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

Turks & Caicos Explorer II, Jun, 2009,

by ken, on, canada (Contributor Contributor 13 reports with 10 Helpful votes). Report 4888.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving belize, bonaire, curacao, bequia, dominica, cayman brac, provo, roatan, saba, PNG, Hawaii
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 80 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 40 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Must use computer & buddy, 70 minute dive limit, max 5 dives per day, 130' on air, must have flag or sausage, tank marker light for night dives, recorded max depth & remaining air for every dive (flags provided for free)
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

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 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Large dedicated camera rinse bucket, dedicated table, dedicated charging area, staff very careful about handling camera

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Our fifth trip on the boat. Great as usual. Only the second time we made it out to french cay.
We had 18 out of a possible 20 divers. This made for a crowded entrance sometimes as a large percentage tagged along with the dive guide. Most divers had digital cameras, no SLR's.
Crew seemed to be 1 short and then they had an injury that took 1 crew member out of action for the week. This did not affect the level of customer service: although we got to see a lot of Jack and Dave as this left only 2 dive masters available for dives. Both dive guides were very interested in sea life and very knowledgeable about the dive sites. Someone generally saw sharks on every dive and 3 hammer heads were seen during the week. A flock of 3 spotted eagle rays made a fly by on G Spot at french cay. Generally spotted a lion fish on every dive (which just seemed wrong). There was always lots of macro life, but in general not a lot of larger schools. We found both pipe horses as well as pipefish on a dive along with an extremely small "turtle grass tube worm" that was about 5mm long and 1mm wide. Very small. Very neat!
You have to be careful about your depth as the top of the reef is generally at 50'. This makes it hard to put in 70 minute dives without running out of bottom time: we were on air and normally only did 4 of the 5 available dives. Standard live aboard schedule of eat, dive, snack, dive, eat, dive, snack, dive, eat, dive, repeat next day. 2 sites per day was the norm.
We had a bunch of first time live aboard divers and they all enjoyed the experience (although 1 diver got to use the dinghy of shame twice due to the swing of the boat catching them in a surface current). The crew always had diver enjoyment and safety at the top of their list.
Upon arrival, the boat was moored at the Caicos Marina at the south east end of the island, far away from the local tourist mecca's. This was okay as our taxi from the airport dropped us off at turtle cove to wait until boarding time. The purser also arranged a day room in grace bay ($70 @ comfort suites) for us to relax in on our departure day as our flight was late in the afternoon and we left the boat @ 8:30 saturday morning.
P.S. Always check the bottom of your tank! It is yours for the week and there may be something entertaining (to others) written on the bottom of it. Several guests did not understand why the rest of us were snickering at them until they saw photos late in the week.
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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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