Turks & Caicos 2006

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  TCI 2006 - Dive Log  
  May 2006 Turks and Caicos Islands     

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The Turks and Caicos Islands form a southerly extension of the Bahamas chain of islands, although politically separate from the Bahamas and still British.

The archipelago is renowned for its wall dives with drop offs from 40 feet to 4,000 feet. All the main dive sites along the west coasts of Provo and West Caicos are wall dives marked by well anchored buoys, located in 40 to 50 feet of water, which made it ideal diving for us. We would moor Dream On to one of the dive buoys, dive and move on to the next. Musical buoys when there were a number of dive boats out from Provo who have priority. Fortunately by early afternoon, the dive boats return to base, enabling us to use the dive buoys as an overnight mooring.

The diving is different to anything we have previously experienced in the Red Sea. There are more pelagic visitors and even the reef fish are larger. The corals are more massive with few of the delicate stag horn corals found in the Red Sea. The corals are more adapted to a rougher environment with strong currents. Huge barrel and tube sponges and large gorgonians dominate. Colours on the reef are also different; blues, yellows and browns predominate, with the occasional lilac or purple coloured sponge.

Each dive is spectacular, presenting a different vista and never disappointing. Caribbean reef sharks, a hammerhead, eagle rays, turtles, huge morays and tens of large inquisitive groupers. (You will have to take our word for this as we have run out of 'O' rings for our underwater camera housing!). Our boat provided the local barracuda chief a base from which to watch the action.

We were fortunate that at this time of year, the prevailing winds are easterly and the wall dives on the western side of the islands were sheltered. Our dive compressor behaved flawlessly enabling us to refill 2 tanks within 30 minutes.

French Cay  On the southern shore of the Caicos Banks, south of the Isle of Providenciales, south of Sapodilla Bay

North West Point  Along the western coast of Providenciales

West Caicos   South west of the main island of Providenciales. West Caicos is uninhabited at the present time although a huge marina, hotel and resort complex (Ritz Carlton) is under construction. Along the western coastline the wall is 500m from the shore. There are eight diving site buoys, spread every half mile. Each one is unique with a name that describes the underwater terrain.

There are many other dive sites around the Turks and Caicos; North Caicos, Middle Caicos, Grand Turk to mention a few. Hopefully we will be back next year.




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