Turks and Caicos Aggressor
April/May 2012 Followed the advice of friends who knew I love drop offs and walls and went to the Turks and Caicos, Provo. Spent 4 days mostly on the beach as besides watersports and shopping there is not much to see or visit on the island. Stayed at Turtle Cove Inn, only 15 min from the airport, a nice but modest place at the Marina. Right next is a bar, so I had the full sound in my room nearly every night. They don´t serve any meals there, you have to look around for something solid. On the next corner I found Green Beans, ideal for breakfast and light snacks and salads. For Dinner I mostly went to Tiki Hut, a nice partly open air place right at the Marina, where you can enjoy beautiful sunsets. Main course ran about 20 – 30 $, delicious meals, fish, local specialties, ribs, steak, pasta etc.
It was my first booking with Aggressor Fleet. Even before the start of my trip I was impressed of their internet check with each customer. They ask you for all information on your travel schedule, special requirements, dive experience, insurance etc. So I was not surprised to get my first message on arrival, pick up would be on Sat. at around 3 p.m. for the boat. Together came 12 US guys from a dive and fan club called “Doghouse Divers”, one Spanish girl and me. The boot was not fully booked, so I was lucky to get a single cabin and even the shared bathroom with the next cabin was my own. Amanda the Captain and Rob the Engineer did the welcome and info thing. Both were fantastic and thorough in the way they handled things, especially the emergency procedures were expertly explained. Dive briefings for me were an amazing surprise in superb rhetoric and always mixed with some nice local story or events. The boat was just great, I guess I don´t have to emphasize all amenities, but honestly I didn´t expect less on an Aggressor. Jacuzzi, hot towels, snacks after each dive are just natural for them,. The whole package I would describe as an “A team” on an “A boat”. Amanda and Rob you would find in every job there is on the boat. The captain was even seen in the kitchen doing dishes or serving lunch. I bow to that! Food with Poncho as chef was a mouth watering delicious five star treat. He sometimes even prepared some special gluten free dish for me, woooouuuh. Sad to see, he is leaving the Aggressor going back home to Mexico, Cabo San Lucas on some other boat.
You could do 5 dives a day, I choose to only do 3, as I love to go deep and my computer would start to complain after 3. It was nice for me to feel no pressure on me only doing 3. Most times they let me run on rather long reins. My dive buddy was not that experienced and stayed shallow. I guess I choose the wrong buddy there or vice versa. We always put the boat to some buoy right next to the wall. So you just jumped of the mother boat and followed the reef. Water was around 26 degrees C, vis more than 50 m. We had sharks, turtles and eagle rays nearly on every dive. Two times we had a bunch of dolphins joining us on the dive, a lovely experience. Fish life on the reef was rather poor, I definitely expected more. This however seems to be a problem of most places in the Caribbean I feel, if you are used to Red Sea, Maldives, Indonesia. Most dives down to the reef reached 40 feet or more, so no chance of a nice safety stop in a shallow coral garden here. The walls were beautiful, I enjoyed the many crevices, chimneys, overhangs where you always had the chance to find something special. On the edge of the wall you had a colourful mixture of sponges and coral.
Two days we had problems with the flushing system of the heads. So at the end, Amanda offered Nitrox for free, to compensate for that trouble. There is a 45 $ hotel/tourist tax to pay on the boat, similar to that on the island places. Weather was good, partly clouded with sometimes fresh winds.