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

July, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Kevin Harvill, tx, usa
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 582
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Cozumel, Curacao, Little Cayman, Lighthouse Reef Belize, Utila, 
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
Water Temp
81   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
80   to 120    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 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  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
4 stars    
This was our third trip to Grand Turk in less than three years, and for
good reason.  Great diving, friendly people, comfortable acommodations,
beautiful sunsets, and the number one rated dive operator in the world make
this one of our favorite destinations in the West Indies.

The first two times we visited the island we stayed at the Turks Head Inn,
a hotel we can highly recommend.  (See my report in the 2002 Chapbook.) 
This time we wanted a place right on the beach.  Osprey Beach Hotel fit the
bill nicely with less than 30 feet separating our door from the sand.  Only
one complaint about the beach.  No shade.  The older I get the less
important it is to "work on my tan".  Some thatched palapas would
make this a near-perfect place to sit near the gentle surf after a morning
of diving, reading a good book or catching up on some much needed and
well-earned napping .  As it is we waited until near sunset to venture onto
the sun-drenched sand with Margarita in hand to enjoy some of the most
beautiful sunsets a diver is likely to see.  Only once during our nine-day
visit was the sky clear enough to give us the green flash.  But that's OK. 
Every other night the clouds burned yellow, then orange, then red, then
purple with the setting of the sun from this west-facing beach.    

We chose a ground-floor room with T.V., refrigerator, and coffee maker. 
Other rooms have more ammenities such as a microwave, couch, toaster, etc.
Our bed was king-size and very comfortable.  The refrigerator was large
enough to hold several one-gallon water jugs and was so efficient we had to
set the controller on a medium setting so as not to freeze everything
inside.  Ditto the window-style air conditioner.  Very cold!  The only
gripe we had about our room was a severe lack of shelf space in the
bathroom.  We piled all our toiletries on the rim of the sink and the back
of the toilet.  During our stay the outdoor restaurant/bar/patio/pool area
was retiled in an attractive terra cotta color.  

On Sundays and Wednesdays local dive shop operator Mitch Rolling entertains
diners with his musical talent.  He's a very good singer and guitar player.
 Other locals (called Belongers) join in on various instruments such as the
bongo and saw.  During one of Mitch's performances much attention was given
to a visiting celebrity.  Free-diver Tanya Streeter was honored by the
Minister of Tourism and the Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands for
her recent free diving record of 425 feet which, I think, was set just a
few days before near Providenciales.

Meals at Osprey Beach are served on the patio around the pool right next to
the beach with a direct view of the setting sun.  The meals we had here
were delicious and plentiful and Food and Beverage manager, Alan whips up a
pretty good cocktail.  Breakfasts were taken at the Courtyard cafe across
the street.  The setting is very shaded and cool in the rising sun.  The
two-egg ham and cheese omelet became our standard fare.

We ate most of our evening meals at a comfy little place called the Water's
Edge.  From the menu you can't go wrong with the cracked conch or a
"Goo Burger".  Great place to watch for the "green

Oasis Divers was voted number one dive operator in the world in 2002.  They
deserve it.  They're simply the best.  Owners Dale and Everette Freites run
a top-notch, professional operation.  Paul, Phil, Ty, Baccam (sp?), and
Lorenzo made sure we had the best dive experience possible.

We were in hopes of seeing Manta Rays on this trip.  Unfortunately, the
plankton was absent, so no Mantas.  However, the diving here is fabulous. 
The reef is healthy, the fish abundant, the viz extraordinary, the walls
breath-taking.  Over seventeen dives we saw the biggest Hawksbill, the
biggest Green Moray, the biggest Nurse Shark, the biggest Octopus, and the
biggest Nassau Grouper we've ever seen.  At the same time we saw lots of
baby critters as well.  Very young turtles, tangs, drums, trunk fish, etc. 
On other dives we were greeted by spotted morays, puffer fish, squid,
scorpion fish, lobsters, barracudas, lizard fish, southern stingrays, and
cleaning stations.  

We took a day trip to Salt Cay which is a 45 minute boat ride from Grand
Turk.  At Northwest Wall we found nurse sharks and tons of queen conch.  At
Callie's Folly we experienced incredible viz, dramatic valleys, two six
foot reef sharks, and a healthy reef.  For our post-dive lunch we headed to
Island Thyme Bistro and Bar.  The owner's name is Porter and he is a
gregarious, entertaining fellow who makes you feel instantly at home.  Ask
him to make you a drink called Dawa or one he dubbs The Deep Blue.  I had a
pretty good jerked chicken sandwich.

Our journey from DFW airport aboard American Airlines took us to Miami and
then to Providenciales (Provo) where we flew a 19-passenger Sky King to
Grand Turk.  All connections went smoothly.  Taxi service on Grand Turk is
prompt and courteous.

There are around 3500 residents on this laid-back, friendly little island
and there's really nothing for a guest to do but dive.  The government has
signed agreements with some cruise ship companies to allow regular stops. 
No one is sure when the ships will begin arriving, perhaps not for some
time.  However, every diver who wants to experience near-pristine reefs on
an uncrowded, uncommercialized, diver-friendly island should make plans to
do so before the throngs arrive.  We're already making plans ourselves.
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Other dive reports on Oasis Divers

All Turks and Caicos Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Turks and Caicos
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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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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