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Dive Review of Dive Provo/The Sands at Grace Bay in
Turks and Caicos/Providenciales

August, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Ernie Feleppa, NY, USA
Report Number 1932
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Grand Cayman, Bonaire, Northeast US (salt and fresh water)
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
choppy, noCurrents  
Water Temp
84   to 85    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
General guidelines were given for each dive, e.g., 80' out and 60' or less
back for some specified time.  One of the crew entered the water to guide
each dive, but following was optional.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
2 stars  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
3 stars    
I have been taking dive groups to the Caribbean since the mid 1980s, and
this year I took 33 people (27 divers) to Provo in July.  The folks at Dive
Provo, particularly Alan (owner), Bill (dive-operations manager), Lucy
(divemaster and captain), and several of their staff are absolutely super. 
The boats are reliable and well set up.  Diving Northwest Point is as good
as diving at the more sought-after more-distant regions such as West
Caicos, French Cay, etc.  Runs to Grace Bay sites take less than a half
hour (one way); to NW Point they take 45 minutes to an hour; and beyond
that, 2 hours or more.  Based on past experience, we chose to stick with NW
Point and Grace Bay, but conditions were noticably better at NW Point this
year in terms of visibility and reef health.  (My guess is that the
unbelievably rapid and extensive recent development along Grace Bay may be
affecting the adjacent envirionment -- much as I believe extensive
development has affected the reefs along the western shore of Grand
Cayman.)  Most people saw Caribbean reef sharks on more than one dive; one
diver saw at least one shark on EVERY dive.  We saw several turtles, a few
nurse sharks (including a 6-footer), the usual reef fish, and quite a bit
of healthy pillar coral.  Flamingo tongues abounded and I saw a few
fingerprint cyphomas.  However, the highlight of this year's trip may have
been our "playing" with a pod of at least 50 spotted dolphins
that we encountered en route to a NW-point dive site.  Our 2 boats circled
the pod for about 10 minutes while the dolphins constantly rode and body
surfed our bow waves and wakes.  The best dives were the Crack and
Ampitheater off NW Point.  The Sands where we stayed and the Royal West
Indies resorts seem to be the best values for quality accomodations on
Provo, and the restaurant at RWI is among the best on the Island. 
Unfortunately, virtually all the bedding at RWI is king or queen, which is
not well-suited for a large group such as ours.  Caicos Cafe, Magnolia,
Coco Bistro, and several other restaurants offer very good food at
not-unreasonable prices for the Caribbean.
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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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