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Dive Review of Blue Water Divers/Osprey Beach Hotel in
Turks and Caicos/Grand Turk

March, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Scott Vickers and Mark Waddell, CO, USA
Report Number 706
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, Bonaire
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, noCurrents  
Water Temp
76   to 78    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Dive profiles were suggested, but people were free to dive their computers
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Small Carolina skiff boats had no rinse/storage areas for cameras or
platforms for changing gear or film.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
Grand Turk's leeward side and underwater seascape have much to be admired,
with magnificent walls and plentiful corals, calm seas, no currents, and an
abundance of sea creatures and fish. On land, low-traffic Duke Street and
Cannes Alley wind their way along the beachfront, where most of the major
diving hotels and restaurants are located, and into the small downtown area
(Cockburn Town) and pier. Three low-key dive operations host daily trips
out to the wall, about a quarter-mile offshore, and special arrangements
can be made to go further afield to Salt Cay or Gibbs Cay, a stingray
mecca. Because of the offshore shallows leading out to the wall, all the
dive operations use flat-bottomed Carolina skiffs, which have their
limitations as to occupancy and amenities (no onboard heads, no camera
platforms, etc.).
  Blue Water Divers is owned and operated by longtime islander Mitch
Rolling, and has a staff of three other dive masters. Boats pick divers up
at their hotels right off the beach. Mitch also performs folk-rock and
island music with friends, usually at the weekly barbeque nights at the
Osprey Hotel's poolside dining area.  We found Mitch to be friendly,
accomodating, and deeply committed to providing a safe and memorable diving
experience.  He is also quite the raconteur, and full of wonderful stories.
The dive staff takes care of your gear as well. On the downside, don't
expect a lot of underwater guidance or creature hunting from these dive
masters, and watch your fills (one of us got air fills as low as 2,200 lbs.
on a couple of occasions).  Blue Water supplies no Nitrox, but they will
pick it up for you if you order some through Oasis Divers. And, when we
were there, their downtown dive shop had few diving supplies, whereas Oasis
Divers had a much larger selection.
   Accomodations at the refurbished Osprey Beach Hotel were very
comfortable and spacious, though their kitchen units were severely
underfurnished in terms of kitchen implements. The staff quickly provided
us with whatever items we requested, however, and perhaps by now all units
are adequately equipped for cooking and food prep.  All rooms face the
ocean and have either a balcony or patio.  The newly remodelled deluxe
suites have tile floors and four-poster king-size beds, but no kitchens,
whereas the standard suites have two queen-size beds and kitchens.  The bar
and poolside restaurant areas are airy and delightful, and their biweekly
barbeque night features grilled lobster, steak, and fish and a sumptuous
salad bar. Annamae and Iris host these areas, and do a superb job.
   As to eating in, be prepared to pack in some foodstuffs from home.
Grocery shopping is surprisingly disappointing. There are, however, a
handful of decent restaurants, including that of the Osprey. The Water's
Edge (cheeseburgers, etc.), Courtyard Cafe (good breakfasts), Secret Garden
(goat curry, ribs), and the Turk's Head Inn (ahi steak, pizza, island
curry) all offer good meals, though a bit pricey.  For some cheaper and
delicious local fare, try the Poop Deck for fried chicken or the Regal
Beagle for burgers or fish and chips, both of which are located downtown.
   For a very special dive, visit the pier at South Dock, which is a
shallow grassy breeding ground for several species. On a daytime visit, we
saw juvenile burrfish and honeycomb cowfish in abundance, a juvenile French
angelfish, and several juvenile cornetfish, none of which you are likely to
see in the open ocean.
   Sadly, cruise ships seem to be in Grand Turk's near future. Although
there was only one per week when we visited, there are plans afoot to build
a large pier on the south end for daily cruise ship traffic--always a
bummer for the diving community.  Inquire before you go as to whether you,
or the cruise ship passengers, will be serviced first by the local dive

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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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