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Dive Review of Aggressor Fleet in
Turks and Caicos/Provo-West Caicos-French Cay

Aggressor Fleet, Jul, 2012,

by Chris Watt, MA, US (Contributor Contributor 14 reports with 15 Helpful votes). Report 6647.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 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 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments “Let’s be diving”

This was the call to arms we heard at the end of each dive briefing given by Captain Piers during our week on the T&C Aggressor II. What a fantastic week we had = great boat, great group of fellow guests, great crew, great food and great diving. This was my second liveaboard (first was 2 years ago in the Red Sea) and my long time buddy Mike’s first. The Aggressor certainly sets a high standard for the overall liveaboard experience that IMHO is very hard to beat.

We flew to Providenciales on American from Boston via Miami - generally a painless process. After passing through immigration and claiming our baggage, we stepped outside and were met immediately by Josie, a member of the TCA crew. We quickly corralled the other guests who had arrived on the same plane and loaded up the taxi van for the 15-minute drive to Turtle Cove marina.

We unloaded our dive gear on the dive deck first. The dive deck is well-laid out and is a few steps up from the rear platform. Large, well-lit camera table with air hoses. A head on the forward end of the deck. Ample storage under the seat bench where your tank is kept. Plenty of room and hangers for hanging wetsuits and other gear. Dual showers on the rear platform. Large camera-only rinse tank at the rear of the dive deck area and a separate rinse tank re-filled at the beginning of every dive for rinsing wet-suits and other gear. Crew did a nice job taking care of camera gear, getting cameras directly into the rinse tank after being handed up after dives….the crew would then take each camera and place it securely and carefully on the camera table after each had had a good soak. We had 16 people on board (total capacity 18). Things never really felt crowded. We tended to do our own thing while diving (not following the DMs).

The rooms are all below decks. We were in cabin 6, which is located mid-boat. Bunks consist of a single bed above and a twin below. I took the bigger bed as I am 6’5”. Although my head and feet would touch the walls if I laid straight, the bed was plenty wide for me to sleep comfortably in a diagonal position. There is a sink in the main room and a separate private bathroom (shower/toilet combo) in most cabins on this boat. Storage in our room was actually pretty ample. Both of us brought large, soft-sided divebags, which fit side-by-side under the bed. Under the other half of the bed are 2 storage drawers with latches to prevent opening during rocky seas. There is also a closet on the right as you enter the room, with room and hangers to hang shirts and a few storage shelves. The closet and cabinets under the sink also had secure latches. Finally, there is a small safe in the bottom of one of the underbed storage drawers. Everything in the rooms seemed to function well, particularly the air conditioning (ice box cold). There was a flat screen TV/DVD player in each room. We never used ours, as most evenings we read about 3 pages in our respective books before falling asleep.

Forward from the dive deck on the same level is the main salon, where most meals are served (we had a few meals up on the sun deck) and which is air-conditioned. Large flat screen TV, which was used to look at photos, to watch movies and to screen footage that had been taken by the crew during the week. My favorite feature on board the boat was found here = an ever-filled jar of Oreo cookies ☺

Above the salon/dive deck level is the sun deck, which consists of a mix of open air and shade/covered space. Chaise lounges, comfortable padded booths and bar stools. Cold beverages always available here and in the main salon (beer, wine, soda). This was my preferred place to had out and grab a quick nap between dives.

The diving = there were 28 dives offered during the week (we did 27). The “regular” schedule included dives at 8, 11, 2, 5 and a night dive at 8. On one day we also did a 6AM pre-dawn dive (with 5 other dives offered that day...we did 4 of these 5). On Friday we dove at 6 and 8:30 to get 2 dives in before our flight at 9AM the next day.

