SCUBA DIVING IN THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS, BRITISH WEST INDIES - PROVIDENCIALES
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turtle - found at turks and caicos dive sites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Divers will be amazed at the numerous dive sites found in the Turks and Caicos Islands....North West Point, West Caicos, French Cay and Grace Bay.

Northwest Point

Malcolm Roads beach and the Northwest Point dive sites, are approximately a 40 minute boat ride from Harbour Club Marina

The wall starts at 35 feet and plunges to more than 3000 feet. Divers will see black coral, tube sponges and wire coral with abundant schools of fish such as Creole Wrasse and Mahogany Snapper

 

dive boats on the horizon at the NorthWest Point at Providenciales Turks and Caicos

   
   
Amphitheatre:
85 feet
At about 85 feet, there is an undercut on the wall which goes back into the wall at 10-15 feet. A large orange elephant ear sponge sits on the top lip with black coral and orange rope sponges found below the undercut. Lobsters, schooling horse eye jack and flamingo tongues are common on the soft corals on the top of the wall.
   
Black Coral Forest:
110 feet
Divers will find large areas of plate coral and deep water gorgonians and see a ledge at about 200 feet leading off into the blue. Lots of black coral here including wire and pinnate and schools of grunts and parrotfish are often seen on the top of the wall.
   
Chimney:
90-100 feet
Starting at about 50 feet, divers swim through a ravine and exit on the wall at 90 feet. The wall is a nearly vertical drop to about 200 feet with scattered wire coral, soft corals, and crinoids in many of the holes. Keep your eyes on the blue water for the occasional shark and eagle ray.
   
Coral Stairway:
90-100 feet
The top of the wall at about 45 feet starts sloping down like a stairway. No sand patches just a unique stairway-like wall. On the wall are found schools of barracuda, horse-eye jacks, Bermuda chubs, and hamlets. Sometimes the occasional hawksbill turtle swims by.
   

Eel Garden:
50-130 feet

Many brown garden eels can be found near the cable and wireless cable. Nurse sharks and peacock flounders too. Lush corals cover the top of the wall starting at about 50 feet and the wall itself is covered with soft corals, tube and rope sponges, and star corals with a huge sand patch at about 130 feet.
   

Hole in the Wall

55-90 feet

A hole in the top of the reef drops vertically from 55 feet

and exits from the face of the wall at 90 feet. Space is limited to one diver in the chimney at a time. Growths along the inside walls are brittle and sharp. Lots of plate coral, schooling fish and lobsters.

   

Real Mans Wall

90 feet

The dive site starts with a large canyon leading out to 'the wall', and exiting at about 90 ft. Pillar Corals are found here and lots of schooling fish. Remnants of 'spur and groove' coral formation form small ridges. Lobster, crabs, and other critters that enjoy the recesses of the reef like to hang out.
   

The Crack

50-100 feet

South of Eel Garden, the mooring is in a large sandy area again with garden eels. A deep crevice cuts down the wall from the top at about 50 feet down to 100 feet. This area has loads of Christmas tree worms and feather dusters. There's a large black coral tree if you exit the wide crevasse on the wall at 75 feet. A large pillar coral is on the top edge of the wall. Schools of yellowtail, schoolmasters, and mahogany snappers can be seen.

   

Thunderdome

15-35 feet

Originally was part of the set for a French game show. The top of the steel structure is at 15 feet and the bottom at 35 feet. What remains of the dome is covered with scallops, clams, Christmas tree worms, Secretary blennies and other small life. Red stripe cleaning shrimp are often seen there, as well as a resident barracuda, gray angelfish, and Queen Angelfish. Scattered around the dome are coral heads.
   

Tiki Huts

40-45 feet

Just offshore from the Amanyara on Malcolm Roads Beach, this site starts at about 40-45 feet and great for blennies and gobies. Knobby and corkscrew anemones are common with golden and beaded crinoids found in many of the nooks and crannies. Gray angelfish are also often seen on this site
   

Two Step   

40-100 feet

The top of the wall starts at about 40 feet and drops sheer to 100 feet where there is a sandy shelf. The wall then drops off into the deep. An old anchor is cleverly disguised as a pillar coral. Nurse sharks are commonly seen as well as

whitespot filefish, blackbar soldierfish and squirrel fish.

 
Sandbore Channel
Lying halfway between Providenciales and West Caicos, Sandbore Channel is outside the marine park and has some of the best diving with walls that are sloped or sheer. Good area to watch for for eagle rays, dolphins and sharks.
   
