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

August, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Jeanne Downey, PA, USA
Top Contributor   (39 reports, with 5 Helpful votes)
Report Number 5024
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Bahamas, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cocos, Socorro, Galapagos,
Bonaire, Curacao, etc.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
85   to    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
110' on Nitrox. 60 minutes or 500 psi.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Camera table on rear of boat gets crowded fast. Small chargin station under
camera table. Lots of electrical outlets in cabins.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
5 stars   
4 stars    
Nineteen divers and one vacationer traveled to Provodenciales in the Turks
& Caicos Islands where we were met by a representative of the Turks
& Caicos Explorer liveaboard boat. He organized our taxi ride and 20
minutes later we arrived at the boat, their newest.
After an extremely short briefing, we were led to our cabins where we
unpacked, and then we wandered around the boat and set up our dive gear. Of
course, longer briefings came later, but it was nice not being corralled
for an hour before getting to explore the boat.
There are 3 levels of cabins. The two top-end cabins had double beds,
closet, chest of drawers, desk, more under-bed drawers, TV, and DVD player.
The three mid-level cabins each had two single bed (no bunk beds), some
kind of drawer space, depending on where in the boat it was located,
under-bed drawers, and a closet, some smaller than others. Three cabins
were on the bottom level; these had bunk beds, small closet, and  some
drawer space. All cabins had private, decently sized bathrooms. The two
mid-level cabins in the bow had extra windows and were very bright. Purser
Sandy did a great job of keeping the cabins immaculate, as well as
collecting our money at the end of the trip.
The salon had a small sitting area for relaxing and chatting, and several
tables for dining. There was also a TV with a large DVD selection, and a
lending library. The galley was small, but weve seen much smaller. There
was a serving area for the buffet meals and another, smaller area for
coffee, hot water, soft drinks, beer, and liquor. All drinks were included.
Cookies were always available. 
The dive deck was on the same level as the salon. It was set up quite
nicely; wetsuits were hung bow to stern down the middle, out of the way,
and tanks were then set up in 4 rows, two rows facing each other on each
side of the wetsuits, also bow to stern. When the compressor was running,
the air was vented up through the wetsuits, offering warm wetsuits for
donning. There was one rinse tank for cameras and two smaller rinse tanks
for everything else, with disinfectant. The camera table was at the rear,
out in the open, where salt spray could be a problem; it was fine for our
trip, but if everyone had a DSL or video camera, it would get extremely
crowded. All the divers were using Nitrox, and the fills were done quickly.
The ice machine was also located on the dive deck.
After gearing up, we walked down several steps to a large dive platform;
there were two ladders and two areas for giant stride entries. It was also
possible to giant stride from the dive deck. Two showers with adjustable
temperatures, a wonderful concept, were always available; it truly was
unending hot water. Some never bothered with showers in their cabins. 
Up one level from the salon was the sundeck, with about a dozen lounges and
a couple chairs, and up yet one more level was a shaded seating area with
several cushioned benches, tables, and a second refrigerator with drinks.
Both levels were very popular.
Because we were threatened by tropical storm Ana, Captain Ken took the boat
the farthest distance first, about 3 hours, to French Cay, opposite the
usual order. We worked our way back towards port, ready to make a run for
it if needed. 
Five dives were available each day, except the last day when 5 AM and 8 AM
dives were scheduled. The boat can only dock during high tides, so arrivals
and departures are scheduled around that. Either Dave, or Joe, dive
instructors, or engineer Doug were in the water to lead those who were
interested, otherwise we were on our own. We were asked to limit our dives
to one hour and 500 psi; after 70 minutes they start hunting for what they
assume is a missing diver. The first few dives this was a bit annoying, but
then my computer time started running out before my tank was low on air.
The diving was decent Caribbean wall and reef diving and I was pleased to
see reef and nurse sharks on many dives, along with several turtles and
friendly groupers, particularly Loretta, who kissed my camera lens. The
younger turtles could have cared less we were there, partly because the
area is a marine sanctuary, and I got some great shots. We also saw several
lionfish, some of them a couple feet across; I thought it interesting when
I spotted a trumpetfish attempting to shadow one, although not too close!
All meals were served buffet-style. Cereal, oatmeal, toast, and yogurt were
always available for breakfast, plus eggs or pancakes on alternating days.
Lunches and dinners were full meals, ranging from lasagna to pork to
chicken to hamburgers, with salad, homemade biscuits, vegetables, and
scrumptious desserts after dinners. One night was Thanksgiving dinner with
all the trimmings. Of course there were snacks after every dive, including
hot cocoa after the night dive. Chef Stan, a local, kept us well-fed and
tried to meet dietary restrictions.
Night dives offered us a few octopuses, feeding stingrays, hunting sharks,
crabs of various kinds, lobsters, and shrimp. The black jacks are a
paintheyve learned to hunt using divers lights and they got in the way.
When I shined my light on a lion fish, though, the black jack practically
screeched to a halt! 
The 5 AM dive the last morning was supposed to be a dawn dive, but it was
too early and I didnt see much. Right before I got out, it started getting
light and the action picked up, but we had a high tide deadline at the dock
we had to beat.
We enjoyed the diving, the boat is comfortable, the crew top-notch, and
its pretty easy to get there. We would not hesitate to return.

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All Turks and Caicos Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Turks and Caicos
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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