Generally the trip was generally really fun. The diving is amazing and when the weather is good there is loads to see from parrotfish to the occasional shark and ray.
The staff (my dive instructor & marine biologist was Sam Healy) during my phase were really good and professional in the way they certified us and conducted the dives. Greenforce does tend to be slightly conservative with diving in other than perfect conditions but on the whole I do not find this a bad thing. Apart from anything else when the water is choppy the visibility is lowered to a few meters.
The accommodation is basic but for me this is part of the charm, although no warm water does take getting used to. You sleep on the air mattress you bring as the bunk beds are wooden frames so a thicker mattress is not a bad idea. There is also a small social area to hang around in, listen to music, watch films and play games, etc. But don't expect to be able to surf the web as wifi is only available on Sundays unless you buy data on a prepaid sim card ($35 for 2GB). The social area is also where the cooking is done. The food is fairly basic due to GapForce giving the instructors a tight budget (I think too tight). I would definitely recommend bringing vitamin tablets as you cannot get them on the island, due partly to the budget and partly to the lack of fruit and vegetables available on the island you do not get the vitamins you need. Most people also end up buying a few loafs of bread a week to keep them going in between the meals.
As I mentioned before I feel that Sam (our primary staff member after the second instructor had to unexpectedly leave early on) did a really good job, especially considering he was on his own and (with the intern- Scot), responsible for twelve people. Being the marine biologist he also gave the lectures on the fish species that we had to learn. They were fairly easy to learn as he was always prepared to ask questions and always had a funny way of remembering the species main traits. Sam is knowledgable and his passion for the marine sciences is evident.
Where the staff were effective, I feel the support they and the volunteers get from London once in the Bahamas to be less than satisfactory. Given this they do an even better job. We had multiple problems with boats, which cost us multiple diving days. Greenforce used to have a boat but have not done anything to replace it after it got damaged a few phases ago. This means that we have to rely on renting boats. At first we had one of the locals, which barely worked (there are very few mechanics and even less spare parts on Andros). Then due to the second instructors contacts at the five star resort down the road we were able to rent their spare boat. Obviously though this came with a few more restrictions. They were not really a hinderance but just one more thing on top of other complications, which Sam did not need. I feel that GapForce left Sam to deal with these problems on his own and with a tight budget. I also think that GapForce should provide an extensive 1st Aid kit (not for minor use i.e cuts and scratches) but if there was an emergency ther does not seem to be anything and there are no medical supplies on the island.
Furthermore be aware... GapForce advertises one to two dives a day. I will admit that after four weeks we were meeting this promise but only because we had three people leave the program (only booked a month). Before this there was not enough space on the boat and not enough equipment. Due to the lack of equipment I dove with an S,M and L BCD's on different occasions, meaning that often the equipment was ill fitting and banged around. There is only one large BCD and two mediums. The rest are small and extra-small (not really appropriate for the guys). Sam was doing four dives a day to get the two groups of six volunteers two dives a day. This is not really an ideal situation for him either as it means he was not getting a rest or often much food throughout the day. To add to this Sam is the one who has to do the grocery shopping and because there is no car he has to hitchhike the half hour journey down to the closest "town", which not only is difficult but also time consuming.
The bottom line is I would recommend this program but you have to be aware that it is probably not the cheapest option (partly due to prices on Andros) and that if you are not here for more than seven weeks you will just be on a diving holiday and not marine conservation (as you have to learn everything before doing the surveys).
I just hope that GapForce gets a boat sorted, which should make things easier and would stop a big waste of our money ($500 a week without fuel for the rent). Also for groups bigger than about twelve to fourteen people there needs to be more equipment otherwise their advertising of 1-2 dives a day needs to become: a dive a day (max). So basically it was a good experience due to the actual diving the people on the trip and the Staff (Sam and Scot) but let down by GapForce's administration, which left the feeling of being ripped off (i.e not cost effective).