Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Diving in Tobago - Staff Review - Phil North

Nestled at the southern end of the Caribbean island chain, Tobago considers itself to be the ‘real Caribbean’. Relatively untouched by tourism, the island has both a rich history, a vibrant culture and impressive biodiversity, not to mention the diving.

The first part of my week in Tobago was spent in the more remote north-eastern part of the island, at the Blue Waters Inn just outside Speyside. With its own private beach and stunning views over to Little Tobago - a mecca for bird lovers - the Blue Waters Inn makes for a fantastic base to explore the many dive sites of northern Tobago.

The corals here, fed by the nutrient-rich waters of the Orinocho, are in great shape and marine life is plentiful. Early encounters were a rare juvenile Drumfish, a Hawksbill Turtle cruising along in the gentle current and unusual Giraffe Garden Eels. Day two in Tobago was also a good day’s diving, although I missed the day’s best sighting - a majestic Manta Ray at Coral Garden, home of the world’s largest brain coral.

The second part of the week was spent in the south of the island, diving with R&Sea divers, run by a lovely English couple, Wendy and John. The south of Tobago is the lively end of the island, with a truly Caribbean coastline of white powder sand beaches – a trip to Pigeon Point is a must, the island’s main town and a regular schedule of festivals throughout the year.

The highlight of the week was an encounter with a beautiful Loggerhead turtle laying her eggs. While soaking up the truly tropical atmosphere one evening, I noticed a commotion on the beach. Right in front of my eyes, a young female Loggerhead turtle was hauling her massive frame up the beach to lay her eggs. She picked her spot and started to dig, before entering a trance like state while she layed her eggs. The many turtles who visit Tobago’s shores to lay eggs are monitored and protected by an excellent network of local volunteers. They are so in tune with the turtles movements that they knew to expect eight turtles to visit that beach during the night. The magical encounter with one of nature's ancient giants lasted for a few hours before she made her way back to the water, leaving the next generation to their own fragile fate.

Underwater, the wreck of the MV Maverick proved another excellent dive, attracting large amounts of marine life. Other good dives were the Cove and Cove Crack, a site well known for Nurse Sharks. At the end of the week, I reluctantly said goodbye to my many new friends and acquaintances and headed back to the UK with fond memories of Tobago, the ‘real Caribbean’.

For Diving holidays in Tobago - click here


El Che said...

I read somewhere the hurricanes sometimes ruin coral reefs in Tobago area (and in the whole Caribbean, certainly). Is it true? Are there protected sites which survive tropical storms?

Danica said...

Spending your Tobago holidays can be considered by the individuals who want to try new activities with their family such as diving. Thanks a lot for imparting your thoughts about this matter.