Tobago. The Less Known Dive Vacation Island



Tobago

Drifting Along with Macros and Pelagics

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From the smallest seahorse to an abundance of majestic sized mantas to gigantic groupers to perhaps the world’s largest brain coral, Tobago has something to offer just about every diver. It’s not always this black and white when you are talking about a dive destination. That is unless you are talking about Tobago’s black sand beaches being on the Atlantic side of the island and the white sand beaches on the Caribbean side, but Tobago has lots of macro sea life to view as well as an unusual abundance of pelagic life. The reason for the great quantities of reef and pelagic life is because of the out flow of nutrients from the nearby Orinoco River in Venezuela, South America which feeds the plankton who in turn feed the small fish and this process works its way up the food chain at an amazing exponential rate. This doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed to see a whale shark or school of 30 scalloped hammerhead sharks on your visit, but it does increase your chances of filling up your camera and video cards with lots of awesome images and memories.

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Before you get ready to jump off the dive boat, we should probably give you some background information about Tobago and mention what you might want to see and where you might like to dive first. Tobago is the small sister island in The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. It is approximately 40km (25 miles) long and 10km (6.2 miles) wide. It’s where many from Trinidad come to take a leisure vacation as it is only 35km (22 miles) away; a twenty minute flight. We should mention that Tobago is only 80km (50 miles) from South America. In fact, most of the flora and fauna is identical to what you would expect to find in South America as a land bridge connected this region during the end of the last ice age.

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The Arawak were the first to inhabit the island and they were later replaced by the Caribs. Columbus discovered Tobago on his third voyage and soon afterwards, in what seemed at the time like an endless rotating order, the Caribs were replaced by the French, English, Dutch, Spanish, and finally by Africans and East Indian descendants. You might say Tobago has changed hands more than any other island in the Caribbean, and yet somehow, it remarkably retained one of the oldest forest reserves in the western hemisphere starting in 1776. The Main Ridge Reserve is 550m (1804 ft) high at Pigeon Point Peak near the village of Speyside. If you want to visit this protected forest and view the beautiful water falls you’ll have to hire an official Tobagonian guide. Tobago also has some small islands off its coast that have become bird havens or sanctuaries. The south end of Tobago is low lying and is home to the Robinson International Airport (TAB). You can fly nonstop into Tobago, or go “directly” through Trinidad, or you can even take the ferry service which runs from Port of Spain, Trinidad and takes 2.5 hours to reach Crown Point, Tobago.

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Back to diving that will excite beginners to the most experienced, 4km (2.5 miles) south of the airport are the sites of some of the most well-known drift dives near the island, and when it comes to drift dives, the name Flying Reef pretty much says it all. Here you can drift by at 0-2 knots down to 17m (58ft) of depth over the coral and past a ship’s anchor as you keep a look out for stingrays, turtles, schools of fish, nurse sharks, and passing pelagics. This dive site goes right into Sting Ray Alley where guitarfish, electric rays and more nurse sharks are usually spotted.  Nearby Divers Dream is the site with overhangs for nurse sharks to the left, and a rock garden full of fish for those that dive to the right. Nearby Divers Thirst is where black tips, bull sharks and tiger sharks are spotted.

Mt Irvine Wall with is another dive destination where one dive site leads to another or is nearby.  The Wall is where you may find lobsters, crab, shrimps, and sea horses, but over at the Mt Irvine Extension is where the grouper, eagle rays tarpon, cobia, and hawksbill turtles like to hang out. Rainbow Reef in the middle of the bay goes down to 21m (70ft) and is named for the rainbow runners that like to hang out around a 17th century fishing anchor.

