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Dive Review of Caribbean Explorer II in
Turks and Caicos

Caribbean Explorer II, Jan, 2006,

by Don & Marilee Hughes, Mn, USA . Report 2265.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, Belize, Saba, Statia, St. Kitts, Florida
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 77 to 0 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50 to 125 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No decompression diving, 130 feet or less, back to boat with 500 psi, dive with buddy unless solo certified, no diving after drinking.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments The two top level and five dive deck level rooms have desks with chairs, which would be great for laptop and camera work area. The four bottom level rooms dont have desks, but the dresser tops in those rooms could suffice for camera work area, though youd have to work standing up as the dresser tops in those bottom rooms are too high for a chair.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Good Caribbean diving off Providenciales, West Caicos, French Caye, and West Sand Spit, all completed from moorings except for one drift dive off the main boat at Smokestack Reef. The last two Friday morning dives of the trip were cancelled due to rough seas. Captain JF did super job at consistently getting us to the best dive sites available according to the weather. All sites we visited had great coral walls in good condition with areas above the walls in the 40-60 foot range to muck around. Reefs were healthy though some coral bleaching was present. Sharks, eagle rays, turtles, and one manta with assortment of tropicals, smaller critters, and macro subjects present. Solo diving allowed if you are certified. Back to boat with 500 psi. No decompression diving. No diving greater than 130 feet. Five dives each day. First dive of the day was after breakfast. Night dives were after supper. A crew member recorded each divers depth and remaining air on a hand held board. One of either dive master Angelie or Graham were in the water giving a guided tour at each site or dive on your own. Angelie did great job finding and pointing out macro life. Minimum of one hour was always provided between the morning dives with a longer interval between the two afternoon dives. Tank fills were consistently at 3000 psi or better. Nitrox ranged between 30 and 32%. Dive platform was ideal, at one foot or so above water level. Two hot water showers on dive platform. Camera rinse tank was large. Good sized camera table with camera towels. Enclosed area under the large camera table for battery charging. The boat was in good shape and clean. Rooms were good live-aboard size, clean, and with adequate storage and good lighting. Bathrooms have adequate shelf area for toiletries, etc. Room AC control worked well. Hot water was dependable. Rooms were cleaned while you ate breakfast. Towels were changed mid-week. The two top level and five dive deck level rooms have desks with chairs, which would be great for laptop and camera work area. The four bottom level rooms dont have desks, but the dresser tops in those rooms could suffice for camera work area, though youd have to work standing up as the dresser tops in those bottom rooms are too high for a chair. Comfortable salon area had a large television stocked with DVDs. There are two levels for outdoor lounge space. Food and between dive snacks by Stan were very good. Coffee, tea, pop, red and white wine, along with some hard liquor and several types of beer were available. No diving after drinking. Mario was the engineer. There were only three other divers aboard this week. The crew had a good attitude and seemed to enjoy their jobs. This combined with the diving, food, and boat all combined together to make this an excellent week of live-aboard diving. (Unfortunately our four checked bags never arrived with us on the island Saturday morning. Captain JF assisted with wetsuits and BCDs as well as arranged for our luggage to be delivered to the boat Monday morning at West Caicos.)
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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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