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Turks & Caicos Aggressor II
2nd - 9th January 2016
Air temperature: 83° - 87°
Water temperature: 79° - 81°
Visibility: 50 - 90 feet
Captain: AMANDA SMITH
2nd Captain: MARC POVEY
Engineer: ROB SMITH
Video Pro: MATT CRAWFORD
Chef: AILSA KELLY
Photo Pro: TROY SANDY
Rick & Jessica, Barb, Jan & Mark, Beth & Elliot, Walter, Patrick, Mike, Tana & Landis, Bob & Jocelyn, Joe & Elana, Michael & Rachel.
Turks & Caicos: West Caicos, Northwest Point, French Cay & West Sand Spit
After being welcomed on board the Turks and Caicos Aggressor, our guests settled in and acquainted themselves with the vessel and one another. The Turks and Caicos Aggressor then departed Turtle Cove Marina and made way to North West Point while Chef Ailsa served up a delectable dinner followed by the formalities of the safety briefing. Bedtime followed.
Weary bodies started to appear from the depths of the vessel as smells of breakfast filled the salon. We enjoyed a fortifying breakfast and then the diving began. We first splashed into “Amphitheatre’, this fantastic checkout dive produced a spotted moray, French angelfish, horse eye jacks, massive barrel sponges, gorgonian sea fans and an array of garden eels. The dive was so good that we returned for another. It was then time for The Thunder Dome. The ‘Dome’ is a large structure that was used for a pilot series of a reality game show many years ago. It is encrusted with coral, sponges, and swarmed with snappers and jacks. In the structure itself we found a number of secretary blennies poking their heads out to see what all the fuss is about as this gaggle of divers swam by. We also had the company of a few feisty Sgt majors protecting their eggs. We were fortunate enough to find yet another octopus out during the day. Great dives! Dinner and a night dive was followed by a well-deserved slumber.
“Boat Cove” got our attention for our morning dive. Here the magnificent wall with nooks and crannies provided us with loads of exploration possibilities. Soft coral and sponges dominated with lobsters watching us as we swam by. After a scrumptious lunch, we splashed into “Magic Mushroom”. Stingrays were fluttering along the sand looking for their dinner and completely ignored its audience. We stumbled across a few colourful nudibranchs, channel crabs, shrimps and a juvenile blue tang. Our little sea horse seems to have made this site his home since seeing him here for the 3rd week in a row now. This put an end to a great days diving.
A new day began as the Turks and Caicos Aggressor made passage to French Cay. ‘Rock ’n Roll’ was up next. Sharks and an affable turtle were seen on their morning stroll and almost bumped into each other as they passed one another. Some yellow head jaw fish and Creole wrasse were also out and about on this lovely morning dive. We surfaced to the sounds of Jimmy Buffet as chef Ailsa prepared cheeseburgers in paradise. During the feast we journeyed to West Sand Spit for a couple of beautiful dives that are not regularly dived since the seas were mirror flat. We dived into a sloping wall filled with sponges and schooling snapper and grunts. A turtle made a brief appearance and on our return to the yacht a very large eagle ray flew by. During dinner the Turks and Caicos Aggressor made passage back to French Cay where we delighted in a night dive at “Rock ’n Roll” What a spectacular night dive with the likes of squid, octopus, black jacks and a wonderful encounter with a baby nurse shark buzzing around us. We also were shocked when the nurse shark at a spotted eel for dinner right infant of us. That was certainly a memorable one.
We started our day with a pleasant dive at “Half Mile”. It greeted us with gin clear water where we found spotted eels, shrimps, garden eels and some horse eyed jacks hiding in the shadow of the yacht. A turtle made a brief appearance before leisurely cruising down the reef. After lunch we splashed into “G-Spot”. Here we encountered many schools of snapper on the way to the wall along with patrolling reef sharks making real close passes. Along the wall we admired all the sponges and soft coral with big bushes of black coral littering the wall. To our delight a eagle ray cruised by and also made a really close pass. This turned out to be a really good dive, showcasing the best that French Cay has to offer. The night dive proved rather delightful as nudis and crustaceans were sighted out and about their nightly routine.
Morning broke over the Turks and Caicos Islands and set the stage for a good days diving. First up was “Gullies”. We splashed into shark infested waters with at least 5 sharks circling below the yacht. The reef sharks continued in a distinct predictable pattern so we could sit back and just enjoy the show. The wall was filled again with a coral garden housing neck crabs, eels and schools of snapper. Unperturbed by our presence, stingrays with their own bar jack entourage shuffled in the sand digging up potential prey. The Turks & Caicos Aggressor then made way to North West Point to “Crack”. Here the topography changed a bit from what we were used to at West Caicos. The wall here was carved coral ridges. The crack being a chimney structure was an enjoyable experience to swim up. It was covered in tube sponges and barrel sponges. Grunts and Creole wrasse filled the edge of the wall. Flamingo tongues, spotted drums and smooth trunkfish were also spotted on this lovely dive.
We kicked off with ‘Stairway” for our morning dive. A plethora of reef fish scattered the reef and a turtle also came by to bid us farewell. These were delightful dives and a great way to end the trip. 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, where we all had a cocktail while reminiscing on a wonderful week diving 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!