Abaco Scuba Diving Conditions and Forecast: January 2016

A beautiful, critically endangered Hawksbill turtle, gliding with the motion of the ocean. PHOTO CREDIT: Keith Rogers, DIVE ABACO.
A beautiful, critically endangered Hawksbill turtle, gliding with the motion of the ocean. PHOTO CREDIT: Keith Rogers, DIVE ABACO.

[dropcap]J[/dropcap]anuary is typically a dry month, which helps the visibility stay well above 100 feet; there are no algae blooms (well they should be gone but the coral was still blooming in early December), just great coral formations and marine life. Winter brings in the pelagic fish and the spotted eagle rays along the wall. The cooler deeper water tends to bring the large grouper up onto the reefs, with Nassau grouper season being closed for conservation purposes December 1 through February 28th, they are more friendly than ever, great photo opportunities.

Happy New Year! January is considered to be the coldest time of the year in Abaco, with both air and water reaching their lowest temperatures during our tropical winter. It is typically the dry season so the air is cool with very low humidity. Air temperatures range from a balmy 77°F during the day down to a comfortable 66°F at night. Skies are typically sunny and blue during the day; clear and star-filled at night. Water temperature averages 74°F, so a 3 mil shorty or full length wetsuit is recommended. While the water is nice and warm, wind can be a chilling factor. We use a wetsuit suit to provide comfort during the dives and a sweatshirt or windbreaker to provide warmth after.

Should a nor’easter pass through wind and seas may kick up, but they normally calm down within a day of so after it passes. When this happens, we enjoy diving the inland blue holes. Blue holes are quite unique and a dive very few get to experience. On good weather days, the seas are relatively calm with little or no current. The colors of the reef are vibrant and fish life is plentiful. In addition to tropical fish of all shapes, colors and sizes, it is common to see spotted eagle rays, turtles and sharks leisurely swimming around the reef.

Saturday, January 23, 8:45 p.m., will bring the Full ‘Moon after Yule’. Nassau grouper are spawning, always around the time of the full moon and always in the same locations. Remember that fishing for them is prohibited from December 1 through February 28.

We hope you’ll follow through and implement that New Year’s resolution to do more diving and visit Abaco this year!

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