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Dive Review of Dive Provo, Big Blue, Caicos Adventure/Sands in
Turks and Caicos/Provo

July, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Jim Reilly and Fran Klass, PA, USA
Report Number 555
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Nassau, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Curacao, New Jersey
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
Water Temp
84   to 85    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
If you had your own computer you were free to dive by yourself. Dive Provo
and Caicos Adventure established time limits, usually 45 minutes maximum.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
5 stars    
We loved Turks and Caicos and especially the Sands Hotel, which was just
super. Provo is just starting to develop. We hope the wonderful, warm,
friendly atmosphere we enjoyed survives the growth.

We arrived and were through customs and had our luggage within 10 minutes.
Arrived at the hotel to waiting porters and welcoming drinks. We registered
and were in our room in minutes. NONE of the annoying 'it's island time' or
'your room is not ready' stuff. We stayed in a studio room, which was a
REAL non-smokers room, not a room where the ash trays were removed as we
entered. Nice kitchenette, modern well equipped bathroom, king bed,
furnished living room, and a screened balcony with chairs and a table
(great for drying dive gear). The Sands is very well run, friendly, super
clean and works hard to please. Plus, they have great swimming pools and a
WONDERFUL beach with real sand and no coral. The Sands had a fine
restaurant where very good burgers with lots of fries cost $8.95. They
offer bar and restaurant service on the beach. Great way to unwind after a
ling day of diving. The only feature lacking from the hotel was a pool

Food prices at restaurants were about what you might expect in the USA,
although the taxi ride, 10% government tax and tip added up to make dining
a bit expensive. So a trip to dinner for 2 adults with drinks, which might
have cost $50 or $60 ended up costing closer to $100 for the night. Food
choice was limited and sometimes what we ordered was not available. There
are daily specials. We went to one and enjoyed a very good Ribs and chicken
dinner for $10 per person. We also bought breakfast and lunch food at the
Graceway IGA, a modern well stocked super market. A case of 24 cans of Diet
Pepsi cost $7.99. 

We split our diving between three operators: Dive Provo; Caicos Adventure;
and Big Blue Unlimited. All of the operators had well equipped, very clean
and modern boats. All boats had clean, working marine toilets. In general,
diving is more expensive than elsewhere we've been. Two tank dives ranged
in price for the high $80's to over $130. Two diving experiences are
offered: short OK dives in Grace Bay; or, long trips to French Cay or West
Caicos, where the diving is GREAT but sea conditions can be challenging. 

We bought a three day package of 2-tank dives from Dive Provo. They were
kind enough to split one of the days into 2 afternoon dives without extra
charge.  We did one afternoon dive and a 2-tank morning dive in Grace Bay
and the rest off of West Caicos. All of the Dive Provo dives were relaxing
and fun. The briefings excellent, and staff supervision superior for those
who needed it. Snacks were provided as was ice water, soda and Gatorade.

We also did a 2-tank morning dive with Caicos Adventure off West Caicos and
an evening dive in Grace Bay. Again very superior service, a WONDERFUL
BOAT, and professionals on the boat and in the water. Plus Fifi, the owner,
offers free lunch (very good sandwiches), lots of chilled drinks and on our
trips brought his kids, who are fun to watch. In fact, we had such a good
time and Fifi took such good care of us (due to seasickness 2 days earlier
- more on that later), that we agreed to do a night dive that evening. Half
past 7 and up roars Fifi in a smaller twin hulled outboard boat. We board
through the surf and suit up. Then out into Grace Bay where the wind has
whipped up 1 to 2 foot waves. But it's quickly over the back. 

We also did a morning two tank dive with Big Blue Unlimited. In our opinion
this operation is a rip off. They advertise that they limit the number of
divers to 8. Guess what, we doubt you could get more than 8 divers on the
small boat they use - in fact we found their boat to be far more crowded
than on the Dive Provo or Caicos Adventure boats. Plus talk about pricey.
The two tank morning dive was $125 per person and they charged $6 each way
per person to pick us up and take us back to our hotel AND they had the
nerve to change us a 6% service charge for using a credit card. On board
they ignored all requests we made, went to a site with 3 to 4 foot seas and
announced we were there, it was a drift dive - take it or leave it. They
also announced ‘this is Big Blue where you dive your own profile,
but no one go below 60 feet’. But first, they asked us to stay
aboard while they took a DISCOVER SCUBA couple for their first scuba
experience. Naturally this dangerous act did not work and the only thing
discovered was how terrifying it can be to be in SCUBA for the first time
and in rough seas. Finally we got wet and found we were diving a GREAT
SITE. Lots of spotted Eagle rays, clouds of colorful fish, nurse sharks,
good coral. After the dive we were on our own to surface. No boat in sight.
Even with emergency sausage and a lift bag deployed, it was 15 minutes till
we spotted the boat and several more till we got picked up. THEN after all
the divers were collected, they chose to stay out in the rough seas, rather
than motor a mile or so to a calm area behind French Cay. Half the divers
got seasick, being pounded in a small boat for over an hour. And the other
dive operators DIVE THIS SAME SITE but take shelter between dives. ALL Big
Blue offers is high costs, poor service, small boat, rough rides and snooty
posturing - NOT WORTH IT. 
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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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