Summer is fast approaching. You are due vacation time at work and don’t know what you’re going to do with yourself, or where to go to de-stress. What about taking a diving Caribbean holiday on the island of Grand Turk? Whether you are already a certified diver or would like to be one, or love to skim the water snorkeling, the stunning white sand of Grand Turk might just be what you need. Why?
The high season on this Caribbean island is between November and April, when it is normally cold or chilly most everywhere else in North America and Europe. The summer months in the Caribbean are considered “low season,” because it’s warmer in North America and Europe which means fewer people from these places choose to travel and vacation prices on Grand Turk drop. Good news for the bank account.
Grand Turk is known world-wide primarily for its multiple diving sites, each as special as the next, as they offer special diving and snorkeling treats. Diving in Grand Turk is regarded as the best of its kind across the whole Caribbean.
For the intermediate and experienced divers, the Grand Turk wall is one of the biggest diving attractions. It’s a majestic coral barrier reef which begins in shallow waters of no more than 20 feet (6 meters) and descends to 7000 feet (2134 meters), often with a visibility of over 150 feet (46 meters). Aside from the multi-colored corals, you’ll encounter a wide variety of marine life including loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta), spotted garden eels (Heteroconger hassi), dwarf octopus and so many species of brilliantly-colored tropical fish, including the colorful parrot fish (Scaridae) and trumpet fish (Aulostomus maculatus), that you will lose count.
If you are not a certified diver, obtaining your certification with the Bohio Dive Resort is a great idea. Turks and Caicos scuba diving offers underwater exploration for all levels of diving, from beginner to expert. The owners have instilled a working philosophy into the resort’s diving staff – “It’s all about ease of access to the dives, comfort whilst diving, safety and amazing coral and fish…All of these factors add up to making Bohio a diver’s dream.”
Your initial lesson will be in calm shallow waters as required by the certifying agency (P.A.D.I.) and might be the beach off of Bohio, or in their sparkling swimming pool. According to the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, “You learn things like how pressure affects your body, how to choose the best scuba gear and what to consider when planning dives.” You review the lessons and are given a short quiz, so the instructor is certain that you have “learned your lessons well”, before moving on to the next phase.
Phase II involves “five confined water dives… in a pool or body of water with pool-like conditions…where you will attain the skills you need to dive in open water.” Last but, certainly not least, comes the time for your instructor to take you out in the ocean for four open-water dives. How long does all of this take? According to P.A.D.I. you should earn the open water portion of your certification between 3-4 days maximum. With P.A.D.I’s E-Learning program, getting certified has never been so easy.
More on turtles
The loggerhead turtle is sometimes spotted when diving along the shores of Grand Turk, but the most common of all turtle species on the island is by far the green turtle (Chelonia mydas). Look out for these peaceful creatures making their way to the surface for air during your dive, and you will often see them on the way to dive sites resting and catching their breath at the surface.
Fascinating marine life
For the beginner and experienced diver an encounter with the region’s docile southern stingrays (Dasyatis Americana) is one of the MUSTS on your list. In Gibbs Cay, just off of Grand Turk, you might be lucky enough to interact with these amazingly beautiful creatures, but we must always remember they are wild creatures and we should treat them with caution and respect.
Another treat you may delight in on this little island is conch hunting. Bohio Dive Resort’s friendly, certified, professional and international staff will go down with you and help you find your own conch. Once back on shore you will be taught how to take the conch out of its shell and to prepare fresh conch ceviche.
Also on Grand Turk is The Columbus National Marine Park. A member of Bohio Dive Resort’s diving staff who has been there hundreds of times describes it as a place “which makes for some spectacular dives. At the southern end, you can experience eel gardens at Chief Ministers, but there are also other locations featuring hard corals, nurse sharks (Ginglymostoma cirratum), nassau groupers (Epinephelus striatus), yellowtail fish (Seriola lalandi), triggerfish (Balistidae), razor fish (Centriscidae), batfish (Platax), flying gurnards (Dactylopteridae ) and more”.
There’ll be no need to worry about long walks to the boat, lugging your diving tanks and equipment around. Bohios Dive Resort’s personnel will handle all of that for you. The only thing you’ll be responsible for will be having a good time.