Written by: Hayley-Jo Carr, Training Director and Coordinator, Reef Rescue Network
Valentine’s Dive Center is located on the west side of Harbour Island in The Bahamas. Valentine’s is the leading PADI dive resort facility in the area offering daily dives, snorkel trips, private charters, a certification program, kayaking & paddle board rentals, as well as swimming pig tours.
The waters around Harbour Island offer some of the best diving in The Bahamas, from exquisite coral reefs, grottos, underwater blow holes, high speed drift dives, wall and wreck dives. Whether you are an avid diver or just wish to explore the underwater world for the first time as a resort diver or a snorkeler, they can accommodate your needs.
You can expect a personalized service from the crew of friendly and professionally PADI trained instructors to make sure you have the most enjoyable time at Valentine’s Dive Center. They have custom-made dive boats, full scuba equipment rental, and digital stills and video.
Above: Collecting fragments from Source Colonies at dive site ‘Plateau’ (Shane Gross)
A family run business, George Gross & his son Shane are committed to marine conservation and are involved in many projects to help our ocean and inhabitants and now have furthered their conservation efforts with the establishment of their own coral nursery. Situated at the aptly named dive site ‘Aquarium’ along the ‘Devils Backbone’ coral reef, this nursery is surrounded by coral reef and shipwrecks. Based in just 20ft of water it is a great site to both scuba dive and snorkel. Three coral nursery trees have been installed growing 90 fragments of endangered Staghorn coral – Acropora cervicornis. The nursery is situated inside a heart shaped reef with an entrance way into the reef from the sandy area you can explore the nursery inside this hidden, sheltered spot, perfect for storm protection.
Above: Hayley-Jo Carr & Neil McPhee cutting small fragments to start the nursery. (Shane Gross)
Above: George Gross carefully added Acropora cervicornis fragments. (Shane Gross)
Above: Anita Kainrath populating the nursery. (Shane Gross)
The Perry Institute for Marine Science Reef Rescue Network Coordinator Hayley-Jo Carr joined owner George Gross, PADI Instructor & Professional Photographer Shane Gross, PADI Instructor Anita Kainrath and PADI Instructor Neil McPhee to locate and collect source populations, install the nursery and then populate the trees. The corals will be outplanted on the surrounding reef to help kick start a natural recovery of this key coral species. With coral reefs disappearing fast around the world, now is the time to act to try and save them before it is too late. To visit and support this coral nursery please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and see more information on https://www.valentinesdive.com
Above: Hayley-Jo Carr, Neil McPhee, George & Shane Gross admiring their hard work! (Anita Kainrath)
Thanks to the Valentines Dive Center team for your support and welcome to the Reef Rescue Network!