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Dive Review of Oasis/Island House in
Turks and Caicos/Grand Turk

March, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Darren Dawson, SC, USA
Report Number 2416
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, the Bahamas, Bonaire, Belize-Lighthouse Reef,
Cozumel, Grand Turk, Roatan, Utila
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
74   to 78    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Follow the leader in small groups 
Come up when you are low on air  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
1 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
1 stars  
Shore Facilities  
1 stars  
Nothing for UWP
You will rough it
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
2 stars    
Google Darren Dawson for a longer version of the report

General: We visited Grand Turk for the first time on December 26-31, 2005.
The water and beaches here are stunning  gorgeous shades of turquoise and
deep blue water with white-powder sand. The dive shops and most of the
tourist hotels and restaurants are located along a stretch of beach known
as The Strip. The beach here is beautiful and the sunsets are fabulous.
The interior and non-tourist areas of the island where local businesses and
homes are located was not particularly attractive, though the people were
friendly and we always felt safe. Horses, donkeys and dogs roamed around
everywhere. We stayed at the Island House resort and dove with Oasis
Divers. The Island House is run by long-time manager Colin and it was quite
nice, though it was not on the water. Oasis is a very good dive operation
and we really loved our divemaster, Mackey. If we ever return to Grand
Turk, we would definitely choose Oasis again and wed probably end up
staying at the Island House, though I really did miss being on the water.
(More details on lodging and diving are contained in the sections below.)
We found the diving on Grand Turk to be mixed  some of the sites we dove
were outstanding, while others were somewhat mediocre. Several sites
contained abundant colorful large sponges and hard and soft corals  great
wide-angle stuff. In terms of marine life, we saw a decent number of fish,
especially on top of the reefs. Most of the standard reef fish were there.
We came across turtles on every single dive. We saw quite a few
butterflyfish on most dives (all kinds) but not many angel fish. We only
found one spotted drum, and never saw a single scorpionfish. Schooling
creole wrasse were seen on many dives, as were groupers of all sizes, from
small to quite large. We saw nurse sharks a couple of dives. Our two night
dives were excellent  we saw crabs, lobsters, squid, octopi, etc. both
times. One major disappointment was the complete lack of macro critters 
we literally saw only a couple of banded coral shrimp on one night dive,
occasional flamingo tongues, a total of 3 Pederson cleaner shrimp (all on
one dive)  not a single arrow crab, nudibranch, or other small creature.
In comparison to other dive destinations we have visited (the East End of
Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, the Bahamas, Belize, Bonaire, Cozumel, the
Kona coast of Hawaii, Utila Dominica, and Roatan), we found the diving here
to be better than Cozumel, Bonaire or the Bahamas; about on par with the
Utila and Roatan (though very different from the Bay Islands); and a step
below the Caymans and Dominica. The topside weather was beautiful during
our stay  mostly sunny every day with no rain. The water was cold, however
(being late December), enough so to be bothersome by the last half of the
second morning dive. We didnt see mosquitoes or no-see-ums here, except
for a few mosquitoes in the evening. We didnt use insect repellent at all
during the day and had no problems. The ideal vacation agenda here would
probably be to do morning dives, spend the afternoon relaxing on the beach,
and go on a couple of night dives.

Travel: We flew from Atlanta to Providenciales, Caicos on Delta, then took
the short flight from Provo to Grand Turk on Sky King. Both airports were
fairly nice by Caribbean standards (well air-conditioned, clean, nice
seats, etc.) and all airport personnel we dealt with were friendly and
accommodating. There were long lines checking in and going through security
screening in the Provo airport for our return flight on Saturday due to the
fact that four large planes were departing for the US within a couple of
hours of each other that afternoon. Sky King runs multiple regular daily
flights among the Turks and Caicos islands. The planes are small twin
engine prop planes with about 15 seats. We had to pay excess weight charges
for the first time ever on Sky King ($10 going and $14 returning  go
figure). Our bags weigh about 120 lbs. total for all four  above their
maximum allowance of 44 lbs. per person. All our bags did make it on the
plane with us both ways. In fact, the only trouble we had with baggage
occurred in the Atlanta Airport  somehow one of our bags got lost between
the baggage re-check in the international arrival area and the baggage
claim area, but Delta had it delivered to our house within 36 hours. 
Lodging/Dining: We stayed at the Island House resort, a well-known dive
lodge on the island which has been managed by Colin (a retired Brit) for a
number of years. The Island House is a nice property, with pretty common
areas and a pool. There are about 10-12 guest rooms arranged around a nice
courtyard, and Colin seems to be on-site to help tend to your needs at all
times. All rooms have A/C and good-size porches and balconies. You can see
a large lagoon from the back side of the property, but the view is not
beautiful. Our room was on the bottom floor, so the view from the top floor
rooms may have been more scenic. [ link] Our room was
outfitted with a double bed, dresser and a sitting area with a table. We
had small kitchenette with microwave, stove and refrigerator. Storage space
was adequate. The bathroom had a bathtub/shower, toilet and sink, and we
always had plenty of hot water. Tap was is not potable, but fresh drinking
water was provided on-site. Maid service was provided daily and towels were
replenished each day. Guest rooms had televisions, phones, alarm/CD
players. The electrical outlets in the room took standard US plugs. One
bonus of staying at the Island House is the Colin provides a car or truck
with the lodging package. 
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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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