Log Date: Saturday, Jul 25, 2015
Entry By: Turks & Caicos Aggressor Crew
Turks & Caicos Aggressor II
25 July – 1 August 2015
Air temperature: 85° - 89° F
Water temperature: 83° - 84° F
Visibility: 80 – 100 feet
Captain: AMANDA SMITH
2nd Captain: MARC POVEY
Engineer: ROBERT SMITH
Instructor: MATT CRAWFORD
Video Pro: KELLY CURRINGTON
Chef: SHEA MARKWELL
John & Beverly, Gary & Michelle, Roger, Ellen, & Audrey, Richard & Jared, Darrell, Kimberly, & Camille, Stephen & Kurt, Tom & Gene, Cherry, Jackie & Mat
Sunday – Eel Garden, Black Forest – NWPT
Monday – The Dome – NWPT, White Face – West Caicos
Tuesday – Brandy Wine, Magic Mushroom- West Caicos
Wednesday – Gullies, Boat Cove, West Caicos
Thursday – Elephant Ear – West Caicos, Stairway – NWPT
Friday – Pinnacles – Grace Bay
As the tropical sun shimmers across the 7 different colors of water, the yacht buzzed with excitement as another charter kicked off. The group consisted of a close group of friends and family from Texas, granddaughters to grandmothers, each happy to be together in such a gorgeous setting. Everyone joined Captain Amanda upstairs to watch as we tossed the lines, and began to set off towards the sunset. We left the marina and cruised parallel to the beach before heading to the North West Point of the island, where we filled our bellies with wine and a delicious meal from Chef Shea..
At the crack of daylight, the ladders were dropped, the hang bar tossed in, and the sizzle of eggs began to be heard. After everyone had their fill of pancakes, sausage, and eggs, we began our underwater adventure by splashing into “Eel Garden.” It was an absolutely brilliant checkout dive, where our explorers were joined by a turtle, ray, and nurse shark! For the second dive, everyone had their weights and new gear sorted, which allowed us to spend more time exploring the majestic corals and wall. After another hearty meal, we dropped the mooring and headed a short distance to “Black Forest.” This legendary dive site is regarded for its “amphitheater,” where huge schooling jacks surround the divers. Once we were able to escape the wall of jacks, we came across a field of Yellow-Headed Jawfish, many of them males with eggs! They seemed to be everywhere, sticking out of the sand like blades of grass on a football field. What an incredible sight! We finished off the day with our first night dive of the week, which gave everyone insight to just how many crustaceans we have here. There were lobsters, crabs, and countless types of shrimp, while giant southern rays glided over the white sandy bottom.
The next morning, we began our day at a beautiful site named “The Dome.” This dive has plenty to fascinate everyone, as a beautiful wall is covered with lobsters, red-banded coral shrimp, and sharks cruising back and forth. As we come from the wall to the mooring pin, there are the remnants of an old game show, making the dome, which has now became an extremely vibrant and active home to many species. They are filled with schooling French grunts, and along the dome you can find skeleton shrimp, iridescent shrimp, and a plethora of blennies. After two exhilarating dives here, we headed across to West Caicos, where our first stop was a site called “White-Face.” This new area of Turks provided us the opportunity to share the water with several Caribbean Reef Sharks, all of which curiously approached the divers. This new encounter was in everyone’s thoughts, as they cautiously looked at a 400 year-old Spanish anchor, the sharks circling close behind.
After a night filled with laughter and games, we started a new day just a short distance away, at a place called “Brandy Wine.” This fantastic dive site includes a brilliant array of colors along the wall, complete with several neck crabs and gaudy clown crabs. After lunch it was time for “Magic Mushroom.” Here we explored the beautiful wall features, with all its nooks and crannies, and came across little arrow blennies, eels, channel clinging crabs, and lobsters. We were also treated with the egg guarding from the male Yellow-Headed Jawfish! They were rather skittish, and quickly shot back into their hole if anything approached too close. This fantastic day had an unbelievable finish, with several Flying Gurnards spreading their wings to cruise the sandy bottom on our night dive! What an incredible sight!
To begin our next day of adventure, we headed over to a fantastic wall named “Gullies.” This dive provided several cheeky sharks who came close to see every diver, all of whom barely noticed them due to their extreme focus on the 3 playful turtles that accompanied us throughout the entirety of the dive. We had a chance to explore a bit more on the second dive of the day, which brought large schools of French Grunts, cryptic teardrop crabs, and rough back shrimp. After another incredibly scrumptious meal from Chef Shea, we headed over to “Boat Cove.”
A beautiful sunrise gave us plenty of light at our next stop on our tour, Elephant Ear. This is the crews favorite dive site, as it provides a beautiful wall for those interested in going deep, as well as an array of macro fun! Most of us spent the entire dive in the sand with a plethora of Headshield slugs, an octopus, rays, pipe horses, and flying dingbats peppering the ocean floor. After this incredible display of macro life, we headed back across to the Northwest Point and finished our day at a beautiful wall called “Stairway.” Here we encountered several large grouper, barracuda, and peacock flounders. The coral stairway of heaven provided countless arrow crabs, porcelain crabs, and file clams.
We moved after the night dive over to Grace Bay, where a crepuscular dive woke got the day started right. We had 3 Caribbean reef sharks in the shadows searching for breakfast, and several species of damsel fish protected their homes with veracity. The Turks and Caicos Aggressor then made passage back to Turtle Cove Marina and guests lounged in the sun taking in the beautiful sights of the islands. Captain Amanda invited all guests and crew for wine and cheese on the sun deck. Here we all had a cocktail while reminiscing on a wonderful week of diving the Turks and Caicos Islands. We bid our new friends a safe trip back home and look forward to having them eat, sleep and dive with us again soon!