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Dive Review of Aggressor Fleet in
Turks and Caicos/N.Caicos, W.Caicos, French Cay

Aggressor Fleet, May, 2011,

by Brian Bickner, IL, US ( 1 report). Report 6110.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments I booked our trip through the Aggressor website. It was very easy. Furthermore, if you have any questions or concerns, they were very prompt at returning emails or phone calls. After booking the boat, Aggressor offered to help with any airline or hotel reservations. They were up front and said I could book my own flights and hotels for cheaper on-line. They did give me a list of recommended hotels and a phone number of a preferred taxi service. My wife and I like to arrive at least one day prior to the charter. On our previous live aboard dive trip (Cayman Islands), our flight out of Chicago was delayed due poor weather, thus we missed our connecting flight out of Miami. After spending almost 18 hours getting to the boat from our house, we were tired and we felt guilty for being the last ones on the boat. As soon as we stepped on the boat, the boat departed. This trip’s early arrival would allow for any travel delays, plus we would be well rested for the start of our dive trip.
Since we arrived a day early, the Aggressor would not provide transportation from the airport. I had called the day before to set up transportation from the taxi service recommended by the Aggressor Fleet. The man was waiting for us as we come out of customs; however, we had to wait 15 minutes for him to get his car. There were numerous taxis waiting to take passengers anywhere on the island, and you don’t have to wait for them to get their cars. Thus, you don’t need to setup transportation prior to arriving.
We elected to stay at the Gansevoort hotel in Grace Bay. This is a very nice hotel with an excellent beach. Kayaks, Hobie Cat sailboats and paddleboards were available for use by the guests. The breakfast buffet was included in the cost of our room, and the buffet was phenomenal. Anything and everything you could want for breakfast was included in this buffet. After seeing Turks and Caicos for the first time, I am sure there are many nice hotels along Grace Bay, and most of them cheaper than the Gansevoort. However, there was nothing wrong with the Gansevoort, and I would recommend this hotel.
We boarded the boat on Saturday afternoon at 3 PM. We dove 5 times a day on Sunday – Thursday. Dives times were at 8:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 2:00 PM, 5:00 PM and 8:00 PM. The first two dives of the day were at one dive site, while the last three dives of the day were at a second dive site. The last dive of the day was obviously a night dive. The crew wanted to keep the dives spread out (3 hours apart). My only small complaint about the dive times was the time of the second to last dive of the day. While it was not a true dusk dive, the sunset at around 7:10 PM, towards the end of the dive, the visibility was clearly not as good as earlier in the day. I would have preferred this dive to be a little earlier. On the last day, Friday, there were two dives offered at 6:00 and 8:30 AM.
Over the course of the week, we were able to dive North Caicos, West Caicos and French Cay. The dive sites for the week were as follows:
Sunday – Black Coral Forest and The Dome / Thunder Dome (North Caicos)
Monday – Brandywine and Driveway (West Caicos)
Tuesday – Elephant Ear Canyon and Rock Garden Interlude (West Caicos)
Wednesday – The Anchor / Whiteface (West Caicos) and Rock & Roll (French Cay)
Thursday – G-Spot (French Cay) and Gullies (West Caicos)
Friday – Eel Garden (North Caicos)
Personally, I thought the dives on West Caicos and French Cay were the best. By comparison, the coral on the dives sites on North Caicos had a little algae growth, and it showed a little more damage.
Almost all the diving was along walls. The only man made structure was the Dome. This was a structure built for a French game show which never aired. The Dome has been knocked down from a hurricane, but it does hold a fair amount of fish. If you are someone who likes to see wrecks, then this is definitely not the dive trip for you. Overall, the fish life was very good for the Caribbean, and there was an abundance of macro life. I would say we averaged seeing about 6 – 8 lionfish on each dive.