We dove Northwest point on Provo, French Cay and West Caicos, spending time at West Caicos on the way to/from French Cay. Almost all of the diving was wall diving, with the top of the wall at most sites somewhere between 40 and 50 feet. No real restrictions on dive time other than the obligatory “be back on board with 500 PSI” guideline. All of our dives were in the 55-65 minute range. As has been discussed in reports on this boat and the T&C Explorer, this boat swings quite widely when moored….apparently due to the constant wind and rather long mooring lines. Watching the swing produced some rather comical moments on safety stops.

The diving at French Cay was clearly the best, with West Caicos also very good. Nothing wrong with the Provo diving either, just different shades between good and great. Lots of reef sharks on every dive, many quite curious and up close. Turtles, nurse sharks, morays, southern stingrays, Caribbean lobsters, flamingo tongues, octopus on the night dives, French angels, gray angels, queen angels, large schools of jacks, barracuda, drum fish (juvenile and adults), trumpet fish, a few eagle rays = very scenic, fishy and beautiful diving. A few folks had a dolphin encounter underwater at French Cay, but we did not see it.

We tended to dive 2 sites each day = 1 site for 2 dives in the morning (usually heading to the wall and heading north or south and reversing for dive 2). The boat would move to a new site in the afternoon. We would do 2 daytime dives at this site and also the night dive (helping to orient everyone to the site before diving it at night). This worked generally well, although in a few cases it might have been preferable to vary the sites in the PM (a few folks requested this on our last full dive and the captain complied).

Visibility was in the 80-100 foot range on most dives.

Gear notes: we both wore 3 mm full suits the entire week. Although the water temp was 84F (a few night dives saw 82F), we never felt hot, particularly with the steady 10-15 mph winds that are apparently common while at sea. Brought tropical gloves but never wore them. For dive lights, I brought my "big boy" New England light = a Halcyon EOS LED canister light. Very bright, although it does have a regular and a lower “energy saver” setting…which was still very bright in the clear water. It was perfect on the 2 dawn dives we did as well as the 5PM doves when the light started to dim. I was also using it on the 8AM dives, since with the sun rising in the east and walls facing the west, it was really helpful for looking into nooks and crannies on the wall. This light also makes it much easier to handle my camera. The downside is that on night dives it was almost too bright if trying to take video (I use a Canon G11 for both video and still photos).

The food was fantastic = always plenty, always tasty and a great variety. Eggs to order each morning along with fruit, toast, bagels, yogurt, oatmeal and often French toast or pancakes. Lunch usually included soup along with a main course. Dinner usually included a salad, main and dessert. We had a BBQ on the sun deck for dinner one evening. In between meals, snacks were often delivered as we emerged from the water by chef Phil, and included still-hot-from-the-oven brownies, cookies, etc. Hot chocolate with marshmallows and optional alcohol was offered after every dive.

We loved the crew as well. Captain Piers was covering for normal captain Amanda’s vacation as well as giving the ship a once over (he was previously the captain of this ship for many years, but now works for the Aggressor/Dancer fleet in a sort of “quality control” role). Originally from Zimbabwe, he has quite an entertaining sense of humor. Josie (British), Cole (American), Leigh (South African), Ernie (American) and Phil (Canadian) were all great = fun and helpful at every turn.

We were also blessed with a pleasant group of fellow guests…which kept things pretty relaxed.

All in all, a fantastic experience. Well-run boat, great crew, great food, great diving with lots of pelagic action. The Aggressor fleet has obviously developed a great formula for producing a great liveaboard experience…hopefully it won’t be my last trip with them.

Websites Aggressor Fleet   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving St. Vincent, Roatan, Bermuda, Italy, UK, Red Sea (Egypt), St. Lawrence River, New England
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas calm
Water Temp 82-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60-100 Ft/ 18-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Return to the boat with 500 PSI, no deco diving
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Sizeable camera table, with decent lighting and air hoses. Camera-only rinse tank. Staff was quite good and attentive at offering to hand cameras down, to pick them up at the end of dives, to get them straight into the rinse tank and to place them securely on the camera table after a good soak.
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Subscriber's Comments

By kweaver350 in , at Feb 02, 2013 10:37 EST  
great review!
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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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