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Dive Review of Turks and Caicos Aggressor in
Turks and Caicos

September, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Jay Newby, AL, USA
Report Number 1948
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Kona Aggressor, BVI Cuan Law, Grand Cayman, Bonaire
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
84   to 86    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Dive with buddy, depth limit of 110'(not enforced)  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
2 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
4 stars    
We did back to back charters from 8-27-05 to 9-10-05.  The first week I was
in an intense underwater photo workshop with Maricio Handler and Raoul
Touzon.  This is an intense weeklong workshop with two National Geographic
Photographers who are great photo intructors.  The workshop is designed for
housed SLR camera systems.  We had 10 digetal and 2 film participants. 
Each morning begins with a lecture right after breakfast, diving all day
and one night dive and open critique of our work at 10 pm each evening.  It
was amazing to see how everyone's work dramatically improved over the
course of the week. We shot wide angle, macro and splits and (those
shooting digetal) we did our editing and post production.  I highly
recommend Mauricio's workshop for anyone who is serious about their UW
housed photography and wants to make a dramatic improvement to their work
and workflow, no matter what your level of skill is. Mauricio's website is  I shoot an Nikon D70 with an Aquatica housing, TLC
arms and two Ikelight DS125 strobes.   About the Aggressor, I stayed on an
extra week to apply what I learned in the workshop and it was well worth
it. My shooting got better and better throughout the two weeks.  The boat
is owned and captained by Piers VanderWalt and he has a great crew.  The
boat is well laid out and has ample room on the dive deck for divers and
shutterbugs.  They have a very large camera table to handle lots of cameras
and video.  The diving is great (for the Caribbean), every dive is a wall
dive, some quite dramatic.  Overall, the health of the reef is great though
a few dive sites had algae on it. You see reef sharks on every dive, as
well as frequent sitings of large groupers, turtles and eagle rays and
southern sting rays.  The water was 84 to 86, mostly 86 and quite toasty! 
We had no bad weather during our time there, though we got caught up in
Hurricane Katrina when it hit Miami and it took us an extra two days to get
there.  Luckily, we left two days early so we arrived on Saturday, without
any of our baggage.  The crew loaned us all the dive equipment my wife and
I needed, I bought a swimsuit on board and my wife was loaned one so we did
on loose any diving.  The crew and their land-based taxi driver Joe did an
great job in locating and getting our bags to Provo.  We got them on Monday
morning.  I was also fortunate that Aquatica had loaned a D70 camera and
housing to the boat so I was able to immediately start shooting on a system
I was very familar with.  I have three things that I think the TCI boat is
lacking on: 1. The air conditioning on the boat kept our room freezing most
of the time, we usually kept of vent taped up with duct tape.  The galley
was often very cold as well.  We were on the boat last year and it seems to
be an ongoing problem.  2.  The food was just average (also like last year)
and I expect a higher level of quality from Aggressor.  Comparing the food
to the Kona Aggressor, which we were on in July, I would say the food is
actually poor.  There was little variety of food at the main meals, and the
quality of the food itself was just average.  The fish was frozen, not
fresh as you might expect in a place like Provo where there are lots of
fishing boats in the marina. There was very little to snack on other than
chips and granola bars and the served morning and afternoon snacks  were
usually very greasy or sugary foods.  It looks like the boat doesn't put
much emphasis on the meals, as in other boats I have been on.  3.  Our room
often had sewer smell coming out of the shower drain, which we were able to
fix by keeping the ventilation fan on.  Overall, this is a good destination
with very good diving and a caring crew.  Just don't expect gourmet meals. 
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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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