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Dive Review of Caicos Adventures/Royal West Indies in
Turks and Caicos/Providenciales

Caicos Adventures/Royal West Indies, Oct, 2004,

by Laurie Gneiding, NJ, USA . Report 1410.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Little Cayman; Cozumel; Cancun; Bonaire; Belize; Tortola, BVI; Dominica; NH, NJ, RI, ME
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 80 to 85 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions 1st dive: 85 feet; 2nd dive: 75 feet; 3rd dive: 65 feet. Follow the dive guide - first one w/1500 psi then all turn around and head for the boat.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 5 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments No table on small boat for photography set-up; however, a rinse tank was provided.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We spent the first week of October with Caicos Adventures, totalling 13 dives in six days. Overall, it is a great operation. You do not touch your equipment from the moment it arrives onboard - everything is set up for you for diving and then rinsed at the end of the day. Fills were routinely between 3000 and 3500 psi. Nitrox available. During our first 10 dives, the large cat was in dry dock getting its driveshaft fixed and the smaller cat was used. Not a problem with five divers but for a few days, we had 10 divers and two divemasters. Conditions were "cozy" to say the least. The small boat also did not do much to absorb the bouncing during the 45 minute ride to West Caicos. Fresh water and Gatorade are available and lunch is a large, if somewhat unimaginative ham/cheese or turkey sandwich from the local IGA. The last day of our diving (the 3-tank day) the big catamaran was back in the water with Fifi as the captain. And what a difference! It's HUGE! Lots of room for divers and equipment and sunbathing during surface intervals. Snacks served in between dives and lunch upgraded to sandwiches with pesto pasta salad and a bag of chips. Due to recent hurricanes, visibility was less than spectacular - 40-60 feet. Unfortunately, lots of silt on reef and evidence of broken corals/sponges on shallow reefs, especially in Grace Bay. West Caicos fared better and the U/W life was incredible! Many huge lobster and crabs as well as tiny cleaner shrimp and arrow crabs. Gargantuan Nassau groupers! Many southern stingrays and spotted morays. Angelfish, hogfish, tang, wrasse, and many other fish were in great abundance. At least one Caribbean reef shark on each dive and usually several. On the day of diving, we had two hawksbill turtles, six sharks, and a manta ray. The reef ecology is in great shape as we noticed the entire spectrum of life, i.e., fry, juveniles, adults, and large fish.
Kenard, Asa, and Rich were very helpful and gracious divemasters. My only complaint (and this goes for many other operations throughout the Caribbean) is that reef fragility was not sufficiently stressed. Certain divers in our group dragged their way across the bottom knocking over sponges and corals and no one was corrected until we suggested it later to the divemasters.
The Royal West Indies Resort was immaculate and spacious. We had a one-bedroom condo with the full kitchen. Given that restaurants are very expensive and taxis even more so, we opted to get the ($20) shuttle to the local IGA and stock up for the week. If you go to this resort, ask for the rooms that are NOT adjacent to the Club Med. We were kept up late nearly every night with their incessant loud music.
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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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