North Eleuthera Scuba Diving Conditions and Forecast: February 2016

Octopus preying on Conch near shallow reef. PHOTO CREDIT: George Gross.
Octopus preying on Conch near shallow reef. PHOTO CREDIT: George Gross.

[dropcap]C[/dropcap]hristmas, New Year’s and Junkanoo have passed for another season and its much slower this time of year. This offers uncrowded boats for diving, snorkeling or picnics on the beach or simply strolling the many gorgeous white or pink sand beaches with fewer people to encounter.

Similar to January, the water temperatures will range from 71-to-74 degrees and we advise full 3-to-5mm wetsuits to enjoy the diving/snorkeling. The air temperatures will range even more from 70-to-80 degrees. Despite incurring more winds this time of season, we see some big creatures around North Eleuthera as well. Last week I personally was on a very shallow dive near Harbour Island and was surprised by a great hammerhead shark only 10 feet away swooping by me to attack a southern stingray. It stayed long enough to photograph the teeth in its mouth and shoot a short video of my encounter. Shallow or deep, the waters of North Eleuthera offer lots of reef fish and many opportunities to see and get close to turtles, stingrays, sharks, tarpon, eels, crabs, and more. We see dolphin pods on a regular basis, as well as eagle rays on dive sites close to Harbour Island and Current Island.

Just a few days ago I spotted an octopus as light was dimming near the end of another great day on the ocean and upon closer inspection noticed it was involved in preying upon a live conch. What a lively struggle it was as the conch ventured completely out of its shell as the octopus tightened its tentacles ever more around its shell. My guess is the wily octopus won the battle as evidenced by the many empty shells seen near its den.

So if February, with a slower pace and lots of elbow room in the bars, restaurants, beaches and boats is for you, come visit us on North Eleuthera for a great experience.

See you on the ocean!