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For specific fish destinations we recommend Arnos Vale, max 14m 45ft depth, which is a rock crevice nursery for all kinds of fish and is a great place for beginner divers as well as for night dives. Kelliston Drain near Goat Island and not far from Speyside, is home of the world’s largest brain coral at over 3m (10ft) high and 5.3m (16ft) wide; while not every diver is amazed by these measurements, at least the large number mantas who pass by here are impressed. The nearby Sisters are a group of five pinnacles that rise up from the deep and this is where you have a great chance to see scalloped hammer heads, especially during October to May, and whale sharks whenever they feel like it. Also close by is Japanese Gardens near Goat Island and it gets its name from all the soft corals, sea whips, and barrel sponges. This dive site flows right into the rock corridor named Kamikaze Cut. London Bridge is another popular spot when currents permit, and where water pushes you between two hard rock surfaces and empties you out into a 15m (45ft) deep area of sand. You’ll see where it got its name from before you even get close to the exposed topside rock formation. It’s a great spot to view black surgeonfish, trumpet fish, and trunk fish. Some of the more unique fish you may find around the island include: cherub angelfish, flame angelfish, angle sharks like the sand devil, and giraffe garden eels. As for wreck dives, the M.V. Maverick, 107m (350ft) long passenger and car ferry that was cleaned and opened up and made safety ready for divers before being sunk on purpose in 1997, has plenty of coral and animal life including: crabs, clams, schools of bonito and bait fish, turtles, and eagle rays.

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Now for adventurous divers and weather permitting, there is practically untouched diving 32-64km (20-40 miles) away at the off shore reefs. Plus, there is the wreck of the S.S. Kioto, which was sunk Sept 15, 1942 by U-boat 514. After three torpedoes, it finally sunk in 12m (40ft) of water and the scattered debris are still visible.

As you can see, Tobago is a small island, but there are more than 40 dive sites to choose from. There is also bicycling, birding, exploring the old sugar mills and plantations, visiting the 1770 Fort George, or checking out the beaches in April-July to view the leatherback turtles nesting. We didn’t even have time to point out all the beaches, but Tobago is where Disney filmed Swiss Family Robinson in 1958, so you already know that the beaches are Disney approved; even the Pirate’s Beach. There is a lot to experience, so you might not be able to fit everything in on one vacation trip, but the steel drum music bands are always playing something good, the crab and dumplings “Creole style” are simmering in the pot, and to make Tobago’s sunsets complete, the island just needs you.


