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Current Trip Report: Turks and Caicos Explorer II

Discussion in 'Explorer Ventures Liveaboard Fleet' started by EVRachel, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. EVRachel

    EVRachel Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: St Maarten
    80
    26
    18
    Located 575 miles southeast of Miami, the idyllic islands of the Turks & Caicos sit surrounded by turquoise waters containing over 1,000 square miles of living coral reef. A Mecca for divers from all over the world, the Turks & Caicos Islands are known for their expansive underwater visibility, high-voltage wall dives, and the profusion of marine life of all sizes located within their boundaries.

    Browse through our trip reports, and see why many of our guests return to this vessel year after year! You can also find current information on water temperatures, visibility, and rare creature sightings.

    Our trip reports are updated regularly as comments on this thread, so be sure to follow along on our adventures! The most recent will be the last comment posted.

    Happy Diving!

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  2. EVRachel

    EVRachel Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: St Maarten
    80
    26
    18
    Turks and Caicos Explorer II; January 13 to January 20, 2018
    Destination: Turks & Caicos Islands
    Water Temp: 80-84F | Visibility: 100ft
    Sightings: Turtles, Hammerhead, Mating Rays, and lots of sharks!

    We began the week at North West Point and enjoyed the wall and sightings of turtles, neck crabs and a huge porcupine puffer. When we move to West Caicos and Driveway divers spent some bottom time watching two turtles enjoying their meal of a sea sponge. At Elephant Ear Canyon we saw more sharks and turtles as well as many macro critters in the seagrass, including a unique looking arrow shrimp. At the Gully, guests had an exciting sharky dive with many of the reef sharks coming in for a close look at them! During the night dive at Spanish Anchor divers saw a turtle, slipper lobster and some rays mating. Then we finished the week at French Cay, where guests spent the dives with more reef sharks as well as a hammerhead!

    Every week is shark week with Turks and Caicos Explorer II!
     
    Brodydog and BDSC like this.
  3. Brodydog

    Brodydog Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Braselton, GA
    463
    207
    43
    This! Really hoping to get a glimpse of this mythical (have yet to see one) creature with you in May.
     
    EVRachel likes this.
  4. EVRachel

    EVRachel Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: St Maarten
    80
    26
    18
    Turks and Caicos Explorer II; June 16 to June 23, 2018
    Destination: Turks & Caicos Islands
    Visibility: Good >100ft
    Sightings: Dolphins, mating shield slugs, sharks, and lots of octopus!

    Had some hilarious moments this week, with plenty of certificates to hand out! One guest reached her 500th dive on board and another almost tripled her number of logged dives during the charter. We also had 4 Iron divers and an octopus whisperer onboard, finding and photographing octopus all week. We felt it necessary to also award this guest for his octopus whispering skills - spotting them for the whole group to enjoy!

    We were delighted with captivating marine life all week. Dolphins joined us for the surface intervals at Eel garden and also on the passage back to Caicos Marina. We saw some mating shield slugs and pygmy filefish which the guests were stoked to see and got some great pictures of these. Plenty of small nudis this trip, including a longhorn nudibranch and a white spotted nudibranch at the Thunder Dome.

    The Caribbean reef sharks are also getting more ‘friendly’ the last couple weeks with little respect for personal space. Our new dive instructor got bumped and they were very inquisitive to us if we were swimming on the surface. It was quite an exciting week!
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
    Brodydog likes this.
  5. EVRachel

    EVRachel Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: St Maarten
    80
    26
    18
    Turks and Caicos Explorer II; June 30 to July 7, 2018
    Destination: Turks & Caicos Islands
    Water Temp: 80-88F | Visibility: Good >100ft
    Sightings: Hammerhead, Chubby, and lots of sharks!

    The diving at French Cay was exciting for all with loads of sharks and our Cubera snapper ‘Chubby’ making an appearance. A hammerhead was spotted at Double D and the dive guide and the guests were surprised at how inquisitive it was as rarely are they spotted out in the distance of the blue. There were juvenile nurse sharks attention seeking during the ascent as G-spot with them behaving like puppies, swimming right up the guests, then resting on the bottom, then swimming to another guest and resting right in front of them. The night dive at G-spot was definitely a favorite with guests super excited by the number of sharks.

    Another super sharky week!
     
