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Dive Review of Turks and Caicos Aggressor II in
Dominican Republic/Silver Bank

March, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Ted Kern, TX, US
Reviewer   (4 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 5402 has 1 Helpful vote
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, Utila, Cayos Cochinos, Bonaire, Mahahaul,
Chinchorro Banks, Palau, Galapagos, Yap, Turks & Caicos, Saba, St.
Kitts, Statia
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
75   to 85    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 50    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Entry in the water was TIGHTLY controlled by the crew and only the most
PERFECT situation would allow an in water encounter.  They no longer allow
you to free dive with the whales as well.   
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Tropical Fish
Small Critters
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
How can a subject matter of humpback whales NOT be good?  It is
dissapointing however when you are bound to a zodiac floating above a
mother and calf 20 feet below you and being told you are not allowed to get
in the water.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
Shore Diving  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars    
3 stars   
2 stars    
This was our second trip to the Silver Bank - first was in 2003.  The
"Rules of Engagement" have changed significantly!  I can only
assume this is due to an accident that occurred in 2007.

To have an in-water encounter, the situation had to be PERFECT.  There had
to be a mother asleep below, with a baby coming up for air.  The baby had
to even descend back down to mother before entering the water.  SEVERAL
times we would get close to a couple that were moving very slow and
spending long amounts of time on the surface, but were not able to get in
the water with them.  In 2003 we were in the water with every possible
opportunity.  After all this is 1 of 2 places in the world you are allowed
to get in the water with the whales.  To put it in perspective; we were on
zodiacs for a total of 36 hours and spent 10 minutes in the water!  Partly
because it is nature and you can't guarantee whale encounters, but most of
the time due to the rule changes.  That and the fact you are no longer able
to free dive makes this trip dissapointing.  It would be as if you went
scuba diving and were told you can't go below 30 feet!  Gee look, there is
a really cool eel at 60 feet - but you can't go there!

Very disappointed in the change of the rules.  They have truly dumbed it
down to the lowest common denominator.  It is still amazing to be close to
the humpbacks, but for the price you pay - you might as well go to Hawaii
and do a whale watching tour.  At least you would be in Hawaii.
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Other dive reports on Aggressor Fleet

All Dominican Republic Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Dominican Republic
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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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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