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24 Responses

  1. Three things that I remember about diving in Tobago are: 1. The huge brain coral. 2. My first and only encounter of guitarfish. 3. Leatherback sea turtle nesting. Witnessing a leatherback sea turtle digging a hole on the beach and seeing it laying eggs into the hole is such a memorable experience that I'd never forget. That mother leatherback sea turtle was huge. I guess it's about 5' long, weighed probably about 800 lbs. It breathed like a race horse. Simply amazing experience! [ATTACH=full]424226[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=full]424227[/ATTACH]<br />-----<br />
  2. I found super cheap RT tickets out of SLC but is it all boat diving? Any cheap places to dive/stay?<br />-----<br />"Unthinkably good things can happen, even late in the game"
  3. As I ask with any such (U.S. & Caribbean) dive destination that seems to get a lot less attention (e.g.: discussion threads, trip reports) than others (I think Dominica gets more 'love' on the forum than Tobago; I see Dominican Republic mentioned much more often, and neither of those gets anywhere near the attention of Cozumel, Bonaire, Belize, etc...), what is keeping Tobago off most U.S. divers' radar? Why is it 'lesser known,' not used more often? It's way south of here; what about round trip airfare? What I'm asking is, while there may be substantial upsides to a Tobago trip, are there [I]down[/I]sides? Richard.<br />-----<br />
  4. For me, it is the 13 hour, $2000 flight from Atlanta... never gonna happen....<br />-----<br />
  5. [QUOTE="Damian G. Finch, post: 8081109, member: 22487"]For me, it is the 13 hour, $2000 flight from Atlanta... never gonna happen....[/QUOTE] Atlanta, that is a gold mine! I have to fly out of IDA. When do you want to go? I just looked up a flight for you under $500 10 hours. Search to POS instead of TAB, then take a $50 RT from POS to TAB.<br />-----<br />"Unthinkably good things can happen, even late in the game"
  6. [URL]https://www.google.com/flights/#search;f=ATL;t=POS;d=2017-09-19;r=2017-09-26;q=atl+to+POS[/URL]<br />-----<br />"Unthinkably good things can happen, even late in the game"
  7. Im originally from Trinidad and (Tobago) now live in Houston, I've logged quite a few dives there. Anyone need 1:1 advise or trip planning let me know...<br />-----<br />
  8. [QUOTE="Crystal A., post: 8081115, member: 479186"]Atlanta, that is a gold mine! I have to fly out of IDA. When do you want to go? I just looked up a flight for you under $500 10 hours. Search to POS instead of TAB, then take a $50 RT from POS to TAB.[/QUOTE] Seriously, it looks like to get a fare under $800 from Atlanta, you have to go through contortions like traveling a 10-hour itinerary, from Atlanta way north to Toronto (as in the itinerary you linked to), and back down to Trinidad. If I'm going to spend more than $800, I might as well take the nonstop to Bonaire and be there in 4 hours. If I'm going to devote more than 10 hours to travel, it had better be a trip to Asia. Anyway, for me, what keeps me from venturing to dive destinations that seem to get less attention on SB is mainly the travel cost. They're all "on my radar" to some extent--they just get shot down when I weigh where I could go for less money and arrive sooner.<br />-----<br />
  9. [ATTACH=full]424682[/ATTACH] Don't go there for the next few weeks. Cat 4 Irma is coming to town! I'm not even done with Harvey. Fire fighters just knocked at my door to ask for voluntary evacuation here in Lake Jackson, Texas. It looks like Tobago will be a bust for awhile. I'm glad I went there 4 years ago. I bought a roundtrip ticket to Indonesia for $680 for this November.<br />-----<br />
  10. [QUOTE="Dan_T, post: 8081767, member: 477433"]I bought a roundtrip ticket to Indonesia for $680 for this November.[/QUOTE] Now that's what I'm talking about. A LOT of hours on a plane (is that the one on Singapore Air via Moscow?) but the price is right and the destination has some of the best diving in the world. T&T, at more than $800 and still 10 hours of travel, just ranks way below that kind of trip on my list.<br />-----<br />
  11. Yes, but they are done with Moscow (thank God) & now flying through Manchester (UK). I'm going to do a 12-day liveaboard from Ambon to Sorong, passing Banda Sea & Raja Ampat for half the price of the liveaboard to Galápagos/ Cocos to see this: [MEDIA=youtube]3wTg547-1KM[/MEDIA]<br />-----<br />
  12. I wish I had that kind of luxury. We are in Idaho Falls. our trip to Bonaire will entail driving 5 hours to an airport, 3 flights, one redeye. $734 RT, one of tickets paid with miles. A 10 hour trip for $450 seems a significant savings over the $2,000 you mentioned. If your time is that valuable, well then by all means just charter yourself a jet!<br />-----<br />"Unthinkably good things can happen, even late in the game"
