One of the Top Ten Destinations in the World
Turks and Caicos Islands is comprised of six habited islands set on an ocean plateau. This plateau has created a large 3000 square mile bank or shelf that runs out to its surrounding edge – a world-class reef (perhaps a close third to Australia’s barrier reef and Honduras’ outer reef). At this place where the shallow turquoise waters of the Caicos bank intersect with the outer coral reefs, the ocean terrain drops drastically from a 45-foot depth to 6000 feet.
This wall drop-off is drastic, sometimes beyond vertical with many walls having inverted cut profiles. This is where corals thrive, growing humungous in size, and the fish life flourishes. This combination of drastic wall terrain, colorful and huge coral composites, and abundant schools of both small and large fish life validate scuba diving Turks and Caicos as a “must dive destination.”
One of our proprietary scuba diving Turks and Caicos sites, discovered and known only to Caicos Adventures… chartered only as a setting on our GPS… has an inverted wall that starts at 65 feet and continues in its negative 8 degree profile down to 210 feet. This under-cut shelters the currents of the open blue waters just 100 feet away. Because of this protected environment, the coral heads grow to 25 feet in height, angling awkwardly out from this slanted wall. This is also one of our prime scuba diving Turks and Caicos sites for spotting pods of eagle rays and from time-to-time hammerhead shark also love lingering in this sheltered alcove. We don’t publicize all names and locations of our diving Turks and Caicos sites, thus keeping them pristine and preserved. FiFi Kunz (owner) is known to treat his guests with trips to this particular site about 12 to 15 times a year… you may be one of these lucky guests depending on the timing of your
This however, is only one of over 100 uncharted scuba diving sites on which Caicos Adventures has built its reputation. We visit some of the most pristine sites in the Caribbean. We take you scuba diving Turks and Caicos, where others don’t. Click Here to read about our Scuba Diving Turks and Caicos.
Scuba diving Turks and Caicos usually evolves around finding a dramatic cut or profile in any of its 200-mile perimeter wall formation.
Typical dives involve the boat moored at about 45 feet over the coral reef contiguous to the wall, swimming out (diving) and down over the vertical drop off. At this point in the adventure we are usually scanning “the blue” for big fish. Most divers who have graduated to a point where they know how to scan their surroundings with their peripheral vision have an excellent chance of coming upon a pod of giant eagle ray or a reef shark that has been curiously following you from a distance. For beginner divers our guides constantly have their arms extended with their fingers pointing to help you focus your attention towards these memorable scenes. The typical dive progresses swimming along the wall at 60 to 90 feet deep (this describes a typical profile – but by no means is it a fixed strategy). At this point one person may favor exploring the wall for all its beauty, coral, hidden lobsters, tropical fishes, etc while another person may still be tantalized by previous glimpses of “big fish” and may prefer to continue to “hunt in the blue.”
At the halfway point, or turnaround, we usually swim back at about a 45 to 60 foot depth – which is usually along the top edge of the wall. A coral reef plateau to explore on one side and the “big blue” drop off on the other. Typically, while coral pecking along this top edge of the wall – usual observations could be a hidden moray eel with his head and neck extending from his hole, a sleeping nurse shark resting in the sand, a sting ray traversing a sand spot between corals, or a turtle jetting to the surface for his air interval.
By no means however, does diving atop the reef (versus in the blue) prevent the sights of “big fish.” A good guide or experienced diver should be able to spot hovering eagle rays cutting across the coral beds or curious sharks swimming about. Because the boat is located in about 45 feet of water, the end of the dive allows for a more extended exploration in the reef below the boat while gassing off.
Scuba diving Turks and Caicos, in the Caribbean waters, is ideal for optimal enjoyment. Visibilities average 100 feet, sometimes more if the tide and winds are favorable relative to the Caicos bank. We adjust our daily scuba diving destination and direction based on wind conditions and tidal flows, sometimes traveling west, sometimes northwest, sometimes south, and sometimes southwest so that we can guide you to the most optimal dive sites based on each day’s conditions. Most Turks and Caicos dive operators, contrary to their advertising, dive the same moorings in sheltered Grace Bay or North West Point, day in and day out. Some other dive operators never venture to the south or west where the real world-class reefs and walls are located, while some other dive operators heavily promote their diving to the south & west of Providenciales – but in reality we see their boats only on a minority of the days – and only when ocean and weather conditions are perfect.
Water conditions average 79 to 81 degrees during winter months… divers with long and deep dive profiles often use a 3mm wet suit during Winter. Summer water temperatures average 84 to 86 degrees and it is a coin toss as to whether or not to use a skinny, a 3mm… or just your swimsuit. The yearly average air temperature is 83 degrees.