Log Date: Saturday, Apr 09, 2016
Entry By: Turks & Caicos Aggressor Crew
Turks & Caicos Aggressor II
9 - 16 April 2016
Water Temp: 80
Visibility: 50 – 100 Ft
Guests: Tim, Lynn, Brian, Laura, Bill, Allen, Sharon, Lorin, Daniel, Mark, Randy,
Jan, Julie, Christine, Christina, Dave, John
Captain – Todd
2nd Captain - Nelson
Engineer – Rob
Chef – Matt
Video Pro – Troy
Instructor – Grant
Sunday – Eel Garden, Coral Stairways - NWPT
Monday – Boat Cove, Spanish Anchor – West Caicos
Tuesday – G-Spot, Rock & Roll – French Cay
Wednesday – !/2 Mile Reef, G-Spot – French Cay
Thursday –Gullies – West Caicos: The Dome – NWPT
We welcome everyone on board on Saturday Afternoon with cocktails and a selection of meats and cheeses. Introductions are made between everyone and a fun atmosphere quickly ensues. Once everyone was comfortable we served the 1st of a sublime set of meals whilst we pull up anchor and head to Northwest Point to moor up at Eel Garden ready for the next mornings 1st dive of the week.
Sunday morning, as people arise to the upper decks they are greeted with the wonderful smells from the galley mixed with the aroma of fresh brewed coffee and lightly toasted bread. A fortifying breakfast is had ready for a great day of diving.
We gather everyone on the back deck and give a full briefing and then its time to get ready, 10 minutes of fiddle time is given to prepare the diving equipment and then its time to get wet, everyone that is here to dive gets in the water apart from one, Christine who is talking to her Instructor, being given final guidance before embarking on her open water course dives and from there a life of diving.
We start with a couple of dives at Eel Garden a great site for checking all your equipment is at optimal performance whilst having a great dive. Everyone enters the water and descends, there are a few final adjustments and then exploration of the reef commences. Down on the sandy bed it becomes apparent for the naming of the site, there are Garden Eels everywhere and Yellow Headed Jaw fish bobbing around too! We have plenty of Parrot fish and a stingray, the local Reef Sharks make an appearance.
Monday morning and we moor at Boat Cove at West Caicos. A beautiful site with some fantastic sand chutes, at the top of the main chute if you look under a coral head you can find the resident golden tailed Moray! We check this site out along the mantle, finding, Pederson cleaner shrimp with banded shrimp in the corkscrew anemones, lots of Jacks and Snappers, some of the West Caicos Sharks come to check us out and swim alongside us. Our student is distracted enjoying the spectacle of the sharks whilst completing hers skills. The water is lovely and warm, the visibility fantastic, we find some Flying Gurnards and Peacock Flounders moving around between the coral heads with the occasional Stingray rooting for brunch.
After the 2nd dive we get settled in for a great lunch and move down to Spanish Anchor for the afternoon and night.
Spanish Anchor, named after the anchor that is subsumed into the wall of a channel swim through is yet another superb site, with Giant Anemones, massive barrel sponges, plenty of Porcupine and Burr fish, a couple of Spotted Drums and Trumpet fish hiding all over the reef, the Reef Sharks are patrolling as usual, we also find a number of Lion fish along the way, the numbers of this invasive species are less in the dive areas now but they are still prevalent. When we come back in from our dive ready for dinner we count an extra certified diver back on board, Congratulations on passing your open water certification Christine!!
After yet another amazing meal we have another exciting night dive, with the Jacks and Sharks gliding and darting around and the Channel Clinging Crabs and Lobsters dancing around on the reef. That night after everyone is settled in we move over to French Cay, ready for another day of diving in TCI.
In the Morning we are all up for another of the Chefs daily knock out breakfasts before diving one of the very best sites here, G-Spot. This site never fails to impress: it has a bit of everything and is one of the harder sites for most people to access. There is normally some of the larger pelagic life here as well as beautiful under water reefs to glide over. Watching a natural reef in all of its glory is breath taking. On the dives we have Reef and Nurse Sharks, Hawksbill Turtles, Spotted drums, Spotted Moray Eels, Yellow line Arrow crabs, huge Lobsters, a forest of beautiful fans, loads of sponges, and a massive diversity of corals. Between dives we rest for our surface interval and enjoy amazing snacks that our Chef prepares between all the dives that dont have a full meal set.
At lunch time we move over to Rock & Roll, the next site along and a natural progression from G-spot. Rock & Roll has beautiful scenery and lots of hidden treasures to find in all the nooks and crannies. Shrimp, Anemones, tiny crabs, sea cucumbers are to be found in plenty, Spotted Drums and Eels are to be found in the Coral heads here and on the night dive all the predators come out to play, we have an addition to the resident couple of Nurse sharks the live in this area a new baby nurse shark that is super cute as it bumps into things still trying to find its spatial awareness! We have so much fun at French Cay we decide to stay and move over to the 3rd site ½ mile Reef ready for the morning dive.
After another hearty breakfast we are ready to go diving at the new site, this is a spectacular section of wall with plenty of crevasses to investigate whilst looking for the crustaceans that live here. Above the wall atop the reef we have great coral heads and really nice sand trenches between yellow headed Jaw fish, Peacock Flounders, Stingrays gliding around and as always the Reef sharks roaming their territory. After Lunch, we move back to G-Spot because it was so good and everyone had so much fun here and this time, we get to do a night dive here! The night dive is out of this world or at least feels like it. There are loads of Reef and Nurse Sharks, Dozens of Black Jacks, Lobsters and Crabs running around on the Reef, the Basket Stars are out and the bio-luminescence is fantastic. A great site for night diving and one we were very happy to take Christine our newly qualified Open Water Diver on, I think we may have a new night diver convert..
Thursday morning we head back to West Caicos and stop at Gullies, a site that as the name suggests has a number of Gullies breaching the top of the wall with the major one near the mooring point. This site has some great residents, a huge turtle with a barnacle in the middle of his shell, some Giant Anemones but most notably a very large Female Reef Shark that has lived here for several years. She has an entourage of 4 or 5 male sharks and seems to spend a lot of the time pregnant, these guys will come and check out divers that are in the water affording wonderful opportunities for close up photos.
Whilst we have another sublime lunch we head across to Northwest Point to one of the most famous sites, The Dome this site is very near to another site, the Chimney, so we do both on the dives here. The dome is a great site for creating great photographs and there is a large population of Grunts that live in the inside section. There are plenty of small crustaceans and some tiger tails. We have a hawks bill turtle, the reef Sharks are out by the wall, The Dome comes into its own at night and creates quite the eerie dive.
On Friday morning we move over to the Amphitheater for the last 2 dives of the week. Starting the first dive just after sun up we catch the nocturnal creatures heading off for bed as the day critters are just rising. This creates for an outstanding couple of dives, with numerous Sharks, plenty of variant Crabs, some spotted Drums and stingrays, a wonderful way to end a week of outstanding diving in the turquoise waters of Turks and Caicos.
At the end of the day we have a cheese and wine party on the sun deck, where we get to exchange stories of the week and bid a fond farewell to each other till the next time we meet.