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Dive Review of Turtle Bay Dive Centre/Hotel Sempati in
Mediterranean/North Cyprus

August, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Carol Cox, FL, USA
Contributor   (14 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 4311
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Turkey,Florida, Grand Cayman, Truk, Palau, Turks & Caicos, Bimini,
Andros, Roatan, South Carolina, New Providenciales
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
77   to 88    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
70   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
None after dive check out.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
2 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Fresh water bin at dive shop for cameras.  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
4 stars    
My husband and I, living in Turkey, decided to head back to North Cyprus
almost 1 year after our last trip.  When we checked in at the hotel, we
received a note from Turtle Bay Dive Centre to confirm our dive plans for
the next morning.  
At the dive center, we were welcomed back with open arms by owners, Drew
and Caroline.   I had been briefed prior to our arrival that we would do
three dives the first day, requiring an 0630 start to accommodate a group
of divers from Scotland.  At the dive shop, we were briefed on the dives. 
Our first dive was at Zephyros, a five minute boat ride from the hotel. 
This is a protected site that proved to be our favorite.  
We had six divers on a RIB, but everyone worked together and the boat
didnt seem crowded.  Since Drew remembered us from our previous trip, he
let us go in first with our cameras.  The other divers were in an advanced
diving course and followed with their instructor.  As we descended, we were
greeted by a school of dusky groupers.  These protected fish posed until we
had our fill.  Then we headed along the reef, photographing flabellina
nudibranchs.  We also saw bright red and yellow Mediterranean parrotfish
and a colorful juvenile triggerfish.  Back at the boat, we handed our gear
up to Drew and flopped back into the RIB, to be followed shortly by the
other divers.  We were back at the hotel in time for breakfast, provided by
the hotel. 
We did the wall on our second dive.  My husband spied a cannonball, just
like ones on display in the Girne Castle.  Overhangs on the wall were
covered in colorful encrusting sponges, and once again we were greeted by
over-friendly dusky groupers.  They bumped into my husbands wide-angle
dome as they admired their own reflections.  I busied myself with photos of
golden grouper, starfish, and tubeworms framed against the colorful
backdrop of sponges.  
For our third dive, we went to a shallower site called Petes Reef and were
able to get in a 90 minute dive.  The site is full of boulders and
overhangs where I chased around colorful blennies and rockfish.
On our second day we decided to meet at 0630 again.  We went back to
Zephyros and checked out a pinnacle a short distance off the reef.  Once
again, we were met by friendly groupers.  We reached a crevice covered in
colorful sponges and one of the smaller groupers posed for a photo.  As we
continued around the pinnacle, I spotted a discodoris nudibranch.  This was
the second time I had seen this nudibranch, the first on this same reef a
year ago.  It scurried across the algae-covered pinnacle and I looked for
the orange sponge it feeds on, but didnt see one.  We moved up the
pinnacle and found a variety of flabellina nudibranchs laying their eggs on
the hydroids.  On edge of the reef, my husband found a bright blue and
yellow Elegant Sea Slug.  
Our second dive was supposed to be after lunch, but the wind was beginning
to pick up, so Drew offered to take my husband and me out prior to lunch. 
We were glad to go early so we could get some sight-seeing in.  Because of
the rougher waters, Bob and I had the boat and dive site to ourselves.  We
opted to go back to ZephyrosI wanted to give my husband first shot at the
beautifully encrusted crevice with his wide-angle set up.  While he
photographed the crevice, I found a Tritons Trumpet.  It allowed me to get
wonderful shots of its antennae and eyes, and then a curious grouper moved
in to make the shot even more interesting.  As my husband moved in for some
wide angle photos, I went in search of the discodoris I saw earlier in the
day.  While searching I found a sponge it feeds on hidden in the growth and
was rewarded with three juvenile discodoris.
This was a short trip, but we were happy with the photos we got during our
5 dives.  Hotel Sempati is not a luxury resort, but its clean and
comfortable and is a great bargain for the price.  It is located about 10
miles outside of the main town of Girne, so a rental car, which you can
reserve through the hotel, is nice to have if you want to do any
sight-seeing or eat outside the hotel.  We had a suite with a king bed,
sitting area with three chairs, large bathroom with tub, TV, fridge, and
three balconies with beautiful views of the Med and pool area.  If you go
to bed early, be aware that the hotel frequently hosts bands that play
until midnight, so bring ear plugs.  
Turtle Bay Dive Centre is on site at the hotel.  You set up your gear at
the shop and throw it on the back of a truck for the short distance to the
boat.  Then throw on your wet suit and make a short walk down to the boat. 
You do have to carry gear from the truck to the boat, down a few steps, but
there always seemed to be helping hands for folks that needed them.
The boat is a large RIB and the sites are only a 5 or 10 minute ride away,
so you come back to the hotel between dives.  Once your diving skills have
been checked out, you can dive on your own or with a guide.  A container of
fresh water at the shop was provided for camera gear.  There were showers
for rinsing divers and gear after the dives.  Dives are paid for in cash.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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