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Turks and Caicos Dive Sites
 
 
 
  • BLACK CORAL FOREST
    An overhung section of the reef wall that starts in 45ft of water, undercuts to about 80ft and then drops to a ledge at 200ft before falling away into the deep, this wall is covered with block coral trees of varying species. In this forest can be found small chromis and other fish, seeking refuge amongst the branches. An excellent site for wide angle photography.

  • THE DOME/THUNDERDOME
    Believe it or not, this is where a French TV game show was filmed! A large domed metal structure with a door in the top and one in the side, inside the dome you can find snappers, chub, goatfish and occasionally barracuda. Not for the serious diver, but an amusing aside!The Crack
    Nice dive, shame about the name! A large fissure runs in an arc through the reef, and it can be exited at any point along its length. Starting at the reef top in about 45ft the crack extends down the reef slope to a wide sandy ledge at 130ft. From here the wall drops away into the abyss. Half way down the crack you will find a massive barrel sponge and a beautiful anemone. From the crack you can either go south and find a large field of plate corals cascading from the top of the reef down to the lip of the ledge or you can head north and explore numerous gullies and caves in the reef wall. The top of the reef is dominated by a large pillar coral formation around which you can often find swirling schools of grunts & snapper.

  • ELEPHANT EAR CANYON
    A cut in the top of the reef wall at about 50ft and dscends through a series of sand gullies to an area of alrge coral buttresses at about 100ft. The largest elephant ear sponge in the Turks & Caicos resides here. Some 10-11ft across and round in shape, this magnificent specimen is a wonderful orange colour and is home to many interesting creatures in its own right, not least the myriad of crustaceans, gobies and other small fish that make it their home. They are often the same colour or, in some cases, almost transparent.

  • DRIVEWAY
    From a reef top of about 40ft you can swim down a long sand chute that stops at a ledge at 90ft, covered in star & plate corals, from where the reef drops into the abyss. The wall is covered in black coral trees and red tube sponges. Beyond the ledge there are often sharks and large groupers. The top of the reef here has lots of large coral heads that are home to anemones (with their resident Pederson’s cleaning shrimps) and lots of interesting critters such as arrow crabs, coral dusters, banded shrimps & feather stars. This is an excellent area for a night dive.

  • WHITEFACE
    White sandstone and coral bluffs dominate parts of the shoreline of West Caicos, and Whiteface is named after this fact. Wedged within a gully cut into the coral wall is a 17th Century anchor, its origins unknown – this anchor has given rise to the site’s other name, Anchor!. At the base of the gully in 100ft of water is a striking white anemone. The top of the reef is a flat a sandy area in about 40ft of water with large pillar coral formations. There is a resident grey reef shark that is very inquisitive and not at all averse to posing for the camera!

  • STAIRWAY
    Stairway is a huge trench in the side of the reef that is dominated by massive stands of plate corals that march down the reef to a depth of about 110ft before dropping off into the blue. The plates give the effect of a huge staircase. The top of the stairs are covered with vibrant soft corals and filled with schools of fish such as grunts, snapper and chub. Like a watch tower above, a huge brain coral marks the top of the stairway, covered of crabs and other crustacea. Either side of the stairway the reef wall is composed of large coral buttresses within which are many nooks and crannies, full of small critters

  • DOUBLE D
    Close to shore two large coral mounds rise from a sandy seafloor –looking like a pair of Double D boobs!!!! Look got the oversized scorpionfish that lives on the mounds – he enjoys posing for photographers! Beyond the coral mounds the wall slopes gently down into the depths, but coral growth here is exceptionally lush, with plate corals, pillar corals and large stands of seafans and soft corals. The sandy areas reflect the sun off the seafloor, so the area is particularly light. A school of Atlantic spadefish (that’s batfish to you or I!) live here. With the sun in the correct place and the spadefish in formation above the reef and sand, this is a great place for would be David Baileys!

  • MOLASSES REEF
    It was here that we saw a large silky shark (we could think of no other species that it could have been!) which cruised around the back of the boat for 45 minutes. Molasses Reef is out in open water, on the edge of the banks that make up French Cay. It was the scourge of many ships and there are a number of historic wrecks on the reef, anchors and other items of which can be seen at the Turks & Caicos Museum. It is on the outer wall of this reef that you dive – blue water encounters with sharks and eagle rays are common, and school sof jacks and barracuda can be seen cruising the wall.

  • WEST SAND SPIT
    This remote sand cay is five miles south of French Cay, and only accessible in good weather. The cay is surrounded by a large sandy plateau that slopes to about 40ft before the reef proper starts, dropping away to 150ft. Huge pillar corals interspersed with barrel sponges and seafans dominate the scenery, and currents often sweep across the reef – hence its vibrancy. A large school of goatfish is usually seen scurrying across the sandy patches looking for food, cloudy drifts of sand marking their course. There are also some very large stingrays here, some as big as 5ft across. In summer nurse sharks can be seen in profusion, but there are usually some around on most dives. If you are lucky you may spot one or more of the 3 extra-large giant groupers that live at West Sand Spit. They are a muddy brown in colour and are about the size of a small Japanese compact!!! With fresh oceanic water being swept across the reef at all times, the remoteness and total lack of any freshwater run off, this reef often has fabulous visibility.

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