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Turks and Caicos Aggressor II Captain’s Log
29th September – 06th Oct 2018
Turks and Caicos Islands
Air temperatures: 88F
Water temperature: 84F
Thermal recommendation: 3mm full wetsuit
Captain: Alex Brett
Chef: Chace Gadreau
Photo Pro: Sofia Arnus
Video Pro: Bailey Garton
Instructor: Rachael Lawns
Instructor: Alizee Zimmermann
Our Dive Sites
Sunday: Boat Cove, BrandyWine
This week we started off in Caicos Marina and Shipyard on the South side of Providenciales due to a few swells coming in from the North. In the dead of night as the tide came up we made our way out and headed due west to the island of West Caicos where we moored up for the night; peacefully protected by the island’s iron shore.
Sunday morning began to the smell of eggs to order and sausages wafting from the galley. After breakfast, a back deck briefing made sure that everyone was familiarized with the way we dive and how to get on and off the boat. The dive site is Boat Cove, named thus because of a natural inlet on shore that has been used by various boats (read: trade, pirates, smuggling) over the centuries. The checkout dive went swimmingly and all the creatures came out to welcome the guests to the Turks and Caicos. Reef sharks including a juvenile, a hawksbill turtle and several southern stingrays gave us a good show. For those who prefer the tiny critters, wire coral shrimp, arrow crabs and a female rough blenny were a promising start to the week.
Today was also a day for milestones, Will and Julia completed their first 5 ocean dives since certification and their first night dive! The night dive was also a special dive for Charles as it marked his 500th dive!
Monday morning started off with an iridescent sunrise as we moved the boat slightly further north to one of our favorite dive sites: Gullies. As the name suggests several sand shoots cut through the top of the reef creating open ended gullies that are good fun to dive through. One can often find oneself sharing the space with a variety of creatures from large rough-tail sting rays to sharks, turtles and barracudas. We’ve even seen a large green moray hanging out in there.
Over lunch while our guests feasted on mahi mahi tacos and listened to a talk about the history and development of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Captain Alex moved the boat over to Spanish Anchor, another infamous site along West Caicos. This site is home to an anchor that was wedged here many eons ago by Spanish ship most likely trying to prevent itself from crashing into the shoreline. The several hundred year old anchor is fully encrusted with coral and sponges, so much so that many people don’t ‘see’ it. That is, not until we show them photos of their faces right next to it.
After the night dive, while several guests watched Finding Nemo we made our way towards the southern edge of the Caicos banks to a small spit of land known as French cay. Our first dive site on Tuesday morning was Double D. D stands for Dolphin!! A beautiful large female bottlenose spent the entire dive with our crew and guests, she was incredibly friendly and came right up to divers, showing her belly and having fun chasing jacks around. On the second dive there were more creatures to delight everyone. An intermediate drum danced its danced while three reef sharks swam around those doing their safety stop. A school of over 10 senate barracudas hung out under the boat while horse eye jacks filled the shadow of our yacht.
The main attraction at French Cay is the night dive at G Spot. It’s a show and a half with dozens of nurse sharks using our dive lights to hunt. This week was no exception and our divers got first-hand experience with sharks and the huge resident Cubera snapper, known as Steve.
The next morning we dove a site called Rock n Roll and several divers got to glimpse a majestic sea flap flap (aka eagle ray) as it swam past in the blue. At lunch we crossed back to West Caicos and dove Magic Mushroom where an octopus was seen on every dive!
Thursday morning was Elephant Ear Canyon, many of our crew’s favorite site as it provides the closest thing to muck diving. Pike blennies, head shield slugs, flapping dingbats and pipe horse fish were just a few of the beautiful critters that graced us this week.
At lunch we crossed over to North West Point and moored up at The Dome, a dive site with an interesting relic from a past game show. This metal structure is now fully encrusted with corals and sponges as well as a myriad of secretary blennies and schoolmasters. Another octopus free swimming on the afternoon dive made for a special day.
For our last day we did a site that is kind of a two for one deal. Eel Garden and The Crack are close enough together than guests got to enjoy both for their final dives. After lunch a crossing back to Turtle Cove marina where everyone got together for a wine and cheese party on the sundeck and celebrated this week’s accomplishments.
There were quite a few! Although only 8 guests aboard there were 2 iron divers, 3 new advanced open water certifications, 3 nitrox, a deep, night and photography spec as well! Oh and our chef got open water certified and two guests reached some epic milestones of 100 and 500 dives under their belt! All in all everyone had a phenomenal week with great dives and lovely weather!