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Dive Review of Caicos Adventures/Royal West Indies in
Turks and Caicos/French Cay, West Caicos

Caicos Adventures/Royal West Indies, Sep, 2003,

by Tom Patton, RI, usa . Report 815.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Bonnaire, Caymans, Curacao, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Caribbean all over
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 84 to 85 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 80 to 110 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No restrictions, dive to your computer was allowed. Greater than 60 minute dives on both 1st and 2nd tank dives.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Owner Fifi Kunz personally drove the dive van and picked us up at the Royal West Indies Resort. Royal West Indies is a new beachfront condominium resort and is every bit a 5 star accomodation. Landscaping and beach are among top 20 resorts in the world. Fifi was very personable making everyone on the van feel at home, while making other pick-ups at other resorts on the island. When we pulled into the marina and we caught our first glimpse at Fifi's boat the "Caicos Cat", it was basically everone's general feeling that this was the best dive boat that they had ever been on (day boats). The Caicos Cat is a custom built 43 foot catamaran, impeccably clean and maintained, and very spacious with many spots to lounge during the boat ride (upper bridge, front deck, dive deck, inner cabin). There was even enough room that some divers had brought along their non-diving companion for the day.

We dove with Fifi for 8 days (17 dives) straight. Originally we had planned on taking some days off, but each day on the boat was a "life as it should be" day... we kept going back for more. We mostly dove unchartered dive sites (no moorings) and only repeated one site twice during the 8 days (by choice, it was worth going back to). Fifi mixed up the destinations each day between West Caicos, Sanborne Channel, South Wall, and French Cay. At each of these areas, he had his own secret or proprietary dive sites to bring us to... apparently he has been pioneering these walls since 1988 and is proud of his discoveries.

Of the 17 dives, there were only two dives that we did not see reef shark. Not all the divers on the boat saw reef shark on these dives, but if you are experienced and know how to scan the surroundings we found there to be alot of big fish on these dives. We saw spotted eagle ray on approximately half of these dives, often in pods of 3 and four at a time. Also of note during the week was a humungous jew fish about 14 feet long, and one manta ray that came in out of the blue to check us out. Plenty of dolphin on the boat rides from and to. All dives were along tremendously vertical walls, some walls with inverted angles.

For advanced divers, Fifi respected our experience. He let us dive our own profiles dictated by our computers. Both dives each day averaged over 60 minutes, and we found this to be a big advantage over other operators. Fifi is a perfectionest, and it shows throughout his organization- the divemasters work ethic, spotless boats, maintained equipment. We felt very comfortable from the first moments we climbed aboard the boat. The only draw back to diving with Caicos Adventures, is that it is a long day. Fifi, to his credit, lets the divers have their time during the dives, lots of time and lunch between dives, and will detour during the boat rides to chase dolphin. Basically, we left the hotel at 8:15 a.m and didn't get back until 3:30 each day. Well worth it- some of the best days ever.
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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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