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

February, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Bob and Carolyn Smith, MA, USA
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 1582
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Bonaire, Bahamas, Belize, New England
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, cloudy, dry  
calm, choppy, surge, noCurrents  
Water Temp
75   to 77    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
130 Foot Max.; return with 500 lbs minimum; do safety stops;   
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Large table and rinse tank, towels provided for cameras.  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
4 stars    
We just spent an enjoyable week as part of the second group of paying
passengers on the new Caribbean Explorer II.  We had trouble finding the
boat, despite an email from the main office two days before with a last
minute change of location and an erroneous phone number.  They apparently
are having trouble accessing dock space with this larger vessel.  They were
anchored in a large cove, alongside the old Caribbean Explorer, destined
for the Bahamas.  The crew brought the dinghy over to collect our luggage,
and Brian, the engineer, kindly drove us over to Turtle Cove so we could
have lunch and wait in the shade until Herbert came to pick us up.

The boat is beautiful, well appointed and nice layout, with roomy state
rooms and private ensuite heads with showers.  The dive deck is
conveniently located just aft of the salon.  There is an amply sized camera
table and large camera tank, which was a bit too deep.  The dive deck is
located a few steps down, and there is a place to sit to put on fins and
mask.  The dive platform is low to the water, making an easy entry, and the
ladders are sturdy and easy to climb.  Two lines hung off the boat for
safety stops.  They provided quite a ride when the boat swung around due to
wind and/or current.

As it was only in its third week of service, the crew was still shaking
down the boat, sometimes discovering problems that affected the passengers,
but nothing that couldnt be fixed.  The crew was short-staffed by one
person, and ended up short by two when Brian became seriously ill with a
bad infection that required us to motor back from West Cay so he could be
hospitalized.  Although the extra work was tough on the crew, they remained
cheerful, attentive and ever-helpful throughout the trip.  

Captain JF is a knowledgeable and personable captain who did his best to
provide us with the best diving possible, but the weather, while not awful,
did not work in his favor.  This boat swings quite a bit when it is breezy,
causing some ascents and safety stops to be a bit challenging.  The
government also has been slow in providing moorings (which the dive boats
apparently would be glad to install themselves), and JF anchored a couple
of times, once with disastrous consequences for some huge corals. 
Apparently he discovered the anchor chain on this boat lays down in the
sand more than the old boat did.  Hopefully hell stick with moorings in
the future, and I would encourage future passengers to request no

The dive sites ranged from OK to terrific.  The walls are spectacular in
their drop-offs.  We saw lobsters, crabs, eagle rays, plenty of sharks,
turtles, and moray eels, lots of queen angels, queen triggers, and all the
beautiful tropicals, and a great variety of soft and hard corals.  Water
temps ranged from 75 to 77 degrees.  Our 3 ml. fullsuits were perfect for
this time of year.  There were surface currents but only a couple of dives
with noticeable current below.  Viz was about 70 feet on average, greater
over the wall, less in the sandy areas.  Some of our most interesting dives
were in the shallowsespecially when we poked our heads into a cavern and
came eye to eye with a nurse shark that we became frightened, and in turn
frightened us when he charged between us to get away!

Stanley was our chef for the week, and made sure we were well fed.  He
prepared delicious meals and snacks from scratch every day.  Almost every
time I walked past the galley, he was chopping fresh vegetables.  The rest
of the crew, Julie, Graham and Mike worked diligently to keep things moving
smoothly.  A very enjoyable trip!
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Other dive reports on Explorer Ventures

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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