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Dive Review of Wind Dancer in
Turks and Caicos

April, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Ralph Baker, NV, USA
Reviewer   (6 reports)
Report Number 474
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
PNG, Australia, Galapagos, Southern California, Vancouver Isl., Caymans,
Belize, Saba, Fiji
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
77   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
none.  I was told no solo diving before I went.  When I got there, I just
dove in.  Nobody said anyhting.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
 Excellent accomodations, but no compressed air to blow off water.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
    The weather was unusually calm.  There was some wind out of the
southeast but it didn't kick up any waves or swell to speak of.  We had a
storm system to the north that kepts us in a calm for the week  The wind
did make it chilly when you came out of the water.
    The water temperature required a 2 to 3mm wetsuit.
    The walls start at 35 feet or deeper.  Diving Nitrox will greatly
increase your time at depth.  I spent much longer at 60 to 80 feet and had
to sit out 2 dives one day.  My computer had me within 7 minutes of
decompression, therefore, I thought I would sit out some dives to release
more nitrogen.
     The corals and most of the fish are on the walls.  Behind the walls
are sand flats which go from 25 feet to 12 feet or less.  Most of the fish
activity and corals are on the walls.  The sand flats have the stingrays,
flying ganards, blennies, and smaller eel species. At Salt Cay there were
dozens of box jelly fish waiting in the water for the night dive.  You need
an exposure suit and use your regulator to blow bubbles to the surface when
you ascend.
    They fish the reefs so you probably won't see really big "meat
fish."  You will see Nassau Grouper, lots of different parrot fish,
coneys, spotted morays, snapper (an exception to large fish was a hugh
snapper at the Airplane on South Caicos), hog fish, french grunts, grey
grunts, and lots of giant barracuda.  The barracuda had an unnerving habit
of approaching you if you swam directly in front of them.  One actually
accelerated directly at me.  I held out my camera thinking it was attacking
me!  Instead it passed less than 12 inches from my head, went around me and
chased another barracude that was behind me.  
    The best dive site for me was Eagle's Nest at South Caicos Isl.  If you
do the first dives in the morning you have the best chance of seeing the
eagle rays in squadrons.  Swim up behind the wall onto the sand hills.  The
eagle rays come through in the morning.  I got very close to 4 in one
group.  They will also appear on the walls.  When they swim off, do not
think they are "gone."  Wait.  In about 2 to 3 minutes they will
usually return. Also if you can be the first diver to get to the sand chute
with the 3 pinnicales or bommies, you may see the grey reef sharks that
hang out there.  They leave as soon as the first diver appears.  They are
about 6 ft. long.
    The Library on Grand Turk is also a great dive!
    Although I saw many turtles, the biggest was at the Kelly's Folly on
Salt Cay.  The shell was about 5 ft. long.  The turtles will let you get
fairly close for some good video.
    We dove the Endymion wreck.  It is exposed to the open ocean.  Many
cannons, cannon balls, very large chain and many anchors are still visible.
 There is alot of current due to the exposure.  There is also alot of fire
coral so wear some protection.
    The dive boat was the Peter Hughes Wind Dancer.  This is an older boat.
 It was going to dry dock at Freeport in the Bahamas very soon.  It was
still a very nice boat.  The dive platform was a concrete pad.  It had
weathered and was very rough.  Some complained of it hurting their bare
feet.  There was also a rubber matting on the sun deck that hurt everyone's
feet.  If they dont' change this bring some foot protection.  My room was
number 9.  This is next to the engine room.  The smell of diesel fuel was
very noticable.  I am not that sensitive, but others may be.  If so, you
need to request another room.  The crew was very saftey conscious.  We even
had a life jacket drill.  This is probably due to the problems the Hughes
operation has had lately.  The boat and crew did not concentrate on the
south Caicos and Turk area, rather they did many different itineraries. 
They did the Humpback Whale tips, a Bahamas trip, and the boat evidently
will end up in Tabago.  Because of this the divemasters were not very
familiar with the dive sites.  They could not answer questions regarding
fish life or where to find a particular fish you were looking for.  I don't
want to complain because over all the diving and service was fabulous. 
They really put an effort into their work and wanted to please.
    Sky King airlines will charge you for exceeding the weight limit. 
Everybody I saw was charged something.  Mine was $15 and $20. US dollars
are excepted everywhere. 
    I wasn't on Grand Turk but some of the group had spent a few days on
the island.  I was told that on Good Friday, everything and I mean
everything is closed.  The people that were staying on the island that day
only had a banana and some peanuts.  Even the hotel kitchen was closed. 
Just something to remember if you plan to be there at that time.  
    This is an out of the way location.  The diving is excellent.
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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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