  13. [QUOTE="Diverspoint, post: 8139646, member: 453879"]It would ruin the island.[/QUOTE] Accessibility has an impact; my mother once said if you want to ruin something, make a road to it (basically that people will do the rest). That said, the degree of 'ruinage' varies. I'm not familiar with topside or undersea Tobago (aside from having read repeatedly it's currents/drift diving can be substantial). If indeed direct flight options open up (and with the human population expanding, and more people traveling, I'm guessing at some point that'll happen), what would make Tobago so compelling to the mainstream U.S.-based recreational divers as to descend upon it in large numbers & 'ruin' it? Particularly compared to other options. It's not just what a potential destination has; it's what it was relative to competitors. Richard.<br />-----<br />
  14. Many times visited Tobago - off the beaten track for incredible diving - which makes it even better. Dive with Sean and Kat Robinson out of TDE - Tobago Dive Experience. Speyside!<br />-----<br />
  15. I seriously hope there will be no more direct flights to Tobago. It would ruin the island.<br />-----<br />[SIZE=3][FONT=book antiqua]Diverspoint Puerto Morelos[/FONT][/SIZE] Website [URL]http://www.diverspoint.com[/URL] Facebook [URL]http://www.facebook.com/diverspoint[/URL] Tripadvisor [URL="http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g240327-d1783369-Reviews-Diverspoint-Puerto_Morelos_Yucatan_Peninsula.html"]http://goo.gl/IZxslB[/URL] Email [EMAIL="info@diverspoint.com"]info@diverspoint.com[/EMAIL] I'd rather suffer sunburn on a boat then cold feet in the city
  16. [QUOTE="drrich2, post: 8081105, member: 72537"]As I ask with any such (U.S. & Caribbean) dive destination that seems to get a lot less attention (e.g.: discussion threads, trip reports) than others (I think Dominica gets more 'love' on the forum than Tobago; I see Dominican Republic mentioned much more often, and neither of those gets anywhere near the attention of Cozumel, Bonaire, Belize, etc...), what is keeping Tobago off most U.S. divers' radar? Why is it 'lesser known,' not used more often? It's way south of here; what about round trip airfare? What I'm asking is, while there may be substantial upsides to a Tobago trip, are there [I]down[/I]sides? Richard.[/QUOTE] Hello, I visited Tobago a couple of summers ago and was able to do some fantastic diving. Friends of my wife are from Tobago but live in the U.S. now. I feel like we got a very local experience due to the fact that we were with locals much of the trip. Let me start off by telling you this. Tobago is not "Americanized" thus things are different. Depending on how much you like different will determine if you like Tobago. If you are looking for plush 5 star accommodations then this is probably not the island for you.Unless, you are really interested in spending big money. Less money will get you much nicer, more "Americanized" accommodations in other Caribbean countries.If you are Caucasian you will stand out, less than 1% of the population is Caucasian. I am Caucasian and I enjoyed the Tobago culture and the people but I also went to the island to experience their culture not complain or change it. The people that vacation in Tobago are usually European, Indians and/or people from Trinidad. To me, Tobago was just more authentic, than other places. For example, the nature was less bothered, we found fresh mangos on our hotel property and were encouraged to eat them. The staff collected some and put them at the bar. On the beach, we had a few cows wonder by one morning. The cows did not bother anyone but it was my first time seeing cows on a beach. I feel like some travelers would see the cows as unsanitary but I did not see a glaring issue and thought it was funny. We had one vendor selling hand made sandals. He was not pushy and very nice older gentleman. My wife ended up with at least one pair. At times you can hear the curiko(sp) birds, they are loud but again, in a different country. Every Sunday brings what locals call "church" which is really just a festival with live music, dancing, food and drink. Lots of fun, especially if you enjoy live music. Most of the people we encountered were nice and genuine. They were helpful and did not seem bothered by tourists. Those that were not as welcoming did no harm, just wanted to keep to themselves. In short, Tobago is safer than Jamaica, not as Americanized as Aruba. Anybody have a different experience?<br />-----<br />