   

Land of the Giants

40-110 feet

This dive area is found in a deep water channel between Provo and West Caicos, leading to the Caicos Banks. Can be rough in the winter months. An abundance of nutrients pass from the banks to the reefs and sometimes this reduces the visibility and makes this site undiveable. These conditions are often the best though for spotting large pelagics...... sharks, eagle and manta rays so keep your eyes fixed out into the “blue”.
   

Tons of Sponge

30-100 feet

Diveable only during an incoming tide, the topography is mixed with huge sand patches at the top of the wall, shallow reefs with holes and hiding places for fish. Great site for watching fish.....schools of Atlantic spadefish, horse-eye jacks, grunts, angelfish, rock beauties, and chromis.Watch for lobsters, channel-clinging crabs, eels, and stingrays too.
 
   
West Caicos  
Located 10 miles southwest of Providenciales, West Caicos is an uninhabited island offering pristine walls and numerous pelagics. Caribbean, black tip reef shark, and eagle rays are often seen along the sheer walls. This is your best chance to spot wild flamingos, osprey and brown pelican. West Caicos is approximately 45 minutes from our dock.
   
   
Beckys Beautiful Bottom

Huge coral heads and barrel sponges line this wall, each containing a community of fish and creatures. Great site for photographers who like shooting macro shots. You'll find hermit crabs, pederson cleaning shrimp, and corkscrew anemones.

   

Boat Cove (aka Rock Garden Interlude)

40-130 feet

The top of the wall is a sand plateau with many small coral heads. The sandy area attracts many rays and flounders as well as yellow coral shrimp. The reef on top of the wall has small clumps of staghorn coral and is home to grunts, snappers, groupers, rooster-tail conch, and many juvenile fish. Lots of fish found on this site.

   

Brandywine

55-120 feet

The top of this dive site starts at 55 feet and drops down the sheer wall to about 120 feet. Sand chutes lead down to the wall and create overhangs where fish can hide. You will find giant sea anemones, blue tangs, soft corals, tiger-tailed sea cucumbers, and white spotted filefish.Watch for azure vase sponges as well along the wall and on top of the reef.
   

Coney Island

5-25 feet

A small, sloping mini wall in about 25 feet of water is home to several small caves and overhangs great for finding those elusive critters that like to hide in the shade, including the occasional nurse shark. A lush coral field is located in 40 ft of water and is home to many fish, southern stingrays, eels and flying gurnards. On top of the wall, the depth gets as shallow as 5-15ft, but is one of the prettiest parts of the dive. Large 'sinkholes' are home to giant sea anemones, and the small creatures that live in and around them.

Devil's Horn

55 -80 feet

This site is named for a large coral outcropping ('the horn') on the wall. It starts in about 55 ft, with the top of the horn in approx 80 ft of water. A spectacular view greets the diver as you round the top of the horn with schooling fish congregating on the top of the out cropping. Under the boat sometimes you'll see large Southern Stingrays, and beds of garden eels

   

Driveway (aka Skislope aka

Yankee Town)

40-100 feet

A sand area with scattered coral heads lies under the mooring in about 40 feet of water and leads into a sand chute that heads down through the reef from 50 feet to a ledge at about 80-100 feet where the wall drops vertically to the deep. All along the wall, as at many of the sites at West Caicos, divers will find black coral and purple tube sponges, with yellow-headed jawfish, golden-tailed morays, groupers, black durgons. The ledge area features some excellent growth of plate and star corals.

   

Elephant Ear

Canyon

40-90 feet

Named after the largest known orange elephant ear sponge in the Turks and Caicos. It's a huge one.......nearly 11 feet in diameter and almost perfectly round. The top of the reef starts in 40 feet of water where coral heads are scattered amongst sand chutes that extend down the reef. The sponge is located at the foot of the sand chutes in 95 feet of water.

   

Gully

50-70 feet

The Gully gets its name from a cut in the reef that forms two distinct sections before dropping off vertically. The wall begins in about 50 feet and the top of the wall is a dense coral reef with many cleaning stations. Divers begin by swimming through this cut and dropping onto the wall at 85 feet. The vertical wall here has many undercuts covered in sponges, black corals and long tentacled anemones. If you're real lucky, you may see a redbanded lobster at about 75 feet.

   
Pot of Gold
This anchor site at the North end of the Gully was aptly named, as one diver explained, for the myriad of rainbow colours in the fish and wall as you drop into the abyss! You might not find treasure of the metallic kind here, but this deep, sheer wall, is reward enough!

