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Dive Review of Utila Aggressor in

Utila Aggressor, Apr, 2007,

by Tony Flaris, FL, USA ( 1 report). Report 3267.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 1 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 2 stars
Comments Give and Take

There were 13 passengers aboard the Utila Aggressor for 5 1/2 days of diving with 7 days total. 3 O/W Instructors, 2 Dive Masters and most of the rest were Advanced O/W except for 1 or 2.

The Boat
The Boat is the former Turks and Caicos Agggressor and should be sunk as a new wreck site. She is showing her age with problems ranging from AC temperature control with some rooms freezing cold while others were saunas, leaking pipes flooding our cabin along with broken ice machine (located upstairs), coupled with a broken gear box (running on one engine for most of the week) and last but not least generator problems which plagued us the whole week. Hot water was a hit and miss and sometimes water itself was a rarity which was occasionally turned off for some unknown reasons. The shower heads on the dive decks were the only ones that had adequate pressure with the ones in the cabin being a mere mist. The stairs leading down to the dive platform were awkward, along with the stairs leading down to the cabins. Both sets had narrow steps at a steep angle. The cabins were small and the shower and head combo unit was separated by a shower curtain. Our cabin had a double bunk on the bottom with a single bunk on top, which caused multiple head injuries due to the limited space between bunks and ceiling.

The Crew
Captain Eddie, First Mate Nestor and Abe as Instructor/Dive Master were our crew for the week as well as Galley Staff Candy and Marna.

Food was plentiful and of local flavor. Snacks were always available including hot cookies and hot chocolate for the night dives. Special Dietary needs were met and the service was terrific which included dinners being served to your table. Lunches were buffet sytle and continental breakfast at 6:30 and hot breakfast made to order at 7:00 am except Friday morning (continental only).

Weather was 15-20 knots for 3 days of the trip causing many sites to have limited visibility. Entries and exits were challenging as well as some strong currents and surge on many dives. Captain struggled to find accomadating sites during the beginning of the week and for the most part he succeeded. But as mechanical problems developed many sites were choosen for accessibilty to parts and repair resulting in low visibilty sites and sites frequented by day boats. When the wind layed down near the end of the trip, the boat was plaqued by many mechnical problems which were never clarified or acknowledge leaving us to speculate, wonder and guess. Many questions were answered with blank stares. The lack of information contributed to some stress on the boat and while schedules were made daily, many times they were modified without much consent to the passengers. While we were told it was our boat for the week, never did it feel this way. Several dive briefings had incorrect depths of the mooring anchor.

Whale Shark Encounter
Due to several local boats, the crew was able to locate 2 whale sharks and was able to get us in the water several times for a snorkel encounter with Whale Sharks. This included long open water swims and rides on the dingy to drop divers on cue. The crew worked hard and succeeded at enabling the divers to have several up close experiences. The shark sized in the 20 to 25 foot range and were truely remarkable. Unfortunately the next day without aid from local boats there were no sitings. I felt it would have been benifical for the crew to share their knowledge about the feasibility for a encounter on the next day rather than asking the divers to choose between diving and whale shark encounters. Most of the divers did not want impose and never was there a vote or a show of hands. Hind site being 20/20, I would have insisted we stay the course and spend more time on the whale shark encounter versus dive sites with low visibility.

Nitrox was avaliable onbord using a membrane system. The cost was 100.00 dollars US for the week. There waere only 2 days where the Nitrox was at or near 32 percent. The first several days were 27 or 28 percent.

Give and Take
The Captain said it once and whether or not he was referring to our trip it seemed to apply. The crew was friendly but most of the time aloof. Very rarely did you feel they cared about the enjoyment of the divers, but rather were more concerned with their own problems. When they were made aware of problems, they appeared to be ignored.

In comparsions to other liveaboards we found the Utila Aggressor far below the standards of other liveaboards. AquaCat and Peter Hughes Belize are far superior.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Pompano Florida, West Palm, BVI, Bimini, Belize, Honduras (Coco View), Florida Keys
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 80-82°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 20-60 Ft/ 6-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Depth Limit of 110' feet.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks 1 or 2
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 1 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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