Early Sept Cayman aggressor or Turks & Caicos Explorer

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mostlyirish

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Villa Rica, GA
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I am making final plans to do my first liveaboard trip and need to decide between T&C Explorer the first week of Sept. or Cayman Agressor the following week. I know this timeframe is not ideal weather wise but it is a viable time for me to get wet for a week. Things for me to consider in the decision are:
-The T&C trip can be be booked for $400 less than the Cayman trip.
-I have been to all 3 Cayman Islands. Although Little Cayman and Brac were amazing, I was there when I was very new to diving and can only imagine these locations would be so much better now that my skills are significantly improved.
-I have not been to T&C yet and only know what to potentially expect by reviewing videos on the net.
-It appears both boats are well equipped and crews very competent.
-Both locations have reasonable direct flight fares from Atlanta.
-I will be travelling alone and be paired with another male in a twin cabin on either choice. I used to live on a submarine so sharing quaters with other like minded divers should not be an issue.
-The Cayman trip has the potential to be limited to Grand Cayman area if weather prohibits transit to Little Cayman / Brac.
-Not sure if the T&C trip could have similar potential weather concerns which limit the amount and quality of the diving.

Assuming the weather permits the transit to Little Cayman/Brac I am sure I will really enjoy the diving. I have only dived off Grand Cayman on a 2 tank trip while on a cruise. It was good diving but not as memorable as Little Cayman or Brac.

Are there any specific issues I should consider before pulling the trigger? Any specific experiences or opinions are welcome.

Thanks in advance.
 
K

KeithG

Guest
i vote for t&c. great boat, crew and operation.

if weather becomes an issue, you will not do french cay and will be "stuck" on west caicos and north west point. which is awesome. so no real need to worry about weather like in the caymans.

want sharks? do t&c.
want macro? do t&c.
want walls? do t&c.

want shallow... oops not t&c.

the wall starts at around 50 feet on many sites so do not plan on 20 foot dives. this is a location where nitrox helps to get your 5 dives a day in.
 

gizmo1972

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i agree with the above but i would say turks & caicos Aggressor !!!!
 

Karloss

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Braselton, Ga.
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If weather is a concern AND you have already dove Grand Cayman then you should know what to expect from that island. A front moved in for the week and we got "stranded" on Grand Cayman and to me the diving sucked. With that being said I suggest the T&C trip. Nice walls, nice fish life, nice colors. If not on nitrox by the end of the second day, if doing all the dives available, your bottom time will be very short, so do nitrox if you can. The T&C Explorer is a comfortable boat, good cook, good crew. Carry on what you can't do without, Provo has a reputation for lost luggage. It happened to us on one trip and to another couple on a different trip.
 

Hintermann

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I have been to both places and if you have to go in September - in the middle of the hurricane season - I would choose Turks & Caicos.

All other considerations apart, the overall diving in T & C is better than Cayman Islands despite the fact that Little Cayman has Bloody Bay wall, one of the best dive sites in the world. The problem, as others have mentioned, is that during bad weather the boat may not cross to Little Cayman at all. I went in January and took the 'insurance' of booking 8 additional dives in Little Cayman after the liveaboard cruise but as it turned out the boat did cross over.

T&C has a lot of pelagics. We must have seen over 100 sharks during the liveaboard week. So many in fact that by the end of the trip most of us were ignoring the sharks and looking at other things, which are also in plenty.
 

Scott from LongIsland

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Long Beach, NY
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I will be on the T&C Explorer II the first week of Septembe. I did the T&C Aggressor last summer and thought it was great.

I was considering the same 2 boats as you are and although I did this same trip to the T&C last year, I am choosing to do it again. I have never been to the Caymans but I am not willing to risk the weather and potentially not going to Little Cayman. I plan on saving Little Cayman for a land based trip whereas I would not want to do a land based trip to the T&C.

We got a little blown out last July in the T&C but as stated above, the downside was only skipping French Cay. I have heard that French Cay is the best diving of the route and it is part of the reason that i want to do the trip again. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the diving at West Caicos and NW Point to a lesser extent.

Let me know if you end up on the Explorer! Perhaps we will cross paths...
 
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rongoodman

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I'd go for T&C too. I've been on several Explorer Venture trips and always been treated well. When you can, plan on a week at Little Cayman Beach Resort.
 

Hintermann

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I have been on 17 liveaboard trips around the world to date and rate T & C Aggressor and Mermaid I (Komodo) as the best trips of the lot. While the Indonesian cruise just wins in terms of diversity of the dive sites, the T & C Aggressor crew, led by Captain Amanda Smith, were miles ahead of any other.
 

Doubler

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We did GC during Hurricane Ike and it sucked. I do not see what people see in GC diving as it is no different than much of Florida.
 

rongoodman

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We did GC during Hurricane Ike and it sucked. I do not see what people see in GC diving as it is no different than much of Florida.

I don't think there's anything like the Bloody Bay Wall in Florida. As for GC, though, I would agree with you.
 
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