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Dive Review of Salt Cay Divers/Tradewinds Guest Suites in
Turks and Caicos/Salt Cay

Salt Cay Divers/Tradewinds Guest Suites, May, 2004,

by Blaine Browne, Florida, USA . Report 1043.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, Florida Keys, San Salvador, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, Grand Turk
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy, noCurrents
Water Temp 78 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40 to 70 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We chose this destination based on Undercurrent reviews and they were right on the button. Don't travel to Salt Cay if you're expecting Club Med facilities or nightlife - but if you're seeking a quiet, hassle-free, laid-back environment and superior diving, this is a top-notch destination. Interisland Airways got us from Provo to Salt Cay on time - they will charge you for overweight baggage. Debbie met us at the airport and for the next week met every need we had. Topside, the island is dominated by extensive salinas and the remains of the long-defunct salt industry, which would intrigue any historian of the region. The islanders were a pleasure, welcoming and eager to answer any questions about local affairs. We stayed at Tradewinds, which is right on the beach; our suite was clean,spacious and cooled by a constant breeze.If you are a light sleeper, bring earplugs; the donkeys and roosters can be quite noisy at night. We opted to have Debbie buy our food supply prior to our arrival and mostly cooked for ourselves. Though there are several places to eat on the island, their hours of operation seemed problematic and meals a re reltively expensive. Jagan at the Green Flash supplied us with fresh-caught fish to cook and served up some mighty fine fish at his open-air cafe on the harbor. The locals eat most anything they catch - we had lemon shark at the Green Flash. The dive operation was overseen by John, an Englishman who seemed thoroughly familiar with the sites after only a month there. He was courteous,humorous and went out of his way to accomodate us. SC Divers set up and cared for all our equipment. We dove from a Carolina skiff in conditions that were windier than usual, but as the dive sites are all on the lee side of the island, we weren't affected. We did two dives a day for five days and saw most of the nearby sites, all of which are only a 5 minute ride from the harbor. It was a bit windy to go to Grand Turk or the Endymion wreck, but there was still plenty to see. John thoroughly briefed us prior to each dive and always pointed out interesting sights. The walls were beautiful, covered with amazing sponges,and there was little or no current. There was an astounding profusion of healthy coral at sites like Kelly's Annex - we've rarely seen such pristine and stunning formations. In the course of the week, we encountered several large grouper, a dolphin that followed our boat, several nurse sharks, turtles and a manta gliding over a sandy channel. There is excellent snorkeling beneath the cliffs just north of the harbor and an incredible beach on the northeast end of the island. Overall, this was a superior experience, made all the more pleasant by Debbie's attentions and John's abilities as a divemaster. We would not hestiate to describe this as one of our best dive vacations - none of the haste or crowds found at some other more popular dive destinations. We highly recommed Salt Cay Divers; it is evidently the only dive operation on the island now, as we heard that Reef Runners was closing down.
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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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