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Dive Review of Turks & Caicos Aggressor II in
Turks and Caicos

Turks & Caicos Aggressor II, Dec, 2003,

by Bob & Leone Woods, CA, USA . Report 881.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Belize, Honduras, Caymans, Mexico, Fiji, Tonga, Costa Rica, Fr. Polynesia, Hawaii, Indonesia, Maldives, Panama
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy Seas calm, noCurrents
Water Temp 80 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No deco, dive with a buddy, come back with 500 psi.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 2 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments
My wife and I spent 7 days on the live-aboard Turks & Caicos Aggressor II from December 20 to 27, 2003. We reported aboard Saturday afternoon 12/20; the boat was supposed to get underway Sunday morning, but because of a bad storm coming through we didnt get underway until Monday, and did our first dive west of Provo late Monday morning. We lost a day and a half of diving because of this, but the owner-captain (Piers van der Walt) was absolutely right to delay getting underway, and the passage around the northwest part of the island was rough enough that some people were too sick to dive Monday anyway. Chalk one up for Caribbean winter weather.

The diving was typical T&C good vis, reef tops at about 40 to 60 feet with walls dropping away sharply, and nice 80 to 83 degree water. Good healthy coral, both hard & soft, and plenty of sponges. As always we saw plenty of sharks, a goodly number of turtles, and the usually cast of reef fish (filefish, queen triggers, various kinds of angels, friendly stingrays, moray and garden eels, a spotted drum and a scorpionfish). Spent some fun time watching a pair of jawfish work up their nerve to come out of their holes to check us out, only to dash back in again, over and over. Surprisingly, we only saw a couple of eagle rays, for which this area is famous. Others reported seeing more, though, so maybe it was just us.

The Aggressor II is a brand new boat, launched in March of 03, and is very comfortable and well appointed. It follows the standard Aggressor (monohull) formula in terms of living quarters below, salon and dive area on the main deck, and sun deck, hot tub, and bar on the upper level. Very well set up for diving and camera work, with diving from the platform aft of the dive deck. Unaccountably, there is no drinking water available on the main deck level (without going into the galley, which we usually avoid); you have to either go up to the bar or down to your cabin to get a glass of water. Overall, though, it is a very nice boat to be aboard.

That said, however, we had a distinct sense that the service aboard suffered from a lack of attention to detail. Menus, which were to be posted daily, never made it up until after lunch, and then only until Wednesday; Wednesdays menu was still up when we left the boat the following Saturday. Yogurt was to be available as one of the standard breakfast choices, but there were only a few aboard, and they were gone by Tuesday. Food in general was borderline; we had the feeling the chef was just a crew member whose turn it was to cook. There was rarely any fruit available for snacks, and the vegetables served with most meals were canned or frozen. Weve always been spoiled in the past with a real turkey dinner on live-aboards at Christmas or Thanksgiving, but this time we had one of those frozen rolled turkey breast logs you get at Safeway.

The final blow came at departure time. Per standard Aggressor formula, you are on your own for dinner Friday night. When we returned from dinner for our last night on the boat, since no shoes are allowed aboard, we deposited ours as instructed in the basket by the gangway. But the basket was left out on the dock, it rained overnight, and we found Saturday morning that we would be making the trip home in wet shoes. The captains attitude was Oh, gee, too bad but he didnt have to wear wet shoes for the next 15 hours or so as those of us returning to California did. Wet shoes in planes and airports make for a miserable way to end a trip.
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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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