Tobago News & Events


Diving Update: Was Robinson Crusoe REALLY on Tobago?

Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe's fictional autobiography of the title character, spent 28 years as a castaway on "a remote tropical island near Trinidad" where he encountered cannibals, captives, and mutineers before being rescued. The details of Crusoe's island in the book are generally believed to be based on Tobago, since that island lies a short distance north of the Venezuelan coast near the mouth of the Orinoco river, in sight of Trinidad.

Fictional though the story may be, divers taking a private tour to Dead Man's Point with Tobago Dive Experience may have second thoughts after seeing this heavily encrusted human skull and nearby antique anchor.  Read the whole story here! 

Tobago Dive Experience also reports that two new dive sites have been opened - both geared toward the more "adventurous" divers.

One is called Marble Wall. Located on the north side of St. Giles, this dive bottoms off at 110 feet, and is a great area for pelagics. The wall face, which lies between 40' - 80' offers a myriad of macro opportunities. Divers can spot Batwing Crabs, Spotted Drums, Nudibranchs and Octopus to mention just a few.

Sleeping Dragon is the other newly opened site. Located on the backside of Little Tobago, it is also great for pelagics. Tarpons, Jacks, Permits, Mackerels and the occasional large Black Tip Sharks can be spotted at this site, which ranges in depth from 50' - 120'. The water surface conditions tend to be a bit rough in this area, meaning as owner/operator Sean Robinson likes to kid, "not a good site if your name happens to be "RALPH!"

Seahorses have recently taken up residence on the end of popular dive site Japanese Gardens. Hiding under a Brain Coral in a range of 35'-50', red, yellow and brown seahorses have been seen with the regularly. Harlequin Pipefish also have been found in this area. At the pier at Speyside, Orange Frog Fish have been seen in as little as 8' of water.

Don't miss Manta Madness this year!  Manta season has started and we are hoping for a repeat of last years events, when one of the first manta's of the season made quite a scene upon arrival.  In the midst of a PADI Instructor Development Course, the Course Director, Roy, was setting a surface marker off the beach at Manta Lodge, when one of our "Devil Rays" materialized and scared the living daylights out of him! Much to the instructor candidates enjoyment, it then proceeded to "run into" the PADI examiner as he entered the water!

The Mantas are being seen currently on Black Jack Hole, Coral Gardens, Cathedral and Spiny Colony as well as all along the beachfront of the Speyside Bay.

Polly wants a quacker??  Well we can't comment on Polly, but we can tell you that all our dive guides have now switched over from tank bangers to - you guessed it - underwater quackers!!  So if your buddy surfaces and starts asking if you heard the ducks underwater, you do not (necessarily) need to think he or she has gone off the deep end!  We may have many species of birds on Tobago - but so far no SALTWATER DIVING DUCKS!!


Non-Stop Flights from JFK to Tobago!
Caribbean Airlines now offers service to Tobago from JFK every Sunday on the airline's Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which has a seat capacity of 154 passengers. Caribbean Airlines flight BW529 departs JFK every Sunday at 2:35 pm and arrives at Tobago's Crown Point International Airport at 7:30 pm. Flight BW528 departs Tobago at 7:35 am, arriving JFK at 12:40 pm, allowing for excellent connections throughout the US and Canada.

Other options for travel to Tobago include flying into sister island Trinidad, which is served by American Airlines from Miami, Continental Airlines from Houston and Newark and Caribbean Airlines from JFK, Miami, Ft Lauderdale and Toronto - there is a short 20-minute shuttle between the islands (also operated by Caribbean Airlines).

 

Birding Update: Birding enthusiasts will be happy to hear that both the White-necked Jacobin (shown) and White Tailed Sabrewing Hummingbirds are now feeding regularly at the Lodge. 

The White-necked Jacobin is a widespread inhabitant of forest, usually being seen at a high perch or just above the canopy. It is less common at lower levels, except near hummingbird feeders. The male White-necked Jacobin is unmistakable with its white belly and tail, a white band on the nape and a dark blue hood. Females are highly variable, and may resemble adult or immature males.
 

The White-tailed Sabrewing is a "large species" as hummingbirds go, that breeds in northeastern Venezuela and Tobago. It was thought to have become extinct in Tobago after hurricane Flora in 1963, but the population has now largely recovered. This bird inhabits mountain forests and is often spotted by Manta guests during guided hikes into the Rain Forest. The male and female Sabrewing look fairly similar, but the female is duller, and the male shines bright green with a shiny blue throat and a white moustachial stripe. The three outer pairs of feathers of the tail are white and the shafts of the outer flight feathers are thickened and flattened which gives the distinctive feature of the Sabrewings. 


Rain Forest Night Safari
Rain Forest Night Safari: Walking through the jungle at night is an experience most of us have never had, but now is your chance! Manta Lodge can help you arrange a guided tour through the rainforest with nature guide Peter Cox where you will hear and often times see nocturnal animals such as armadillo, opossum, snakes, bats, owls and more. This tour can be arranged for you once you are on island. Minimum of 4 participants required. (best to bring your own headlamp!)


Tobago Attractions
Fort King George: This Fort is known as Tobago's main historic site. Charlottesville TobagoLocated in Scarborough, the island's capital, the fort commands the hilltop over the town and a huge stretch of coast and ocean approaches. It was built by the British in the 1700s when it was also captured and occupied by the French and renamed Fort Castries. The old officers quarters currently houses a craft shop and the former military hospital is now home to the National Fine Arts Centre, which displays Tobago art and sculpture.

Englishman's Bay: Englishman's Bay is a 1/4 mile long, white sand beach on the north side of the island with deep, clear water and shade providing palm trees. It is a popular destination for sunbathing and snorkeling and a nice place to spend a relaxing afternoon. Local artisans sell wares in booths set up at the entrance. Scarborough Market

Scarborough Market: Just a stone's throw from the bus station in Scarborough, this outdoor market's specialties are fresh fruit and vegetables, fish and other local fare. The busiest period for the market is on Fridays, Saturdays and early Sunday mornings. The island vendors are more than welcoming to visitors, but please be sure to bring cash as the preferred payment of choice.

Arnos Vale Water Wheel: The Arnos Vale Waterwheel, built in 1857 to power the mill of a now defunct sugar factory, is now the focal point of a nature park which includes a restaurant, museum, gift shop and theater. In addition to the wheel, the site still contains other industrial artifacts such as the original crushing rollers, boiler, and steam engine. The site is an ideal location for bird watchers and hikers.

Arnos Vale Hotel Afternoon Tea: Every afternoon at 4pm the al fresco restaurant at Arnos Vale Hotel comes alive with birdsong as they begin tea service with patrons simultaneous to fruit and seed service to the birds! This special bird watching ceremony is well-known by birdwatchers throughout the world who consider it to be a "must do" activity. Photographers will have ample opportunity to shoot a wide variety of hummingbirds, woodpeckers, Mot Mots and more at very close range. (Note to non-birders: watching the birders watch the birds may prove to be equally amusing!)

Tobago Events: For a complete calendar of Tobago Events please visit www.gotrinidadandtobago.com
 

 

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