Diving West Caicos
25 February 2007 | West Caicos Wall
Hideko and I had to get a dive in before we left Turks and Caicos. The islands have some nice beaches and there are some good restaurants and shops but the islands themselves are pretty much flat limestone scrub. The real attraction here is the massive reef system surrounding the islands.
We signed up to go out with Dive Provo for a couple of dives. We would have liked to explore on our own but we also wanted to see the good spots. It is pretty tricky navigating the routes the dive boats take here. We had east winds in the high teens with a north swell that was breaking big on the reef. The channel our dive boat took would have been suicide for anyone without local knowledge and big engines. Coming back we literally almost ran aground on West Caicos (intentionally), and then took a hard left just inside the reef. The waves were breaking everywhere and we had to time the entrance, then gun it. The channel is very narrow and you have the rocky shore on one side and the breakers on the reef on the other. Pretty wild. The skipper didn't flinch, I'm sure she drives this route all the time.
We had a great first dive on the wall. The coral is lush and we saw more big grouper than you could shake a stick at. It is illegal to spear fish here. You never see grouper like this in the Bahamas where you can hunt them. Many big Nassau grouper and a huge Tiger Grouper were all wandering around the wall. Hideko spotted a good sized spotted moray eel swimming out in the open as well.
It was a little cloudy so Hideko got cold and opted out on the second dive. I took the second dive with the dive master as a buddy and we looked over the reef about a mile south of our first spot.
We met a bunch of fun folks on the dive boat and got a chance to test out our guest dive gear a bit as well. All in all a great day in the TCI.