Some General Questions

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Bharatka
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Some General Questions

Post by Bharatka » Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:14 am

Hi,
Me and my fiance are considering spending our honeymoon in Tobago. We've been using this site to plan our trip and it has been a helpful resource and I would like to thank Steve Wooler for putting it together! Our plan is to spend 2-3 days in the Crown Points area (somewhere modest) to see the sites and attractions around Bucco reef. Then settle up coast for 9-11 days in either the Arnos Vale (Top o' Tobago) or Parlatuvier Bay (Gloucester Place) areas. The major decision right now is deciding between these two locales.

1. Food. We hope to eat cheaply and locally, are their good options for that outside of eateries that cater to tourists in these two locales? Also, can I get good doubles in Tobago?

2. Does anyone know which bay/area is calmer and has better snorkelling? I've read that Arnos Vale is better, but these reports usually come with strong disclaimers about the Arnos Vale Hotel staff accosting visitors. Also the nearby Plymouth back bay, Lover's retreat bay are described as rough water. The description on the mytobago site says that Parlatuvier bay has strong waves and sea floor that drops quickly. The owners of Gloucester place (in Parlatuvier bay), however, suggest that there is a nice place to snorkel in the bay. Also, I've read good things about Castara and Englishmen's bay which are nearby. So the decision seems to between; very good snorkelling close to our villa (Arnos Vale), but nearby beaches are not as good or very good snorkelling but not nearby to our resort (Parlatuvier Bay). We deciding on whether to rent a car, and idea was to visit a new beach nearly everyday and snorkel/picnic/sunbathe - in roughly that order :). Do most beaches have public access and places to park a car? Would we be better off exploring on bicycles??

Any helpful advise would be appreciated, I can't stress enough how amazing this site is.

Chand

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Steve Wooler
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Re: Some General Questions

Post by Steve Wooler » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:46 am

Hi Chand

Welcome aboard and thanks for the kind words. :D

Why not split the holiday and do 5/6 days in each? That way you'll get the best of both worlds. With either location, your own car is going to be essential. Both locations have their own merit - but Arnos Vale offers far more options in terms of eating, etc. - there's very little choice at Parlatuvier and you will find yourself driving into Castara most of the time. The waves CAN be strong in Parlatuvier Bay - but then they can also be strong in Arnos Vale Bay. A lot depends upon when you are going. The sea conditions tend to be far heavier in the winter/high season months and slacken off during the summer.
Steve Wooler
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Bharatka
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Re: Some General Questions

Post by Bharatka » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:42 pm

Steve,
Thank you for your reply, Steve. My fiance is all for splitting locations! I'm also glad to hear that the seas could be calmer for a July visit.

Chand

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Paul Tallet
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Re: Some General Questions

Post by Paul Tallet » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:58 pm

Parlatuvier is definitely not a snorkelling option in my opinion ... it is a lovely place though.

Arnos Vale is, by far, the best of your snorkelling options ... even if the seas are heavy it is safe to get out into the bay if you go to the far left side of the beach because the rest of the beach has coral right up to the breakwater and you can cut yourself on corals close to the surface in these areas near the sand.

If you go to the left of the beach you will find a deep channel that takes you out as much as 100 metres ... you can turn to the right as short as 20 metres without risking getting involved with any surf as long as you make sure you stay away from the beach.

Arnos Vale is good in heavy seas because it is less sandy and more rocks/coral and the water is clearer. But you must follow my advice and go to the far left of the beach to get out there and enjoy it during heavy seas.

Also make sure you do not get close to the centre of the beach during your swim because it is shallow and make sure you return to the beach via the same route I have recommended that you enter.

But please visit Parlatuvier ... it is a lovely beach but you need to be a good swimmer to get in and out.

Regards
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Bharatka
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Re: Some General Questions

Post by Bharatka » Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:05 am

Thank you Paul for the advice. I have an obscure question about the reefs actually that maybe you could answer. I found map of the coral reefs of Tobago, http://www.wri.org/image/view/9929/_original, which shows that there is a large coral reef on the south-east side of the island in the Carpuce/Prince's/Queen's bay area. However, as far as I can tell this side of the island is not useful for snorkelling or diving. Is this totally explained by heavy surf from the Atlantic?

Chand

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Re: Some General Questions

Post by Paul Tallet » Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:56 am

Yes ... the Atlantic side is dangerous in places with strong currents ... you will notice that fewer people go in the sea.

There are some places that are suitable for snorkelling if you take a boat trip and Speyside is the most popular where you can go to a reef just off Goat Island. It is quite a deep reef so you can't get up and close like you can in Arnos Vale.

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Re: Some General Questions

Post by Ronald » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:01 pm

I can only agree with Paul, it´s a dangerous side, sometimes VERY dangerous!

Last week two locals from south Tobago were snorkeling outside the southern tip of Tobago, they did not come up. Many local boats and Coast Guar were searching, even nearby Trinidad, and as far I know, they didn´t find them at all.

And higher up in Tobago on the Atlantic side, between Scarborough and Roxborough, can also be dangerous from time to time.

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Re: Some General Questions

Post by Andy K » Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:19 pm

The missing local divers were diving for lobsters with scuba gears. Their boat lost contact with the marker buoy.
This was not a case of underestimated currents but poor seamanship and probably bad or non existent equipment
on the vessel which was supposed to pick up the divers when they surface.

Once a dive team is properly trained and equipped and follow procedures, such incident is not likely and hardly heard
of in Tobago waters.

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