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Dive Review of Explorer Ventures -- T&C Explorer II in
Turks and Caicos/T&C, Mayaguana

Explorer Ventures -- T&C Explorer II, Jul, 2013,

by Jeanne & Bill Downey, PA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 44 reports with 11 Helpful votes). Report 7052.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 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 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Eighteen divers headed to Providenciales looking for adventure in new places. After arriving in Provo and boarding the Turks & Caicos Explorer II, we headed toward Mayaguana in the southern Bahamas, after being warned that winds were rising and we would have to endure a bumpy ride coming back to Provo in a few days. It was a bit lumpy during the overnight ride to Mayaguana, but other than the lack of sleep and a couple seasick passengers, we arrived safe and sound. The diving there was lush, with 6 foot and more coral heads and healthy soft corals. We saw lionfish, even though over 600 were taken during a scientific study trip a couple weeks earlier. There were a couple of sharks, including a hammerhead, and some turtles and rays. The swim-throughs leading from the sandy areas out to the blue drop-offs were fun. We saw a decent number of fish, although not a wide variety. Midway into the second day, we moved to the west end due to wind and spotted a nice eagle ray swimming along the wall, a frogfish, and a sleeping nurse shark. Overall, I enjoyed the diving at Mayaguana, with the combination of deeper walls and sandy areas giving a nice variety. The only dive I didnít like was Betsieís Bum, with a more gradual slope, algae everywhere, and too much current; that dive was cut short. I would have liked to dive the south side more, but unfortunately we had to leave due to wind conditions. The overnight ride back was definitely interesting, with a few of the people in the bow cabins actually being launched out of their beds by the waves.

The T&C Explorer II is a very comfortable boat when not being bounced around by 12í seas. Even the three below-deck bunkbed rooms had enough storage space. There was plenty of room for everyone to hang out in the salon and on the dive deck. Wetsuits were hung in the middle of the dive deck; the heat from the compressor below almost dried them between dives. Food was good to great, and there was plenty of it, along with some between-snacks, and cookies and fruit were always available. Chef Stan, on board for over 20 years, did an amazing job, and was also good at providing meals for those with special dietary needs.

The crew was one of the most well-integrated Iíve ever experienced and ran the boat like a well-oiled machine. They were always cheerful and ready to help out where needed. There was a dive guide on every dive and we were welcome to follow him/her, or dive on our own. We had one certified solo diver who was able to go off entirely on his own. There was no problem if we went over the hour limit by a few minutes (mostly due to the wait for the boat to swing back), and we didnít have to be glued to our buddy.

Back at West Caicos, I noticed a greater variety of fish life, but much less soft coral. We saw several large lobsters and crabs, even during the day. I didnít do any night dives; those who did generally liked them. We had some great shark interaction along the wall and in the sandy area under the boat. We saw one impressive-looking green moray eel hanging out under a ledge. There were flamingo tongue trees everywhere and it was fun watching the stingrays and their fishy escorts while doing safety stops. Safety stops tended to be long because there was stuff to look at and it took up to seven minutes for the boat to swing back to the ďbus stopĒ. Riding the hang lines was fun, and a few of us hung onto the rudders, also fun. Walking upside down on the boat bottom was a bit more challenging, and many of us wrote our names on the bottom of the boat, all to be erased the next time they scrub.

All-in-all, it was a highly successful trip; Iím glad we went to Mayaguana, in spite of the rough crossings, but Iím also glad we ended up back in T&Cóit was a nice combination trip. The boat was great, the crew was excellent, and weíll be back someday, probably on their regular Bahamas route.
Websites Explorer Ventures -- T&C Explorer II   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Bahamas, Caribbean, Indonesia, Cocos, Guadalupe, Micronesia, Tahiti, BC, Malaysia, Fiji, Socorro, Philippines, etc.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas choppy, no currents
Water Temp 83-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 110' on Nitrox, 60 minutes
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 1 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments One shelf camera table, but out in open on back of boat. Charging station in the same place. Would not recommend leaving camera housings open more than a few minutes. Large separate rinsing area.
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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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