Abaco Scuba Diving Conditions and Forecast: March 2016

A rare and unique photo capturing an ‘adolescent’ French Angelfish transitioning from a juvenile (black with yellow stripes) to an adult (gray with flecks of yellow). PHOTO CREDIT: Keith Rogers.
A rare and unique photo capturing an ‘adolescent’ French Angelfish transitioning from a juvenile (black with yellow stripes) to an adult (gray with flecks of yellow). PHOTO CREDIT: Keith Rogers.

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]e are so ready for winter to end and El Niño to continue weakening. Similar to southeast Florida, it has been a wet and windy time, but the good news is that air and water temperatures have remained above average.

March and spring break begin the tourism season in Abaco. As the height of the season starts in May, March and April are great months to enjoy a visit before school lets out for the summer.

Longer days are on the way and, if forecasters are correct, El Niño will disappear by late spring with sea-surface water temperature returning to near normal, 75°F. We continue to recommend wearing a shorty wet suit, thereby adding a layer of thermal protection and avoiding the possibility of getting chilled. Air temperatures range from 67°F at night to 78°F during the day.

With the absence of algae growth, water clarity for diving in March is outstanding and visibility exceeds 100 feet. The reefs are alive with our usual reef critters, but there are more frequent encounters with eagle rays, turtles and sharks. The angle of the sunlight enhances the colors on the coral heads along the reef and provides the perfect location to observe the eco-rich variety of juvenile tropical fish following spawning season. Beautiful, live flamingo tongue (shells) are abundant, perfect for those who enjoy macro photography. An informative and free source for identifying sea life is Reef Guide, http://reefguide.org/carib/index1.html.

Spring officially arrives on Sunday, March 20, 12:30 a.m. The last full moon of winter occurs on Wednesday, March 23, 8:00 a.m. It is known as the ‘Worm’ moon due to the sightings of earthworms (and robins) as the ground thaws in northern climates.

Pack your bags, purchase your airline ticket and plot your destination for 26°32’48″N and 77°03’06″W. Come enjoy the warmth of Bahamian hospitality and bask in the sunshine of Abaco!

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