Four of us flew from Austin for a week in Provo. We rented a two bedroom villa with a pool. Provo has lots of diving and some snorkeling. The beach was a short walk from the villa and Smith's reef was near to the shore for snorkeling.
I dove with Ocean Vibes (or is it dived?). They are a small shop offering personalized service and small dive groups of no more than six. The first day there were three of us. Divemasters Kevin and Arianna made the dives relaxed and enjoyable.
More information on Provo can be found here.
Pictures from our vacation are divided into two groups. There is a slideshow that includes pictures of the villa, snorkeling and dive photos. For the diver and underwater enthusiast, there is a set of shots from diving.
After a half hour boat ride (as the sole diver on the boat), we picked up a couple (Jan and Muesli) at Amanyara, moored nearby and dived. The chimney is a swim through at the start of the dive. We saw a shark, a large barracuda and many other things I have no photos of.
After a surface interval (they all include a lunch), we jumped back into the water. Another pleasant dive. The coral was quite healthy on the wall. A communications cable was visible heading off into the deep. Saw a couple of lobster hanging out since it is not lobster season.
There were a couple more people today. Thunderdome is named for a structure built for a short-lived French television show. The structure is broken up but still present. The dive started with a nurse shark sleeping on the bottom. It had stuck it's head into a crevice and seemed to think that hid all of it. Dropping down over the wall, there was a good sized Nassau grouper hanging out on a sponge at 100 feet. One of the other divers took a nice close up shot. Turning back to the wall, we immediately saw another nurse shark and then a lobster out for a walk. Too much too see!
The amphitheatre is a large bowl with an overhang at about 70 feet. Part of the attraction is seeing the air bubbles seep through the top and bubble up to the surface. Oh yeah, there was a nice crab and a turtle on this dive.
After a longer boat ride we arrived at West Caicos. There is a hotel being built there (pretty much at sea level) and the flamingos are not pleased. The island was uninhabited when we visited Provo in 1997. There was a crab out for a walk as soon as we dropped to the top of the shelf. Proceding through a crack, there was another large crab (sorry, no photo). There is also an anchor caught in the coral at the crack. Just below the crack, there is a gnome (yes, the lawn ornament kind).
Driveway is named for a sandy stretch that slopes down gently over the wall. This dive inluded another reef shark.
This is an isloated dive site. There were lots of beautiful sponges. The dive started with a couple of lobsters hiding out (not very well) on the shelf. As we floated along, a pair of eagle rays came winging by. Absolutely stunning! Back on the shelf at the end, there was a lobster chasing another smaller lobster and some southern stingrays were cruising over the sand flats.
Last dive of the trip. The wall was beautiful. The dive master pointed out a flamingo tongue which looked like it had a fingerprint. I could not get the camera to focus on it though. A very pleasant dive.