Diving and snorkeling in the Port St George area of Stella Maris, Long Island, Bahamas.
Cave ocean view at Port St George
Diver in the Port St George areaUnderwater viewGeorge preparing to diveGeorge divingclose up of a shark
Diving at Stella Maris.
Stella Maris offers an incredible variety of diving, from hundreds of coral head and reef sites on the northwest lee side of Long Island to some 15 miles of explored northeast Atlantic locations. The lee is mostly calm with little or no current, most sites afford a fixed bottom, making for easy and safe dive planning and orientation. The Atlantic shelves and reefs are dramatic with vast areas of incredible antler and other large growth coral fields.
The water here seems bluer, the fish bigger, and underwater scenery wilder. Every dive here provides a feeling of raw adventure and yet, the shore isn't far away.
Long Island dive sites in the Port St George area.

Stella Maris Shark Reef.

Stella Maris Shark Reef is often copied but never matched, the reef affords guaranteed, unfailingly dramatic viewing, photo and filming opportunities. Under the easiest and safest of conditions it is suitable even for the not so seasoned diver.
In just 30 feet of calm lee side water divers can witness first hand the beauty and power of the apex predator of the Bahamian and Caribbean reef, Carcharhinus Perezi (the Caribbean Reef Shark). Around two dozen often compete for prepared food in an underwater amphitheater setting. This not to be missed dive experience has been presented up to 2-3 time weekly since the mid-seventies with a 100% safety record.

Dean's Blue Hole.

Dean's Blue Hole, the worlds deepest. Measuring 660ft and therefore presumably two ice ages old.
From a gorgeous beach with two flips of your fins you are ready to descend. The Blue Hole is protected from the open Atlantic by high cliffs, the inside shallows equally delight accompanying swimmers and snorkelers. Located within a one hour's drive of the Port St George marina this trip includes a very pleasant Island Tour.

Conception Island Wall.

Conception Island Wall, this uninhabited Bahamas Nature Park provides pristine dive stuff that legends are made of.
Vertical walls fringed with huge coral heads begin as shallow as 45ft and step down to indefinite ink blue depths. Visibility usually ranges from 150 to 200ft. All underwater life is at its best. And close by the infamous 9 mile South Hampton Reef, sporting continuous depth changes from 10 to 100ft, reportedly snagged some 150 wrecks both historic and modern. There is close by beach relaxation on Conception Island, the island's creeks provide shelter for various turtle species, and the bird watching is great too. "Conception" can stand up to any Bahamas and Caribbean dive hot spot competition.

Rum Cay.

Rum Cay, named "Conception Island" by Columbus originally is within reach of the Stella Maris Dive vessels. It is known for its quaint scenery, very nice diving, and for its historic wreck of the "Conqueror". And on land, there is a "must see" the Hartford Cave, boasting hundreds of Indian originating wall stone carvings.

Wrecks.

The "Comberbach", a 110ft steel freighter, sits upright on a 100ft deep coral reef shelf with lots of coral, sponge and fish life. The wreck can be safely dived throughout. Right next to the "Comberbach" is a 40ft sailing vessel, the "Sunseeker". Man made wrecks are occasionally added to this "Ships Graveyard", located just half a mile from beautiful Cape Santa Maria Beach, which is only 12 miles north of Port St George marina on the lee side of Long Island.

A large steel freighter, its name unknown, sits at 25ft on Conception Island's South Hampton Reef. It is flattened, but still interconnected hull presents great marine wreck photo opportunities. Residential fish life is good, and coral heads provide added background.

The "Conqueror", the first ever steam engine equipped sailing war vessel of the British Navy, hit a coral head close to Rum Cay's south shore in 1848 and without the loss of a single life sank there. A Skindiver Magazine, Stella Maris dive team discovered it in 1969. In some 25ft of depth, one can inspect canons, canon balls, a huge shaft, a tiny engine, and all sorts of marine hardware, including petrified ships planking. Note, No collecting of anything here.

A large steel freighter, its name unknown, sits in some 20ft of depth immediately east of Long Island's "Guana Cay". Its hull is partially torn apart and flattened, lots of marine hardware and its petrified freight remnants are strewn throughout the area. Typically visited by road (35 minutes), involving a 5 minute inner bay snorkel crossing, can be dived or snorkeled over. Plus, feed the tame Curly Tail Iguanas at Guana Cay's beach.

