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

September, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Jeremy Ellis, GA, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (9 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 2949
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Aruba, Bahamas, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Curacao, Caymans, Cozumel,
Florida Keys, St. Vincent, Turks & Caicos
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, noCurrents  
Water Temp
83   to 85    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Boat enforced 130 ft limit for divers using air and 110 ft limit for divers
using Nitrox.  They asked people to limit day dives to 70 minutes and night
dives to 60 minutes.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
The boat is equipped with a very large rinse bucket and a very large dry
table that also has multiple charging stations.  There are always 4-5 dry
towels to dry camera equipment.  The staff goes out of their way to look
after your equipment by handing it to you after you enter the water and
collecting it from you after the dives and placing it in the rinse bucket
for you.  The even have q-tips to apply lubricant to O-rings.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
5 stars    
The boat is a first class operation.  The captain and crew go out of there
way to make the trip a memorable one and to accommodate your every need. 
Before you arrive they ask you to fill out forms and mail them in.  On
these forms, they ask you for any special requests (make sure you specify
preference on beer brand, liquor or wine).  They try very hard to
accommodate all of your requests.  

The boat set up is fantastic.  There are several rooms below the main deck
(which are bunk beds and a private bathroom), rooms on the main desk (which
are two single beds and a private bathroom) and 2 VIP suites (which have
queen size beds and a private bathroom).  All of the rooms have storage
space, ample room to charge devies, a desk and individual AC controls.  The
AC worked very well in all of the rooms except the ones below the main
deck.  The salon was very large with 3 tables for meals, a large couch and
a 32 inch TV with DVD/VCR and stereo.  They have all of the Reef Books on
the boat as well as books guests have left behind and there is an extensive
movie library.

You can complete 27 dives during a normal week, but you are putting
yourself through a fairly grueling day.  Breakfast at 7am, dive at 8:15,
dive at 10:30, lunch at noon, dive at 1:30pm, dive at 4:30pm, dinner at
6:15pm and night dive at 8pm and then you repeat this every day.  On the
last day, you are woken at 5:30am for a 6am "dawn" dive and a 8am
dive so you can get back to port for noon.

You set up your equipment on a tank on the first day and never need to
touch it again as you keep the same tank all week long.  The crew has your
tank refilled within 20-30 minutes after each dive.  Almost everyone on our
boat used Nitrox and they have an analyzer and log to track Nitrox usage. 
The fills ran between 32% and 35% all week long between 3000 and 3500 PSI. 
There is ample storage space for all of your gear and hangers to dry your
wetsuit / skins.  

There is a briefing before each dive and then the pool is open for diving. 
You walk down the stairs to the dive platform, put your fins on and jump
in.  There are 2 hang lines down to 25 feet and the ladders to exit are
very large and easy to use.  

The staff could not be friendlier and give you a lot of extra touches like
filling your wetsuit with hot water after a night dive and a fresh hot

The food is OK but I would have enjoyed more fresh fish.  All meals are
buffet style and included the usual breakfast fare (eggs, pancakes, french
toast, cereal, oatmeal, toast/muffins, etc.), hot and cold lunches
(sandwiches, hamburgers, salads, etc.) and hot dinners (pork chops,
chicken, turkey, pasta, salads, etc.).  Dessert were great as well.

There is ample space for you to sprawl out on the boat including a sun deck
with 10 lounge chairs and a fly bridge that can easily hold 10-15 people
and remains shaded most of the day with a nice breeze.  We spent most of
our time on the fly bridge (which also has a 2nd fridge for cokes/beer).

The dive sites are great.  You tend to anchor at a site and do 2-3 dives at
that site.  I would have enjoyed moving around a little bit more, but
remaining at the sites did help you go back and get that photograph you
missed on the last dive (such as the seahorse someone found on one of our
dives).  The visibility was not as good as I would have expected.  Around
Provo the visbility was 20-40 feet, West Caicos was 40-60 feet, French Cay
was 50-70 feet and the White Sand Spit was 60-80 feet.  We saw reef or
nurse sharks on every dive and spotted eagle rays on almost every dive.  We
saw several octopus, squid, lobster, crabs, shrimps, etc.  We even saw
several dolphin as we cruised between dive sites.  Only thing we didn't see
that was in the area was a Manta Ray.  The walls were stunning and the
coral life was fantastic.  The diving was better the further away from
Provo you were with French Cay probably being the best diving.  

When we arrived back in Provo on the Friday, we were able to walk around
the Aggressor that was on a down week.  After seeing both boats, our group
made the right decision to go with the Explorer.  The boat had a much
better layout with more open space, larger rooms (except the VIP room), a
larger sun deck, etc.

Overall, I would highly recommend the boat and crew!
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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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