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Turks & Caicos Aggressor II
25 March 2017
Air temperature: 70° - 80° F
Water temperature: 79° F
Visibility: 50 – 80 feet
Captain: AMANDA SMITH
2nd Captain: CHRISTY WEAVER
Engineer: ROB SMITH
Video Pro: JESSICA POLK
Chef: CHRISTY BROWN
Guide: MICHAEL WEINBAUM
Daniel and Diana, Susana-Peter,Friedhelp-Angelica,Anika-Peter,Beatrix,Fesi,Thomas, Yens,Thomas,Dirk,Ralp-Antonia. Christian-Claudia
Sunday - Thursday: Silver Bank, Dominican Republic
A chatty and enthusiastic consignment of Germans have joined us this week as we prepare to venture back out to our majestic whales. Briefing were given by Captain Amanda, and after a lovely and hearty repast made by our flamboyant culinary curator, Christy, our guest haves settled into their cabins for a few hours of sleep as we set of around 1130 for the silver Bank.
Our arrival on the silver bank was met with gin clear waters and crisp blue skies. All the staff and crew seemed elated and almost a hum fills the boat with the new anticipation from our new guest. Cameras and video equipment is being put together, Peter our intrepid group leader seems to have every new and unique piece of photo gear and cutting edge toys I have personally ever seen, needless to say between his drones and other toys we are all curious as to what type of footage we will be privy to.
Our first outing was calm cool and delightful. A few knots of air kept the sweltering tropical heat down to a comfortable glow as Predator and Conqueror set off at 815 this morning. Tail lobbing, a few rowdy groups abound in almost all direction making the horizon seem to dance, whale spouts were met with accented Oohs and Aahs as we were treated to our first in water encounter of the trip a calm and relaxed mother and calf. We spent the better part of the morning snorkeling with this new mother and as always it was clear from the faces all were stunned and overwhelmed by not just the grace and majesty of these animals, but more so by the visceral and sentient reaction to being eyed to eye with a Mammal this size.
After a few hours of in water bliss we brought the chase boats in for lunch…..a selection of Chimmichurri rib and three apple coleslaw. I state with humor and compliments the fact that our salon was filled with the sounds of lips smacking and muttering of something in German I took to me ‘’ mmmm this is good’’ whatever the phrasing 20 pounds of ribs and salad disappeared down the gullets, perhaps taking on a bit of our mammalian eating patters?
We set back out at 215 and were immediately greeted with rowdy groups on all 4 points of the compass. The afternoon was filled with spectacular showings of prowess and cetacean playfulness as we all watched on with Chesire cat grins and squinted eyes. We returned to the boat for crisp cocktails snacks and another fantastic meal. Spirits are not only imbibed but rather soaring.
The rest of the week continued to grace us with calm weather, Whalers on a diurnal basis with everything from Tail lobbing to Pec slapping, mother calf in water close ups, drone footage and the comradery of old and new friends bonding at sea. Our captain has given a few post meal presentations on some facts about our whales, as a wealth of knowledge and with large Jugs of rum, our boat has the wide eyed grins of content and enthralled travelers.
We swapped of our mooring to the anchor Friday lunchtime as we prepared for our final outing. Every single soul aboard gathered for the afternoon and we were not disappointed. Whales spouted everywhere as we followed multiple groups near and far. From go pros to the most state of the art cameras, all were thrilled with the footage and time spent out here on the silver bank! We finally tied the boats up around 545 and as our guest threw back ice cold beer, the crew readied the vessel for our crossing back to Puerto Plata.
We arrived at the marina with al 18 guest singing and joyful. The crew made quick work of getting everybody organized and planning their day, from cable car rides to rum factory tours a great day was had by all and judging by the sparkling adornment of new Amber and Larimar jewelry as bit of shopping was done3 as well.
The trip ended with our wine and cheese party served al fresco up top with a crisp breeze, great music and a few plates of cheese and charcutrie that made everybody happy. It was a bittersweet goodbye to our new friends as the Fleet toast was given and the slow trickling and dwindling of the group as beds or a dinner out on the town was sought.
It has been a fantastic end to a truly remarkable season with perfect weather and a jocular and playful guest lineup. I am confident that ever single individual has had more than one cathartic and life changing encounter. It was an emotional goodbye to our last group, but the show must go on and it is of the Turks and Caicos we must head. With the bow pointed north and bellies filled we set sail for our 16 hour crossing home. A lifetime of memories made and friends for life acquired.