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Dive Review of Salt Cay Divers/Sandy Toes in
Turks and Caicos/Salt Cay

Salt Cay Divers/Sandy Toes, Mar, 2006,

by Cindi and Bob Robertson, MI, USA . Report 2421.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Bonaire(twice), Galapagos(twice), St.Kitts, Cozumel,
Grand Turk, South Caicos, Provo, Guanaja, Lake Michigan, Lake Superior
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 77 to 78 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 40 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Depends upon your experience and your computer.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 2 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments Fresh water cooler on the boat. Water is a precious commodity.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This, our fourth trip to Salt Cay, brought no whales, however it did bring us a very nice old style anchor on an uncharted reef! Salt Cay is known as "The Island Time Forgot", and this anchor just made proof of that point.
The water still had a bit of winter in it, with the temperatures staying around 78 degrees on most of the dives. (One dive lasting 77 minutes). I bring a lot of rubber, so usually I stay warm, however, some of the ladies diving in a 3mm, were shivering at the end of the dives. (So were some of the men!) Salt Cay Divers has shorties you can use if necessary.
Hurricane Francis skirted the island in 2004, and there is still evidence of that underwater. Last year, I wondered why some of the dive sites were almost completely white. The current theory floating around is that the Hurricane basically 'sandblasted' the coral in some places. I am happy to report evidence of new coral growth and I'm optimistic about the recovery of the reef. I hovered over more than one coral head, to study the new growth, and it seems to be growing directly over some of the sand blasted coral.
This is wall diving at its' best, and that is the reason we continue to return to the Island. That, coupled with a great Dive Operation, and small crowds. But be warned, there is almost nothing to do but dive. Bring your own food, or bring lots of money to dine out. Miss Pats, Island Thyme, Green Flash and Coral Reef are about the only places to buy meals.
Be sure to make your airplane reservations starting from Salt Cay back to your original point of departure. The airplanes from Salt Cay to Provo are a bit fickle, and they don't always stick to the previous plan. We took the boat over to Grand Turk and spent a night, before flying out the next day.
Salt Cay is an arid island, and water is a precious commodity. Sometimes the trade winds blow so hard, it is difficult to even ride your bicycle. This is a good thing, because we have never had a bug problem. (only on Grand Turk, when the winds died down and we were swarmed by flying termites!)
Salt Cay Divers will do all they can, to make your stay a pleasant one. (see our other reviews in past Undercurrents or email with any questions).
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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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