  17. [QUOTE="drrich2, post: 8139681, member: 72537"]Accessibility has an impact; my mother once said if you want to ruin something, make a road to it (basically that people will do the rest). That said, the degree of 'ruinage' varies. I'm not familiar with topside or undersea Tobago (aside from having read repeatedly it's currents/drift diving can be substantial). If indeed direct flight options open up (and with the human population expanding, and more people traveling, I'm guessing at some point that'll happen), what would make Tobago so compelling to the mainstream U.S.-based recreational divers as to descend upon it in large numbers & 'ruin' it? Particularly compared to other options. It's not just what a potential destination has; it's what it was relative to competitors. Richard.[/QUOTE] Underwater, all of the Caribbean is fairly similar right? That has been my experience, diving in Jamaica, Aruba, Curacao, Tobago and I guess Mexico. I understand certain places may have something more of one specific animal than other places but the general species of fish are similar. Pollution and conservation efforts have kept some places with more fish and coral than others but not necessarily new fish species. Tobago will stand out because of the leatherback turtle nesting, brain coral, and its general less traveled/ dived location. The ability to spearfish would also target it as a tourist destination. Many Caribbean countries will not allow tourists to spearfish. The American spearfishing market is booming. If Tobago even markets spearing lionfish then it will catch some American attention thus increasing the travel to Tobago.<br />-----<br />
  18. Interesting stuff! Since ‘Americanized’ is the only frame of reference some folks have, I wonder what’d be different to them topside? Aside from Caucasians standing out as a small minority and luxury stays being too expensive. Put another way, if someone took a group of not-well-travelled Americans (divers or not) to Tobago for a week, I wonder what they’d complain about? Just trying to get a depiction of what it’s like so people can decide for themselves. What you described topside would appeal to a lot of people. Richard.<br />-----<br />
  19. [QUOTE="Scuba_tacoma, post: 8198493, member: 145872"]Underwater, all of the Caribbean is fairly similar right? That has been my experience, diving in Jamaica, Aruba, Curacao, Tobago and I guess Mexico. I understand certain places may have something more of one specific animal than other places but the general species of fish are similar. Pollution and conservation efforts have kept some places with more fish and coral than others but not necessarily new fish species. Tobago will stand out because of the loggerhead turtle nesting, brain coral, and its general less traveled/ dived location. The ability to spearfish would also target it as a tourist destination. Many Caribbean countries will not allow tourists to spearfish. The American spearfishing market is booming. If Tobago even markets spearing lionfish then it will catch some American attention thus increasing the travel to Tobago.[/QUOTE] I can see plenty of loggerhead turtles here in Texas & Florida. So that’s not big deal to see it any where else. However, I haven’t seen the leatherback turtles anywhere in the world, except in Tobago. There is a protected leatherback nesting ground in Tobago. As I mentioned in my previous post that I saw one 800-lb mother leatherback turtle dropping its eggs into its nesting hole. Its head was about the size of basket ball. I had a chance to collect some of the lost baby leatherback turtles that went inland instead of the sea and gave them to the ranger.<br />-----<br />
  20. [QUOTE="drrich2, post: 8198513, member: 72537"]Interesting stuff! Since ‘Americanized’ is the only frame of reference some folks have, I wonder what’d be different to them topside? Aside from Caucasians standing out as a small minority and luxury stays being too expensive. Put another way, if someone took a group of not-well-travelled Americans (divers or not) to Tobago for a week, I wonder what they’d complain about? Just trying to get a depiction of what it’s like so people can decide for themselves. What you described topside would appeal to a lot of people. Richard.[/QUOTE] Tobago top side is meh IMHO. You’ll be disappointed. There are plenty of better places in Caribbean other than Tobago.<br />-----<br />
