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Dive Review of Oasis Divers/Osprey Beach Hotel in
Turks and Caicos/Grand Turk

Oasis Divers/Osprey Beach Hotel, Jul, 2003,

by Kevin Harvill, tx, usa (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports). Report 582.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, Curacao, Little Cayman, Lighthouse Reef Belize, Utila,
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 81 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 80 to 120 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 None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This was our third trip to Grand Turk in less than three years, and for good reason. Great diving, friendly people, comfortable acommodations, beautiful sunsets, and the number one rated dive operator in the world make this one of our favorite destinations in the West Indies.

The first two times we visited the island we stayed at the Turks Head Inn, a hotel we can highly recommend. (See my report in the 2002 Chapbook.) This time we wanted a place right on the beach. Osprey Beach Hotel fit the bill nicely with less than 30 feet separating our door from the sand. Only one complaint about the beach. No shade. The older I get the less important it is to "work on my tan". Some thatched palapas would make this a near-perfect place to sit near the gentle surf after a morning of diving, reading a good book or catching up on some much needed and well-earned napping . As it is we waited until near sunset to venture onto the sun-drenched sand with Margarita in hand to enjoy some of the most beautiful sunsets a diver is likely to see. Only once during our nine-day visit was the sky clear enough to give us the green flash. But that's OK. Every other night the clouds burned yellow, then orange, then red, then purple with the setting of the sun from this west-facing beach.

We chose a ground-floor room with T.V., refrigerator, and coffee maker. Other rooms have more ammenities such as a microwave, couch, toaster, etc. Our bed was king-size and very comfortable. The refrigerator was large enough to hold several one-gallon water jugs and was so efficient we had to set the controller on a medium setting so as not to freeze everything inside. Ditto the window-style air conditioner. Very cold! The only gripe we had about our room was a severe lack of shelf space in the bathroom. We piled all our toiletries on the rim of the sink and the back of the toilet. During our stay the outdoor restaurant/bar/patio/pool area was retiled in an attractive terra cotta color.

On Sundays and Wednesdays local dive shop operator Mitch Rolling entertains diners with his musical talent. He's a very good singer and guitar player. Other locals (called Belongers) join in on various instruments such as the bongo and saw. During one of Mitch's performances much attention was given to a visiting celebrity. Free-diver Tanya Streeter was honored by the Minister of Tourism and the Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands for her recent free diving record of 425 feet which, I think, was set just a few days before near Providenciales.

Meals at Osprey Beach are served on the patio around the pool right next to the beach with a direct view of the setting sun. The meals we had here were delicious and plentiful and Food and Beverage manager, Alan whips up a pretty good cocktail. Breakfasts were taken at the Courtyard cafe across the street. The setting is very shaded and cool in the rising sun. The two-egg ham and cheese omelet became our standard fare.

We ate most of our evening meals at a comfy little place called the Water's Edge. From the menu you can't go wrong with the cracked conch or a "Goo Burger". Great place to watch for the "green flash".

Oasis Divers was voted number one dive operator in the world in 2002. They deserve it. They're simply the best. Owners Dale and Everette Freites run a top-notch, professional operation. Paul, Phil, Ty, Baccam (sp?), and Lorenzo made sure we had the best dive experience possible.

We were in hopes of seeing Manta Rays on this trip. Unfortunately, the plankton was absent, so no Mantas. However, the diving here is fabulous. The reef is healthy, the fish abundant, the viz extraordinary, the walls breath-taking. Over seventeen dives we saw the biggest Hawksbill, the biggest Green Moray, the biggest Nurse Shark, the biggest Octopus, and the biggest Nassau Grouper we've ever seen. At the same time we saw lots of baby critters as well. Very young turtles, tangs, drums, trunk fish, etc. On other dives we were greeted by spotted morays, puffer fish, squid, scorpion fish, lobsters, barracudas, lizard fish, southern stingrays, and cleaning stations.

We took a day trip to Salt Cay which is a 45 minute boat ride from Grand Turk. At Northwest Wall we found nurse sharks and tons of queen conch. At Callie's Folly we experienced incredible viz, dramatic valleys, two six foot reef sharks, and a healthy reef. For our post-dive lunch we headed to Island Thyme Bistro and Bar. The owner's name is Porter and he is a gregarious, entertaining fellow who makes you feel instantly at home. Ask him to make you a drink called Dawa or one he dubbs The Deep Blue. I had a pretty good jerked chicken sandwich.

Our journey from DFW airport aboard American Airlines took us to Miami and then to Providenciales (Provo) where we flew a 19-passenger Sky King to Grand Turk. All connections went smoothly. Taxi service on Grand Turk is prompt and courteous.

There are around 3500 residents on this laid-back, friendly little island and there's really nothing for a guest to do but dive. The government has signed agreements with some cruise ship companies to allow regular stops. No one is sure when the ships will begin arriving, perhaps not for some time. However, every diver who wants to experience near-pristine reefs on an uncrowded, uncommercialized, diver-friendly island should make plans to do so before the throngs arrive. We're already making plans ourselves.
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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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