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Dive Review of Turcs & Caicos Explorer in
Turks and Caicos

Turcs & Caicos Explorer, Feb, 2007,

by T Griffin, MD, USA . Report 3558.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Greater Caribbean, Mexico, Australia
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 78 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 70 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Return to the boat with 500 psi
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales >2
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Has a separate table for photography, including a huge rinse tank for camera use only. We were able to leave our camera in the tank, and were lucky to discover a small leak before we took it down to depth.

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments We arrived at Provo a day early, hoping to get a chance to explore the town, only to discover there really isn't a town to explore. We always arrive a day early for a live-aboard, just to avoid jet lag, or luggage delays. Another group of 4 people were delayed due to weather, and didn't arrive on the boat until the second day.
The TCEII was captained by Jean-Francois, also known as JF. Probably the best captain I've toured with, he has an easy-going but hard working manner that puts you at ease and gets the job done. We were worried that we might have to return to Provo to pick up the missing divers (and miss a dive) but the captain worked it out for us to stay at the dive site while they sent the tender to retrieve them. We did dive the same site all day, but that was better than not diving at all.
The boat's cabins are reasonably sized for a live-aboard, all with private bathrooms; there are queen or double beds in each room, and two suites upstairs, although I do not believe that they had more space than the downstairs rooms.
The dive deck itself was fairly roomy, although I felt like the actual set-up areas for the divers was a little cramped. Fortunately, divers took turns in gearing up and it wasn't much of a problem. The dive briefings were detailed: where to go, what to look for.
The dive staff was also above average. A DM would be on every dive, and would lead a dive if you requested. Sometimes that is good, because trying to find that one blue anemone on that wall of coral can be difficult! Most of the dive sites were similar type walls, and there was a lot to explore.
We were fortunate to have good weather and the captain took us out to West Sand Spit, where there was no other boats to be seen. Here the diving was pristine. A lone dolphin joined us for an incredible adventure. Later that day we spotted whales and had an afternoon of whale watching from the boat. Another incredible dive location was JF's secret dive site - the Smoke Stacks - names for the huge barral sponges found along the dive. Lush soft coral forrest abounded on this drift dive.
The food on board was average no complaints here. We dont eat red meat, so the chef always had a separate plate prepared for us.
There were mechanical problems on our trip. Some of them could be upsetting and ruin your dive trip. But we chose not to let it bother us and enjoyed our vacation for what we had. I would highly recommend the TCEII, and especially captain JF.
Departing TC, we choose an mid-afternoon flight, hoping again to be able to explore the town. But since there really isn't anything to explore, and the boat is a very long way from anywhere, it makes no sense to delay the departure. I recommend taking the first flight of the day not as many people, no lines at security.
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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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