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Turks & Caicos Aggressor II Captain's Logs

Discussion in 'Aggressor Adventures' started by Aggressor Adventures, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. Aggressor Adventures

    Aggressor Adventures ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    567
    16
    Turks & Caicos Aggressor II Captain’s Report June 15 – 22, 2013

    Happy 1000th Dive Mary Lou!:D

    Water Temperature: 82 degrees
    Thermal Protection recommendation: 3mm
    Visibility: 40 – 60 feet

    Welcome back to another installment of the Captain’s log, direct from the Turks and Caicos Aggressor ll. Some new faces this week, as well as some old friends coming back for more. So welcome to Tammy & John, Jennifer, Kelly, Jacqui, Denise, Tracy & Dirk, Charlie & Diane, Todd, Jim & Gail, Mary Lou, Cora, Steve and Kevin!

    Due to tides, we departed Turtle Cove early Saturday evening and headed straight for North West Point. Conditions were fair, and without a breath of wind, the crossing proved very smooth indeed. Having been briefed on safety aspects for the vessel, the guests were treated to a superb dinner from Chef Kris and then settled into an early night in preparation for the following day.

    Sunday morning began with two dives at “Shark Hotel”, a fantastic site to kick things off. Although all enjoyed spotting a large green turtle, the undoubted highlight was a huge female nurse shark (pushing eight feet) gently cruising the wall. Scatterings of Atlantic spadefish were foraging for prey, and a fair-sized Nassau grouper enjoyed a thorough clean, courtesy of some darting cleaner gobies. Lunchtime saw the rain come in, but as we moored at “The Dome” the clouds parted, and sunshine returned. The slightly murky visibility creates a dramatic atmosphere at this site, lending the dome structure an almost ethereal quality. After a tour of the wall and chimney (a semi–enclosed swim through) divers headed to shallower grounds, where a magnificent octopus treated a lucky few to a startling colour display. Shimmering turquoise shifted to rich copper red, blending to deep blue. It seemed curious rather than concerned, giving opportunity for guests to get a really close view. Awesome! The night dive provided a perfect way to end the first day’s diving. Nudibranchs were out in force, a huge French angelfish pouted its surprise at the lights, and a large reef shark was observed just short of the wall.

    Monday saw us moving to West Caicos, and kicking off proceedings with a visit to “Brandywine”. Although visibility was around 20 mts, the temperature was a pleasant 82 degrees, making for comfortable diving conditions. The morning dives provided a flurry of shark encounters, some coming almost nose-to-nose with us before gracefully swerving just in the nick of time. One huge hawksbill was seen, and an abundance of cleaning stations were in full swing. The wall is particularly beautiful on this site, and the selection of immaculate barrel sponges supplied numerous photo opportunities for the guests with cameras. Following lunch, we set forth for “The Anchor”. Thus named for the huge anchor, trapped in the reef; providing a beautiful backdrop for some photographs, as well as a chance for some fine tuned buoyancy skills. A small green turtle has also opted for the anchor channel as its new sleeping place, a pleasant surprise for the night divers. The night dive also supplied both spotted and green moray eels out and about hunting.

    We started Tuesday with an early morning dawn dive, remaining at “The Anchor”. Only a handful of divers braved the depths, but no complaints were heard, during what proved to be a delightful dive. A resting nurse shark kicked off the action, as smaller fish busied themselves around the coral heads. No sooner had we move on from the shark then a huge turtle came past, with a huge reef shark just off in the background. The following morning dives at “Driveway” supplied scorpionfish, trunkfish, more sharks, several turtles, various types of blennies, and an eagle ray. Visibility was average, and water temp remaining at 82 degrees.

    “Magic Mushroom” supplied the platform for the afternoon and evening dives. Not only is the wall exceptional here, but also additionally the shallows are crammed with life. Several guests had checked in to the aptly named “Lobster Hotel”, a huge coral head teeming with critters. Curious jawfish pop up and down all over, and an elusive mantis shrimp watched divers with beady eyes. A juvenile reef shark came in for a cautious peek, disappearing just as quickly.

