The greatest shortcoming of SNUBA is that the sites typically visited are off the beach, and are not one of the many exceptional reef sites accessible by boat. However, for those who have never SCUBA dived before, SNUBA can be a very interesting experience and offers a chance to enjoy a bit of underwater freedom.
3-star rating for Snuba by Visit Turks and Caicos Islands
NUBA is a fun new form of underwater exploration that offers the ability to maintain deeper depths than snorkeling allows for.
Compared to conventional diving which requires far more rigorous training for a certification, a half hour lesson is usually sufficient instruction to get most people in the water.
What is SNUBA?
SNUBA is a combination of SCUBA diving and snorkeling, and the equipment bears similarity to the gear used in both sports.
A conventional dive tank floats on a raft on the surface and follows the diver. Long air lines connect a breathing regulator to the tank, and provides an uninterrupted source of air. Weight belts adjust the diver’s weight for neutral buoyancy, allowing one to easily maintain their depth in the water without sinking or floating to the surface.
Maximum depths are typically about 15-20 feet (4.5-6 m). All dives are guide-led and an introduction and safety brief is included.
Unfortunately, most tours operate off of Cockburn Town Beach and other west coast sites. This coast offers several beautiful stretches of beach, but the reefs and sea life in the area are lacking.
SUNBA on Grand Turk is definitely an activity worth considering, but be aware that sea life sightings will typically not be quite as spectacular as what may be seen on a decent snorkeling or dive excursion.
Requirements and Safety
Minimum age is 8. Divers must be competent swimmers. This activity is unsuitable for those who may be pregnant or have heart conditions.
SNUBA carries some of the many risks associated with diving.
Due to the shallow maximum depths, decompression sickness and nitrogen narcosis are very unlikely to be encountered. However, the risks of lung over-expansion and an air embolism remains so it’s crucial that regular breathing is maintained and that the diver does not hold his breath when ascending or descending.
If you have to make an emergency ascension, be sure to continuously exhale as you rise to the surface. This is to prevent lung over-expansion injuries, as the air volume will expand as you rise to surface.
Located at Grand Turk Cruise Center
The Grand Turk Cruise Center is the only cruise port in the Turks and Caicos, and is a large complex that's home to many shops and the largest Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville in the Caribbean. A beautiful beach fronts the complex.