Turks & Caicos Aggressor II
18-25th February 2016
Air temperature: 78° - 82°
Water temperature: 78° - 79°
Visibility: 30 - 80 feet
Captain: AMANDA SMITH
2nd Captain: CHRISTY WEAVER
Engineer: ROB SMITH
Chef: Christy Brown
Driver/Guide: CONOR FERRIN
Stew: EVA ROMAN CASTILLO
Osvaldo & Patty, Michael & Andrea, Stefan & Ira, Rob & Rolf, Stephan & Nina, Robert & Susanne, Lisa & Anja, Isabella, Manuela, Roman & Peter
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 Germany, Austria and Switzerland the guests step onto the TCAII with cocktails, drinks and the smells of an amazing dinner stewing that Chef Christy was eagerly preparing. After a quick briefing we all gorged ourselves on the fabulous meal Christy 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 a mother whale and her young calf that guest enjoyed swimming with for a short while. Once back on the Turks & Caicos Aggressor 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.
Monday was actioned packed, in the morning Conqueror had another short encounter with mom and small calf, then shortly after they had swam off were invited in by Predator to come and join them with a singing whale. This particular male (only male humpbacks sing) was quite boisterous with everyone able to clearly here the song from the chase boats and once in the water were amazed by not only how loud and beautiful the song was but how they could actually feel the vibrations in the body. Then for the afternoon exploration Conqueror found two whales going in to a Valentine. This is believed to be the behaviour just before mating where to two whales actually appear to be dancing. The female seems to go into a trance like state slushing, spinning, spy hoping and gently rubbing against the male. In the middle of the Valentine thing got really exciting as two other male whales came in to investigate the interaction but the male escort was having no of it and promptly chases the two challengers off. Once the two valentine whales had swam off we finished the day with a solo whale that seemed to be resting a little and gave a beautiful spy hope just a few feet away from the guest in the water
Tuesday ended up being a little slow with some windy conditions rolling through making it had to find. The whales and all the all whale we did see seemed to just be moving about, giving just a few blows then swimming off. All not a bad day guest where able to get in the water for a short period with a solo whale and then back on the boat every one enjoyed some cocktails and yet another excellent meal prepared by Chef Christy.
Wednesday was another incredible day in the Silver Banks. We started the morning the morning a little slow bouncing back and forth between a couple of different whale pods but then we were called in to share in an encounter with a mother and calf resting in shallow water. This was a truly special interaction a guest spent more than an hour in the water with these two stunning creatures, only inches away while at the surface. To finish off the day we had another singing that both groups where able to enjoy. This particular male also had a fresh wound across the right side of his rostrum most likely from feeding along the bottom.
Thursday morning was a bit of a downer as the weather was too rough to go out with strong winds coming from the southeast making for large swells. However in the afternoon the wind died down a l
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!