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Turks & Caicos Aggressor II :

 

Log Date: Saturday, May 12, 2018
Entry By: Turks & Caicos Aggressor Crew









 



Turks & Caicos Aggressor II Captain’s Log

12 May - 2018

Turks & Caicos Islands

 

Our Conditions

Air temperature: 75° - 78° F

Water temperature: 80°F

Visibility: 100+ feet

Thermal recommendation: 3mm/5mm full wetsuit

 

Our Crew

Captain: Christy Weaver

2nd Captain: James Wilford

Chef: Brynne Rardin

Chef: Sarah Pearson

Photo Pro: Conor Ferrin

 

Our Guests

Bethany & John, Beverly & Richard, Emily & Jacob, Bruce, Jim, Bob, Mandy, Bob, Steve, Lauren, John & Justin, and Lisa & Dave

 

Our Dive Sites

Sunday: Eel Garden, Amphitheatre - NWPT

Monday: The Dome – NWPT, Magic Mushroom - West Caicos

Tuesday: Brandywine & Boat Cove – West Caicos

Wednesday: Spanish Anchor & Gullies – West Caicos

Thursday: Driveway – West Caicos, Two Step - NWPT

Friday: Sharks Hotel - NWPT

 

Our Week

 

The TCI Aggressor II crew excitedly awaited and greeted our new guests as they arrived on board at 3pm on Saturday. A beautiful sunny day with a gentle breeze was a wonderful way to start this week’s adventure as each guest picked a locker and started setting up their gear. As the crew helped move guests into their cabins, guests mingled and enjoyed the wonderful spread set up by our two chefs Brynne and Sarah. Once everyone was on board, set up, and had been shown to their cabins, Captain Christy and crew lead the group in a safety briefing to give guests an overview of the boat, and the week to come. We finished our evening with a hot dinner of Chicken curry with homemade naan bread, and a thick, creamy cheesecake for dessert. Guests enjoyed each other’s company and slowly made their way to their cabins where they were slowly rocked to sleep by the gentle motion of the boat. We spent the night at Turtle Cove Marina to catch the best tide the next morning.

 

As the faintest light peaked over Turtle Cove Marina, our engines came to life and we were off past Gracebay and through the cut. It was a smooth journey all the way up to Northwest point. As the boat’s engines slowed, Conor rang the dive bell, signaling the back deck briefing. Given every week, this briefing helps all divers know how to safely get in and out of the water and use their dive gear. Captain Christy briefs our guests on their first dive site eel Garden. A wonderful first dive location with great visibi9lity and a spacious sandy floor where garden eels enjoy living and thriving. Taking it nice and slow, divers spent time enjoying our more commonly scene marine life including Queen Triggerfish, Cowfish, and the occasional southern stingray. After a three minute safety stop, all guests are greeted with hot showers and warm towels. Between dives, guests share stories of their underwater encounters as well as take the time to admire the photos they have taken, and to write in their dive log books. After dive number two, the lunch bell is rung. As a hot creamy tomato is served to our divers, Captain Christy, and James let us loose from Eel Garden’s mooring and we head towards our next dive side Amphitheatre. This afternoon dive site is a favorite among the crew because of its lush coral life, and the horizontal swim through that looks like, as the name suggest, an Amphitheatre. Here divers are amazed by the plethora of marine life all around them. Lobsters, juvenile spotted trunk fish, hawksbill turtles, and spotted eels are among the few things that were encountered at this dive site. With higher winds in the afternoon, but incredible visibility at this site, divers have a laugh about the feeling of being on a big swing as the do their safety stop, and are quickly swung back and forth over the top of Amphitheatre. After another day dive and a night dive, guests end their first night with the memories of their amazing dives that day and some Hot Chocolate with Caicos cream to help them sleep easy.

 

Our early risers like to grab a cup of coffee, and head upstairs to the sun deck where they can enjoy the beautiful sunrise as it makes its way up and over North West Point. This morning the sunrise in exceptionally vibrant with hues of red, magenta, and deep orange creating a beautiful creation in the sky; a wonderful start to our second day of diving. Those who enjoy their beauty sleep on the other hand, wake to the smell of sizzling bacon, and fresh hot blueberry coffee cake, a real crowd pleaser for the guests this morning. After breakfast we move over to the Dome. This site gets its name from the Dome shaped structure that sits 30 feet under the water and used to be the center of a French Canadian Television show. After a very short pilot season, the structure became a wonderful dive site where coral and marine life flourish and thrive. After a few hurricanes the structure has collapsed, but has created a fun swim through with lots dimensions. At this site divers see a range of varieties of parrot fish, a juvenile spotted drum, and a scorpionfish. On the second dive, divers came back exuberantly exclaiming that they had witnessed the sighting of a pipe fish! Very exciting for all that were involved. After a wonderful lunch of Tacos, we made our way to West Caicos. West Caicos is a marine reserve that has beautiful wall diving, and some of the best diving in Turks and Caicos. We make our second stop of the day at Magic Mushroom. This site gets its name from a rock formation shaped like a mushroom. As the tide rises the Mushroom shaped rock disappears, but as it goes out the mushroom reappears! Magic! At this site divers are met by both a juvenile and an adult Spotted Drum, as well as a peacock flounder. This week divers counted three lobsters inside lobster tower. The night dive brought lots of excitement as our night divers were joined by not only reef sharks but also a nurse shark out hunting for prey.

