This is a question we get a lot! And the answer is “Any time!”because the Bahamas are such an amazing group of islands. However, if you’re asking from a scuba liveaboard perspective, let me be a little more specific.
We run trips to the Bahamas from Miami April through November, and that’s very much by design. Winter weather in the Bahamas, while warmer than most places in the US, can be a bit unpredictable. That’s not a big deal if you’re flying over and staying on one of the Bahamas’ 300+ islands, but it is a big deal if you have to get there and back by boat. The spring, summer, and fall months allow for a more comfortable ride.
April is a wonderful sailing month and the spring diving is really interesting for the hard-core critter watcher! Florida sees shark migrations up and down their coast regularly in March and April – and the Bahamas is not much different. Our most diverse shark sightings happen this time of year. You’re most likely to see hammerhead sharks, Bull sharks out on the reefs, and once we even spotted a Sawfish! The water temps are cooler than you think (73-75) which is what the sharks like, so bring a 3mm wetsuit for sure.
May is a big month for fish and coral spawning as water temps start to rise. If you’re a dive geek like us, plan a trip around the full moon in May and you might catch a glimpse of sponge spawning during the day and if you’re really lucky maybe the corals will put on a show at night! Mutton snapper and other species of snapper get frisky this time of year as well, so expect some bigger fish on your dives in May.
June is when the weather starts to settle – and by settle we mean flat flat flat! The breeze turns to the Southeast, drops to about 5-10 knots from spring’s East 10-15 tradewinds and things warm up really quick! Water temps are hovering right below 80F, air temps are 80-85, and this is when we do our own weekly migration down to the good stuff. Orange Cay and farther south are only accessible in calm weather and June is the best time of year to reliably head south.
July is downright toasty, and the weather even more settled. However, we are deep into hurricane season at this point so while the weather is gorgeous and calm and we take advantage of every minute we can of our glassy summer waters, there’s always a risk. All trips from June to October we strongly recommend the purchase of travel insurance; you never know when Mother Nature will spin up a storm!
August brings us similar conditions to July, but the night sky is where the excitement happens. The Perseid meteor shower happens for almost 2 full weeks in the middle of August and there is no better place to watch a meteor shower than from a boat, far from all the light pollution of land. Diving during the day, epic star gazing at night – sign me up!
September and October are probably our favorite months to be in the Bahamas. The weather is still calm but starting to cool off from the inferno of July and August and the water temps are no-wetsuit-required warm at 83-85F! The best part is there isn’t a boat to be seen. Its fall, the kids are back in school, and the tourists are gone – it feels like we have the whole ocean to ourselves.
In November we’re back to the easterly tradewinds, great sailing weather, but still warm water temps. We offer some of our longer trips this month to get some more sailing in, and allow for trips to not run into Thanksgiving without cutting anything short. Join us for a 10-day trip just before Thanksgiving, there’s no better way to prepare for the holidays.
Our Bahamas have something for everyone, so pick your month and come diving with us!
Fair winds and Following Seas, Friends