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Dive Review of Provo Divers/Sibonet in
Turks and Caicos/Provinciales

February, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Richard Sziede, VA, USA
Report Number 3256
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
All over Carribean
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
calm, choppy, noCurrents  
Water Temp
78   to 0    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
500PSI on return  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Small on-boat rinse tub for cameras.  Rental regs dumped into rinse on top
of cameras.  Eeek!
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
I love doing favorable reviews.  In addition to healthy reefs and a goodly
selection of the usual reef denizens, the week offered sharks, whales,
dolphins, a manta and a Lion Fish!  Yes a Lion Fish!  I sent my footage to
NOAA, and received a reply that Provo was the furthest West this invasive
species had been sighted.

After plans for a more exotic vacation fell through, me bride rustled up a
beach front room at Sibonet.  Provo Divers picked me up in a van right on
time every AM.  On time, not on "Island time."  Provo Divers is a
tight organization.  Although the boats were full, a hustling crew kept
divers from stepping on one another.  Grace Bay under Pressure?  Dives were
always led, but divers needn't follow the DM once they had made their
chops.  I earned the wrath once when I wandered away in pursuit of a photo.
 Thence they buddy'ed me with a fellow shutterbug who followed a similar
meandering profile.  

Although we rode different boats each day, rinsed and dried gear awaited us
each morning on the right boat.  Each boat had shelter from sun and wind, a
head, a vestigial rinse tank, and small camera table.  I learned to
retrieve my Ikelite from the rinse tank after the last dive, because that's
where the rental regs were dumped after being returned!  Provo Divers went
out of their way to make divers happy, including delivering my gear to
Sibonet after my last dive.  

Close in dive sites were in Grace Bay.  That's where we found the Lion
Fish.  The best dives were wall dives near West Caicos, about 45 minutes
from the dock.  West Caicos was once a nature preserve, but was sold (out)
by the enlightened government.  Now it is a millionaire preserve.  On days
the boat took the channel to West Caicos, we saw whales and dolphin.  If we
hugged the reef we had a much smoother ride, but no big guys.  Divers with
sharper ears than mine could hear the humpbacks singing if they held breath
to stop the sound of bubbles.

Of places I've seen, I'd put the wall at West Caicos second only to Bloody
Bay wall for health of the reef and clarity of the water.  Grace Bay was
clouded by runoff.  Reefs around Provo start at 40-45 feet.  This shortened
dives to 45 minutes or so, because there were no shallows in which to
putter after the ol' computer reached the yellow.  

Provo is in the midst of a land rush of sorts.  See it now before it is
completely paved over.  I fear the half-million dollar condos they pitch to
successful dentists are going to price divers out of a place to stay on the
island.  Not to mention runoff damage to the reef when the last square inch
is under concrete.  And yes, the usual shady operators that accompany any
such bubble are there in force.  The construction site next to Sibonet was
pre-sold by an operator that didn't actually have title to the land.  All
the suc... sorry, investors', money is tied up in court escrow.

The Grace Bay Bistro in Sibonet has the best chef.  Other restaurants,
including the well-reviewed Hemingway's had competent island fare.  But
GBB's chef is the only one that brought us back.  Sibonet restaurant staff
has garnered negative reviews on travel sites.  Earned, I would say.  They
may be slow, but they're surly.  Conch chowder is on the menu of every
island beanery.  It is completely different at each venue, but always
wonderful.  Bonnie's on Sibonet Rd. get special praise.

Sibonet desk clerk would not sell us Gecko tickets.  Her reason was poor
service from Gecko reflected on the hotel.  Gecko is the island bus/taxi
service.  Our experience was Gecko arrived within 10 minutes of being
called.  Only late once.  Good as taxis, and they sure beat trying learn to
drive on the left.

Our ocean front room was clean and pleasant.  Housekeeping was excellent. 
It took a moment to figure out the remote control on the AC, and turn it
off.  I will never understand why hostelries in a tropic paradise must
crank the AC down to "Arctic Wasteland."  Kudos to Sibonet's
gardener.  Grounds and beach were beautiful.  Fewer beach huts than guests,
however.  If you want shade, hit the beach early.

I am glad I saw Provo before it is completely embalmed in concrete. 
Two-story, gardened and pleasent Sibonet will soon be surrounded by
12-story eyesores.  
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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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