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Dive Review of Explorer Ventures --Turks & Caicos Explorer II in
Bahamas/Southern Bahamas

Explorer Ventures --Turks & Caicos Explorer II, May, 2012,

by David E Reubush, VA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 47 reports with 14 Helpful votes). Report 6576.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Australia, Belize, Bimini, Bonaire, Caymans, Curacao, Galapagos, Indonesia, Philippines, Red Sea, St. Thomas, Turks & Caicos
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 78 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 70 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Max 110 ft., return with 500 psi, max dive time 60 minutes
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 1 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 1 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments No camera room, but working on the tables in the dining area was not an issue. Large rinse tank for cameras. Big issue was lack of stuff to shoot.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 2 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 1 stars
Comments The trip started off on a down note when I arrived at the airport in Provo and found out that, while a crew member met me at the airport, I was responsible for the cab fare to the boat. This was the first live-aboard where I have had to pay for airport transfers. Things started looking up when I arrived at the boat and found a relatively large boat with space for 20 had only 9 guests. All the singles got private rooms and there was ample room on the dive deck for hanging wetsuits and gearing up without bumping into your neighbor. That said, I believe things would be a bit crowded with a full boat. Another very positive was the discovery that the chef was Stan who was formerly on the Peter Hughes Sea Dancer. I liked Stan's food on the Sea Dancer and his food this time did not disappoint. On the boat the rest of the crew was attentive and aimed to please. The boat was comfortable, clean, and had plenty of room, particularly on the upper decks, to find a place to lounge between dives - either in the sun or shaded from the sun whichever you wanted. The cabins were relatively roomy and the beds comfortable. The A/C worked very well. The operation was very environmentally responsible and had extra crew onboard who were installing moorings at locations where there were none to avoid reef damage from the anchor. This trip was not the boat's standard itinerary in the Turks and Caicos. On this trip the boat went from Provo to Great Exuma, was going to stay in the Bahamas for a few trips, and then return to Provo. Now, the disappointment. The quality of the diving was such that we were often shaking our heads and wondering why bother with the moorings because there was almost nothing to see except fat lionfish. To give you an idea of the quality of diving I am normally someone who does every dive on every trip and have been the only one to do a dive on a number of occasions. On this trip, which offered 5 dives a day, I never did more than 3. Our first several days of diving were off uninhabited islands where there is nobody to even try to limit the lionfish impact. Most notable were the total lack of cleaning stations - the lionfish have eaten all the cleaners - and the relative abundance of fish with isopods and other parasites. Once we got to islands which had resorts with diving the fish life improved somewhat and there were a few cleaning stations, but still lots of fat lionfish. I assume that the dive resorts are taking lionfish and it is actually having a positive impact on the quality of the fish life and the reef. My other complaint is that the dive masters' typical dive was to swim out for 20 minutes, turn around and then swim back to the boat for 20 minutes. They normally also went deep to make sure that you burned up your air so that the dives did not last longer than the allotted 60 minutes. After we got back to the boat, of the 3 dive masters, I only remember Lynn hanging around to look for stuff to show us, but there was never very much to find. After a couple of days with this routine some of the photographers gave up going on the "guided" dives and went off on their own to try to find things to shoot. All in all, I'd go on this boat again, but with the caveats that it not be this itinerary and I'd skip the guided dives to do my own thing.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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