Scuba diving Tobago
I was recommended a few dive shops by locals and by fellow divers.
They may look relaxed enough and have humble shops but the dive masters are knowledgeable and safety oriented. If you're diving, check out:
R & Sea divers (see contact info below)
Reefs are typical Caribbean reefs.
"Maverick" is an old auto ferry wreck.
Far northeast corner near Speyside has best year-round visibility and best chance of seeing the big critters.
Due to rainy season and the large amounts of silt dumped into the Caribbean from the Venezuelan rivers, February through August are typically the best for water clarity and visibility. All equipment is available locally.
After calling most shops, they all offer approximately the same rates of $20TT for all equipment.
Dives cost typically $40TT per dive.
Some shops give a sliding scale of dives if you do multiple days.
Tobago - Caribbean Excellence
"Tobago? Why ever not?!"
If there's one thing you can be sure of, it's that a stay on Tobago will be a relaxation - unless you want it otherwise! Don't expect a wild nightlife though. That only happens on Sunday nights as a rule, and then only at Buccoo, a small fishing village on the North side of the Island, about 15 minutes drive from the airport. In the public beach facility the pan band will play from about 9pm ("The Buccooneers") and you will see some fine dance demonstrations from some Very Cool senior citizens as well as the Yoot! From midnight a combination of beer and the occasional exotic cheroot begins to take effect, and you could find that an overenthusiastic local man may insert himself between you and your partner... this is nothing to be upset about! A polite refusal should never offend. The road from Buccoo Junction into the village becomes a market place on Sunday evenings, with everything from lobster to calaloo on sale on the food front, and from the ubiquitous T-shirt to Jewellery and souvenirs elsewhere. Prices are reasonable. This isn't an event laid on just for tourists; it is the only night - and place - where the local ladies can have a bit of fun; and they do. Pretty well supervised though, so don't get any ideas! Down on the water's edge the quayside runs out to the point - this is where the Glass Bottom boats run out to Buccoo Reef and the famous "Nylon Pool" (the Secret of Eternal Youth) in the day time - a dimly lit area that was once described to me by a local policeman as a"disaster area". People certainly can get wrecked there.... be extremely circumspect in your indulgences. Possession of "narcotics" - even $5TT worth of spliff - is enough to get you locked up, and the Police are aware that this area is popularly abused. They therefore tend to patrol it!
Buccoo is also the location for the Annual Goat Races. If you are there at Easter, make a point! The goats aren't ridden, but are tethered to their "jockeys" - who do their best to keep up. Blue Crabs also race, but win or lose usualy end up as Sunday Lunch - with Callaloo.
Tobago... A slice of relaxation in the Caribbean
"My First Day in Tobago"
I took a walk up to Pigeon Point (I didn't see any pigeons there but maybe at one time that was the meeting spot! LOL) and found myself at Bago's Beach bar.
They had the best roti I tasted in Tobago… Ok, ok it was the only roti I tasted in Tobago because once I had it once I didn't want to taste any other! I then decide to go to the beach at Piegon Point. It cost 18 $TT. It was a bit weird because it was the first beach I have ever paid to go on, and I'm totally against the idea of paying to go on a beach, but nevertheless since I was already there I went ahead and paid. After you pay you have to walk through this huge park to get to the beach. It is very picturesque. The only downside is that you can get killed by a coconut falling from a tree and smashing your skull.
A few minutes into my walk I am stopped by this guy with locks. One minute she is saying hello and then the next minute he is walking beside me. Turns out that he is a tout and so is feeding me all the spiel about the tours that he does etc etc. He walks me down to the beach, we sit down and then comes the part about me putting a downpayment on some tour that he was doing. All I heard was him say American $50 and I switched off. Yeah RIGHT. I am gonna give some guy I just met a downpayment, for a tour on a beach? Not even in an office… Yeah right. Sherman (that was his name) must have seen me coming and thought I was Mother Christmas. He mentions the downpayment again and it is clear it ain't gonna happen so he just forgets about it.
the beach at Pigeon Point and talk to Sherman and he tells me about his life, his work as a tour guide, how he has an English girlfriend and comes to the UK 3-4 times a year. After he dropped the downpayment stuff he was alright. He offered to take me to a club in the evening called Sunday School in Buccoo Reef. When he said Sunday School I had to ask if it was a club and not a religious convention, because if it was the latter I surely was not going to be interested.
