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

Explorer Ventures -- T&C Explorer II: "Venture Explorers Turks & Caicos Explorer II", Oct, 2015,

by Steve Dussault, NH, US (Contributor Contributor 15 reports with 3 Helpful votes). Report 8543.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 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 $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments BOOKING:

The booking process for the Turks and Caicos Explorer II was easy and straight forward and they charge in US funds. The staff at Venture Explorers is very helpful and prompt to respond to email inquires and questions.


TRAVEL and ARRIVAL:

There are US carriers that fly to Providenciales so it makes it easy to get there. We were greeted at the airport by a representative of TCEII. We had arrived before the boarding time of 3:00 PM so we had to wait at the airport for awhile. This gave us a chance to have some lunch while waiting for the other guests. After awhile enough guests had arrived so we were taken to another outdoor restaurant to wait for the remaining guests. At 3:00 PM all the guests had arrived and we transported to the boat.

The check in process on the boat went smoothly and easily. Staterooms were assigned, paper work completed, and SCUBA gear set up.

THE BOAT:

The Turks and Caicos Explorer II can accommodate up to 20 divers. On our trip there were 7 divers probably due to that is was hurricane season so there was plenty room in the dive area. All diving is done from the boat and entrance can be from the side or the dive platform. This is the first live aboard that the air conditioning works too well. Typically you struggle to get your room cool and the interior salon is warm. Not on the TCEII - the rooms are cool / cold and you end up turning up the temperature. Be sure to bring some warm clothes.

MEALS:

A continental breakfast is put out at 6:00 AM with a hot breakfast severed from 7:00 AM - 7:45. Lunch and dinner are served buffet style and are hearty meals. There are fresh snacks in between the dives. Soda, juice, and alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, and liquor) are included in the cost of the trip. Since we were a small group the crew was able to join us for the meals and stories could be shared.

Friday night dinner is a local waterfront restaurant that is not included in the cost of the trip. TCEII provides round trip transportation.

DIVING:

Five (5) dives a day are available. Two in the morning, two in the afternoon, and one night dive. Most live aboards do the night dive before dinner. On the TCEII the night dive is after dinner and we typically like to relax after dinner so night dives were out for us. On Friday morning there is a twilight dive.

Bottom time is 60 minutes and 111 feet maximum depth for NITROX and 130 feet for air. All the diver dove 32% NITROX so everyones bottom time was about the same.

All the dive sites are on the edge of a wall. A typical profile would be to go the wall and explorer for 30 minutes or so then come back up and finish the dive underneath the boat. When the TCEII is moored it will do an 180 degree swing with a figure eight pattern so timing to grab the drop lines is challenging. We also did two drifts dives along the walls.

The dive masters do a great job in the dive briefings to keep your attention with their flamboyant outfits worn during the briefing and underwater.

Rinse tanks for the equipment were changed regularly with some multipurpose cleaner added to keep the dive gear clean.


UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY:

There is a camera bench on the back of the deck to place your camera. If there were a lot of divers with cameras the camera bench might be tight on space. There are no facilities for charging at the camera bench so your changing setup is done in your room. There is a large dedicated rinse tank for cameras. The crew hands you your camera after you are in the water. Visibility was great at most dive sites (70-120) so opportunities for shots of fish and larger marine life. I did not find a lot of subjects for macro.

DEPARTURE:

As with any live aboard the challenge is to have the boat ready for the next guest that afternoon so everyone has to be off the boat by 9:00 AM. TCEII arranged transportation to the airport and we were arrived early at the airport to beat the rush. If you have a later flight in the day you may want to consider arranging for something to do in the morning instead of sitting at the airport waiting for your flight.

SUMMARY:

Venture Explores and TCEII does a very good job of ensuring that you have enjoyable and safe week of diving. The crew and captain are very personable and professional.
Websites Explorer Ventures -- T&C Explorer II   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving US, Canada, Alaska, Caribbean, South America, South Pacific, New Zealand, Australia, Indian Ocean
Closest Airport Provo Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, surge
Water Temp 82-85°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-120 Ft/ 15-37 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions 60 mins 130' air 111 NITROX
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 3 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
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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