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Turks and Caicos - Aggressor Dec 12-19...Advice, recommendations?

Discussion in 'Aggressor Adventures' started by ICatchBadGuys, Dec 3, 2020.

  1. ICatchBadGuys

    ICatchBadGuys Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: USA
    Hey, guys and girls! My wife and I are going to T&C at the end of next week to do our first liveaboard trip. I'd be interested in hearing any advice or recommendations related to liveaboard diving, particularly from those that have dove this boat. But any good advice will do! :) We have read the "things to bring " on the website and have read a bunch about it, but getting first hand advice from people with experience is always better, IMHO. Thanks in advance!
    living4experiences likes this.
  2. d^2b

    d^2b Worse diving through photography ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canada
    If you're not nitrox certified, I'd do it on the trip. There's not much to it and T&C depths is right in the sweet spot for EAN32. The reefs are a bit deeper than some Carribean reefs, so you'll want to pay attention to your computer; there isn't as much of a shallow ending possible as in some locales.
    If possible, I'd take/rent two nitrox compatible computers per person. But maybe I'm just paranoid / unlucky. I don't remember being cold in my 3mm/2mm full suit.
    living4experiences and drrich2 like this.
  3. Aviyes

    Aviyes Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Colorado
    Only advice I always give is to bring some Lycra socks for wear under your dive boots. Helps prevent blisters from so much diving and makes it much easier to slide into your wetsuit. Good advice about diving Nitrox above, highly recommend. Otherwise I can't speak to the Aggressor boat as I've only been on the T&C Explorer II.
  4. drrich2

    drrich2 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    Turks & Caicos Aggressor II Report Apr. 2018 - Turks & Caicos Aggressor II 4/21-4/28 Trip Report
    Turks & Caicos Research Notes - Turks & Caicos Research Notes

    Was blessed to make it in 2018. Definitely nitrox; the dives average a bit deep, because of the depths the wall starts off, and the tendency toward a rather blank sandy region above that, so there's not much point to lingering in the shallows.

    If either of you are 'air hogs,' ask if they've got any 100-cf tanks instead of just 80-cf tanks, and try to reserve one. More gas is nice on deeper dives.

    It was a good trip, and I'm glad I went. For a first live-aboard, my only concern is that dives there tend to run a bit deeper on average, so gas supply and NDL matter all the more.
    KathyV likes this.
  5. TabeaK

    TabeaK Registered

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Jersey
    I have not been on the Aggressor, but just returned from the other LOB doing TC and the Aggressor was anchored one or two dive spots over the entire week. Nitrox is a must in my opinion, the reef typically tops out around 50ft, you'll spend a fair bit of time at 75ft or below. Fingers crossed you'll get to go to French Cay, some of the best diving there, but very weather dependent - not all boats make it there every week. We dove French Cay and West Caicos. Northwest Point had to be cancelled due to weather, we stayed on West Caicos instead.

    If you are prone to seasickness, bring some Dramamine. Conditions on our week were fairly calm except for a 24h stretch of wind and uncomfortable surface swells. Bring an extra layer of clothing to cover up when you come out of the water - a waterproof windbreaker or the like. After several days of multiple dives you will get cold, even if the water is around 80-83F. Especially after the night dive the wind feels cold. I switched between a 3mm wetsuit and 5mm wetsuit. The 5mm was perfect for night dives. I wore an additional layer of lava core under my wetsuit to stay warm. That is of course personal, we had a guy on the boat who wore no exposure protection at all...*brrrr***

    Bring a tank beacon and spare dive light if you intend to do a lot of night diving. Depending on scheduling, there may also be "dawn" dives - which essentially are night dives, so be prepared with reliable light sources and remember it gets dark fairly early - winter after all.

    There will be lots of sharks - including circling you under the boat when you do your safety stops. Due to the depth of all sites we did, safety stops really mean hanging in mid water - on the boats tag lines if you choose to do so, while watching the reef at 30+ feet below or the schools of fish/sharks that hang under the boat. I loved it and got great footage, but some folks may get a bit unnerved.

    My only other advice is to always bring some antibiotic cream for the inevitable little scrapes you'll get on your hands - I got a small abrasion on my pulling myself in on the trailing rope to the ladder when existing a dive where conditions were a bit choppy - and getting constantly wet with germy sea water may lead to infection, so I am always careful about trying to clean and disinfect small scrapes and cover them up. Bandaids covered by duct tape are perfect to keep small wounds protected and not come off while diving!
    living4experiences, drrich2 and d^2b like this.
  6. ICatchBadGuys

    ICatchBadGuys Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: USA
    Great advice. Thanks! Got Nitrox certified before our January trip last year to Bonaire! Got computers....and a 3/2 full. Thanks for the info!

    Ordering a couple pair right now. Thank you!

    Good on nitrox and we're both pretty good on air.....avg. depth was a concern of mine as well, but we're going in knowing our 60 - 80 minute Bahamas reef dives are probably not going to be possible on this one! Haha! Thanks!
    drrich2 likes this.
  7. ICatchBadGuys

    ICatchBadGuys Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: USA
    Thank you! We got the Nitrox and are good to go! Not prone to seasickness, but wife got the patches prescribed for her (she's hit and miss with getting sick) and we're packing Dramamine, just in case. Got our night dive gear so we're good to go! Lots of sharks? YES, PLEASE!! :) Great idea on the antibiotic cream. Added it to the packing list! Thank you!
    living4experiences likes this.
  8. O-ring

    O-ring Beyond the Pale ScubaBoard Supporter

    Following...booked on T&C Aggressor in June. Thanks to everybody for the tips posted upthread.
  9. living4experiences

    living4experiences ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Tigard, Oregon
    Ginger candy for motion sickness, gloves for rash protection, ear plugs for sleeping. Get a couple of spring clamps from the hardware store or use beach towel clips to keep your personal gear intact on the railings for drying, especially on the last day of diving when you want your stuff to be as dry as possible before putting it in a suitcase. Use scuba paint to mark all your gear with your initials. Lots of black scuba gear can look the same amongst many divers. I use Trident U-Mark It. It needs 72 hours to dry. I bring a few magnetic hooks to hang on the steel walls of the cabin to utilize a little more surface area in this very small space. I travel with a portable flashlight for the bedside in case of emergency and you need to find your way out fast.

    Some live-aboard companies don't provide toiletries, such as shampoo, conditioner, lotion. I haven't been on this boat, but you could ask what they provide. I bring my own defog, because I know it works for me, and I don't know if COVID has restricted it being provided on the boat.

    Have fun and would love to hear a trip report when you return. :)
    drrich2 likes this.
  10. WarrenZ

    WarrenZ The Ultimate Bad Example ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Las Cruces NM
    I actually just got back from Turks today I was diving west Caicos next to the aggressor boat on Sunday/Monday the water temp was 81-82 (it will probably drop a few degrees in the next couple of weeks) with 100'+ vis you will have a great dive. Definitely do nitrox and bring a jacket or boat coat so that you warm up. I don't need one but the less well insulated people on the boat did get fairly chilled on the last couple of dives of the day especially when the cooler evening wind hits you after the night dive.

    As far as covid goes I'm not sure how arrival at the airport goes but expect temperature checks at resorts departure at the airport and hotels. There is a $250 fine for not wearing your mask on island in public the mask thing was loosely enforced at the club med not sure how the boat will handle it.
    drrich2 likes this.

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