Turks and Caicos
We ditched winter for a week in mid-January to go scuba diving on the beautiful Caribbean island of Turks and Caicos. We did a week-long scuba live-aboard trip with beach days flanking the beginning and end of the trip. Before heading out, Chris refreshed some of his gear at One World Dive near Denver.
We stayed 2 nights prior to and 1 night following our live-aboard experience at Ocean Club on Grace Bay. This was a no-frills resort which filled the requirement for R&R on the beach. Grace Bay has white sand beaches and turquoise waters, and is one of the most beautiful beaches we have seen! We enjoyed lots of beach-sitting and good oceanfront dining while amping up/recovering from scuba diving.
We spent 6 nights, 7 days on a spacious 120 foot yacht belonging to the Aggressor Fleet. Our room was a tiny stateroom but served its purpose for rest between our full days of diving. The common living areas on the boat were nice, with a comfortable dining room and a sun deck for lounging. We shared these accommodations with 15 other guests, two of which were Ray and Tesa, Chris’ parents!
Our days were centered on diving. We were offered 5 dives per day – two in the morning, two in the afternoon, and one night dive – all wall diving off the coast of Providinciales. We usually did 4 dives per day, opting out of the 2nd afternoon dive for more “fun in the sun” time. We started the week by diving at Northwest Point, and then moved to West Caicos. Based on the weather forecast, the captain of the boat opted to head to French Cay to hopefully make it back to Northwest point to complete the week. Unfortunately, 10-foot seas and inclement weather prevented this plan, so we spend 3 days diving at the French Cay sites.
All was not lost, and we still had great diving. We saw many sharks (reef, nurse), a few turtles, a pod of dolphins cruising underwater, eagle rays and green moray eels. My goal for the week (being my first night dives) was to spot an octopus – lucky for me we watched a daytime octopus for 25 minutes! For our final dive we tried a fluorescent night dive, using black light to see crazy details of the coral reef.
Above the water we enjoyed amazing meals and great service by the staff. We especially enjoyed emerging from the night dive to be treated with spiked hot chocolate! All in all it was a great week.
Pros: Winter getaway, beautiful beaches, nice wall diving, delicious food. Black-light diving is amazing!
Cons: The live-aboard was affordable, but remainder of island was very expensive. Somewhat awkward to do live-aboard without a group. Difficult time getting back due to winter storms.
Tips: We bought the live-aboard trip during a 30% sale on Aggressor website, so keep an eye out for sales! Jill at One World Dive and Travel helped us book our trip.