Of the many island jewels scattered across the Caribbean, the island of Tobago is a true diamond in the rough. In contrast to the heavy industrialization that has taken place on its sister island of Trinidad, it is a land of heavily forested mountains and lush valleys.The unspoiled quality of the land is not only mirrored below the surface, there is also an extra element of raw, even untamed beauty to these waters. Where sea meets shore, hillsides turn to cliffs and huge spires of volcanic rock stand like gaunt sentinels. No other island in the Caribbean can boast the same magnitude of rock islands, sea mounts and pinnacles.Gliding down the sharply sloped contours of sites like Black Jack Hole or Keleston Drain, divers encounter a living garden overrun with luxuriant concentrations of soft corals and sponges in a myriad of hues. Scattered throughout are magnificent rounded heads of brain coral that stand in stark white contrast against the copious varieties of branching tube and rope sponges. Tobago is home to the largest living specimen of brain coral recorded in the West Indies - a massive organism that measures 16 feet across and stands 8 feet above the surrounding reef. Key to Tobago's prolific undersea life is its location. A part of the South American Continental Shelf, Tobago is washed by both the turbulent Guyana Current moving northward and the North Equatorial Current pushing in from the open Atlantic. The mixing of these currents, combined with the periodic intermingling of the nutrient-rich effluent from the Orinoco River, generates an abundance of plankton.These converging currents sweep past the island's underwater summits at speeds ranging from a leisurely half-knot to a blistering 4 knots. This constant water movement sculpts sea fans and giant barrel sponges into bizarre formations.Layered throughout the water column are clouds of small chromis, creole wrasse and boga that come to feast on the bounty brought by the currents. The feeding schools in turn provide a target-rich environment for darting, slashing jacks and rainbow runners on the hunt.Tarpon, barracuda, mackerel and sea turtles prowl the summits of the undersea pinnacles, and open water denizens such as tuna, wahoo and manta rays may swing in for a visit. Truly, the waters of Tobago are an untamed treat for those who like their diving a little on the wild side. For more information about Tobago and Tobago diving, click on the home page bolow.
Find exclusive opportunities and packages offered to Society members on the member benefits site.