Learn to Dive in The Bahamas

Learning to dive is a great way to spend a Stella Maris Vacation. In addition to the courses below, Stella Maris offers daily diving at $100 and a Resort Course at $135. Daily rate divers may be charged a surcharge for certain dives (Shark Reef, Conception Wall). The resort course provides instruction and a first dive.
Minimum age is 10 for resort course and 12 for certification.
We teach PADI and SSI, RESORT, OPEN WATER, and OPEN WATER ADVANCED COURSES at any time. Pre-trained student divers regularly perform final wet tests here by referral.

Why dive at Stella Maris?

Location, Southern Bahamas, the best of subtropical climate zones, avoiding early year cold fronts and enjoying surprisingly moderate summer/fall temperatures.
The Ocean. Crystal clear and rich with underwater life. No pollution, no land runoffs. Two shorelines ( Atlantic and Exuma Bank) across just 1 mile of average land width! Studded with reefs, ringed with beaches.
Temperatures. Average Winter air mid seventies to eighties, water mid seventies to low eighties. Summer/Fall air eighties to nineties, water mid-eighties.
The Island. Unspoiled, friendly, quaint, unhurried, historically interesting, very attractive and perfectly safe. Some 80 miles of pretty town settings and gorgeous sea vistas.
Stella Maris Resort Club. Very nice, not too large yet complete. Fairly priced, with excellent services. Dedicated to Sun and Sea, diving and snorkeling, wholesome day activities and pleasant sunset entertainment. Ideal for water sports enthusiasts and for just-getting-away-from-it-all vacations, but not suited for 'glittery' style holidays.
The Diving. Most varied, along two shorelines, and at a number of nearby cays and islands perfectly set for combining virgin diving and island cruising. Offering a blend of typical Bahamas and Caribbean dive settings with world-renowned highlights such at SHARK REEF, the superb Conception Wall and the alluring Clarencetown Blue Hole! With the easiest of dive conditions, clear warm water, without currents, and fixed bottoms, for very safe diving. Rich in life, shallow and medium depths, providing for a maximum of daily enjoyment.

The Stella Maris Marina (Port St George)

The marina is located 1 1/2 miles from the hotel (free diving transfers). Featuring an 18ft deep saltwater training pool, diving and fishing equipment shops (for use, not for sale!), docks, boat ramp, etc. Diving gear available here for guests' use, but we recommend bringing your own gear (except weights and tanks). Some equipment repairs are available, but spare items/parts are limited due to variety. Dive gear can be left on boats or in shops overnight. Gear rinsing is available on boats, at docks and at dive shop.

For more information about diving on Long Island click here Stella Maris Diving

Information about real estate in the Port St George resort is available here Port St George marina.

Stella Maris Dive Boats

The Boats.
65ft Sol Mar III.
A no-nonsense, serious dive cruiser for day and overnight traveling. Twin-diesel, 10 knot, 110/220 electric, hot/cold water, compressor aboard. Large four-stepped partially submerged platform. Full galley, shaded lounge/galley area, and upper sun deck. Plenty of space for gear. Air-conditioned bunk sleeping for up to 18 passengers.

32ft Sol Mar II
A fast day dive cruiser, with plenty of deck area. Single diesel, 16 knot. Sunroof, entry from low boat sides for rolling over or via small platform.

27ft Coral Seas
Glass bottom lee side day boat, single diesel, 9 knot, sunroof. Entry from low sides for rolling over or via small platform. The Coral Seas often serves as tender for the other boats.

All vessels are radio equipped, meet all legally required safety equipment standards, and have head(s).

Most diving is done from boat, some from shore. Boat travel from the Stella Maris Marina takes from 20 to 50 minutes. Boats sometimes meet divers at more dive-site oriented beaches/docks for less traveling and more variety.

Well planned and safe overnight adventure cruises feature the nearby cays of Rum Cay, Conception Island, and Cat Island and can include any of the many Exuma Cays. This part of the Bahamas is a diver's and boater's paradise, offering history, beautiful scenery and the quaint Out Island way of life and superb diving adventures.