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Dive Review of Salt Cay Divers/Tradewinds in
Turks and Caicos/Salt Cay

Salt Cay Divers/Tradewinds, Mar, 2005,

by Cindi and Bob Robertson, MI, USA . Report 1681.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 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 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We consider ourselves EXTREMELY lucky and fortunate to have had the opportunity to snorkel with 17 Humpback Whales in one day! This was our third visit to Salt Cay. We went back primarily to see how the Island and the reef survived after Hurricane Frances. There was no significant damage above or below. We saw a few coral heads that may have broken by the storm but we don't know. One dive site was almost completely white - covered with sand from the surge? Debbie and Ollie of Salt Cay Divers went out of their way once again to make sure we had all that we needed. We spent 2 weeks on the island this time and we not only dove Salt Cay, but also Grand Turk and South Caicos.Because we had already dove the wreck site Endymion, twice before, Debbie suggested that we do a snorkel instead. Thanks to Ollie who pointed us in the right direction and also being at the right place at the right time, we were very very very lucky to have a pod of 8 HUMPBACK whales gently glide past us about 15 - 20 feet away. It was incredible and definately something we won't forget. One of them went up for air, and when it exhaled, it sounded like a steam valve had been released underwater. What a sound! The other divers got back on the boat after diving the wreck, and as we motored back to Salt Cay, we ALL had the opportunity to snorkel with groups of 3 more whales, on 3 separate occasions. So for Bob and I it was a total of 17 whales in one day. There were reports of close encounters with the whales the next day - and then they were gone! I got the distinct feeling the whales were saying goodbye as they migrated north. A once in a lifetime opportunity. Once again we packed in all of our food. Freeze Dried Camping food and it was good. We ate out a few times at
Porter's and Miss Pat's as well. We had a good time with the Hermit Crab Races at Porters' one night! Snacks were with Jagen and Sue at the Green Flash, and with Debbie and Ollie at Coral Reef. Our room at the Tradewinds was within walking distance of the dive shop and had a refrig. and microwave. We brought a hot plate. The dive boats are the same. Two 22' Carolina Skiffs and on 42'Big Boat they use for larger groups and to go to the wreck. Most dive sites are within 10 minutes from shore. Dives are at 9:00, 11:00 and 3:00. This is a
small, desert island, with no shops, no grocery stores as we know them, no gas stations, and no night life. We like it that way.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Cozumel, Bonaire, St. Kitts, Guanaja, Galapagos Islands
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas choppy, noCurrents
Water Temp 77-79°F / 25-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 60-80 Ft/ 18-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Turn around at 1500 psi. Watch your computer.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments We got some spectacular photos of whales, to include a shot with 4 Humpbacks as well as several with mothers and babies. This was being in the right place at the right time and it helped that the whales were cooperating!
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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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