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

Salt Cay Divers/Tradewinds Guest Suites: "A Lot to Love on Salt Cay", Mar, 2014,

by Sandy Falen, KS, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 26 reports with 10 Helpful votes). Report 7869.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments It's impossible not to love Salt Cay. This tiny island is a Caribbean throwback, with 60 residents, a dozen or so accommodation options, roaming donkeys, clear water, and decent to very good diving. This was my third visit, and it was timed for humpback whale season.

Sometimes great diving is a matter of luck and timing, and for this visit, my luck wasn't the best. Very windy conditions made whale watching a real challenge, although I did enjoy a few sightings on the surface, along with one short but stellar view of a mom and baby humpback resting on the bottom at about 50 feet.

The wind also kept the diving conditions stirred up, and I thought the fish sightings were the bleakest I'd ever experienced in Salt Cay. I believe this was a matter of season and conditions, however -- it had been perfect the previous week, and it was absolutely perfect on the day I flew home -- sometimes it just happens that way.

Debbie Manos runs a good dive operation, and she cares a great deal about this island, her guests, and the environment... and it shows.
The dive staff does a great job; they are efficient, knowledgeable, and they don't hover. That's all I require. The biggest challenge on Salt Cay was a serious fresh water shortage, although I always had enough in my room (and I made an effort to conserve). This should be rectified soon with the completion of a new r/o system currently being installed on the island.

Tradewinds Guest Suites suit me just fine: simple, but roomy, cheery, and clean, with a separate living room, kitchenette or full kitchen, screened porch, a line for drying, an oceanfront view, and the namesake trade winds that kept my room lusciously cool. There's also an elevated deck that guests can enjoy for sunsets or whale spotting, and hammocks for post-dive napping.

I ate most of my meals at Porter's Island Thyme, an oasis of heavenly food (and crazy antics) that will leave you amazed. It's the center of the action on this tiny island, and after a week there, you'll be part of the family. I also enjoyed a few meals, including the weekly barbeque, at Debbie's Coral Reef Cafe, next to the dive shop. The beach location is irresistible, the beer is always cold, and the food is pretty good, too.

I've had better diving than I experienced on this trip, but I'd be hard pressed to find an island that appeals more than Salt Cay. I expect to return -- likely for the 2015 humpback season.

Websites Salt Cay Divers   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving All over the Caribbean, Fiji, Sulawesi, Palau, Kosrae, Costa Rica, Bahamas, Kauai
Closest Airport Getting There Caicos Express from Provo to Salt Cay, 4 days/week

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 77-78°F / 25-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 70-90 Ft/ 21-27 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Come up at 500psi
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales 1 or 2
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

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