Terry and Barbara had this to say.. "The diving was nothing less than spectacular. We were able to dive West Caicos

for 4 days, the highlight of which was encountering a 35ft
Humpback whale underwater.Terry (photo to left) and the friendly grouper that loves to play and be touched.


   
   

swimming with a humpbacked whale in the Turks and Caicos Island

WOW!!

Here's Jim Reiter (who stayed with us at Harbour Club Villas) diving with a humpbacked whale.......imagine this after some 400 dives. Mickey of Flamingo Divers snapped this amazing photo. You just simply can't top this!

   
   

Highway to Heaven

50-100 feet

Located towards the north end of West Caicos , the dive begins in 50–60 feet of water with a large colony of garden eels in the sand chute resembling a highway or alley. This is one of our deeper dives with coral arches and swim-throughs around 80-100 feet. There are two unique and rare rope sponge colonies whose form mimics staghorn coral. The site is a popular one because of the many stingrays and frequent shark sightings. Thank's Terry for the great shark photo! Lots of scorpion fish, Atlantic spadefish and large eagle rays too.

   

Magic Mushroom

20-85 feet

The site is named after the rock formation near West Caicos that is shaped like a giant mushroom. The wall is buttressed with sand chutes covered with rope sponge and black coral leading down the wall. Look for the huge black coral tree at about 80-85 feet. On top of the wall, for a

shallow 2nd dive, the large coral heads are home to numerous fish, eels, and conch.

   

Southwest Reef

50-70 feet

This reef has a deeper wall beginning between 50-70 feet. The wall is vertical with enormous barrel sponge, deep water gorgonians and frequent sightings of shark and eagle ray.
   
Sunday Service

At the top of the wall on this site, three sand chutes extend to the sloping wall. Divers will find lots of schools of small barracuda, squirrel fish, yellow goat fish and several members of the hamlet family.

   

Whiteface (aka

The Anchor)

70-100 feet

The name of this dive site comes from the steep cliffs along the shoreline. Along the top of the wall is an expansive reef with some impressive stands of pillar coral.

Fish include barracuda, parrot fish, French angelfish, longsnout butterflyfish and groupers. Just north of the mooring is a crack in the wall with a large anchor from the mid 1800's embedded at 70 feet. The wall is well undercut to a depth of about 100 feet. Keep your eyes out for the many white-spotted morays along this site.

Yankeetown

50-55 feet

This site is named for the community that existed on West Caicos from the late 1800's – 1920's. The top of the reef is in 50-55 feet and is fairly flat with scattered coral heads. Amongst these coral heads are large tube sponges, star coral, and plate corals along the wall. You'll also find large Nassau Groupers, porcupinefish, honeycomb cowfish, puddinglifes, and trumpetfish
   
   
French Cay  

Alan Knox came all the way from jolly old England and stayed at Harbour Club Villas for three weeks diving with FiFi, Asa and the gang at Caicos Adventures. He is letting me use his terrific photos and here's what he had to say......

French Cay is a tiny atoll (only a few hundred feet long) about 15 miles due south of Providentiales. It offers virtually no shelter from the seas so needs to be dived in good weather. It is well worth the 50 minute boat ride, with some of the best walls and reefs on the islands.

It has two distinguishing features which make for great dives. First, the wall faces south and is usually well lit by the sun's rays. Secondly, the top of the wall is relatively shallow at around 40 feet and well covered with coral clumps, rather than the sand bottom which is found on West Caicos sites. This offers divers a rich sunny playground in shallow water with long dives.

 

French Cay diving in the Turks and Caicos Islands
   

G Spot

150 feet

I dived the G spot (named after the Gorgonion soft corals which abound), and Coral Gardens sites with Caicos Adventures on their 54 foot catamaran. At the edge of the wall near the fixed mooring lives a large spotted drum inside a coral clump. On the wall we saw a turtle and were visited from the blue by two magnificent eagle rays who came close to greet us ( see picture). Barrel sponges, fans and other hard and soft corals abound on the wall. Above the wall we saw a wide variety of fish amongst the corals, including a large sting ray, yellow snappers, blue chromis, queen triggers, goat fish, cow fish, butterfly fish and rock beauties. To round off two magnificent dives we were joined under tha boat by a large school of horse eyed jacks and a large barracuda. This site offers the best in Caribbean diving ........ Alan Knox

   

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