TOLL FREE USA/CANADA
Get yourself to Nassau and we'll refund the ticket to Andros.
Get money off for your flight, get money off for diving.
Get money off just for coming here.
Great fishing, great offers.
Hop on over, we've got great access for private pilots and now it's even more affordable.
The Bahamas is made for island hopping and Andros is even better.
Getting to Andros Island, The Bahamas is very easy!
We may be slightly off the beaten path, but that's a big
part of our appeal. Even though we're not in the center of a big tourist hub (thankfully!) we're really quite accessible.
(more info on getting to Andros)
Opened in 1960, Small Hope Bay Lodge is the oldest water-oriented resort in the Bahamas. It was built by former Canadian Dick Birch and continues to be operated and managed by the Birch Family, which now spans four generations. Small Hope Bay Lodge was the first resort in the Caribbean to offer Resort Course SCUBA Diving Instruction, Wall Diving and Blue Hole Diving to recreational divers.
Dick Birch, with wife Joan and their three children, came to Andros in 1959. Dick had recently tried scuba diving and believed it was the sport of the future. He saw the proximity of the reef and realized Small Hope Bay was the perfect location for a resort with scuba diving. When they opened the resort in 1960, it was the first dive-dedicated resort in the Bahamas. It started with just four cabins.
His brother, Jack, joined him. The ensuing years brought 17 more cabins, two more wives, step children, adopted children, former and future spouses, in-laws, out-laws, and a legacy of intertwined lives that continues on to this day. Half a dozen family members have been laid to rest here, some far too soon. Dick himself died in 1996, but his family carries on the vision.
Today, Small Hope is run by Dick's son, Jeff. The immediate and extended Birch family members are now spread between Andros, Nassau, Florida, and beyond, some as far away as Norway. But they all still find time to come home to Small Hope. Usually around the winter holidays you can see them at the bar, or in the dining room, or maybe even on the dive boat!
Jacques Cousteau, Canadian diver/photographer Dr. George Benjamin, world renowned National Geographic photographer David Doubilet, Canadian diver Dr. Joe McGinnis, and record holding deep diver Betty Singer, all visited and dived Andros Island many times. All stayed at Small Hope Bay Lodge many times with the exception of Jacques Cousteau who stayed on board the Calypso.
Dick Birch first "discovered" the wall of the Andros Barrier Reef with Dr. Joe McGinnis. He also held the world record for deep diving on compressed air at 462 feet in 1962. He made the dive with Canadian physicist Roger Hutchins.
Staff members are a part of the family at Small Hope, and many of our guests develop life-long friendships with them. So for those who are wondering, "Who's who"? This is the roll call:
Our dive staff consists of some old and new faces. Jeff, and Mike are always around and Fede, Dennis, Tony, Adam, Erin and Claudius are committed to keeping up the tradition of the Small Hope philosophy which is "treat every guest as a part of the family."
We have Canadians, Bahamians, an American, an Argentinean and a German in the current mix.
The rest of our staff has quite a few of the "old familiar faces:" Inez, Florine, and Sharon take care of the cottages and laundry; and our office personnel is Anastasia, Bhruna, Nicky, Linda and Dania.
Wait staff includes Jardy and Sherene.
Our cooks are Irene, Sherry, Don, and Dania, lead by our assistant manager and food and beverage director, Mike. They are doing wonders keeping our menu fresh and delicious.
Maintenance and yard crew include Fedor (the main man!), Abba, Garnet, Alvin, and, of course, Timer.
Jeff Cartright, Glister Wallace, "Bonefish" Bradley, and Ricardo are our fishing guides.
Life goes on at Small Hope Bay, as it has for the last fifty-odd years, in a chaotic and often passionate fashion.