may break branching elkhorn and staghorn corals and sand can hinder the growth of corals, sponges and seagrass.

Others believe that tropical storms and hurricanes may be of benefit, clearing the reef of dead organisms and enhancing biodiversity. In some observations, the sand removes destructive parasites and algae. Substrates that have attached to reefs have been cleared,leaving new surfaces for coral larvae to grow on – and segments of branching corals that have broken off and scattered by waves settle, reproduce and start new colonies.

Overall, the consensus is that the damage caused by natural disasters will be mitigated over time by Mother Nature as long as the impact created by human intervention and development is limited.

According to the calendar, autumn is officially here. Daily air temperature will range from 84 degrees during the day to 74 degrees at night. Water temperature is still above the magical 80 degree mark, averaging 82 degrees. By the end of the October, the focus will shift from the tropics to the north awaiting the Bahamas first nor’easter. This change in weather patterns will signal the change in diving seasons from summer to winter and the continuation of Abaco’s world-class diving.

Marsh Harbour, Abaco, Bahamas
Email: Dive@DiveAbaco.com
Phone: (800) 247-5338
Fax: (386) 478-7848