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Dive Review of Explorer Ventures -- T&C Explorer II in
Turks and Caicos/French Caye, West Caicos, Prov

September, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Tammy Hauk, MO, US (2 reports)
Report Number 5709
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Fiji, Bonaire, Red Sea, Roatan, Florida Keys, St. Croix, Cozumel, Belize
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
85   to 86    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
One hour time limit, as long as you did not go into deco or exceed oxygen
uptake limits  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
The boat has a very large camera-only rinse tank right beside a very large
carpet-covered table area, and towels to shield the cameras from the sun. 
Crew were happy to hand your camera to you after you got in the water, and
take it from you before you climbed back up the ladder.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
3 stars   
5 stars    
The EVII arranged for pick-up at Providenciales airport, and from the
moment we arrived at the dock, the crew of the EVII were welcoming,
friendly, helpful, efficient & professional.  Our gear bags were placed
on the dive deck so we could set up our equipment, and any other bags were
taken to our berth.  Each berth had its own bathroom, with shower, head
& sink.  When unpacked, all bags were taken by the crew to a storage
area in the nose of the boat.  The boat has a shaded deck up top with a
beer fridge & seating.  Down one level was the bridge, 2 VIP suites
& the sun deck.  Down one level was the dive deck, dry salon &
eating area, and main berths.  Lower level had the rest of the berths,
storage, & crew berths.  We had dinner & a boat briefing the first
night, then headed to French Caye.  We set up our gear once, and the tank
fills were done right at your station.  Our entire group was diving Nitrox,
and they handled most of us doing 5 dives each day without a hitch.  If
your tank was low, they would top you off before you got in the water. 
Nitrox ranged from 29-31% all week.  The gear deck had two gear rinse
tanks, two mask rinse 'trash cans', and the camera rinse tank.  Wetsuits
& skins hung behind the tanks & over the compressor, so they would
dry most of the way out between dives.  We had 3 DM's available during our
week, and they took turns giving excellent dive briefings with white board
detailed drawings of the site and leading the dives.  We were allowed to
dive our own computer profiles, with the DM or not.  French Caye had the
only surface chop and mildly strong current we encountered all week, which
brought the pelagics:  many black-tip reef sharks, spotted eagle rays,
turtles, and large grouper were spotted on every dive.  All week, we would
have breakfast, then do 2 morning dives on a site, then the boat would move
during lunch & the 2 afternoon dives and night dive would be on a new
site.  The boat swings a wide arc when moored, so most did our safety stop
waiting for the boat to swing back to us rather than chase it around.  They
do have two weighted hang lines off the stern, and you could go for a heck
of a ride if you caught one (but watch your depth if you haven't cleared
your safety stop!)  West Caicos & Provo were dead calm with negligible
current, and though we lost most of the sharks, we still saw a few off the
walls.  Photographers were thrilled with the variety of critters, and some
of the macro shots were amazing.  When exiting the water, the crew was
right there to help (or no,t if that was your preference), and they greeted
you back on the boat by name & noted your dive details in their log,
and offered freshly baked snacks.  After the night dives, crew would offer
to pour warm water in your wetsuit while you were taking care of your gear.
 The chef was wonderful.  Meals were never repeated, and were delicious. 
We had several vegetarians and a vegan in our group, and no one went
hungry.  The Captain and 3 DM's were more than happy to spend time with us
between dives and in the evenings, and were always happy to answer our
questions, or help us look critters up on their library.  There was a
variety of movies - complete with popcorn - in the evenings.  When I
decided after the first night that my mattress was too hard for my personal
preference, the crew was more than happy to let me sleep on the salon sofa.
 I will definitely dive from this boat, with this crew, again!
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Diving Guide to Turks and 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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