Nassau Bahamas Diving

So many of the old James Bond movie sets are still here.

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Nassau Paradise Island

Off New Providence and Nassau, the southwest coast has been the location of so many famous movies that you'd expect to find an underwater soundstage, but the reefs and wrecks provide all the natural props needed.

Films made here include "Thunderball," "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," "For Your Eyes Only" and "Never Say Never Again."  

 Several of the James Bond underwater film sets are situated close together, so it's possible to dive them all in a single day, including The Tears of Allah, a 92-foot freighter intentionally sunk in 45 feet. At Goulding Cay, the magnificent stands of elkhorn coral were featured in "20,000 Leagues," "For Your Eyes Only" and "Splash."

The oldest movie set deserves its almost legendary status. It is the framework of a fighter plane that splashed down with a nuclear device aboard in the movie "Thunderball," probably the best adventure dive movie ever made. Watch "Thunderball" again before diving here to gain a true appreciation of the movie trickery involved in constructing the set.

All that's left are the metal supports, which are loaded with colorful gorgonians and soft corals. The first divers of the day usually find a couple of big fish inside.

Aside from the wrecks, diving along the southwest coast can be unusually good thanks to the proximity of the Tongue of the Ocean, a mile-deep trench that brings clear water and big pelagics close to New Providence. The vertical dropoffs tend to be spectacular, and start as shallow as 40 feet.

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