Daily Travel Tips
Weekly Column
Eileens Blog
Travel Diary
In the Media

Featured Savings



Daily Tips

A New Orleans Scare For Your Kids

Oct 24, 2014
Head to New Orleans the 26th and 27th for a scary time. In honor of Halloween, Windsor Court Hotel is hosting its annual Tea in Le Salon.

Eileen's Favorites


Calendar of Events

Get out there and have some fun! See family friendly events happening all over the nation in our Calendar of Events.


Passports with Purpose


Learning to scuba dive at a Caribbean resort


Dive boat heads out at Bohio Grand Turk

Check out the flounder hiding in the sand! Only his eyes are visible.

 

We’ve just finished the most spectacular dive of the day off of Grand Turk Island called “anchor” so named for a historic 10-foot anchor deep in the water. We’ve seen a Manta ray and sea turtle, hog fish, huge grouper, eel garden ray, that flounder and all kinds of other big and little fish–blue and purple, silver and spotted…as well as all varieties of coral.

 

Amazing!

 

“Let me introduce our newest PADI Diver,” instructor Hilary Sutton says when we get back on the small Bohio Resort boat. After six sections of e-learning, two mornings in the pool and four dives mastering the equipment, my nearly 20-year-old-daughter Mel is now a certified diver. We all applaud. (A tip: It’s cheaper and more fun to get your certification via online course and then at a dive resort. It’s a lot more pleasant to do your pool dives in the balmy Caribbean than in a chilly YMCA pool, as I did, and to do your certifying dives when there is so much to see.   

 

We are here on tiny Grand Turk Island (pop no more than 6,000) that is the capitol of Turks and Caicos. It is here locals believe Columbus first touched landfall in the New World in 1492 (thinking the local Cactus looked like a Turk’s hat ; Caicos is cactus in Spanish. It is also NEAR here that John Glenn splashed down in 1962 after his historic orbits around the earth.

 

 People come from around the world for the wall diving here just off shore—we meet a family from Buenos Aires, in fact. The island has maybe three or four restaurants, donkeys and horses and cows roam free though they are cared for by the government, says Earel Futtord, a retired social services official who gives me a brief tour of the island. We stop at the 60-foot tall light house built because so many ships were wrecking here in the nineteenth century. When ships continued to wreck, captains complained pirates were dimming the lights on purpose.

 

Turks and Caicos are composed of eight islands and some 40 Cays. After Providenciales (nicknamed Provo) —where 2/3 of the 50,000 people live, Grand Turk is the next largest in population but it has just 6,000 people and is just 7 miles long and 1.5 miles wide. 

 

A dive vacation is different than a typical beach getaway. One couple we meet explains that you pick a dive resort not by the beds, the thread count of the sheets or the spa  “You pick by the dive opportunities .”

 

You want to be comfortable with the dive operation. “You have to trust them,” said Scott Flaherty, a veteran diver from Virginia.  Is the gear good? Do they count their people underwater?  He and his wife, he said, prefer small operations—where boats take no more than 10 people.

 

Equally important is the convenience. Here the dive shop, the rooms and restaurant are all a few steps apart; the reef is just offshore.  “My goal is not to wear shoes the entire time,” Scott Flaherty joked.

 

“We’re here about diving,” agreed Laurie Smithson, a nurse and avid diver from Phoenix.  She’d choose a place like this any time over a big fancy resort.

 

Managers Ginny and Tom Allan hug us goodbye.  That doesn’t happen at your typical resort hotel either.

 

We leave with Conch shells in our bags and lots of dive sites we still want to see. We’ll have to come back.


Beach Vacations, Eileen's Blog, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Topics | 1 Comment

One Response to Learning to scuba dive at a Caribbean resort

  1. Pingback: Special: 51 Great Ideas for Your Family’s Summer Vacation | Taking the Kids

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>






Connect

Facebook Twitter YouTube Follow us with RSS

Family Travel Guides for Every Season

eNewsletter Archives

Taking the Kids publishes two e-newsletters per month, filled with information and advice for families traveling with children as well as tips on destinations and special travel offers from sponsors.





Find your hotel at the best price
Compare booking sites with trivago!

Follow us on Twitter



Recent Comments:

  • noemi bermudez: We really want to go out on a Disney cruise for the holidays but they always conflict with Christmas recess helllppp!!!
  • dina: I really liked your article. I have family living in London, I hope it is close to east End so I can visit all the restaurants you mention.
  • Amy Carney: Loved using your guidebooks in Boston, Washington DC and Boston! Thanks for making touring these big cities easier for us!...
  • Luana: On holiday when the kids wander off!! I have read reviews of the Vital ID identity wristbands that help find lost kids and thought it may be helpful to...
  • Alison: I love that you can pick and choose what your family is interested in doing! It would be a wonderful place for them to try out different things that they...
  • Kimberly: OH! I am so jealous!!!! This place looks like a lot of fun. I wish I could afford to take my family some place like this. I think they would have a...
  • Kimberly: WOW! They offer a lot of great activities. The Ramblewild excursion looks like a lot of fun. I’d like to try something like that but I’d...