  6. EVRachel

    EVRachel Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: St Maarten
    80
    26
    18
    Turks and Caicos Explorer II; July 14-21, 2018
    Destination: Turks & Caicos Islands
    Water Temp: 80-88F | Visibility: Good >100ft
    Sightings: Dolphins, Hammerhead, and lots of sharks!

    Had some really exciting marine life around us this week, a highlight definitely being the dolphins at the Thunder Dome on Sunday. They were very playful and when we got in to swim with them they stuck around for at least 10 minutes and then were jumping and spinning at the surface. We also spotted a hammerhead at Elephant Ear Canyon! Just as the divers were jumping in and on the dinghy line and massive hammerhead was cruising through the shallows under them. As per usual he didn’t stick around and wasn’t seen again but it was really exciting. Night divers spotted a sea spider on the night dive at Eel Garden and as per usual we saw loads of sharks on every dive!

    We gave out a variety of certificates this week. One guest was awarded for at least quadrupling her number of logged dives when diving with us this week and another logged his 50th dive on board. We also had a diver complete her nitrox course. Congratulations to all, for these diving achievements!

    A great week!
     
  7. EVRachel

    EVRachel Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: St Maarten
    80
    26
    18
    Turks and Caicos Explorer II; July 28- Aug 4, 2018
    Destination: Turks & Caicos Islands
    Water Temp: 80-88F | Visibility: Good ~100ft
    Sightings: Hammerhead, eagle rays, and a shark on almost every dive!

    This week was the SCUBAPRO Technician Repair Seminar aboard TCEXII, a mix of diving and education. The first-night dive guides did a catwalk down the companionway and through the salon to model some gear, especially the windproof jackets that René Dupris (from SCUBAPRO) had got to give out to everyone. Mask bags and dry bags were also given away to the guests and crew.

    Overall it was a week jam-packed with laughter and good times, we all had a lot of fun socializing and learning from very experienced professionals. David Rhea mentioned that, despite his vast number of dives, he can't remember, firstly, ever laughing so much during dives and secondly, seeing a shark on every single dive that he did.

    Divers came up in hysterics after a dive at Magic Mushroom as they had sharks calmly circling them underwater and said that it was a “phenomenal dive.” Other divers saw a hammerhead and two eagle rays at Amphitheatre!! On another dive, guests had a great interaction with a Pike Blenny and it put on a great show in front of a mirror. Famous TuTu Tuesday also meant a good show, when guests happily joined in on tutu wearing over their speedos. Thursday evening awards ceremony was a great event, we had certificates for guests who logged their 100th, 200th and 700th dive respectively on board this week. We had to award Rene a certificate for his efforts in making the trip as great as it was, for organizing it all and for his generosity with the guests and also the crew. We also had a certificate for David Rhea for his workshops and skill lessons and photography on board but the title was too long so in the end, he got a certificate for being “a bloody legend.” Finally, we had three Iron Divers, who completed all 27 dives on board this week. Rene wanted to award them further for these efforts and the short stick (never straw) won an unreleased SCUBAPRO dry bag.

    Thank you so much to Rene, David Rhea and all of the guests for the fantastic week onboard!
     
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  8. EVRachel

    EVRachel Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: St Maarten
    80
    26
    18
    Turks and Caicos Explorer II; October 6-13, 2018
    Destination: Turks & Caicos Islands
    Water Temp: 80-88F | Visibility: Good >100ft
    Sightings: Dolphins, humongous channel crabs, a lot of grouper under ledges!

    We started the week at Boat Cove (which was one of the best dives this year), saw 2 hawksbill turtles swimming together, two bat fish feeding, and a small school of Atlantic spadefish.

    We later dove at French Cay and had a night dive at Rock n Roll, which was once again outstanding. People were calling it the best dive they have ever done.. There were heaps of Caribbean reef and nurse sharks hunting and chubby made an appearance. Two divers even finished the dive earlier than the rest of the group because they said there were too many sharks, too close for their comfort.

    A pod of dolphins cruised past the boat after the 4th dive at French Cay, there looked to be a lot of juvenile dolphins in the pod which was awesome to see. We also saw jawfish with eggs in its mouth at Eel Garden which was exciting and great for photographers.

    Overall lots of sharks and turtles throughout the week which pleased everyone!
     
    Hoag likes this.

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