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Dive Review of Explorer Ventures/Turks & Caicos Explorer II in
Turks and Caicos

Explorer Ventures/Turks & Caicos Explorer II, Aug, 2008,

by Marlene Dowell, MD, USA ( 2 reports). Report 4402.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Solomon Islands, Keys, Red Sea, N. Carolina
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 130 ft, air
110 ft Nitrox
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Large area to set cameras on, separate large rinse tank for cameras. Cameras carefully handed down to you after entering and taken from you when coming out. Lighting in rooms adequate for camera maintenance work.
No camera rental equipment - had been flooded by others.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Well run operation. All divers checked in and out of water, time and final air readings noted. Nitrox available for a fee. We started out on air, but most of the dives start at about 60 feet, so as the week went on and our nitrogen built up we switched over to Nitrox.
Rooms were relatively spacious, with private bath. Showers small, but showers were also available on the dive deck for after dive rinsing. Shampoo and soap provided. Plenty of towels available, no limit on fresh water usage.
Food was very good and familiar to Americans. Accomodations were made for several vegetarians on our trip. Snacks provided after each dive (5 dives a day available.) Free beer and wine.
Weather was great, seas calm, viz pretty good. Saw sharks on many dives and rays, turtles, octopus on several. One dive site in particular was good for small stuff which Captain JF excelled at finding.
Usually 2 dives at each site, which we liked. If there was something special you didn't see the first dive (the batfish) you could usually catch it the second dive. Or, if you skipped a dive, you knew you had at least one dive at that site. There was usually enough to see that you didn't have to go to the same area both dives if you didn't want to.
The hardest part of the dive was getting to the boat at the end. The boat swings widely on its mooring so it covers a lot of territory. You might see it and it would be swinging away from you so you couldn't catch up to it and would have to wait for it to return. This became less of an issue as you got used to how this worked and learned to just wait for the boat to come back. If you come up too far from the boat someone would come get you in the tender.
Our trip was the week before hurricanes Hanna and Ike hit the T & C. so cannot speak to what shape things are in now.
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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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