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I'm on my way to Provo in April and I would like to know if anyone has had positive or negative experiences with "Big Blue Unlimited" or "Dive Provo". My wife and I are staying far away and I have to take a boat to the Leeward marina each morning and those two operators are there. I was told that it's 12 miles to the south marina where Ocean Vibes and Caicos Adventures are located, so using them doesn't make logistical sense. Thanks in advance for your recommendations!!!
I haven't used either, but one thing to keep in mind is that the marinas specified aren't necessarily where the ops are located which doesn't matter, as much as where the boats are leaving from. If I recall correcty Dive Provo had a boat leaving from South Marina as well, at least when I was there their boat was right behind CA. They leave from different places to shorten the trip to certain sites, and the better diving is to the south, such as West Caicos and French Cay. Do you know what areas they will dive? Basically, you wouldn't want to spend all your time diving Grace Bay.
So where are you staying, Parrot Cay or something? I've always thought it would be nice to check out one of those places on the other islands, except that it's inconvienient for diving!
I dived with Big Blue. They're great guys but the damn boat doesn't have a shower on it. A minor point, but even my 21' charter boat had a shower. You can dive whatever profile you want, and they can mix just about any gas you might care to breathe. Take a Solar Shower if you go with them.
They're very relaxed and will guide you if that's what you want, or they'll just let go out into the water column and do whatever. I went down to 213' for a while and that was fine with them. One day, we just went to Middle Caicos to see what was there, and it was a pretty awesome dive, even by my jaded standards.
You will see more critters if you dive on an incoming tide.
Bruce Willis uses them if that's any kind of recommendation.
I was at the Marina where they are located and used there op for a kayak trip to Iguana Island which was enjoyable. I used Caicos Adventures for the dive op and was happy with them, they dive at west Caicos mostly (dive op is located on the south shore) whereas Big Blue leaves from the north side of the Island.
Thank you for the responses. I think the best idea is to call them directly to check where they are diving these days. Big Blue is not cheap, so I'd be really disappointed just to dive Grace Bay. As I hear it, NW Point, French Caicos, West Caicos and Middle Caicos are the places to go in Provo.
As for hotel, we are staying at Parrot Cay. I'm going with my pregnant wife and she wanted a relaxing time where she could do her yoga, lay on the beach, peace and quiet, etc. Unfortaunately, it leaves me at a disadvantage where diving is concerned and we all know that it's supposed to be the TOP priority! ; )
Thanks for the information. Dive Provo and their 45 minute limit is definitely off the list!
I had to check my log on this--I did two dives with Dive Provo in January and seemed to remember that they said, very clearly, "dive your own profile." Sure enough, my two dives were 60 and 51 minutes, and I definitely wasn't the last one back on the boat.
Also, about marinas--Dive Prove and Turtle Divers, who I also used, picked me up at my hotel and drove me and the other divers to the south shore, where they were leaving from--boat location didn't matter to me at all. Ocean Vibes, however, which I'll be using in the future, seems to depart from Turtle Cove (unless they have more boats than the one I saw).
One day, we just went to Middle Caicos to see what was there, and it was a pretty awesome dive, even by my jaded standards.
Any more details on this? I'd wondered if that area was not commonly dove because there was no good diving, or simply because no op had reason to do it location/volume-wise. If Big Blue goes there on any sort of regular basis and it's great I would probably go out of my way next time to check it out.