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

Dive Provo/The Sands at Grace Bay, Aug, 2004,

by Ernie Feleppa, NY, USA . Report 1932.

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

Weather sunny, dry Seas choppy, noCurrents
Water Temp 84 to 85 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
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.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments 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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