Where do you dive?
Our daily 2-tank dives take place along the outside of a continuous barrier reef that runs around the Caicos group of islands. The northern areas are called Pine Cay, Grace Bay and Northwest Point. The southern areas are French Cay, Sandbore Channel, West Caicos, and Molasses Reef.
Where is the best dive?
If we thought there was only one best dive, we wouldn’t go anywhere else! Therefore we dive at sites all along the barrier reef. In most places this is a vertical wall and quite spectacular. Previous divers have all formed opinions on which is the “best” site. However, this is dependent on conditions on the day. Regular divers to the islands know that every area is beautiful. Any site can deliver a memorable experience. We regularly see sharks, eagle rays and turtles as well as a myriad of tropical reef fish all along the barrier reef.
Can we choose where we go?
If you have dived here before you can certainly request certain areas. A number are quite weather dependent. So we may not always be able to go where you want. For example, whenever we dive the southern sites we just plan on “going south”. And then we decide where we think conditions will be best that morning. We normally rotate around the different dive areas. This allows guests diving with us on consecutive days as much variety as possible.
What time do we leave and return?
We pick up from the various Grace Bay resorts at 8:00 am and return any time between 1:00 and 3:30 pm depending upon the dive destination for the day. The closest dive area is Grace Bay and trips to the southern sites are the furthest. With northerly swells, more common in winter months, we cannot dive in Grace Bay. Our average return time is 2:30 pm. It is important to bear this in mind when planning other activities.
Our boats leave from 2 different marinas, Turtle Cove Marina for trips going to northern sites and Caicos Marina and Shipyard for trips going to areas south of Provo. We can also dive Northwest Point from the shipyard.
How long are the boat rides?
Boat rides to Grace Bay are the shortest, taking on average about 20 minutes. To North West Point and Pine Cay the ride is about 50 minutes and trips to southern sites are longer thereby making for a later return home.
How many people go on the boat?
We have 3 dive boats, all 36 ft and Coastguard rated for 20 divers. We put a maximum number of 16 divers on 2 of the boats and 14 on the third which is a little less beamy. There is plenty of room to move around and once in the water everyone spreads out.
Dive Provo’s philosophy is to allow divers freedom to enjoy their dive without unnecessary restrictions. Divers in buddy teams are encouraged to plan and execute their own dives following a thorough pre-dive briefing. This way you can concentrate on looking at the reef not at the fins of the diver in front of you. Safety guidelines are given and 1 crew member stays on board the boat acting as safety support.
Divers without buddies will dive with the dive master in the water. The dive will turn around based on that diver’s or those divers’ air consumption and level of comfort. Buddy teams wishing to follow along can do so but are responsible for watching their own air consumption and depth.
Navigation is relatively easy along the edge of the wall. In addition, the dive master makes it even easier by placing a marker at the edge of the wall at the turn off point back to the boat.
Do you separate experienced divers and new divers?
No. All levels of divers go out on the same boat. Experienced divers with buddies can do their own thing. If you are diving with the guide, he/she will quickly learn who needs extra help and who can be given a little more latitude in the water.
We may have divers doing Resort Course Dives with their instructor or Open Water students completing their training dives. All Dive Provo’s staff are scuba instructors and are happy to give pointers to help improve your diving enjoyment. For Open Water certified divers the Advanced Open Water class is fun and easy. It requires no classroom time, just reading at your own pace. It is a great way to hone skills and make your diving more relaxing.
Nervous or rusty divers may benefit from taking a private instructor along on their dive. The instructor will review any skills you wish and will be in the water acting as your buddy to make sure everything goes well. Solo divers often enjoy diving with a private instructor so they can dive to their own plan and skill level.
Do you offer single tank dives?
A single tank afternoon dive is offered picking up at 1:30 – 2:30 pm and returning around 4:30 pm to the closest dive area of Grace Bay.
These are not always possible during the winter months. Therefore we do not pre-book single tank dives. They can always be booked pretty much last minute on island.
