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

Turtle Bay Dive Centre/Hotel Sempati, Aug, 2008,

by Carol Cox, FL, USA (Contributor Contributor 14 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 4311.

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

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 77 to 88 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 70 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None after dive check out.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 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 N/A
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments Fresh water bin at dive shop for cameras.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments 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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