Turks & Caicos Aggressor II
29 April 2017
Air temperature: 70° - 80° F
Water temperature: 77° F
Visibility: 50 – 80 feet
Thermal recommendation: 3mm or 5mm full wetsuit
Captain: AMANDA SMITH
2nd Captain: CHRISTY WEAVER
Engineer: ROB SMITH
Video Pro: CONOR FERRIN
Chef: CHRISTY BROWN
Instructor: MICHAEL WEINBAUM
GUESTS- Blaine, Wendy(Blendy)-Tim, Jill-Eric, Laura-Tom, Sherrie-Steven, Teresa-Tex, Calvin-Jennifer, Lorraine-Chris, Susan
Sunday – Eel Garden, NWPT, Dome NWPT
Monday – Amphitheatre, Brandywine, NWPT/ West Caicos
Tuesday -Magic Mushroom, Spanish Anchor West Caicos
Wednesday –Rock n Roll, G-spot, French Cay
Thursday –Gullies, Boat Cove, West Caicos
Friday –Shark Hotel, NWPT
As a crisp and stiff salty breeze graces us with its arrival we the intrepid crew of the TCA11 anchor out of Turtle Cove marina and await our Kansas contingent to arrive. The first chase boat arrives with smile and pseudo cowboy antics as our soaked and smiling Amber Waves dive group begins to come aboard. Spirits are high, bags and guests are settled into cabins, introductions and beverages transition the afternoon as our new friends finally get to relax from their travels. Once everybody is situated below decks we sit down to dinner and discuss the week ahead, smiles all around as some of our new guest have never seen the salt water before! Everybody is buzzing with excitement as we haul anchor and kick over the engines making the trip to North West Point for the night.
Dawn comes early and it is truly amazing to watch a room full of friends and divers literally INHALE their food in anticipation of just getting wet. We brief the divers on safety and protocol and off the transom we go, Eel garden a fantastic shakedown dive is the first stop on our tour de force of nautical love. The first dive is spectacular, hard to hide or down play the first time someone sees the ocean, sharks, rays, schooling jacks, cascading waterfalls of creole wrasse greet us and as the safety stop draw down from three minutes everybody is wearing a cool aid grin and clutching their cameras with white knuckle enthusiasm. We continue to dive the sites at North West point, Amphitheatre and dome follow and our guest are introduced to reef shark, nurse shark and all the usual reef dwelling suspects. It is refreshing and heartwarming top share this experience with first timers and old salts all the same. After a hearty meal from our lovely Chef, the entirety of the boat is keen to cut their teeth on the first night dive of their lives, this is done on the Dome which as usual never fails to impress. With schools of grunts, jack, barracudas and all the creature of the night coming out to play, all are greeted with the reflective tinge of field of lobster and shrimp, massive channel crabs ambulate around, Trip leaders and grandfather grandson buddy teams alike slowly meander over the dive site and the hour passes like smoke through a keyhole and as our gauges break the 1000 psi we all collectively make our way to the earths breathable atmosphere for Rum cream hot chocolate and some much needed sleep.
The day greets us the same with rosy fingers and 87 degree sunshine. The Cast and crew is bright eyed and bushytailed this morning as embark to West Caicos for some continued world class diving. We tie up at Amphitheatre, a fantastic site off the desolate shores of this sparsely inhabited spit of land. The Kansas carnivores are still gung ho and quick to make the splash as all join us for dive one of the day. West caicos delivers in style! SHARKS SHARKS SHARKS!!!!! That’s seems to be the call sign for this particular mornings dives. The whole group is treated to a plethora of our toothed friends of the deep. Reef sharks abound and it is still amusing to see newer divers chase them upon initial sighting, including those who secretly harbor a fear of them!!!! It’s all good as the day speeds bye, smiles and photos and a few classes are held. It is hard not laugh as Chris, a group leader enters and exits the water sporting neon blue lensed STIHL protective eyewear, I guess when in doubt, and without a set of shades, it is important to look good in chainsaw gear when teaching advanced open water! And by god he does so with class. The day ends with a meal fit for a king, a few glasses of red wine and the unmistakable clinking of beer bottle from the hot tub up top.
We arise to the soothing reverb of our diesel engines as we burn dinosaurs towards French Cay. We fly through a breakfast and moor up on Rock n Roll, a sight well known for its copious abundance of Nurse Sharks. And as promised it is sharky warm water, clear sunny skies and a rainbow of gem like reef dwellers that sing their siren song to our guests throughout the day. Sandy bottoms between fingers of spur and grove coral leading to a beautifully encrusted wall make for great photos and happy divers. The day ends with Chef Christy’s seared salmon and most are off to bed early having all done the 5 dives.
It’s back to West Caicos for another 5 dive day of Neptune’s bounty. All hands are ready to go and seems like team Kansas is dialed in as we set a speed record for water entry…..6 minutes from bell to splash!!!! And so it begins and so it was, the landlocked crew of Amber waves is again under the sea and blowing bubbled. Shark and one comical little Barracuda who being about 2 feet long must have been rather ambitious in his attempt at food being as though he had a size 00 Mustad hook set in his mouth! Great pictures, more stories and another night dive, some traditional some going the fluorescent route with Rob, rounds out the day. The end is drawing near, but all are wearing smiles as we are carried off to sleep, rocked in the cradle of the deep.
Friday has arrived, our final dive day with the Kansas crew, and after a hearty repast we send our guests into Shark Hotel, a delightful site off North West Point. And what a dive it is! Tracy our Kansas diver who seems to live for golfing spots a 4 inch seas horse and within minutes every camera and eyeball is firmly affixed to this camouflaged and cryptic dweller of the depths. As the last dive approaches as well a few milestones draw nearer. Amy is fixed to finish her week at 100 dives!!!! And even though she has been informed of the traditional “nude” ritual, it has been relegated to the not a chance option. Steven and Teresa also have something to celebrate as they are going to be this week’s only IRON DIVERS!! No booze all work, gung ho, dive dive dive has literally been their mantra and tonight at the wine and cheese party when they finally get to crack back a few bottles of brew we will grace them with and award, and as well the rest of Amber Waves and our fun loving, slow talking Kansas brethren we will drink chat and be merry as we saunter off into town to really kick start Cinco de mayo!!!!!!