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Home > Destinations > Trinidad & Tobago > Trip Reports > Trip Report

Trinidad & Tobago - Trip Reports

Tobago Diving

Nov 6 - 21, 2000

This was our 9th trip to Tobago, and our first in November. previously we had gone in the drier seasons of March - April. The weather was OK, a fair amount of rain which fell mainly at night, so it did not spoil the holiday. The temperature was fairly steady and we were never cold in shorts and sandals.

We stayed in a cottage at Man-o-War Bay in Charlotteville, a fishing village on the north west side of the island, as far from the airport as you can go. A lovely location in a small rain forest right on the beach. The cottage was basic but adequate, and we did most of our own catering, with several takeouts of local food like roti from the village vendors.

We had an extra 2 adults and 2 small children with us for most of the time and the children loved the beach.

My wife and I each made 23 boat dives with Man Friday Diving just a few minutes walk along the beach. The diving in general was a little below what we have experienced in previous visits. The main cause being the reduced visibility from heavy rain on several nights. The rain also restricted us to a reduced choice of dive sites. Both sides of the island were affected, Charlotteville and Speyside.

Diving here is from small open boats with sites from 5 to 30 mins away. All dives are drift dives with the dive master holding a float and the boat following the float. Water entries are made by all divers doing a back roll at the same time. Dives had a 50 min bottom time limit plus a 3 min safety stop, if you run low on air early, then you do an ascent up the float line and get picked up by the boat. Currents were rarely a problem, and usually light or none.

Temperature - Varied from 74 to 80, usually 76 - 78. Speyside was warmer 79 - 80 but visibility was poorer. I was happy in a 3 mm wetsuit.

Visibility - Varied from 20 - 60, often in the same dive, and at different depths at the same time. Problems were caused by both the run-off from heavy rain and by thermoclines.

Sea life - No problems here, lots of fish of different species, I was told that Paul Humann's team had identified over 100 species on a single dive earlier this year at one of the sites we went to. Several times we saw fighting honeycomb cow fish who turn a brilliant blue at this time and ignore divers. There were large numbers of flamingo tongues of all sizes at many sites. Each site tends to be different in its sea life, on one site there are arrow crabs all over, at another there are large spotted eels.

Photography - was difficult because the poor visibility meant we had to stay in a close group, and there was no time to stop for a shot. So I took the opportunity to practice with different lenses, using 35 mm and 80 mm instead of my usual 20 mm. I liked the result from these lenses, except they were rarely in focus as I am not good at estimating the distance. I need to practice this, or rig up a 3 ft pointer to give a guide.

To sum up, a good trip with about half the dives I would rate as good to very good despite the conditions. We enjoyed diving with Man Friday who treated us well.

Thanks to Paul for this trip report ...
December 2000

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