E-Mail: plourie@middlebury.edu


For the past three years, my daughter and I have been going to the Bahamas to scuba dive. On Andros Island we have dived with sharks and searched for buried treasure.

One hundred miles long and forty-five miles wide, Andros, which is only fifteen miles from crowded Nassau, is untamed, wild, and mysterious.   The island is pocked with "blue holes," giant round sink holes formed in porous limestone and filled with brackish water.  These inland blue holes are connected to deep ocean blue holes miles offshore through a series of twisted caverns and tunnels deep under the sea.

To add to the island's mystery, we'd heard some fantastic stories about the island. The pirate Henry Morgan is said to have hidden treasure on Andros. According to local legend, mythical bird-like creatures called Chickcharnies roamed the pine forests of Andros; mermaids came out at midnight, and red sea devils with big horns grabbed unsuspecting scuba divers into the bottomless caves.

Our guide and scuba instructor was a wonderful man called Skeebo, who now makes his living on Andros as a certified Bahamas fly fishing guide.

Check out the Audio & Video section for video clips from Andros, Bahamas



School Library Journal - June 2006

First Dive to Shark Dive
by Peter Lourie
ISBN 1-59078-068-X
Gr 4-8

A seven-day father-daughter vacation on a remote Bahamian island is chronicled in clear language and full-color, glossy photographs with vivid colors and details. Suzanna wants to become a certified scuba diver and swim with the sharks. Along the way her father, the author, uses her story to describe how a person becomes certified. Readers follow the 12-year-old from her first dive in a pool to her dive with 17 sharks. The history and superstitions of Andros are also explored as the Louries sightsee when they are not in the water. The language and style add to the feeling that this is a personal travel journal. Suzanna's thoughts supplement her father's journal. Students interested in scuba diving will be enthralled by the book and wish they could go on such a vacation. Shark enthusiasts will also enjoy reading about the girl's experiences with these animals.-Christine Markley, Washington Elementary School, Barto, PA