Turks & Caicos Aggressor II
17-24 June 2017
Air temperature: 80° - 84° F
Water temperature: 80 - 84° F
Visibility: 75-100 Feet
Thermal recommendation: 3mm or 5mm full wetsuit
PHOTO PRO: CONOR FERRIN
Video Pro: JESSICA POLK
Chef: CHRISTY BROWN
Instructor: MICHAEL WEINBAUM
Dive Buddy: Alizee Zimmerman
Guests- Cam & Kathy, Doug & Cindy, Kathy & Sieg, Richard & Anne Marie, Angelique, Dana, Kurt & Lynn, Marie, Carole, Venson, Larry
Sunday: Eel Garden, North West Point, The Dome, North West Point
Monday: Amphitheatre, North West Point, Boat Cove, West Caicos
Tuesday: Spanish Anchor, West Caicos, Driveway, West Caicos
Wednesday: Magic Mushroom, West Caicos, Gullies, West Caicos
Thursday: Elephant Ear canyon, West Caicos, Stairway, North West Point
Friday: Pinnacles, Grace Bay
We board 16 eager divers who can not wait to get off the dock and get to diving! Once everyone was onboard, Captain Christy started the safety briefing and informed everyone about the upcoming week. We get off the dock and start making our way to North West Point. It is a smooth crossing so we enjoy dinner underway and we also celebrate Kathy and Seigs anniversary. We get to North West Point and tie up to our morning dive site. Everyone is super excited and can not wait to start diving in the morning.
Sunday morning, as the little breakfast bell was rung, guests popped out of bed ready for a yummy breakfast before the first day of diving. The first site of the day was Eel Garden. As the divers descended toward the wall, they were shown the way by black jacks, yellow tails, and a couple of reef sharks. Once on the bottom, everyone immediately bum rushed the dive guide to show them our now famous pair of frog fish. After people filed through at that frogfish attraction we reluctantly not wanting to leave the frog fish of course carried on to see the giant anemone at the crack. The afternoon came quickly after a delicious lunch from the chef and we arrived at The Dome our dive site for the rest of the day. Eagerly divers jumped into the water and made their way out to the chimney a beautiful vertical swim thru that starts at about 100 feet and takes you directly up to the top of the wall. Divers spun like ballerinas as they entered and made their way up to the top. Divers then made their way over to the dome which was teaming with life. We checked all of the secretary blennies sticking their cross eyed little faces out of their small holes hoping to land an awesome bite of plankton. We ended the day with a beautiful night followed by some adult hot chocolate.
Monday morning, we pulled up to Amphitheater, after the much needed cup of coffee, “five dives a day is exhausting,” some stated as they sleepy arose from their cabin. Amphitheatre is an amazing dive site with an incredible over hang that funnily enough resembles an amphitheater. Sandy channels lead us out to the wall where we easily swam through the beautiful underwater topography. At the end of our dive, the main attraction was all the yellowheaded jawfish darting in and out of their holes. If you were patient enough, you could catch the males aerating the eggs before quickly retreating back into their dens. After watching the male jawfish care for the eggs, the divers then made their way back to the boat for a delicious lunch and a nice boat ride to West Caicos. Once we made the long journey about two hours to West Caicos we got ready to dive, dive, dive! Boat cove was where we tied up to and splashed with enthusiasm. The divers headed north along the while to corner most commonly referred to as purple rain. Tons of creole wrasse and blue chromis continually pouring over the top of the wall immersing the divers with a blue cloud. Large barracuda were hanging out with trumpet fish, groupers, and schools of snappers all getting along what seemed to be swimmingly. The night dive brought out wonderous creatures including neck crabs, a baby octopus, and slipper lobsters. The hot chocolate with rum cream and the idea of a hot shower and a warm bed were calling the divers back. Everyone settled in and dreamed about what the next day had to hold.
After a delicious breakfast we moored up at a site known as Spanish Anchor. It is easy to spot from the sea as the cliff face in-front of the mooring has eroded away and left an almost perfect white face! Down in the open swim through on the wall, there is an old Spanish anchor that has supposedly been down there over 200 years and is almost completely encrusted with coral and sponges. It is difficult to find as many of divers found out and actually only spotted it on the second dive that we did at the site. Down around the coral heads, you could spot green morays resting and French Angelfish chomping on the algae. Right before the afternoon dives, we moored up at Brandywine, aptly named for the large number of barrel sponges at the site resembling large casks of brandy or wine. We spotted tons of great critters can be found in the ledges along the sand. We sport an anemone with some squat anemone shrimp inside with tons of arrow blennies darting around the top. The night dive had a lot in store for us we looked closely at the cup corals feeding on the blood worms and tried coax out a hiding octopus. We returned to the boat and laughed with all of our new friends and enjoyed a story or two before we retired to bed.
Wednesday brought us to Magic Mushroom. There is a rock formation on the shore close to this dive site that resembles a mushroom which magically appears and disappears the tide rises and falls. One of the best features of this site is Lobster Tower. It is a 7 foot tall coral encrusted rock that has a huge split down one side. There are always lobster hanging out in the crack. After checking out the tower, divers swam around all the rocky coral outcroppings checking out the gorgonians for flamingo tongues and Pederson cleaner shrimps. The afternoon brought us to Gullies and we did three amazing dives here. The divers found the gully, a big canyon like swim thru with ease and cruised in and out of it multiple times making sure to not stir up the sand and silt. We cruised the wall in both directions and found a plethora of reef sharks always making that figure eight around us. The divers quickly found out that the best place to be was right under the boat with sharks circling and the jacks circling and the rays feeding in the sand. It was an incredible day ended with incredible night dive.
On Thursday we saved one of the best dive sites for last and pulled up Elephant Ear Canyon. Another great dive site with lots of sharks cruising the flats. We drop off the wall and everyone is in awe of its incredible beauty. Sharks are cruising by us as we spot anemones full of shrimps, flapping ding bats, turtles, and sting rays. A great dive site to finish up our West Caicos experience. We get all the divers back onboard and the engines roar to life as we start steam back towards to North West Point. In the afternoon we tie up to a dive site called Stairway. The divers splash and love the different topography that the corals make here. Huge plate corals stacked down the wall making it look like stairway. We find a very healthy reef teaming with juvenile fish, and a lots of tiny critters for our macro photographers’ top shoot. We night dive here and find an octopus and overall have a great time. As the divers come back the crew gets everyone hot chocolate and readies to the boat to head over to Grace Bay. We get in late and have an early morning so divers head off to bed and let the hum of the engines sing them to sleep.
Friday starts early with a close to dawn dive at 0630! We have several adventurous people onboard who are up for the early morning dive and enjoy it immensely. The dive site Pinnacles is unique to any other dive site that we do. Lots of coral fingers lead us out to a mini wall which has tons of soft corals swinging in the current. Lots of great little things are found here and we end our diving week here. We turn on the engines and make our way to the marina. As we enter we make have a delicious lunch prepared by the chef. The afternoon is relaxing, some people sun bathe, some people day drink, and some people snooze. We prepare for the wine and cheese party and it is almost surreal to see people out of wetsuit, and bathing suits in real clothes. Everyone looks lovely and everyone enjoys reminiscing the week. It was another great end to another incredible week.