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Turks & Caicos Aggressor II
4 – 11th Feburary 2016
Air temperature: 78° - 82°
Water temperature: 78° - 79°
Visibility: 30 - 80 feet
Captain: AMANDA SMITH
2nd Captain: CHRISTY WEAVER
Engineer: ROB SMITH
Chef: JESS POLK
Driver/Guide: CONOR FERRIN
Silver Bank, Dominican Republic
A warm welcome for the eighteen new guests that will be calling the Turks and Caicos Aggressor II home for the next week. Hailing from all over the guests step onto a the TCAII with cocktails, drinks and the smells of an amazing dinner stewing that Chef Jess was eagerly preparing. After a quick briefing we all gorged ourselves on the fabulous meal Jess made for us. We enjoy a couple of more drinks and conversation after dinner and everyone settles in for the night. At midnight we cast off the dock and say goodbye to land for the next seven days and prepare for the sight of our first humpback whale on the horizon.
We arrive in the silver banks and get everything ready for our first close up encounters with humpback whales. We enjoy a tasty lunch and then load up Conqueror and Predator (our chase boats) with gear, cameras and guests. We search high and low for the humpback whales and find two sleeping whales and snorkel with them, a third comes in and scares our two “sleepers” away. We saw lots of blows and a few breaches along the horizon which made for an incredible end to our first day snorkelling with humpback whales.
We got after it early on the TCAII and took off to find whales. There was lots of surface action today. Conqueror encountered a rowdy group which they followed for most of the morning. There was lots of tail and peck slaps and in general this group of at least five male whales put on an amazing show for us. Predator came across what we thought was a male and female whale. The male whale was convinced that we were trying to encroach on his love interest and constantly blew bubbles between her and the boat. The afternoon held more excitement. Predator came across a mother and calf with an escort we spent most of the afternoon following this group and snorkelling with them. The show was capped off with all three of the whales breaching multiple times in front of both boats. A perfect end to a prefect day.
The morning on Tuesday started off with a small amount of weather which delayed us briefly but did not stop our fun. We saw some action on the surface and one group got the opportunity to snorkel with some gentle movers. The whales hung out briefly with our group at about 30ft. A great encounter for the morning! The afternoon brought several more showers but not enough to stop us from enjoying some amazing whale encounters. One group witnessed the start to a valentine a courtship dance between a female and a potential suitor. The other group had a singer which they swam and heard all afternoon, a sound that vibrates through your entire body an incredible experience. We came back for cocktails, dinner and some awesome whale and photography facts!
Wednesday was another incredible day in the Silver Banks. We started the morning out with a group of singers which both groups got to snorkel with. They came up just feet from our snorkelers and it was an unreal moment. The afternoon was also eventful, a pod of fifty dolphins came through and though it was not a humpback whale everyone got in and enjoyed a very playful snorkel with this pod of spotted dolphins. The other group encountered another set of sleepers. We ended the night with cocktail hour and a lecture on photography. Dinner was served and shortly after most retired to bed after a long amazing day in the sun.
Thursday started off a little slow with a lot of “blow and goes,” however towards the end of the morning we came upon a mother and calf. The mother was happily sleeping and allowed all of our snorkels in the water with her little calf. The calf would come up every three to four minutes giving the group a little show and the mother would come up with the calf every ten minutes giving us a big show. It was incredible watching these two whales in the water. We spent a good amount of time with two before coming back for lunch. Everyone commented how amazing the encounter was and called it the best of the week. The afternoon brought us some surface action with peck slaps, breaches, and tail slapping. The wind had dropped down and it was a nice afternoon cruise on the chase boats. A great way to cap off our whale encounters for the week. We brought the chase boats back in and loaded them up for the long journey that was ahead of us in the morning.
We left the Silver Banks at first light on Friday morning and had an easy crossing on the way back to Puerto Plata. We arrived at the dock and everyone began to get ready for the cheese and wine party. The guests and crew came together for a night to reminisce the amazing memories we had from the week. It was the perfect end to a perfect week!