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 Scuba Diving with Club Med in Turks and Caicos


Author: Clint Leung

Article:
One scuba diving vacation option for divers is with the Club Med
resorts that offer intensive dive programs. These particular
Club Med locations have full service scuba diving centres
staffed by PADI and NAUI certified instructors as well as full
equipment rentals. Club Med has locations with dive intensive
programs in the Caribbean and the South Pacific. One such resort
is the Club Med Turkoise in the Turks and Caicos islands located
southeast of the Bahamas. While these islands are not the
lushest in the Caribbean, they do have excellent coral reef
systems making it a top scuba diving destination in the region.

For those scuba divers who do not want to be bothered with
transit between hotels, restaurants and dive boats, Club Meds
are a wonderful option since everything is on site. Like other
high end all-inclusive resorts, Club Meds have excellent dining,
decent rooms plus great facilities for water and land sports. A
bonus feature of Club Meds is the inclusion of instruction for
many activities such as sailing and water skiing as well as the
nightly entertainment on stage.

As for the scuba diving programs which are offered at additional
cost, they usually offer standard five day packages which
include a two tank trip every morning plus a weekly night dive.
There are optional single tank dives in the afternoon as well.
In my estimation, the Club Med Turkoise location I went to had
50% divers and 50% non-divers. It was kind of funny to see that
the guests who go to bed the earliest in the evenings and show
up in the dining room first thing in the mornings are the scuba
divers. Many divers I met were repeat guests. This proves that
the Club Med is able to attract a loyal following among some
scuba divers. The resort is ideal for couples where one spouse
is a diver and the other is not. There are plenty of other
activities on site for the non-diving spouse to do while the
other is out diving. Later in the afternoon, couples or friends
could get back together to do other activities or simply relax.
I went to this Club Med as a single traveller and had no problems
fitting in. The dining room staff usually asks guests whether
they would like to sit with a singles table or one with couples.
The advantage of this Club Med setup is that it is very easy to
meet other guests on a social level. I ended up socializing and
diving with people from Europe as well as North America.

The Club Med dive boats are huge. These boats have rows along
each side and another row in the centre. They are 'cattle' boats
for sure as there can be as much as 40 divers for each trip.
However, they are nice 'cattle' boats with two ladders in the
back platform and a large upper deck for the boat ride. A very
nice feature of these boats is that there are two safety stop
bars below the boat at the 15 feet mark. These bars are
excellent for beginner scuba divers who still have problems
remaining at a level 15 feet for their safety stops. All they
have to do is hold on to the safety stop bar and wait for the 3
minutes. On each bar, there is also a regulator for those who
are low on air. Scuba divers can dive in either guided groups
led by a Divemaster or in their own buddy groups. Either way,
there is an adequate briefing before each dive. The guided
groups are particularly good for divers who do not want to worry
about navigation.

The diving at Turks and Caicos is wonderful with steep walls
during the first part of each dive. The return portion of each
dive will generally be over a reef system with lots of small to
medium size marine life. One resident barracuda nicknamed
Charlie is often seen and likes to hang out between the safety
stop bars checking out the divers. In general, the diving is
similar to that in the Bahamas but you won't find crowds of dive
boats out in the water here since Turks and Caicos are not as
saturated with dive operators and tourists yet. For an extra
charge, it is possible for the resort to arrange a 3 tank day
trip with an outside scuba operator to dive some sites further
out that have larger marine life. Some divers took this option
and returned with very positive reviews of multiple shark
sightings.

If scuba divers are interested in going to a Club Med, it is
important to verify which locations currently offer the
intensive dive programs. Different Club Meds also have different
atmospheres. Some are livelier with a party scene and some are
quieter. Consulting a travel agent familiar with Club Meds will
be useful. Club Med does have a good scuba diving program with
very professional staff and is an option worth checking out if
one doesn't mind being on dive trips with relatively large
numbers of divers.

About the author:
Clint Leung is a NAUI certified Master and Rescue Scuba Diver.
He is also owner of Free Spirit Activewear
(http://www.FreeSpiritActivewear.com) , an online
retailer/designer specializing in premium quality scuba diving
activewear. Free Spirit Activewear has numerous information
resource articles on scuba diving as well as free eCards.
   
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