Log Date: Saturday, Apr 25, 2015
Entry By: Turks & Caicos Aggressor Crew
Turks & Caicos Aggressor II
25 April - 1 May 2015
Water Temperature: 78° - 80°F
Visibility: 80 feet
Captain AMANDA SMITH
2nd Captain LOWEL OROURKE
Engineer ROB SMITH
Instructor KELLY CURRINGTON
Chef AILSA KELLY
Photo Pro SHEA MARKWELL
GUESTS: Tom, Debbie, Will, Matt, Fred, Tim, Eric, Ignacio, Matthew, Randy, Rick, Misha, George, Matthew, Marc, & Pat
LOCATION: Turks & Caicos, Northwest Point, West Caicos, French Cay, West Sand Spit
Sunday – Eel Garden & The Dome - Northwest Point, Providenciales
Monday – Driveway & Magic Mushroom - West Caicos
Tuesday – Brandywine & Spanish Anchor - West Caicos
Wednesday – Gullies & Boat Cove - West Caicos
Thursday – Rock-N-Roll & G-Spot - French Cay
Friday – Half Mile - French Cay
The weather is beautiful as the guests start arriving with blue skies, cotton clouds, and a slight ocean breeze blowing. From the minute they stepped aboard they were buzzing with excitement about the week to come. They unpacked their gear and settled into the salon for the Welcome Briefing. While everyone got to know each other and the yacht, and dined on a spectacular meal prepared by Chef Ailsa Captain Amanda headed off around the Northwest Point of Providenciales to our first dive site for the next day. Bellies full, expectations set, and wine consumed they guests disappeared to their quarters for a good nights slumber.
The sky glowed with ambient hues of pink and orange as the sun began to rise over the turquoise waters. The guests made their way upstairs for a hot breakfast and then off to the dive deck for the first dive of the trip! Eel Garden is a gorgeous and tranquil site to start the week. The sand under the boat is inhabited by hundreds of garden eels, which brings in the stingrays and with the rays come the barjacks. Along the coral ridge on the south side of the site is our resident Green Moray…hiding under an overhang and peering out into the light. He looks menacing but he is a beauty! Gaudy Clown Crabs hide in little holes of the encrusting sponges, and a flame scallops feathery tentacles outline its ruby red center. One of the main features of this site is the Giant Condylactis Anemone on the wall to the entrance of The Crack. Its jelly-like fingers reaching out into the water like ETs finger phoning home. Hidden in the anemone are little sexy shrimp (Squat Anemone Shrimp) wiggling their little bums in the air. On the way back to boat we find a shy little Balloonfish. We dont spend much time over him/her as they are timid and we left quietly. Escorting part of the dive was a resident reef shark making sure our divers get back to the boat safely.
Still at Northwest Point we moved to The Dome a favorite of guests and crew alike. It is teaming with life. Blue Striped Grunts, Yellowtail Snapper, and Blennies are all around the structure looking like a little city under the sea. A school of Horse-eye Jacks circle right above The Dome like a nautical halo. Out on the wall a spectacular Scrawled Filefish meandered along eating and Caribbean Lobster scurried over the coral looking for a new hidy hole to get in until dark. A very large sleepy Hawksbill Turtle settled in under a ledge in the sand for a power nap and allowed the guests some great photo opps. Stingrays glided over the powder white sand with the fluidity of an olympic ice skater and a HUGE Porcupine Puffer kept an eye on us as we did our safety stop and exited their realm to the yacht.
We moved to West Caicos in the early hours of morning to Boat Cove. The guests were exposed to greatness on their first dive of the day as they slipped off the dive platform into the azure water below. Atlantic Spade Fish circled a coral-head on the edge of the wall escorted by a resident girl in a gray suit. Further down a beautiful Lionfish (yes I know we are suppose to loath them but they ARE beautiful!) floated over the reef displaying his/her power for all to see. Just when you think it cant get any better the guests are treated to a lovely Scrawled Filefish and three striking Tiger Groupers at a cleaning station. As we head back to the yacht we are ecstatic to see a Flying Gurnard patting the sand at though doing a poetic tap-dance as the finale` to our dive! Awesomeness! We continued our day along West Caicos at Spanish Anchor. Not only is the dive site itself spectacular but the history of how the name came to be lends excitement to the dive you know…pirates, shipwreck, escape! Oh my! Though we were lucky enough to escape pirates Spotted Morays, Oceanic Triggerfish, Atlantic Spadefish, and Scorpion Fish kept the guests very busy. As always we had our guys and gals in the gray escorting for a safe return to the vessel.
After the night dive, as our guests enjoyed wine and conversation on the moon deck, we pulled up the ladders and off we went to French Cay to Half Mile. As the orange and pink ball of fire slowly peaked over the horizon, breakfast was served and everyone readied themselves for more fantastic diving. Standing on the dive deck looking out across the calm turquoise water you can see the tiny spot of sand and brush sitting in the middle of this pristine place. As divers leaped from the deck and sank below the surface streams of light penetrated the blue like a crystal curtain…BEAUTIFUL! All along the wall of Half Mile the soft corals flow back and forth as Blue Striped Grunts hide behind them moving in perfect rhythm as not to be seen. Gigantic Barrel Sponges decorate the sea floor and extend from the wall…most of them hundreds of years old.
Captain Amanda decided to make a trip over to West Sand Spit, which is a place we only get to dive a few times a year because conditions have to be perfect! We couldnt have asked for a more perfect day here. Huge schools of Atlantic Spade Fish, Oceanic Triggerfish, three gorgeous Gaudy Clown Crabs decorating a sponge on the edge of the wall and the breeching Spotted Eagle Ray seen from the Drone above. Just when we thought wed seen everything there was to see a beautiful pod of Spotted Dolphins rode our bow for about 30 minutes on the way back to French Cay! After a morning and afternoon so grand the only thing to do was to head to Rock-N-Roll for an evening concert of “The Sharks”, “The Inking Squid”, “Spawning Sponges”, and “The Spotted Drum”! We can never leave French Cay without exploring G-Spot. This site never disappoints. Divers were exposed to everything from the most stunning topography, including the forest of Deep Sea Gorgonians, to massive Clinging Crabs, Juvi Spotted Drums, and baby sponges being born!
In the early hours Thursday morning we headed back to West Caicos to Gullies for Eagle Rays cruising the wall, Atlantic Spade Fish decorating the water column, roughback stingrays hunting, barracuda getting a good cleaning, and schools of Goatfish digging in the sand. But wait theres more! Another Eagle Ray skimming the shallows under the shadow of the vessel as our guests ascended! Sweet! After a decadent lunch we steered towards Northwest Point for a show at the Amphitheatre. It was spectacular…starring schooling Blue Tang, The Scorpion Fish, and the main attraction Caribbean Octopus! As the moonlight trickled through the dark abyss, the final dive was gifted with a Gold Spotted Eel hunting over the sand evicting a Squirrelfish and Blue Tang from their beds only to discover they werent up to the standards required by a beautiful specimen such as He!
As the yacht navigated back through the cut and into Turtle Cove Marina the guests were enjoying wine, mingling and buzzing about all that the week had delivered. They left with happy hearts and smiles on their faces ready to plan their next Aggressor Dive vacation.
A special thanks to Rick and Randy for sharing the Drone with us and showing us an entirely new view of our world!!
From the Ocean to you…