Do you provide lunch?
Snacks and soft drinks are provided on all trips with a light lunch for the longer days. The food is all locally baked and fresh each day. If you have particular food preferences we also have a cooler on board. Feel free to use it to keep your own food if you choose to bring something.
Do the boats have marine toilets?
Yes all the boats have toilets (heads).
What should I bring on the boat?
Bring a towel and sunscreen. During the winter you will probably want a pullover or jacket to pop on after the dive. This will keep you nice and warm on the ride home.
Do I need to bring my own gear?
People with their own gear generally prefer to use it. We do have a full selection of rental gear with sizes ranging from Jr. to extra large. We rent:
- Aqualung BCD’s
- Scubapro Regulators
- Mares full foot fins and Scubapro Go fins
- Sherwood masks and snorkels
- Henderson Wetsuits
We also rent dive computers, Nikon cameras and Go Pros for video.
What is the policy on the use of computers?
All the diving is wall diving and due to the depths we require the use of a dive computer. Our computers are wrist units. If you have not used one before we give a thorough briefing on the boat. The dive master will also help if you have any questions.
How do I rinse my gear?
Dive Provo staff will rinse your gear for you. If you have your own mesh bag we will give you a name tag for it and a hanger for your wet suit. If not, we will loan you one of our bags.
Simply pack your bag after the dive and zip your wet suit onto the hanger. We will rinse and store your gear for you. We will also set it up on the boat each day ready for your dive.
If you plan on snorkeling on your own in the afternoons then you can just take your snorkeling gear back to your hotel with you.
What is the water temperature?
During the winter the water temperature can drop as low as 74 F degrees. During the summer it goes up to about 84 F degrees. Our rental wet suits are 3 mm full suits during the winter and 3 mm shorties in the summer. Small women tend to feel the cold more than bigger people. We have 5 mm full suits in smaller sizes for the winter and have hoods on the boats for additional warmth. Most of the summer no suits are needed at all!
Is there any shore diving available?
There is no shore diving around Provo. The barrier reef is a good ¾ mile offshore and too far to swim. We have shallow water and sand out to the barrier reef.
Do you dive Grand Turk or Salt Cay?
Although they look close on a map both Grand Turk and Salt Cay are about 90 miles from Provo. To dive those areas you need to plan to stay there a few days.
Do you offer any all-day dive trips?
We normally schedule 3 tank dives for Wednesdays but are happy to schedule other days on request. We generally need 8 people to run this trip.
Can snorkelers go out on the boats?
Non-divers are welcomed on the boats on a space available basis. Most of the year space is available. However, at peak times there may not be room. All of the dive sites are too deep for snorkeling. Passengers may snorkel around the boat or swim to cool off, however the dive areas do not deliver the best snorkeling experience. We recommend you plan separate trips to enjoy with non-divers.
Dive Provo does run dedicated snorkeling trips. Our south side snorkel trip to either West Caicos or French Cay is quite popular. We use our dive boats not always available during peak holiday times. The sites chosen depend on wind conditions on the day. These areas are visited infrequently by snorkel boats and offer untouched reefs. There is also the chance for snorkelers to see some of the bigger sea life normally seen only by divers.
Afternoon snorkeling trips are scheduled more often during the summer months for 2 hours of purely snorkeling out in Grace Bay.
Can I arrange a special trip for my family or friends?
Private charters are available for people who prefer their own schedule. A full day charter with 2 crew members allows for 2 or 3 dives or combined diving and snorkeling trips to keep all the family happy. All equipment is included along with lunch and refreshments.
What happens if the seas are too rough to dive?
Some areas are quite wind or tide dependent. We may be unable to dive them during your stay. Grace Bay, French Cay and Sandbore channel are spectacular if caught just right. West Caicos and North West Point are more consistently good.
At certain times during winter months we may be unable to dive the northern sites. However, if the sea is rough outside your hotel you will be relieved to see calm water on the southern shore as we have protection from the island. It is extremely rare to be unable to dive safely.