  21. [QUOTE="Dan_T, post: 8198534, member: 477433"]I can see plenty of loggerhead turtles here in Texas & Florida. So that’s not big deal to see it any where else. However, I haven’t seen the leatherback turtles anywhere in the world, except in Tobago. There is a protected leatherback nesting ground in Tobago. As I mentioned in my previous post that I saw one 800-lb mother leatherback turtle dropping its eggs into its nesting hole. Its head was about the size of basket ball. I had a chance to collect some of the lost baby leatherback turtles that went inland instead of the sea and gave them to the ranger.[/QUOTE] Correct, leatherback turtles not loggerhead. I saw them nesting as well. Our hotel was next to a nesting place and Tobago's version of a marine biologists. The biologists would build a fire on the beach and wait for the turtles lay eggs. The biologists would tell the security guard and he would tell guests making his rounds. Pretty much every night of our stay would involve watching them nest. The turtles almost looked like dinosaurs and were huge!<br />-----<br />
  22. [QUOTE="drrich2, post: 8198513, member: 72537"]Interesting stuff! Since ‘Americanized’ is the only frame of reference some folks have, I wonder what’d be different to them topside? Aside from Caucasians standing out as a small minority and luxury stays being too expensive. Put another way, if someone took a group of not-well-travelled Americans (divers or not) to Tobago for a week, I wonder what they’d complain about? Just trying to get a depiction of what it’s like so people can decide for themselves. What you described topside would appeal to a lot of people. Richard.[/QUOTE] I am trying to be careful here because I am not sure what other people would have issue with and I like Tobago. However, you have to look at it more as an adventure into another culture than a luxury trip. I would not recommend Tobago to people that are expecting immaculate buildings, rooms, and impeccable service at every turn. I would think these not-well-traveled Americans would complain about hotel being not as nice as they would like. The room/hotel may need paint on exterior or interior walls. All inconclusive resorts may have some weird rules, like at dinner you must wear collared shirts, slacks, and closed toed shoes. In a dinning hall that may not have A.C. Tobago held on to some traditional English ideas. Some of the formality stayed in Tobago. Dress codes is one of the British leftovers. Prices can be a little expensive to very expensive. Goat and curry is served with many meals, especially at a buffet or all-inclusive. Beer selection can be limited. However, Rum is really good, especially a brand called 1919 made locally. They drive on the left side of the road, narrow roads that wind up and down the country side. It is easy to get car sick. People may not be over friendly with their greetings and may speak at a low volume. Not sure what the low talking is all about. Someone could easily get mad but I just brush it off. Anything specific you would like to know?<br />-----<br />
  23. Thanks, that’s helpful. The old saying ‘forewarned is forearmed’ has a lot of truth to it. Calibrating one’s expectations to the destination can avoid trouble. Richard.<br />-----<br />
  24. [B][I]Trip Report – Tobago Nov, 2017[/I][/B] 2017 saw widespread destruction from hurricanes Irma & Maria. In November, many islands were still shut down. Turned out to be a perfect time to go to the Caribbean’s southernmost dive destination—Tobago. And I’m glad I did. Here’s a report… [B]Logistics [/B]– Airfare to Tobago from the northeast was $1,700. Instead, based on the excellent suggestions on ScubaBoard,I flew to Trinidad and connected to Caribbean Airlines. This dropped the round-trip airfare to $416 (JetBlue) plus $48 (Caribbean Air) for a total airfare of $464. Flight time on my departure leg (JFK) was 5 hours + 75 min. (layover) + 30 minutes for a little over 6 ½ hours. Return to Boston required a connection so was 9 ½ hours. Logistically speaking, the only mistake I made was misjudging the transfer time in Port of Spain (Trinidad). Trinidad is seriously on the lookout for illicit stuff coming into their country so their incoming security inspection is an unbelievable time sink. I had a 75-minute connect time and I needed 2 hours. After checking with the other travelers in the inspection line, this is totally normal for Trinidad but, in my experience, completely out of character with any other destination in the Caribbean. Also, the number of folks from Trinidad who fly to Tobago for the weekend is nothing short of incredible-- especially since they stopped running the ferry. The impact is that, if you miss your connection, you might wait a long time to get an open seat. Even though Caribbean Air has hourly departures, I had to wait six hours to get on another flight for the 30-minute hop from Trinidad to Tobago. [B]Lesson learned[/B] - if you’re traveling on a weekend (I was traveling on a Friday), make sure to take the incoming immigration & customs lines into