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Turks & Caicos Aggressor II Captain’s Log 29 July – 5 August 2017
Air temperature: 80° - 84° F
Water temperature: 82 - 84° F
Visibility: 50 – 80 feet
Thermal recommendation: 3mm Shorty or full Wetsuit
Captain: Amanda Smith
Engineer: Rob Smith
Photo Pro: Jessica Polk
Video Pro: Connor Ferrin
Instructor: David Luxford
Chef: Christy Brown
Connie, Marni, Cyndra and Tom, David, Pascal and Sarah, Laura, Kerry and Joy
Sunday: Eel Garden, The Dome – N.W. Point
Monday: Boat Cove, Spanish Anchor - West Caicos
Tuesday: Magic Mushroom – W. Caicos
Wednesday: Elephant Ear Canyon & Gullies – W. Caicos
Thursday: Sharks Hotel, 2-Step, Amphitheatre – N.W. Point
Friday: Pinnacles – Grace Bay
We set off with the tide and headed to North West Point in the evening light. After the crossing our guests enjoyed the first of many wonderful culinary delights prepared by Chef Christy. After dinner we shared a few drinks and several laughs then where off to bed to get some rest before a wonderful week of diving here in Turks & Caicos.
Sunday morning, dive 1, N.W. Point, Eel Garden … Whale Shark! Moving along the top of the wall then slipping into the depths. The wall and its many contours also provided sightings many other cool critters. That afternoon we moved over to The Dome. This dive site is the remains of an early 1990 French reality TV show. The remarkable structure now provides its own little artificial reef for tons of littles critters and coral life. Following another fine meal we were treated to a rich, red, sunset. How wonderful it is to watch that big ball of fire melt into the ocean. The night dive on it was terrific. Crabs, lobsters, turtles and juvenile squid. Rob led an amazing ultraviolet light night dive that introduced our guests into the fascinating world beyond our natural vision. Lots of critters stand out with this cool technology such as nudibranchs and the adorable mantis shrimp.
Monday morning the T&C Aggressor moved down to West Caicos. We started off the day at Boat Cove, there is a large sand chute with rich coral running along the entire wall. There was lots of great marine life on the first two dives including several friendly reef sharks, spotted drum fish and a golden tail moray, these morays are so ugly that they are kind of cute. After an excellent buffet lunch our afternoon and night dives where at Spanish Anchor. Over 200 years ago the Spanish got this classic shaped anchor jammed into the underside of a sand chute cutting through the wall which now makes for an awesome photo opportunity! During the night dive guest got the special treat of watching an octopus out and about searching for dinner.
Tuesday morning the boat moved down to Brandywine named for the many barrel sponges around the dive site. Here we were delighted by the many oceanic trigger fish gathering in the area. That afternoon we moved over to Magic Mushroom which gets its name from a rock formation seen on the shore line that appears to be a large mushroom during low tide then disappears as the tide rises. This site is noted for the Lobster Tower, a towering coral head with a split down the middle, which was full! The night dive again found octopus out and about as were the residence of the Lobster Hotel.
On Wednesday morning we moved to the north end of West Caicos to Elephant Ear Canyon. Here is a beautiful sand chute with coral on all sides including many large elephant-ear sponges, a gorgeous orange color, excellent for photo opportunities. When divers finished exploring the canyon we move up on top of the wall to the expanse of never ending sand. Here is where the fun begins as there is tons of life in the sand. You get patches of sea-grass where dive found flapping dingbats, pipe-fish, head-shield slugs, a juvenile French angelfish favoring the shelter of a hermit crab and a rather gregarious mantis shrimp. For the afternoon we explored Driveway. A sandy expanse with a multitude of coral heads covered in a wide variety of little critters. A large turtle cruised the drop off and several lionfish snooped about the various undercuts. That evening we enjoyed yet another great night dive were we found moray eels on the hunt, crabs out in the open and a stingray that seemed to follow us around.
Thursday came all too early. We started before the break of dawn with a dive at 6:00 on Boat Cove. The sharks were out in force allowing for lots of great photos with the rising sun. For our mid-day dives we scouted on over to Gullies. Again it was shark encounters that dominated the dives. Along with a group of trunkfish, a spotted moray eel and a Spanish lobster! We then headed back to North West Point for the next series of dives at Black Forest. A fabulous undulating wall with several overhangs and offset coral towers. A large green turtle said hello, a juvenile spotted drum fish danced around its arena and of course… several sharks. For our night dive we ventured from coral head to coral head and were astonished to witness a moray eel and an octopus in an epic battle were the eel got a bite but the octopus got away!
Friday we moved around to Grace Bay for our last dive of the week at the Pinnacles. Noted for the fingerprint cyphoma are rare cousin to the flamingo tongues as well as lovely hog fish and a juvenile yellow tail damsel fish for the photographers delight! Then we began the rising and drying out of our dive gear and one more wonderful lunch prepaid by Chef Christly. That afternoon we all gather round for the wine and cheese party on the sun-deck to remise the week on by and celebrate a few milestones. That evening everyone enjoyed the island a little with dinner off the boat.