Log Date: Saturday, Dec 26, 2015
Entry By: Turks & Caicos Aggressor Crew
Turks & Caicos Aggressor II
26 December 2015 – 2 January 2016
Air temperature: 85° - 89° F
Water temperature: 80° - 82° F
Visibility: 50 – 120 feet
Captain: MARC POVEY
Chef: AILSA KELLY
Photo Pro: TROY SANDY
Instructor: GRANT PATTEN
Instructor: THERESE CLARK
Instructor: MATT CRAWFORD
Johno, Gillian, Suzi, Harry, Isara, James, Jono, Mark, Carlos, Maddie, Steve, Philippe, Robert, Danja
Sunday – Eel Garden, Amphitheatre – NWPT,
Monday – Magic Mushroom, Brandywine- West Caicos
Tuesday –Gullies, Elephant Ear Canyon, Magic Mushroom, West Caicos
Wednesday – Stairway to Heaven, Spanish Anchor, Boat Cove, West Caicos
Thursday –The Dome, NWPT
Friday – The Dome, Two Step - NWPT
Saturday, the start of the New Year’s Charter, there is a happy buzz on the boat as we finish preparations and get ready to set out in the morning, all of our guests are settled ready for departure as soon as we can in the morning.
Sunday we set off for North West Point and arrive at Eel Garden, where we conduct a couple of trial dives, getting everyone’s equipment a weighting correct for the rest of the week. With setup complete we check out the local terrain under the watchful eyes of the resident Reef Sharks. After lunch we move across to Amphitheatre a beautiful dive site with a hollow section in the wall and a mound that is teaming with life in front, the hollow section has lots of Wire Coral hanging, a couple of Tiger Tails, The Jacks dart around especially at night in our torches hunting for the unwary smaller fish. We have a close encounter with a Reef Shark that is uncaring of how wary the other Fish are as he grabs for his dinner at the edge of the wall. With the arrival of darkness the Crabs and lobsters come out to play, we have some tiny Caribbean Reef Squid hiding in amongst the Sea Fans and Rods and plenty of fish hiding whilst they sleep.
Next morning we head off early to West Caicos and get to Magic Mushroom. Breakfast is had and we proceed with the dives, checking along the wall we discover that our Seahorse is still in residence, alive and well, after paying our respects we move on and explore the site, meeting up with some Turtles and Moray Eels, whilst keeping an eye on the Reef Sharks buzzing along the mantle. After an amazing Mexican lunch we hop along to Brandywine a superb site with some fun and interesting residents. A great Giant Anemone lives along here with numerous Lobsters & Crabs, there are also Burrfish and Porcupinefish to be found with Spadefish along the Mantle. We have 5 separate Reef Sharks along this dive and a very friendly Turtle just by the Anemone, we also find plenty of cleaning stations and a number of Lionfish as well as Stingrays rooting in the sand.
Tuesday morning we move down to Gullies, a fantastic site with a number of gullies and one major one that normally has a very large Female Reef Shark hanging around circling her territory with 4 of her male companions. Gliding through the crystal clear water we can see numerous Parrotfish in all their multitude of changes, the Squirrelfish are looking out from the coral heads, Butterflyfish skip along the mantle and we have a friendly Turtle come and check us out. Moving along the wall for a bit more excitement we move down to Elephant Ear Canyon, out of water the top of the wall would make a perfect beach, under water it is home to a horde of Garden Eels and therefore numerous Stingrays, Southern and Rough Tail. On entering the Water we have 5 very playful Reef Sharks that interact with the group for the dive, a Hawksbill Turtle joins us for our flight across the top of the Canyon, enjoying the breathtaking panorama of the chutes and wall with our vision slowly fading into the abyss at the vanishing point. We skip back to Magic Mushroom for a shallower night dive and all the night crawlers come out to greet us as we search the nooks their bright eyes glowing in our torchlight. Some beautiful tiny Squid are tentatively peeking out from behind a fan coral and the Reef Sharks add to the ambience by moving around the group just on the edge of vision, at one point we stop and settling safely turn off our lights and enjoy the bioluminescent light show.
In the morning we head off to Highway to Heaven, We only do one dive here due to the depth of the wall but one is well worth it! A superb dive is had by all, the corals and wall are in pristine condition, the lighting and visibility are outstanding, Reef Sharks circle as we enter and head to the underwater ‘Black Diamond Ski Slopes’ that chute through the wall here from 65 – 110+ feet, we find a couple of Hawksbill Turtles, one of them having breakfast, a number of Banded Coral Shrimp can be easily found in the plate corals, the colours are dazzling with the vibrant health of the reef here. After this we head down to Spanish Anchor a site with a beautiful swim through and a massive Spanish Anchor lodged in the wall at the bottom of the swim through. The conditions are ideal, warm with clear Visibility, we have the wonderful array of life that is constant at West Caicos, everyone enjoys the stunning swim through with the age old anchor lodged in the wall at the end. To finish the day we head down to Boat Cove for an evening and night dive. Here we have a great time with a few Hawksbill Turtles, some Porcupinefish, a big Reef Shark, Channel Crabs, A group of 7 Lobsters all in a hole, a Peacock Flounder slinks across the sand avoiding the Garden eels. After a great days diving we relax in the saloon until bedtime.
New Year’s Eve, we have moved to Coral Stairway at North West Point, a spectacular dive site. We are met by a couple of Reef Sharks that interact with us for the first part of the dive, we work our way along the wall admiring the blue depths of the vast sand banks below, along the reef wall we find plenty of Lobsters and Crabs and a couple of Spotted Moray Eels Amongst the Coral we find Pederson Cleaner Shrimp living in the Corkscrew Anemone, for the afternoon and evening we move to The Dome, remnants of an 80’s TV game show, the structure is full of French Grunts and around the edge we have a number of Stingrays feeding, on the Wall we find a couple of Red Banded Lobsters and 7 Caribbean Spiny Lobsters in a crevasse. We have a few great dives here accompanied by the local Reef Sharks.
New Year’s Day we move to a spectacular site called Two Step. A great way to end the charter and start the New Year. We have an early morning Night dive followed by the last dive after breakfast. Everyone has a great couple of dives accompanied by A few Reef Sharks and a Hawksbill Turtle makes an appearance, we also have a few Porcupinefish and a small group of Spadefish.
Once everyone is safely back on board we head back to Turtle Cove Marina where we have a nice relaxing last day of the charter.