Tuesday we find ourselves heading to Brandeywine. A very slow sloping wall, this site has beautiful coral life, lots of sponge species, as well as fish life. On this dive, divers encounter two porcupine puffers, a juvenile French angel, and a thumbprint nudibranch. Our resident roughtail stingray Mabel was also seen hanging out in the soft white sand above the wall. Divers also encountered a lizard fish.

 

Today lunch is served upstairs for our weekly barbeque on the grill with Burgers and Brauts, all the guests enjoyed the sunshine and the wonderful food prepared by the chefs. As lunch was being served we took a quick trip south to Boat Cove. A sight known for having lots of larger animals, this site gets its name for the cove shaped like a boat that pirates used to use in the 1700s to hide their boat. These days it makes for a great place for tourists to swim into and jump off of the island. Two of our guests enjoy a nice Kayak over into the cove. At boat cove divers are greeted right away by four reef sharks curiously swimming by. As the divers make their way south along the wall, a friendly Grey Angelfish joins the fun and spends some time swimming along the wall with our divers. A bit of a curve in the wall gives the divers a wonderful surprise as the find a female hawksbill turtle enjoying a nice afternoon snack of sponge. She is quite happy to have the divers around, and spends a couple of minutes swimming with them. Overall a great dive site, guests are fulfilled with their dives of the day and are excited to get on to the night dive. Tonight’s night dive brings eels, sharks and squid. Quite an eventful dive, after finding three squid, Conor and Divers watch as a Black Jack rips apart one of the squids sending ink in every direction. The kill brings excitement to the sharks nearby and from the hang bar above the divers watch the feeding frenzy below take place.

 

As we move into Wednesday morning, our divers up early editing photos, and enjoying the cool morning air. This morning we make our way to the most southern dive site of West Caicos, Spanish Anchor. Spanish Anchor is an amazing dive site with a swim through with an Anchor stuck in the coral wall from a Spanish ship that Anchored in the late 1900s. Now covered in coral and brilliant colored sponges, this site is great for personal photos to remember the trip by. As divers make their way through the swim through they are greeted by a green turtle as well as a green moray eel. At lunch we make our move to Gullies, another site known for its vertical swim through. Here our guests are met by many amazing creatures but one of our favorites is Sully the resident reef shark. Seeming a little bit larger than normal it is thought that she may be pregnant. She gracefully weaved her way curiously through the water near the guests, and even made a lazy effort at catching a parrot fish. The visibility and the sunshine made for an amazing two day dives here at Gullies and one amazing night dive. On this night dive divers stayed above the wall and enjoyed all the small things including shrimps, flame scallops, and a baby octopus that was enjoying all the attention.

 

Thursday brings us to our next site Driveway. After guests enjoy a filling breakfast of Eggs Benedict, divers plunge into the water soon to be greeted by Caribbean reef sharks and two female turtles rough housing along the wall. Our divers spent some time witnessing this interaction and making guesses as to what their interaction meant. On their second dive divers went north along the wall and came across a cowfish, a scrawled file fish, and a juvenile French Angelfish. As the last divers make their way up to the showers the engines start, and during lunch we head back to Northwest Point. Today we are joined by a group of dolphins riding the bow. All guests got a great show and were happy for this interaction with the dolphins. As the boat slows we moor up to a dive site called Two Step. This site gets its name from the step effect the wall has in a two tiered fashion the wall has a more gradual and step quality to it. This site is known for its impressive coral life. Divers see lots of Lobsters on this dive, as well as spotted moray eels, Ocean triggerfish, and a school of Spade fish.

Friday brings some melancholy feelings for guests and crew alike as it is our last day of diving for the week. The last site of our journey is Sharks Hotel. This site gets its name from the unusually vacant site this has a reef sharks. The guests are all determined to find sharks, but in the end are satisfied to see two balloon puffer fish, a Queen Angel fish that was ready for her close up, and a huge barracuda. After our last divers are back we head towards turtle cove marina. As Captain Christy makes her way through the cut from the sundeck helm, she is joined by our guests as they enjoy the beautiful views of the aquamarine water. Christy skillfully brings us through the winding channel of Turtle Cove marina and docks the boat with the help of her other crew members. Brynne and Sarah serve one last meal to our guests, and then they are off exploring Gracebay and all it has to offer, while others enjoy the last of their time on the boat. At 5pm reminisce about the week gone by and future trips while enjoying wine and cheese. We are sad to see our amazing guests go but are excited for all of the amazing adventures we shared together and all of those to come.