The Turks and Caicos is well-known for its beautiful diving – walls, reefs, sharks, spotted eagle rays, incredible coral health and marine diversity! So its no wonder it is always a stop on our winter itineraries. We can’t resist.
We love it so much we’re going to stay there all winter this year!
The Turks and Caicos is well known for its dramatic wall dives, most starting at 40-60′ (12-18m) and dropping into the abyss. We start our week of diving at West Caicos where you can expect to see Caribbean Reef Sharks on most dives, as well as squadrons of Spotted Eagle Rays cruising just off the wall, and a couple of pretty friendly grouper. The back reef has beautiful towers of pillar coral and stingrays hiding in the sand and night dives are chock full of diversity – keep your eyes peeled for strange looking viper moray eels and other crazy critters in the dark.
French Cay, found less that 20 miles southeast of West Caicos has some of the most spectacular diving in the area. The back reef is loaded with macro life, we’ll usually stay and dive these sites at least two times – once for a venture out to the wall and once to explore the reef under the boat. The walls here drop at sharp right angles, the world literally falling out from under you suddenly, and are completely vertical, covered in beautiful deep water sea fans and colorful sponges. Bring a flashlight even during the day for the reef under the boat – harlequin pipe fish hide in the coral along with many different species of shrimp and tiny fish! And you won’t be alone on your safety stop, even with your buddy with you – you’ll be surrounded by schools of Horse-eyed Jacks!
Diving off Northwest Point in Providenciales brings more wall dives and a chance to see the Thunderdome, a unique and packed artificial reef dive. This site is the original location of a French Game show – think Fear Factor meets Water Olympics. After one-too-many people got decompression sickness from the mermaids (you’ll have to ask our divemaster to explain that one!) the game show was shut down but the structure remains, a caged dome that has since toppled over, but now serves as hiding places for grunts, grouper, snapper, lobster and thousands of secretary blennies!
Even farther south and east is West Sand Spit, a tiny spit of sand only visible at low tide, surrounded by a beautiful sloping coral reef. Hawksbill turtles and reef sharks abound. We’re pretty sure we’re the only boat that dives here – and we have no idea why, its absolutely stunning!While diving off the spetacular walls in the area, take a minute and hold your breath (I know, first rule of scuba diving, but just for a second!). If you listen closely on any of these wall dives of French Cay, West Caicos, or Provo, you can hear the humpback whales singing. It sounds like a low moan, and some high pitched pops. Listen for yourself! The Humpback Whales from Canada and New England spend all summer feeding on the banks up north and come down to the warmer water in the wintertime to breed and calve every year. You can often see their large spouts off in the distance and you can hear the males singing underwater. The whale songs last about 45 minutes before the male will start it over again, and every male sings the same song – and the ones who sing it best are the ones that get the girls! If you’re willing to take a day off from diving we’ll take you out on the banks whale watching where you can see these massive creatures breaching and showing off for each other in the hopes of finding a suitable mate, or the newly born calves stretching their legs.
Our week-long dive charters in Turks and Caicos will leave from and return to Providenciales – plan to fly into Provo airport (code PLS) to meet the boat. We board at noon on Saturday and return to the anchorage on Friday morning for disembarkation at 9am. Flights after noon on Friday are usually ok. If you find flight schedules are requiring an overnight stay in Turks and Caicos we recommend the Turtle Cove Inn or Comfort Suites. See our Welcome Letter for additional information.
Come diving with us in Turks and Caicos this winter – call or email to plan your vacation now!