Diving and Snorkeling
Conception Island Wall is an excellent wall dive, with hard and soft coral, plus interesting sponge formations. The M/V Comberbach, a 103-foot British freighter built in 1948, sank off Cape Santa Maria in 1984, and was scuttled by the Stella Maris Resort in 1986 to create an artificial reef and excellent dive site. Take a guided diving excursion to Shark's Reef and watch a scuba master safely feed dozens of sharks.
Cape Santa Maria Resort. This resort uses expert divers and guides for myriad diving and snorkeling trips to various reefs, walls, and wrecks around Long Island as well as trips to Conception Island; dive and snorkel equipment is available for rent. In addition, visitors can rent stand-up paddleboards and Hobie Cat sailboats to explore the coast of Cape Santa Maria Beach and its surrounding bays. Cape Santa Maria Resort, Cape Santa Maria, Long Island. 242/338–5273; 800/926–9704; www.capesantamaria.com.
Stella Maris Marina & Stella Maris Water Sports. Stella Maris Marina & Stella Maris Water Sports, with three dive boats, are operated by the original owners who, with Joerg Freise, started the Bahamas’ first-ever dive operation back in 1963. Today, his son Pascal and Omar Daley, two PADI instructors, run the operation ,which is still famous for shark dives. Most dives are personalized for singles, couples, families, and small groups, and include diving and snorkeling along the calm lee-side as well as reefs and walls along the more adventurous Atlantic northeast shore. You can still dive on the world’s first developed shark Reef. Other dives include the Comberbach Freighter (100 feet); Dean’s Blue Hole, the deepest known blue hole in the world; and Conception Island Wall (45 feet to bottomless) with huge beautiful interconnecting coral heads, turtles, rays, sharks, and the occasional big game fish. The company also offers Dive and Stay packages, Overnight Dive Cruises for groups, and snorkeling and fishing trips. The marina, with its haul-out rails taking boats up to 100 feet and its machine shop, is the Bahamas’ most southerly full-service marina. Queen's Hwy., Stella Maris, Long Island. 242/338–2055; 242/357–1130; 242/338–2033; www.stellamarisresort.com/scuba-diving/.