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Dive Review of Aggressor Fleet in
Turks and Caicos

Aggressor Fleet: "Solid and enjoyable", Oct, 2015,

by Steven Moore, CT, US (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports with 3 Helpful votes). Report 8585.

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 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We booked this trip almost a year ago, so our hopes were high. Unfortunately, we had heard some troubling information about the Turks Aggressor in recent months, so were somewhat concerned about whether the trip would go as hoped. For example, an article in Undercurrent had referred to an incident in which the boat hit the reef and people had to evacuate. The company denied any knowledge of such an event. And the office staff assured us that the boat would be coming out of annual drydock and would be in great shape. So we went ahead with the reservations. We didn't find the office to be very helpful, however. For example, we had a 7-hour wait for our flight after disembarking the last day, and asked for some recommendations about where we could spend that time. The response was, "you'll have to ask the crew before you get off the boat". We doubt that our situation was unusual, and we'd expect a better response from the company.
Once we arrived, however, things went much smoother. The representative was waiting when we arrived and, after a short delay, we were delivered to the boat. The good news for us was that there were only 7 divers scheduled that week. (The boat's capacity is 18 divers.) Check-in was easy and efficient, so we settled in easily. The hurricane a few weeks earlier still was having an effect, and the Captain asked if we'd agree to leave the following morning, instead of that night. It meant sacrificing one dive, but we gained calmer seas and an easier passage to the first dive sites. Once under way, the rest of the trip was smooth. Because there were so few of us, we had much more input into where we stayed and how many dives we did on a given site. The crew was very flexible and went with any requests we made.
The boat was in very good shape. Rooms were adequate, common areas were clean and spacious, and the entire operation worked well. And the food was outstanding. Ailsa, our chef, was very skilled and adventuresome. We've been on other Dancer/Aggressor boats, and she was easily the best chef of the bunch. (Apologies to Gerry in Belize.) Food was plentiful, delicious, and varied.
As for the diving, we had 6 good days on the reefs around West Caicos and French Cay. This was deeper diving than we had expected: The shallowest parts of the reefs/sands were at about 40-45 feet, and dives generally went below 70 feet. Due to these deeper sites -- and our understanding was that there weren't any shallower sites -- all of the tanks had been filled with Nitrox before we arrived. Nice idea, but since we weren't Nitrox certified, they had to switch out our tanks. For those diving Nitrox, there were some frustrations during the week because the mixer kept giving light mixtures -- people said that the O2 measures were between .26 and .29 for the entire week, even though they were shooting for the more typical .30 or .32. However, the crew made up for the problem by deducting the $100 charge for Nitrox for the week. And here is where they also showed excellent customer service. Since my wife and I weren't using Nitrox (never having been trained to use it), they also reduced the cost of the Nitrox certification course by $100 for us. We ended up getting certified for Nitrox at a reduced rate, then were able to dive Nitrox for the rest of the week. It made the deeper dives that much safer and easier.
The reefs were healthy, if somewhat tired. Perhaps a result of the hurricane (?), but the main color was brown, not the vibrant colors of other reefs we've dived. There were fish, and some variety to be found. Most striking, however, was the presence of reef sharks on almost every dive. Usually 3-4 per dive, these sharks were curious, somewhat bold, and always present. We didn't feel threatened by them, but have some great photos/videos of sharks within touching distance on many of the dives. WE saw morays, spotted eagle rays, southern stingrays, turtles, blackjacks, and those reef sharks on many of the dives. Not the most beautiful reefs we've seen, but still wonderfully active and healthy.
Overall, we found the week on the Aggressor to be refreshing and enjoyable. The staff did everything possible to accommodate us -- they were wonderful, overall. (Kudos to the team: Ailsa, Matt, Troy and Grant.)
We would do this trip again and found it to be a very good value for the money. I'm not sure it would be nearly as much fun with a full boat, but if I could pick another week with fewer guests, it would be well worth the time and money to do the trip over.
Websites Aggressor Fleet   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving US, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia (x4), Caribbean
Closest Airport Providenciales Getting There Connecting from Miami, Charlotte and others

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 82-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 20-50 Ft/ 6-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None -- you could pretty much go your own way.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 5 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 Efficient camera table, somewhat cramped recharging room. Basic set-up and adequate facilities
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Subscriber's Comments

By Lenny Zwikin TX, US at Feb 18, 2018 10:53 EST  
re: running aground. Here's a link from another trip report here. goldenimages-photo-scubaDOTcomSLASHarticle_Turks_Caicos
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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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