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Dive Review of Turks and Caicos Aggressor II in
Dominican Republic/Silver Bank

Turks and Caicos Aggressor II, Mar, 2010,

by Ted Kern, TX, US (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 5402 has 1 Helpful vote.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, Utila, Cayos Cochinos, Bonaire, Mahahaul, Chinchorro Banks, Palau, Galapagos, Yap, Turks & Caicos, Saba, St. Kitts, Statia
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather cloudy Seas choppy
Water Temp 75 to 85 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 30 to 50 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Entry in the water was TIGHTLY controlled by the crew and only the most PERFECT situation would allow an in water encounter. They no longer allow you to free dive with the whales as well.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales > 2
Corals N/A Tropical Fish N/A
Small Critters N/A Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics 5 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments How can a subject matter of humpback whales NOT be good? It is dissapointing however when you are bound to a zodiac floating above a mother and calf 20 feet below you and being told you are not allowed to get in the water.

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation N/A Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 2 stars
Value for $$ 2 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 2 stars
Comments This was our second trip to the Silver Bank - first was in 2003. The "Rules of Engagement" have changed significantly! I can only assume this is due to an accident that occurred in 2007.

To have an in-water encounter, the situation had to be PERFECT. There had to be a mother asleep below, with a baby coming up for air. The baby had to even descend back down to mother before entering the water. SEVERAL times we would get close to a couple that were moving very slow and spending long amounts of time on the surface, but were not able to get in the water with them. In 2003 we were in the water with every possible opportunity. After all this is 1 of 2 places in the world you are allowed to get in the water with the whales. To put it in perspective; we were on zodiacs for a total of 36 hours and spent 10 minutes in the water! Partly because it is nature and you can't guarantee whale encounters, but most of the time due to the rule changes. That and the fact you are no longer able to free dive makes this trip dissapointing. It would be as if you went scuba diving and were told you can't go below 30 feet! Gee look, there is a really cool eel at 60 feet - but you can't go there!

Very disappointed in the change of the rules. They have truly dumbed it down to the lowest common denominator. It is still amazing to be close to the humpbacks, but for the price you pay - you might as well go to Hawaii and do a whale watching tour. At least you would be in Hawaii.
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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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