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Dive Review of Dive Provo /Ports of Call in
Turks and Caicos/Provinciales

Dive Provo /Ports of Call: "Clear Waters and Easy Diving", Aug, 2017,

by Marie Dugan, FL, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 9749.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We were looking for a relaxing dive trip and did we ever find it with Ports of Call Resort and Dive Provo. Residing in South Florida, direct flights are readily available. We flew Jet Blue out of Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport.

Our arrival in Provinciales went smoothly and safely to the front door of Ports of Call Resort. We were greeted by friendly staff and allowed in our room early. Clean and friendly resort, not located on a beach. Well, we are from South Florida, so a beach for us was not mandatory. The resort is well kept, with a pool, patio bar and continental breakfast supplied each morning. Hours for breakfast were 6:30 until 10, but it really wasn't ready until 7. As an early riser, it was easy to adapt to their schedule. Breakfast included fresh juices, coffee, excellent pastries, and two times a week, bacon and eggs. This is the only place that offered breakfast as part of the room.
Ironically, we did not meet many divers staying at Ports of Call, those that we did were all friendly, as were the non-diving clientele.

Dive Provo is located across the driveway from Ports of Call and was our first stop after the resort. We checked in with Jo, receiving a warm welcome and an awesome first impression. We delivered our dive gear, since we always bring our own, and it showed up on each boat for our diving each day. No washing or lugging necessary, they did it all. Nitrox was available, for 10$ per tank. We dove it both dives each day and it was totally worth it. Many divers were sitting topside too soon, due to diving air.

My husband,fully recovered from recent back surgery, requested a seat at the stern of the boat. In 4 days of diving, only one time was he not placed in the back. After a chat with the divemaster, the problem was quickly corrected. The dive staff was very helpful with taking his tank from him in the water, so he could board without the tank.

Dive Provo is the largest operation on Provinciales, and it shows. The staff is extremely efficient. However, due to their efficiency, they many not be as flexible as some customers desire.

The boats are all 36 foot Newtons and were well equipped. Most boats were full each day. One boat is located to dive the north side, traveling to Grace Bay and Northwest Point, while the other boats are down on the south side of the island. Those boats go to West Caicos and French Cay, when the weather allows.

We dove both West Caicos and Grace Bay. West Caicos was the best of the dives. We were able to dive there our first and last days. Pristine reefs and good visibility greeted us each day at West Caicos. The first dive on West Caicos was named The Gulley. The corals here are healthy, all the way down past 80 feet. The site gets its name from the sand run that came out of the wall around 75 feet, with corals growing overhead. We had several reef sharks swim amongst the divers on our very first dive site, which was a great way to start our diving vacation.
The second dive was at Boat Cove, where we sighted a hawksbill turtle. Schools of horse eye jacks were circling under the boat. Schools of large yellow tail snapper were at this site as well. The safety stop was filled with watching the schools of fish under the boat. West Caicos is wall diving, supposedly to 6,000 feet. Happy to dive the walls between 80-90 feet max. The tops of the walls started in approximately 60 feet. We were quite impressed after our first day of diving West Caicos, which unfortunately, made us more critical of the diving in Grace Bay.

Days 2 and 3 we dove Grace Bay. The first dive on Day 2, we had a tidal change which created dirty water flowing off the top and over the wall. This created a more difficult dive, requiring us to swim upward, as well as along the wall. Perhaps a better timing of diving those sites would allow us to bypass those conditions.
The second site that day was called the Aquarium. This was a great site. As experienced divers, we were typically the first divers in the water, and the last out. This is always beneficial in being able to see big critters. At the base of the mooring line, there was a 200+ pound Nassau grouper. We saw numerous groupers on this dive, as well as lots of tropicals, cleaning stations and horse eye jack schools The Aquarium salvaged our disappointment of the first dive.
The Grace Bay trip is shorter in travel time, and feels more like a boat on a schedule, as this boat runs the afternoon dives. I believe this is why we dove in less than the best conditions with the tide running off the bank. The tranquility and no rush attitude of Day 1 was missing and the staff appeared more stressed, seemingly because of needing to get back for the next trip.

On Day 3 we were scheduled to dive Northwest Point. Due to windy conditions, we were told we would not be able to go around the point and would dive Grace Bay again. My issue with this change was the timing of the announcement. We were told of this change after we were in the shuttle on our way to the boat. I was vocal in my disappointment, due to my disapointing dive in Grace Bay the day before. The Divemaster took it quite personally and was not in a good mood for the rest of the day.
Understandably, I would have preferred being on the boat traveling to West Caicos, but my gear was already located on the boat going to Grace Bay. I do agree with the safety decision to not go to Northwest point, but I am still allowed to be disappointed in it.
This is my example of how their super efficiency was not appreciated for my diving vacation.
Our first dive on Day 3 was Cathedrals. The coral formations were beautiful and the visibility was much better than the day before. This wall starts in only 45 feet of water. No large critters were seen on either day diving Grace Bay, but according to the staff, sharks and turtles are seen regularly.
I asked if we could dive the Aquarium again, but the request was denied. Dive Provo has this policy that you are not to dive the same site twice during your diving with them. Really?? Not go back to the best spots?? Nigel, our captain for 3 of our 4 days stated he could get in quite a bit of a hassle if he went against policy. Silly policy, it seems to me.

The second dive of Day 3, had the normal amount of small fishes and critters, but nothing that stands out, except for my dive buddy locating a LED light and lanyard. Treasures of the deep are always welcome.

Day 4 had us return to West Caicos. The boat trip to West Caicos takes 1 hour with their Newton vessels. Windy conditions make the crossing a bit choppy, and perhaps that adds to the time frame of the trip. Our first dive that day was at the Rock Garden. Best visibility of the trip and we had some reef shark sightings, deeper than we were. Great overall dive, with large Nassau groupers and a hawksbill overhead.
The second dive was at the Driveway, due to a large sand area that goes over the wall. Here we had a reef shark come up the wall right when we got to it, and it cruised by several times during the dive. My closest turtle encounter occurred here, with a hawksbill swimming between myself and the reef, without a care in the world. Loved having the turtle all to myself prior to the other divers seeing it.

Each trip to West Caicos included lunch, which was fresh sandwiches and fruit. Plenty of water is provided, as well as fruit juice. Grace Bay boats provide water, juice and fresh bread and fruit.

The staff at Dive Provo is top notch. Overall, they are friendly and very helpful. Kudos especially to Kate, who was our Divemaster for two days at West Caicos, Jo, and Nigel. The divemaster on each boat does the first dive, and the captain does the second dive. The boats let you dive your own profile, and as long as you have a buddy, you need to be back at the boat at 60 minutes, or with 700 psi for your safety stop. We really appreciated being treated like we knew how to dive. Hopefully we allowed the staff to assist others who may have needed more guidance underwater.
We would dive with this operation again, perhaps a different time of the year (we were there in Aug. 2017) and insist on more West Caicos trips.
Websites Dive Provo   Ports of Call

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Florida, Hawaii, Bahamas, Bonaire, Curacao, Mexico, Galapagos
Closest Airport Provinciales Getting There Direct flights from Ft. Lauderdale or Miami

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas calm, choppy, no currents
Water Temp 84-86°F / 29-30°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50-80 Ft/ 15-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Each diver is required to have a computer, and the time limit of each dive was 60 minutes. If we ran a few minutes over, it was no big deal. Recommended max depth was 100 feet, which we stayed well above.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments On the two Dive Provo boat we dove on, there was a central table that could accommodate some camera equipment as well as a plastic basin. On the last day, one diver with a mega set up took up the whole basin.
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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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