Dan from Penngrove's Dive Log
Smith Cove and Bright Reef on 7/15/2012
Dan from Penngrove
Jul 15, 2012, 12:00 AM
I tried to do shore diving at this site and at Coral Gardens. I failed due all the dive shops refusing to rent gear for shore dives. I have an 8 year old who is Scuba Ranger certified with SSI. This allows him to go to 12 feet in pool like conditions. This is different than PADI which just plain requires a pool. In preparation for this trip I contacted the dive shop (who I won't name at this time) to try to line up this experience for my child. They said that 'a quality scuba ranger experience could be had a Coral Gardens'. However they said they were unwilling to rent gear because they didn't like cleaning it, and they couldn't guarantee that an instructor would be available. The dive shop didn't have any 50s, but they had 63s. Based on this feedback I prepared for the trip. I rented a BC and reg set for my child and brought it with us. A bought him a wetsuit. I got additional training for my child. The additional training consisted of several dives in 46 degree water with 1 to 6 feet of visibility with his SSI scuba ranger instructor. His instructor happened to be going on the same trip. I buttered him up and got him to agree to take my son on a couple of dives. I thought I had everything lined up. When I got to the dive shop in Provo, I went in and said, 'Ok, I want to rent some tanks.' They said they didn't rent gear to anyone for any reason. They listed several reasons for this: 1. It is illegal to shore dive, and renting me gear would create legal liability for them. 2. It is an agreement between the shops to never rent gear. 3. The snuba lady goes there but has a special permit. I asked them to source the illegal idea. They refereed me to the department of environment. I called the department of environment and talked to Paul Dickens. He said I was free to shore dive anywhere including Coral Gardens. Apparently one or more of the dive boat operators will pull people out of the water and harass them if they see them shore diving. I got the impression that this happens most often at coral gardens. At this point I'm mad. I don't like being lied to. I spend a good deal of time and money lining up this experience for my son. Additionally, I wanted to get some extra dives in cheap. I talked to the dive shop. On the last day of diving the shop manager agreed to take my son out. He didn't charge me for it due to the trouble I had lining it up. This was nice of him. Due to this, I'm not naming the dive shop, who I was otherwise happy with. If shore diving is important to you, don't go to Provo in Turks and Caicos. Perhaps there is decent shore diving there. Perhaps it is bad. Due to collusion and lies from the dive shops, I wasn't able to find out for myself. If you really, really want to shore dive there, bring all your own gear including tanks and weights.