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

Explorer Ventures -- T&C Explorer II: "Great trip, terrible food", May, 2015,

by Mary McCombie, CT, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 23 reports with 15 Helpful votes). Report 8230.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 1 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments [None]This was a a special trip organized by REEF to collect and record lionfish, particularly off two Bahamaian islands, Little and Great Inagua. The boat left from Provo and steamed southeast to Little Inagua, followed by Great. Since there is no commercial diving off these islands, dive sites were largely guesswork by the captain based on his interpretation of the underwater topography. Captain Ken did a great job finding magnificent reefs, with barrel sponges that could fit two, cascading rope sponges, large populations of grouper, and surprisingly fewer lionfish than we had guessed, though the average size of these unhunted predators was much larger than other areas of the Caribbean. The boat is quite comfortable (it was my 41st liveaboard): I stayed in a standard cabin with two twin beds, full bath en suite with plenty of hot water. The boat makes water, so there is no limit except common sense to your use of it. The salon was a tad small since it also functioned as the dining area but was comfortable. The usual high tech electronics were available, as well as dvds, though this group of fish nerds tended to sleep at night rather than stay up. The downside of life on the boat was the food. I remember the cook Stanley from 20 years ago on a Dancer boat, and it must be that he is burned out. The food never exceeded institutional quality. Commercial prepared ingredients were typical; most dishes were high in calories but nutritionally low; and for the first time ever, the cook took no notice of dining special requests. The two vegetarians were prepared afterthoughts, and my quirk (I dislike cheese) seemed to come as a surprise to Stanley as cheesy dish after cheesy dish (in every sense) appeared. Compared with the gusto with which liveaboard chefs like Jayne on Nautilus Explorer in Socorro prepares food, or the excellent cooking on board Rocio del Mar, the food made by Stanley was no better than a bad college cafeteria.

Diving was done from a spacious deck and transom, or one could hop off the side if a four-foot drop was not a concern. The three divemaster/instructors were busy (the crew was a tad small for a 20-diver boat), and though I heard others grumble about their attitudes, I had no problems with them.

The near-virgin diving off the Inaguas was mostly spectacularly beautiful, and for those of us doing fish surveys, rich with creatures (including a tally we kept of unusual sightings, like dwarf seahorses and golden hamlets). The last two dives of this unusual itinerary were at French Cay, tied to moorings, and were sharky and fun.

Other than the food, I liked the boat. Don't know how I'd like an all-Turks and Caicos itinerary, but I'd certainly use this company again.
Websites Explorer Ventures -- T&C Explorer II   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]all over the world
Closest Airport PLS (Providenciales) Getting There easy

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 76-79°F / 24-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 30-100 Ft/ 9-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]No deco diving; 60 minutes per dive (reprimanded if you dove 75); could solo dive if certified for it.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A 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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