Tobago Cays Scuba Diving – You say Tobaygo, I say Tabahgo
Scuba, Snorkeling, Sunsets and a Scrumptious Beach Barbeque – When we parked our sailboat in the uninhabited Tobago Cays on day 6 of our 10 day Grenadines bareboat sailing trip, we found all of that and more!
Tobago Cays SCUBA diving with Grenadines Dive
Uninhabited also means no dive shops, but fortunately, Grenadines Dive, based just a few miles away on Union Island has no problem meeting you at your sailboat and bringing all the gear you might need. Big thanks to Keon Murray and Jerimia for great dives.
Mayreau Garden and Horseshoe Reef
Our first dive at Mayreau Garden was a drift dive with a steady current. Our maximum depth was 60 feet. Our second dive was at Horseshoe Reef, also with a maximum depth of 60 feet. We saw huge schools of creole wrasse, nurse sharks, reef sharks, trunkfish, lobster and very healthy coral and plant life.
The scrawled filefish are particularly photogenic.
These interestingly shaped fish with a file or broom tail, pointed snout and a long dorsal spine have such artistic dashes and dots of color. The blue color in adults appears to glow!
Grilled lobster served Caribbean style
Our group beach barbeque (for 35 sailors) was easily arranged the night before. The local provisioning boats are out and about daily making sure everyone in the sailing community is aware of this opportunity. The food was plentiful and tasty – served family style on picnic tables. We’ve never seen lobster piled so high. The Tobago sunset began a wonderful, spirited and tasty evening.
The Tobago Cays Marine Turtle Sanctuary
As we sailed into the area there was much excitement at sightings of small to medium sized turtles on the surface. Once we were set on our mooring ball we were super jazzed to dingy over to the special area roped off from the boats, called The Tobago Cays Marine Turtle Sanctuary. We couldn’t find the turtles at first, but eventually they found us. Big, beautiful, healthy and safe! In the meantime, we discovered other interesting inhabitants, including a stingray with a freeloader fish hanging out above him.
“But, why is the rum gone?!”
While at the Tobago Cays we saw the location where the deserted island scene in “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl” was filmed! We can definitely see why they chose this spot – gorgeous! Because of dangerously shallow reefs, it was difficult to approach the island with our catamaran (or get any decent pictures).
Snorkeling with reef squid
An added and unexpected bonus to our sailboat parking spot was the squadron of reef squid just hanging out 20 feet from our catamaran. There must have been more than 50 reef squid swimming in formation. None of the squid were more than 8 inches long. They stayed with us for a full 2 days! They are fascinating and didn’t seem to mind that we jumped in to watch them from time to time. We were so enthralled, we wrote a separate story about our squid encounter.
St. Vincent and The Grenadines
The Tobago Cays are part of the Grenadines, a string of islands that are part of the 32 island nation called “St. Vincent and the Grenadines” in the Caribbean – a pretty long name for one country with 100,000 residents (with no residents on the Tobago Cays). Part of the West Indies, they are south of St. Lucia and north of Grenada.
RTG Helpful Hints
- Arrive early for the best mooring ball selection. It’s a justifiably popular spot.
- Make reservations with Grenadines Dive in advance if you can. But you can try them last minute too. It helps to know your scuba equipment rental sizes.
- Price gouging can be an issue with the local provisioning boats. The convenience is worth an upcharge, but buyer beware.
- Money: Eastern Caribbean dollars. The exchange rate is fixed at US $1 = EC $2.70. Many businesses accept credit cards or US$, but have a bit of EC on hand for those that don’t.
- Learn more at about Tobago Cays at Discover SVG.
- Don’t take a nap during sunset.
Trip Date: April 2016 Our visit to Tobago Cays was part of a 10 day bareboat sailing adventure with 4 chartered catamarans and 35 friends. Before sailing we spent 6 days in St. Lucia (don’t miss the Friday night jump up!). Stories so far about sailing and diving on this trip include: Disaster Day in Marigot Bay, Diving and Dining in Bequia and Snorkeling with Squid in Tobago Cays.