Just six miles from the southwestern shore of New Providence on the sloping edge of the Great Bahama Bank, is the last ship commissioned by the Royal Bahamas Defense Force, before the Bahamas gained its independence from Great Britain in 1973. The Port Nelson proudly sits facing the Tongue of the Ocean, a sea trench running north to south along the edge of the Great Bahama Bank, a final remembrance of an era gone by. Although it has weathered many a storm, this artificial reef makes the backdrop for a truly superb dive.
The dramatic effect of this spot is only enhanced by the location of the Bacardi Bar Reef, located off its starboard side. The rich waters that constantly flow here give this area the nutrition it needs to support a healthy and vibrant ecosystem. Large schools of fish, from snapper to grunts to barracuda carpet the reef system. While swimming around the large outcrops of rock and coral, keep your eyes open for moray eels, scorpionfish and large grouper as they go about their daily activities, while keeping the coral clean and healthy.
It is not uncommon to see schools of 50-plus African pompano, mackerel and kingfish swimming by in the passing currents, bringing with them larger pelagic fish, thus giving divers the opportunity to enjoy even more of our extensive marine life.
Although the Port Nelson is a somewhat advanced dive, it’s an excellent location for divers to get certifications in several specialties and advanced training. Photographers and videographers will have ample opportunity to put their skills to use, but remember to watch your bottom time; there’s plenty more to see on the next dive.