Turks & Caicos Aggressor II
2 - 9 April 2017
Air temperature: 70° - 80° F
Water temperature: 79° F
Visibility: 50 – 80 feet
Captain: CHISTY WEAVER
Video Pro: JESSICA POLK
Chef: CHRISTY BROWN
Guide: MICHAEL WEINBAUM
Guide: ALIZEE ZIMMERMAN
Start date, 2017 and some change, the crew of the TCA2 find itself provisioning and transforming on a lovely 84 degree day here and at long last back in Turks and Caicos. The past two months has been spent off the Dominican snorkeling with whales and now all hands are chomping at the bit to dive again. The day passes without a hitch and as 4 pm draws near, the distant sounds of reggae and enthusiasm closer as 18 enthusiastic guests from varied spots far and near screech to a halt on the crushed conch at the base of our gangplank.
Immediately we know this 6 day venture will be a good time! Four smiling and multi lingual Belgian buddies make their presence known with smile’s jokes and a general lust for life that infects all of us within minutes. Accompanying these European jokesters we have a younger and gung ho couple from the frozen cheese filled land known as Wisconsin, a Family of lawyer from Texas, a lovely German couple, and to top it off the faint southern drawl of our two Georgia friends scamper on board.
We get everybody situated in cabins, dive gear is organized and as is always the case, shiny new toys are discussed, displayed, stroked and set out to bask in glory. The remaining hours of daylight are filled with activity as we set out from Turtle cove to great cool breezes and azure waters. We steam over to West Caicos as the new found friends sit down to a meals and few cocktails to start things off.
Rosy fingered dawn streak across the sky as all 18 guests stretch, claw and manipulate themselves into wetsuits and step into the abyss off our vessel. Dive one proves not be much of a shakedown dive as all are quite comfortable and ready to go. The day passes without a hitch and all the bounty of these tropical waters are captured on film and memory cards. The day ends with another great meal, a few icy beers and the usual display of all Mac products and Photoshop tutorials. Some of the guest display the bright pink hue of their first day in the tropics bull all are cool and smiling.
Day two begins with a ravenous group, eggs bacon and all other tasty vittles are inhaled prior to our first dive, Jess our video pro is frolicking around the deck, ringlets glistening with a toothy grin as she interviews the guests and capture the days activities. Connor as well slinks into every nook and corner with camera in hand looki9ng for the ever elusive perfect candid. The dives are spectacular and after a combined 2 hours of diving, its lunch, a rinse down and we tie on to another site. The stunning biodiversity present in these waters lulls our guest and crew alike into a state of dive bliss, that area of the brain between damp and wet, cold and functioning were nothing else really matters and we acclimate more so to breathing underwater to such an extent that being dry becomes a false and alien state of being. The bright chariot of Helios crosses the sky, dinner is eaten and few intrepid souls make the night dive while all others seek the pillow and and look at the back of their eyes.
The next few days go by like smoke through a key hole. Eat, sleep dive, truly becomes the parlance for this vessel. Conversations range from the usual dive sights, to food, and our outrageous and funky guest Jeroen, a Belgian so full of vitality and animation its almost like watching a cartoon, delights us all with tales of his wild youth in Europe and the 11 cars he has totaled!!! We all regale in his enthusiastic stories before seeking the solace and much needed comfort of our beds.
The remainder of the week passes in the usual manner of dive- dive- dive, eat, dive eat sleep, talk diving, eat dive……and on goes the week sunny days punctuated with the neon colors of reef fish and all set to sound track of compressed air and diesel engines. We head to grace bay for our final morning of diving, a unique call by our captain has us excited to do a 530am transition dive at the Pinnacle a site teaming with life and all critters from pelagics to the camouflaged and cryptic reef dwellers. The morning dives are a first for some and all are amazed at watching the reef come alive. Eggs are eaten, coffee consumed by the gallon and we prep ourselves for the final dive of this trip. The day ahead will find some folks touring the island, some sleeping, some reading a book, but all will be present and quaffed for the Cheese and wine party tonight! A final goodbye to our new friends as we laugh smile and snack our way into our beds, 20+ dives under the belt and ready for a recharge. It has been a spectacular week here in the Turk and Caicos. Our guest have made it memorable and we as a crew have created the ideal setting for stress free and perfect diving. Every soul aboard is happy, well fed and ready to9 meet the dawn ahead. It is with heavy hearts we leave our guests, but all hands to station as we prepare to meet the next 18 for another 7 day trip into the octopus’s garden.