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

March, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Don and Marilee Hughes, Mn, USA
Reviewer   (4 reports)
Report Number 4664
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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

sunny, windy, cloudy, dry  
calm, choppy, currents  
Water Temp
75   to 76    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 125    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
No decompression diving.  130 feet on air, 110 feet with nitrox.  Solo
diving with certification.   
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 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   
4 stars    
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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Other dive reports on Explorer Ventures

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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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