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

April, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Eric Ault, IL, U.S.A.
Reviewer   (5 reports)
Report Number 3348
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Bahamas, Cay Sal Bank, Los Roques, Saba, Cozumel, Utila, Belize, Cayman
Brac, Grand Turk, Hawaii, Galapagos
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, dry  
calm, surge, noCurrents  
Water Temp
78   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Recreational Limits for Nitrox or Air  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Carpeted camera table overlooking the dive platform.  Dedicated camera
rinse tanks.  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
Our group of eleven, mostly from the Chicago area, spent an enjoyable week
aboard the Turks and Caicos Explorer II.  The boat, which holds up to
twenty, is in good shape; the crew didnt spend a lot of time fixing things
as I have seen on other vessels.  I found the cabins to be pretty roomy by
liveaboard standards, even the lower cabins with bunks.  Some people found
the public areas of the boat to be a little cramped, however.  Everyone
agreed that the sectional sofa in the lounge was not very comfortable.  The
boat has a sun deck with about a dozen chaises as well as a covered flying
bridge for those in the SPF 30+ crowd.  Chef Stan who has been cooking on
boats for years continues his culinary magic on the TCEII.  His desserts
were particularly good.  Two refrigerators, one on the flying bridge and
one in the lounge, stock soft drinks and beer.  Red and white wines were
available along with a limited selection of hard liquors.  As on most
liveaboards, no drinking and diving.  There was a roomy, carpeted camera
table overlooking the dive platform.  A cameras-only rinse tank was
available.  Each diver was provided an aluminum 80 with a few larger or
smaller tanks as options.  Nitrox at around 31% was available for an extra
charge.  Most divers were using it.   Each station on the dive deck had
under-seat storage for small items.  With everyone gearing up the dive deck
became crowded.  We soon learned to stagger gearing up to avoid our
neighbors.  The largely Canadian crew was joined by one Scot and one
Frenchman.  They functioned smoothly and seemed to enjoy working together. 
Divemasters were available to lead every dive but mostly gave a tour of the
site rather than pointing out things of interest.  The TCEII is a
relatively tall vessel and as a result it swings at anchor as much if not
more than any other of the many liveaboards on which weve been.  This made
site navigation a bit trickier than usual.  Heavy Westerly winds with
accompanying surge made diving at many of the usual dive sites impossible. 
Most of our dives were done at French Cay or West Sand Spit.  Captain
Jean-Francois took advantage of the flat calm seas on Wednesday to do a
couple of semi-drift dives in an area the boat seldom visits.  But by
Thursday the winds had returned scrubbing the last two dives of the day. 
We enjoyed the healthy looking reefs during our week of diving along with
the usual tropicals. Caribbean reef sharks were seen on a number of dives
along with the occasional turtle, nurse shark and spotted eagle ray.  We
noted quite a few large Tiger and Nassau groupers, something not seen at
many locales these days.  Large schools of jacks swirled under the boat at
many dive sites.  Transfers to and from the airport are arranged but not
included in the price of the cruise.  Whats a dive trip without a travel
snafu?  The airport on Provo hasnt changed since I was last there about
eight years ago and is severely taxed by the current passenger volume. 
USAirways computers were down leaving their small staff to handwrite
boarding passes for three 757s worth of passengers on flights supposedly
due to depart at hourly intervals.  The airport manager (not USAirways)
prevented total chaos by grouping passengers from each flight.  Since we
were on the last flight we waited in line over four hours to check in
followed by 45 minutes more in the security line.  Our 3:15 p.m. flight
departed at 6:15 p.m.  Passengers on other airlines did seem to fair
better.  Our group agreed that we enjoyed the trip and would return to the
Turks and Caicos Islands and the TCEII.  We also agreed that we wouldnt
fly USAirways.  
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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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