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Dive Review of Provo Divers/Sibonet in
Turks and Caicos/Provinciales

Provo Divers/Sibonet, Feb, 2007,

by Richard Sziede, VA, USA . Report 3256.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving All over Carribean
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas calm, choppy, noCurrents
Water Temp 78 to 0 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 500PSI on return
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales >2
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 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 4 stars
UW Photo Comments Small on-boat rinse tub for cameras. Rental regs dumped into rinse on top of cameras. Eeek!

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments I love doing favorable reviews. In addition to healthy reefs and a goodly selection of the usual reef denizens, the week offered sharks, whales, dolphins, a manta and a Lion Fish! Yes a Lion Fish! I sent my footage to NOAA, and received a reply that Provo was the furthest West this invasive species had been sighted.

After plans for a more exotic vacation fell through, me bride rustled up a beach front room at Sibonet. Provo Divers picked me up in a van right on time every AM. On time, not on "Island time." Provo Divers is a tight organization. Although the boats were full, a hustling crew kept divers from stepping on one another. Grace Bay under Pressure? Dives were always led, but divers needn't follow the DM once they had made their chops. I earned the wrath once when I wandered away in pursuit of a photo. Thence they buddy'ed me with a fellow shutterbug who followed a similar meandering profile.

Although we rode different boats each day, rinsed and dried gear awaited us each morning on the right boat. Each boat had shelter from sun and wind, a head, a vestigial rinse tank, and small camera table. I learned to retrieve my Ikelite from the rinse tank after the last dive, because that's where the rental regs were dumped after being returned! Provo Divers went out of their way to make divers happy, including delivering my gear to Sibonet after my last dive.

Close in dive sites were in Grace Bay. That's where we found the Lion Fish. The best dives were wall dives near West Caicos, about 45 minutes from the dock. West Caicos was once a nature preserve, but was sold (out) by the enlightened government. Now it is a millionaire preserve. On days the boat took the channel to West Caicos, we saw whales and dolphin. If we hugged the reef we had a much smoother ride, but no big guys. Divers with sharper ears than mine could hear the humpbacks singing if they held breath to stop the sound of bubbles.

Of places I've seen, I'd put the wall at West Caicos second only to Bloody Bay wall for health of the reef and clarity of the water. Grace Bay was clouded by runoff. Reefs around Provo start at 40-45 feet. This shortened dives to 45 minutes or so, because there were no shallows in which to putter after the ol' computer reached the yellow.

Provo is in the midst of a land rush of sorts. See it now before it is completely paved over. I fear the half-million dollar condos they pitch to successful dentists are going to price divers out of a place to stay on the island. Not to mention runoff damage to the reef when the last square inch is under concrete. And yes, the usual shady operators that accompany any such bubble are there in force. The construction site next to Sibonet was pre-sold by an operator that didn't actually have title to the land. All the suc... sorry, investors', money is tied up in court escrow.

The Grace Bay Bistro in Sibonet has the best chef. Other restaurants, including the well-reviewed Hemingway's had competent island fare. But GBB's chef is the only one that brought us back. Sibonet restaurant staff has garnered negative reviews on travel sites. Earned, I would say. They may be slow, but they're surly. Conch chowder is on the menu of every island beanery. It is completely different at each venue, but always wonderful. Bonnie's on Sibonet Rd. get special praise.

Sibonet desk clerk would not sell us Gecko tickets. Her reason was poor service from Gecko reflected on the hotel. Gecko is the island bus/taxi service. Our experience was Gecko arrived within 10 minutes of being called. Only late once. Good as taxis, and they sure beat trying learn to drive on the left.

Our ocean front room was clean and pleasant. Housekeeping was excellent. It took a moment to figure out the remote control on the AC, and turn it off. I will never understand why hostelries in a tropic paradise must crank the AC down to "Arctic Wasteland." Kudos to Sibonet's gardener. Grounds and beach were beautiful. Fewer beach huts than guests, however. If you want shade, hit the beach early.

I am glad I saw Provo before it is completely embalmed in concrete. Two-story, gardened and pleasent Sibonet will soon be surrounded by 12-story eyesores.
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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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