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Dive Review of Explorer Ventures/Turks & Caicos Explorer II in
Turks and Caicos

Explorer Ventures/Turks & Caicos Explorer II, Mar, 2009,

by Don and Marilee Hughes, Mn, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports). Report 4664.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Solomon Islands, Cozumel, Turks & Caicos, Bahamas, Saba, Statia, St. Kitts, Mexico, Belize, Little Cayman Island, Florida.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, currents
Water Temp 75 to 76 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 125 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions No decompression diving. 130 feet on air, 110 feet with nitrox. Solo diving with certification.
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 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 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 [None]

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Excellent communication is provided from the main office in Texas before, during, and after the booking process. Boat is in good shape and well maintained. The two upper cabins and main deck cabins all have good space for a live-aboard, including desk with chair, much appreciated for working with photos on a laptop, etc! I didnt see inside the lower deck cabins this trip, but in 2007 those rooms didnt have the desk and chair. Id call and ask about the desk and chair should you desire that room feature. Beds were made and room touched up during breakfast, with turn down service during supper. Towels were changed out mid week. There was always instant hot water in the bathroom. Bright lighting in the bathroom, appreciated for shaving, etc. Good lighting in the remainder of the cabin also. Plenty of storage space in our main floor cabin, more than adequate even with a full compliment of photography equipment. Charging of equipment is okay to complete in the cabins, very convenient. The sun deck has 10-12 or so lounger chairs. Above that deck is the fly deck with shade from the sun, complete with a refrigerator stocked with pop and beer. Wine stocked in salon refrigerator. Both the beer and wine were better quality than other live-aboards weve been on. Hard liquor was also available. Stan wasnt cooking this trip, but Dave did a super job as cook this week. His between-dive snacks were the best weve had on a live-aboard. His meals were also of the same high caliber. Each divers depth and remaining oxygen were recorded after each dive. A dive master is in the water on each dive providing a tour of the reef. No decompression dives. Nitrox fills were consistently 32%. Tank fills were 3000-3300 psi. The boat had 19cu ft pony bottles for rent. It would be great if more diving facilities would provide this service, a much needed savings with check-in luggage weight allowances when traveling. The crew worked well together. They seemed to enjoy their jobs. Five dives offered each day, one of which was a night dive. Four dives during the week were done drift style from the boat due to windy conditions throughout the tail end of the week. Theres a large camera table with a large camera rinse tank, excellent for photography gear. Crew kept the tank water very clean and the camera table clear of non-photography items. Camera equipment was handled with care. Two dive gear rinse tanks with detergent added were changed twice each day, another job well done here. Two warm-water showers are on the dive deck. The diving gets better as the week progresses, ending with dives on the awesome walls in French Key. The boat will have a cab pick you up at your hotel or airport location the Saturday of departure. Depending on tide level, its possible youll be transported to or from the boat on the dinghy. A cab is provided and paid for to take guests into town Friday evening for dinner and back to the boat afterwards. Weve stayed twice at Comfort Suites at Grace Bay prior to boarding the boat. This is good basic accommodations at a fraction of the cost of other hotels on the island. We also stayed once at Sibonne which is also very good place to stay at a higher price, but still much less than the other island hotels.
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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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