All our staff are fully qualified scuba instructors with years of experience who can evaluate diver skill and comfort levels quickly.
We believe that divers enjoy the experience more if they feel they are in control of the activity. Divers see more if they are free to dive at their own pace, to a depth they are comfortable with, and as close or far from the boat as they feel safe doing.
We do not dive as groups; everyone following a leader. Instead of worrying about chasing the groups fins or seeing what other people see, by diving as a buddy team you can choose your depth, and swim as slowly of quickly as you want. You can stop to study a particular fish or coral head without worrying about keeping up.
A thorough safety and site briefing is given at the beginning of each dive and you will find navigation easy with all wall diving, clear water, little in the way of currents and an underwater marker signaling back to the boat. The topside instructor will keep an eye out for divers surfacing away from the boat and lend assistance as necessary.
New Divers and The Dive Guide
The in-water guide is just that for buddy teams. He/she will dive with anyone who does not have a buddy and will plan the dive based on the needs of those divers. Normally they will dive to between 80 and 90 ft the first dive and 60 and 80 ft the second dive. Usually it is not the same guide both dives. The boat crew usually only do 1 dive each so you need to watch your own computers, especially on the second dive, because you will already have a time penalty from the first dive that the dive guide does not need to worry about.
All divers with buddies are encouraged to dive as a buddy team. All Turks and Caicos scuba diving here is wall diving so navigation is simple along the edge of the wall. You swim to the edge, check the current (usually negligible) and turn left or right until ½ your tank or bottom time. You turn around and come back shallower. We help you find the boat by placing a big blow up sausage at the edge of the wall where the turn off back to the boat is. Most moorings are fairly close to the edge of the wall so it is likely you will be able to look up and see the boat from here. If not just swim in from the marker over the plateau and you will soon see the boat.
If you have a buddy we encourage you to dive as a buddy team. During your training you were taught how to descend, orientate yourself and watch your depth and air consumption and to ascend at a safe rate and complete a 3 minute safety stop. We expect you to be able to do this.
Most divers are worried about getting lost underwater. Navigation when Turks and Caicos scuba diving is easy along the edge of the wall but if you wish to follow the guide in your buddy team feel free to do so. You can follow at a short distance and still monitor your own gauges. We find many divers will follow the guide for the first dive then go it alone after that. Just let the guide know what you plan to do.
We do not buddy people up with other divers they don’t know. If you are a solo diver you will dive with the dive guide.
Most people come with other divers and do dive as buddy teams so there could be 2 – 6 of you diving with the guide. The guide will plan the dive based on the least experienced of the group and will turn the dive around when the first person gets to ½ a tank.
The crew very quickly learn who needs additional help and who they can just keep a relaxed eye on.
If you cannot remember or are not confident enough to monitor your own gauges you will need to either take a private instructor with you on the dive or complete a quick refresher course prior to diving.
Diving is not like riding a bike and if you are not completely comfortable you will find you are unable to descend, or will rush through a tank of air in only a few minutes or worse still panic and miss the fun. So, if you have not dived in a while and your skills are a little rusty you should do a Refresher Courses before going diving. It is a good idea to do one with your local dive shop before the trip if you can. If you can’t, consider taking one of our Refresher courses. Course options range from listening to a brief lecture going over basic Do’s and Don’ts followed by a short pool session practicing the most critical skills such as mask clearing and regulator retrieval through to PADI Reactivation where your skills review will be followed the next day by a supervised 2 tank dive, or 2 tank dive with a dedicated instructor. Available most days. Please contact us for details.
A better alternative is to consider the Advanced Course. To become Advanced Certified you will complete 5 dives over 2 days under the direct supervision of an instructor. You will do Peak Performance Buoyancy, Navigation, a short Deep Dive and 2 other interesting subject areas such as Fish ID, Naturalist or Boat diving. There are knowledge reviews but no final exam and this is a great course for improving diving skills and instilling confidence.