A little story behind Bahamas Master

We are proud of our vessels: they are our and your home. In this series of blogs “a little story behind”, we will go back in time and see where the boats came from. This time around, let’s look at the story behind Bahamas Master.

Our lovely vessel, as the name makes clear, is operating in The Bahamas.  This lady is our oldest vessel but, like wine, she is getting better with age. And the years make Bahamas Master story interesting!

Birth

Bahamas Master is a steel-hulled vessel and her keel first hit the water in 1965, in Louisiana at Universal Iron Work, USA. Her name back then was ’Three M-2’ and the company ’Three-M No II, Inc’ was the registered owner.

Originally she operated in the New Orleans area, sailing under US flag. Unfortunately after exhaustive research, we did not find any information on the vessel’s time as “Three M-2”, nor anything about the company that owned her. In you have any further information, please do contact us! We love our vessels and it is always interesting to find out more.

Looking through old volumes of ‘Merchant Vessels of the United States’ produced by the US Coastguards, we found her entry several times from 1968 to 1989. She is listed every time as a ‘utility vessel’, built to 93 feet.

Extract from Merchant Vessels of the United States
Entry on page 818 – Merchant Vessels of the United States – Volume 1 – 1968

Metamorphosis to a scuba liveaboard

In February 1991, Three-M No, II, Inc sold her to Dry Tortuga Adventures, Inc, who renamed her “Tortuga Diver”. This was the official start of her diving career. For anyone who is unsure, The Dry Tortugas are a small group of islands to the west of the end of the Florida Keys.

In 1992, the owners extended her to 114 feet and added the current dive and sun deck. The vessel then operated as an extended range dive boat.

Moving on to 2006, she was again sold and moved to Seattle, Washington. New owners meant another new name, this time ‘Ocean Explorer’. The new owners used her as a sport fishing boat, and also ran canal cruises with her. 

In 2008, the vessel was sold once again, to a Panamanian company. Another new name came with the change: ‘Yemaya II’. For 10 years she operated as a diving liveaboard out of Columbia to the tiny island of Malpelo. 

Yemaya II in Malpelo
Yemaya II in Malpelo, Columbia – credit: Werner Thiele

Finally our lady

Fast forward to 2018 and the boat finally came home to Master Liveaboards. After purchasing we obviously needed to get her to The Bahamas, which meant a very interesting journey. We took her from Columbia through the Panama canal and the Caribbean all the way to the Bahamas. We renamed her, for the 5th time in her life, to her current grand title of ‘Bahamas Master’.

Bahamas Master in the Panama Canal
Bahamas Master navigating the locks in the Panama Canal

Like the rest of the diving industry, we had to stop operating due to COVID-19. But Bahamas Master has not been quiet. Free time has a silver lining, we have been continuing upgrades to make her better than she has ever been. She has had a make-over and even has 2 brand new beautiful single cabins.

Bahamas Master new single cabin
One of the two new single cabins – Cabin #9

We have spent a lot of time, sweat, and tears (sometimes even blood) refitting her. But, it’s always a delight to see her in action, a full 55 years since her launch. We love our boats. So next time you go onboard Bahamas Master, think about her journey and story.

Bonus

If you’ve made it this far then you are clearly fairly interested in the history of Bahamas Master. And for getting this far you get a little bonus. Click here to read an interesting article about a previous owner trying to end an argument with a surprising weapon of choice.

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