We did see a lot of Reef Sharks and a few Nurse Sharks especially on West Caicos and French Cay. At West Caicos and French Cay, there would be about 6 sharks just circling underneath the boat on each dive. This probably had to do with the fact that the crew did put out the “Pyramid of Love” on three different dive sites. The “Pyramid of Love” is a pyramid shaped container with small holes on each side. The crew would capture some lionfish during the week, and then put them on ice. Then later, they would cut up the frozen Lionfish and place them in the pyramid. They would then place the pyramid in the sand underneath the boat. The Reef Sharks would just circle the pyramid and would occasionally nudge it their noses, while the Nurse Sharks would go crazy for the pyramid. The Nurse Sharks attack the pyramid trying to suck out the fish through the small holes. Equally entertaining was watching the crew take in the pyramid at the end of the dive. The sharks obviously did not want anyone else touching the pyramid. With a long pole, they would release the pin keeping the pyramid shut. As the dead Lionfish float up out of the pyramid, the sharks would snap up these pieces.
For individuals who only want to do a few night dives, we would recommend Driveway and Rock & Roll as the two best night dive sites that were offered on our trip. The other three (The Dome, Rock Garden Interlude and Gullies) were just okay for night dives.
The boat itself is very nice and well kept up. The boat was just refit in September of 2010. If you need anything or have any concerns, the crew is more than happy to try and make your trip more pleasurable. The cabins, like most dive boats, are tight. We did not have control over the air in our room. There was one thermostat for the entire boat. On the first night, we were cold in our room. It wasn’t so much the air temperature, but the fact that the vent was blowing directly on the beds. The vents do not close very well. However, if you place a towel over the vent the room was very comfortable. We did mention our room being cold on the first night to some of the other guests. The ones towards the bow of the boat, like us, thought it was cool too. However, the guest in stern of the boat, by the engine room, thought it was hot. So, I guess it depends on where you are located on the boat. There were 17 guests on the boat, and it can accommodate up to 18 divers.
The crew does offer fishing trips in between dives. They use the chase boat to take passengers out. The trips last about one and a half hours as the chase boat needs to be back to the main boat prior to the next dive. Thus, you don’t miss any dives. It is a very nice break during the week for something different to do during surface intervals. There were two trips that went during our trip, and we had no bites. The crew said they usually catch something on about half of the trips.
Meal times were at 7:00 AM, 12:30 PM and 6:30 PM. There were also snacks offered in between dives 1 and 2, and in between dives 3 and 4. The food was good with plenty of it. Our trip came during the last week of the normal chef’s four week vacation. The replacement chef was good, but she did not measure up to the high quality of meals that we have experience on previous live aboard dive boats.
Friday night’s dinner is not included in the trip, and you have to eat out on the island on this night. I would highly recommend making a reservation a few days prior, if you want to eat somewhere nice. The crew is more than happy to make a reservation for you. They mentioned this fact at the beginning of the week, and my wife and I were the only two who asked for them to make a reservation. Everyone else had to eat at Shark Bite or the Tiki Hut which both basically serve bar food.
My wife and I went to Coco Bistro which came highly recommend. It was a $16 cab ride from the boat. The crew had set up the cab to pick us up 15 minutes prior to our reservation. And the cab was waiting for us after dinner. The setting was very romantic, but we found the food to be okay. On the previous Friday night, we dined out at the Anacaona. This experience was outstanding, and I would definitely recommend it over Coco Bistro. The setting is very romantic as you sit outside looking over Grace Bay, and the food was just magnificent.
If you do not stay at a hotel on the island, there is not much to do on Turks and Caicos. We went to the shopping district one day, and it took us about 45 minutes to leisurely see everything. This made the last 24 hours a little boring waiting for our return flight. The weather for our trip was great. I think it rained for maybe 15 minutes during our trip. The daily temperatures were in the mid 80’s. It was fairly windy on the boat for most of the trip which made it feel a little cool. My wife would wear her light jacket most of the day when she was out of the sun.
Overall, we really enjoyed the trip, and would recommend the Turks and Caicos Aggressor as a good choice for a Caribbean dive trip.
Websites Aggressor Fleet   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Past diving experiences include: Florida Keys, Cozumel, Cayman Islands, Belize and Palau. This includes four previous live aboard dive boats.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas choppy
Water Temp 78-80°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 75-125 Ft/ 23-38 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions The crew did not want anyone doing decompression dives; otherwise, you could dive your own profile. However, everyone must use a computer. We were told if the dive computer locks you out, then you will not be able to dive until the computer unlocks.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments I am not a photographer. However, the majority of the guests were photographers. They seemed to be very pleased with boat’s set up for photography. Furthermore, the crew was always willing to help or lend their expertise to anyone that wanted or need it.
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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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