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Dive Review of Turks and Caicos Aggressor in
Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos Aggressor, Sep, 2005,

by Jay Newby, AL, USA . Report 1948.

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

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 84 to 86 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 60 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Dive with buddy, depth limit of 110'(not enforced)
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments 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 www.handlerphoto.com. 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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