We agree to meet that night at 10pm. When I get back to the guesthouse the girl in the room opposite me (I forget her name, but lets just call her fish fanatic because she studies fish and finds them soooo riveting) tells me that she is going to Sunday School with her dive instructor (getting with your "Dive Master" is the big trend over here, amongst the big diving crew.) she suggests that we all go together.
We went off in this taxi to the Sunday School and Sherman was doing his whole tour guide routine, pointing out where the yearly goat race is held and the history behind it. There are some people selling arts and crafts. One of them is his friend who is selling art prints at an extortionate price. To be honest I think the art work is drab, plus they are prints and not originals so I wouldn't buy any of it anyway but I don't want to be rude so I pretend it is really nice and gush over it a little bit. Sherman seems to think I want to buy something and tries to cut me a deal. I then have to worm my way out of that situation, but to my horror he then takes me to this stall where there are drawings of birds on bamboo. This is even worse for me because I am NOT (in anyway) an animal lover and I would NOT hang up paintings or drawings of birds (or any other wretched animal) on any wall of mine. I get out of that situation and we go and eat a fish sandwich. The best fish sandwich I have ever had. I later find out it is called a "Shark and Bake." The bake is basically a coconut bread and then they spread it with garlic butter, "special" hot sauce (who knows what was in it?), roasted red peppers, pinapple slices and shredded cabbage, then comes the shark which is lightly battered and fried. It was bloody gorgeous!
It was funny because Sherman had told me that the Sunday School was divided into three parts. The old club, the new club, and then an outside bit. He said tourists leave about midnight because it is around that time that trouble normally starts. In my head I was wandering how trouble can just start at a certain time, just didn't make sense to me. What happens to make trouble start? Well true to what he had told me by midnight most of the tourists had left and about quarter past, two fights break out. I was gonna start filming it as the argument that preceded it was quite amusing but I didn't want to get beat up for the sake of future amusement so I left it alone.
We then went to the "new" Sunday School. Soca and reggae ruled with the majority being old school tunes. We stayed a couple of hours, me drinking and him smoking and then left. Sherman was all spliffed out so it was a good job we left when we did because he was getting leaner by the minute.
Before parting ways we arranged to meet the next day for a barbeque he was throwing for these American tourists. He was charging them $US600. By then he had realised that I was a tight wad and not freeing up the cash so he wanted me to go as his wife and I'd help him set up things. I thought that to play the role of his sister would be a better idea in case any of the Americans were hot guys, so we compromised and agreed on long lost cousin.
"No Man's Land- A Day Trip"
We drove down to Buccoo where we waited for the boat.
At this point let me just add that the day that I met Sherman he was telling me about how I should go on the glass bottom boat to see fish. As a way of trying to persuade me to go on the boat he said to me,
"Don't worry you won't drown. The boat won't sink… My boat is very very safe."
Funny thing is that before he actually said that I wasn't thinking about the boat sinking. If I go on a boat I assume it isn't going to sink, the same way I get into a plane and expect it not to fall out of the sky! Him saying that made me wonder if one of his boats had in fact sunk before. When I got on this particular boat I knew why he had made the statement concerning the boat's safety the day before. THER MAN STEERING THE BOAT WAS ALSO SCOOPING UP WATER THAT THE BOAT LET IN!!!
So we arrived in No Man's Land., which is at the entrance of the Bon Accord Lagoon. Sherman's two cousins were already there to help him set up. Apparently No Man's Land is a top spot for boozy beach barbeques
While they set things up I wandered around the island taking pictures and "swimming" (I do play swimming since I can't take my feet of f the floor).
It turns out that I wasn't needed to help with the Barbeque so I found a hidden spot and lay out on the beach reading and getting waited on by Sherman's cousin who would bring beers, rum punch and food
It was so good I went back for seconds.
At the end of the day when they were packing up I went to go and talk to Dr Buzzby who was there selling jewellery. He took a shining to my feather earrings and it was decided that we were going to collaborate. He would show me how to make the stuff and I would give him new ideas. Unfortunately it didn't happen and I didn't see him again.
It was a good day and I was so tired from lazing around eating and drinking that when I got back to the guesthouse I knocked myself out for the whole night…
Tobagooooooooooooooo! go there...
"Slow & Relaxed"
Tobago, first I have to say it is a very quite when compared to Trinidad. The life here moves very slowly & relaxed manner. Lovely & friendly people. Liked the beaches and the rain forest mountains. To conclude, if you need a perfect relaxed vacation....goooooooo there.
Dead Corals form up an island @ Bucco Reef, Bucco Bay
"English Man Beach"
Me relaxing at the English Man Beach
"English Man Beach"
Me relaxing at the English Man Beach