account and plan enough time so you don’t miss your connection. [B]Lodging [/B]– I traded a timeshare and stayed at [URL='http://www.sandypointbeachclub.com/'][COLOR=#0080ff]Sandy Point Beach Club[/COLOR][/URL]. Very nice place, big units, upstairs/downstairs. Rack price is $170/night for 1-bedroom with queen bed + loft area with 2 divan beds + double “Murphy” in living room. One bathroom with shower. Full kitchen. Fits 6 folks but I’d recommend keeping it to 4 divers so everyone can stretch out. [B]Car [/B]– I didn’t rent a car. Trinidad pumps their own oil so cabs are very reasonable. And my dive operator was within walking distance. [B]Dive Operation(s) [/B]– I dove with Darren at [URL='http://www.underseatobago.com'][COLOR=#0080ff]Undersea Tobago[/COLOR][/URL]. Darren’s op is headquartered at the Coco Reef Resort (15-minute walk from Sandy Point). Very professional operation. All safety briefings, rental equipment and boat are top notch. For my last dive day, Darren set me up with Motley at [URL='http://www.tobagodiveexperience.com'][COLOR=#0080ff]Tobago Dive Experience[/COLOR][/URL] so I could try out Speyside diving. [B]Water Temp[/B] - averaged 81 degrees. I wore a 3mm shorty and skin for the 5 days and was never cold. We did hit a few thermoclines where the temp dipped into the mid-to-high 70’s but no big deal. My buddies wore short sleeve t-shirts and swimsuits. [B]Visibility [/B]– Pretty good. Mostly 40-50’ range. Keep in mind that the abundance and size of marine life is a direct result of the nutrient rich Orinoco flow. I’ve heard that you can get better viz if you head 90 miles further north to Grenada. But, as the nutrient flow drops off, I imagine you’ll trade off critters. Also, at the time of my visit, neither Grenada nor Dominica had recovered from the hurricanes. [B]Current [/B]– No current in 5 days of diving both in the south and in Speyside. Guess I was lucky. All dives were drift dives. [B]Weather [/B]– We had rain showers but never while we were out diving. Normal Caribbean temperatures (80-82 deg. In the daytime, 75 deg. in the evening). Warm & humid. Tobago is about 700 miles north of the equator so the weather is pretty consistent. [B]Sea Life[/B] – Very nice. Lots of reef fish and plenty of the bigger stuff. Reefs are totally healthy with no evidence of coral bleaching. Saw my first long-nose bat fish. Look it up, a picture tells a thousand words. Or click on this link for a YouTube video ([URL='https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IfAYHE55Ro'][COLOR=#0080ff]ogcocephalus corniger[/COLOR][/URL]). In addition to the usual lobster, there were quite a few white spotted guys-- always a pleasure to see. At a site called “Diver’s Dream”, we pretty much saw it all. Large (6’+) nurse sharks in caves + free swimming nurse sharks, turtles, a pair of eagle rays, a 7’ Caribbean gray reef shark, multiple stingrays, and much more! After a day or two, Darren got into the habit of carrying the pole spear to deal with the lionfish. In Speyside, we had a hunter/fisherman who accompanied us to spear them. The lionfish are unfortunately, pretty abundant in Tobago. But they make for really good eating! Up at Speyside I made 2 dives. Visibility was as good as down south (and again, no current). Saw lots of neat stuff (green and spotted morays, turtles, more). I shot a brief (2 1/2-minute) GoPro video of some highlights and posted it [URL='https://youtu.be/PZmXp0HQpkc'][COLOR=#0080ff]here[/COLOR][/URL]: The next time I go to Tobago, I’ll stay longer and split my time between the south and the north. Since the roads are crowded and narrow, the daily commute from south to north is not a lot of fun. [B]How does Tobago compare to other places in the Caribbean?[/B] - There are a couple of reasons that Tobago turned out well for me: • The diving is very good with lots to see • Good accommodations and lots of good restaurants. Relaxing atmosphere. • Tobago is 7 degrees above the equator which puts it out of the hurricane belt (I like to dive in the summer when hurricanes can be a real problem) • Very affordable In comparison to other Caribbean destinations, Tobago doesn’t rank as high as Bonaire (on a good day), Grand Turk (on a good day) or Grand Cayman East End (on a good day) for the following reasons: • Visibility – you [U]will[/U] get 100’ visibility in the aforementioned if you get lucky with the weather • BON, GDT and GCM can be shorter flights • BON, GDT and GCM have outstanding accommodations and a great vibe, especially [URL='http://www.grandturk-mantahouse.com/'][COLOR=#0080ff]Manta House[/COLOR][/URL] on Grand Turk! If you go, I hope you enjoy your trip to Tobago!<br />-----<br />

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