The following is from an interview conducted with Alan Jardine, the co-owner of DiveProvo in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos.
How Did You Get Started With DiveProvo?
Diveprovo was an existing business. It started in 1990. I was a highschool teacher and my wife was a nurse. We traveled a lot and eventually ended up here.
What Is It Like to Live in the Turks and Caicos?
You know here its really laid back, but at the same time we still have the luxuries like restaurants, grocery stores, all that. Everything here is just very relaxed. One day you can be in the office working and 20 min later you are swimming in crystal clear water scuba diving.
How Are The People of the Turks and Caicos?
For the most part everyone is very welcoming and formal. They show you around and take good care of you. Family is very important here, everybody knows everybody.
For Somebody that has Never Scuba Dived Before, How Would You Describe it?
Well, its very relaxing, its like floating in the air. You really feel like you are flying. A lot of the times when people snorkel they go down to the ground to go see something and then they have to come back up for air shortly. But you can stay down for a very long time with scuba diving. We offer this class for people who are getting into scuba diving. They go into class for a bit and they take their time going into the water. Basically we teach them the basics and watch over them very closely, with a maximum depth of 40 feet. You learn how to get the water out of your mask, all the things like that. Its actually a really safe sport when you do it correctly.
How Would You Describe a Snorkeling Experience?
Most people stay on the top of the water looking down at everything. Others are more adventurous and they dive down and then of course have to come back up.
What Do You Love About Your Job?
Yea, I do love my job. I still have those days where i am motivated actually. I don’t really know what makes my job so interesting, I just love everything about it. You know, interacting with people and all that, so yea I do love it. I come from the mechanical and industrial world, and at times i just like to take the boat out with some people and it is good to see them having such a good time. Its just wonderful. I try and dive every day.
What Impact Would you Say Scuba Diving Has On People?
I think that people really start to care about ocean wildlife a lot more. You can’t care about something if you can’t see it. So when people see whats going on down there, they understand how and why to help.
How Is the Diving In the Turks and Caicos Different than Other Parts of the Caribbean?
You know in the Caribbean a lot of it is the same. You find the same fish, the same coral but in the Turks and Caicos we are actually in the tropics, and we have the crystal clear, calm water. That really sets us apart. Also we have vertical drops. That attracts sharks, dolphins, and many other interesting animals.
What Are Some Struggles In the Business of Diving?
I don’t know that there are any that are unique to this island. I’d say that we are better of than many many islands. This is a very easy place to get to. We use planes as busses here. Hiring is always hard, because we need people who fit in. Things that may seem like a priority in the United States, we don’t usually see here. The police are real people here, they understand special situations. A lot of people come here and tell the locals how to run the country, and its just not going to work.
How Do You See the Progression of Scuba Diving in the Turks and Caicos?
[The ocean ecosystem] will tolerate a little bit, but it can only take so much. I don’t see anything getting hurt anytime soon, but it is possible that there could be damage. A lot of it is covered in sand, which is sad but it still looks beautiful.
How Long is a Dive Usually?
Well it depends on how quickly you breath, and the depth that you are at, and you can get decompression sickness. Usually a typical dive is within 30 min to an hour. If you are in shallow water you could be down there for a couple hours.
What Are You Most Grateful For About Your Work?
What are you grateful for about your work? – I mean I dress like this (t-shirt and shorts with sunglasses) and I just mostly really love the lifestyle.
What Would Be a Typical Day For You?
What would be a typical day for you? – Thats a difficult one. Every day is different. This one time, I left work to go to a funeral and my friend ask me why i’m retired. I said i’m not retired, and he said you were able to leave work, without doing anything. I said I guess you are right. At that moment I realized how much I love this job.
Is There Anything about the Turks and Caicos That You Wish More People Knew about?
Not to be rude but Americans can be challenged geographically, they don’t really know what is down south. Many of them don’t know we do have some really good quality hotels and places (villas!) to stay here. This is kind of the lifestyle of the rich and the famous. Many famous people spend time down here. There is no paparazzi here, it’s very private.
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For all things Turks and Caicos, exciting recommendations, and the best ways to enjoy your time in the sun, read these journals written by the TC Villas’ team. Read about our best experiences so you can make amazing memories too!