What a find this excursion turned out to be! As we walked back to our cruise ship past the crowded boats on the main pier I was so thrilled that we had found Blue Hole here on tripadvisor. Booking was a breeze - no "island time" here - I sent an email to Blue Hole inquiring about a snorkelling tour and had a return email within an hour and then a prompt phone call to confirm details and arrange payment with a very professional, easy to understand woman who was able to answer all my fussy questions. I was worried, as a group of only 2, that our tour would be potentially bumped if no one else signed up. She offered (with ZERO pressure) that if no one else had signed up we could pay for the 3rd seat and essentially have a private tour. At a rate of $55 per person ($165 for just the two of us) it would have been the cheapest private snorkel trip I can imagine!! It turned out that a single traveller did sign up, but even at full capacity Captain Basil has a very small boat and any tour he gave would be totally personal. Such a contrast to all the other tours we saw leaving the harbour.
The boat had a dry box to keep our backpacks and electronics dry as we were driven out to the snorkel site, and the Captain gave us a fascinating waterfront tour of the mansions of Paradise Island and an up close view of the yachts around Atlantis as we passed.
Arriving at the snorkel site, I was blown away. I had read on other sites that the snorkeling around Grand Bahama was underwhelming. Maybe Captain Basil knows less well known spots - we were surrounded by hundreds of fish of every colour of the rainbow and coral (fan, I think?) as big as me! It was too windy a day to go to the Captains regular second site, but before we had time to be disappointed he had taken us to a site where we could snorkel (not dive, SNORKEL!) within 5-20 feet of an old wreck on a reef with fish swimming in and out of it. Breath taking! The Captain made us feel incredibly safe and stood watching out or making helpful suggestions of things to look for, for the entire time we were in the water (ie. no checking his phone).
The tour left and returned exactly on time, was within 15 minutes walk (if that) of the cruise docks, was a great price and there was no pressure (no request for tips, or reviews - what a rarity!). It is essentially next door to Junkanoo Beach where we were able to walk and spend the rest of the day for free sunbathing, swimming and drinking $3 beer. A wonderful day, I couldn't recommend it enough!
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