    Due to adverse conditions, no French Cay this week. However visibility and conditions on Wednesday’s dives, more than made up for it. Beginning with RGI (Rock Garden Interlude) conditions were easily the best of the week. Reports of up to at least six sharks came in, several spotted eels, and a large green moray was spotted too. Both pygmy and slender filefish also graced guests with a display. RGI is a really beautiful dive site, plenty of coral heads, as well as white sloping sand patches, which blend seamlessly down to the wall. There is a particularly enormous barrel sponge, containing a whole microcosm of life, ranging from blennies, to crabs, to juvenile cardinal fish.

    The afternoon and night dives saw us arriving at “Gullies”, a particular favourite with the staff. Two male orange spotted filefish vied for a glamorous female’s attention, but to no avail. The conditions were fair, and it made for some cracking visibility on the night dive. Divers were treated to several eels, one being a tiny juvenile golden tail moray. Additionally, one of the female reef sharks that has been turning up recently saw the divers safely to the hang bar!

    Thursday means ‘Turkey on the Aggressor’, so with the thought of a thanksgiving dinner to look forward to, divers jumped in for the morning dives at “Elephant Ear Canyon”. Visibility was a little murky, but it by no means stopped guests enjoying this phenomenal area. Playful stingrays provided some excellent photo-ops, and some minuscule neck crabs hung grimly on a gorgonian as the current swept along. A rogue band of snapper was also patrolling the wall lip, scattering smaller shoals of fish like confetti. Unusually, no pipe horses this week (despite the crew’s best efforts) however, one pike blenny was spotted. “Eel Garden” was our last stop at North West Point and the afternoon dive was lovely. A juvenile green turtle appeared and seemed alarmed by the divers’ delight at seeing such a small specimen. The night dive gave a huge cubera snapper, another green moray out foraging for dinner, and a slipper lobster.

    Friday morning was an early start and a dive at “Pinnacles”. The last dive of the week proved to be an especially memorable one for our guests as visibility at “Grace Bay” was beautiful, and all the channels and gullies on this site provide for some stunning topography. Docking early we enjoyed one last fabulous lunch from Chef Kris, and then the Wine & Cheese Party to reminisce on the past week’s wonderful diving. Thanks to all the guests who made this week so special, we hope to see you all again very soon.

    Your crew this week: Captain Amanda, James, Cole, Dave, Carlos and Kris

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  2. Aggressor Adventures

    Aggressor Adventures ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    Turks & Caicos Aggressor II Captain’s Log June 22 – 29, 2013

    Our guests for the week; Deborah & Michael, Sharon, Julie, Kathy & Michael, Bill (who made his 400[SUP]th[/SUP] dive whilst with us – go Bill!), Steve, Denis & Vera, Denis Jr, Diana, Mary & Ed, Kelly and Gary, were welcomed aboard the yacht on Saturday and briefed for the week ahead. That night the “Battle of the Bands” event and the ensuing fireworks entertained our lucky guests and helped lull them to sleep.

    Early Sunday morning we departed for the short boat ride to Grace Bay – the weather conditions were fantastic and the water temperatures have held at 80 - 81 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning that a 3mm wetsuit still seems to be the appropriate attire.

    Looking forward to exploring the delights Grace Bay had to offer we eagerly entered the water at Pinnacles and were not disappointed. Over the two dives a wide cross section of marine life came to greet our guests including; grey reef sharks, hawksbill turtles, a beautiful blue parrotfish which is an annual summer visitor to the area, a burrfish, ceros hunting off the wall, arrow and red ridged clinging crabs and Pederson and spotted cleaner shrimp, to name but a few of the many fish species seen here.

    Whilst lunch was being served we moved to Eel Garden at North West Point for our afternoon dives. On these dives we were treated to more grey reef sharks, a very large yellowfin grouper, along with tiger and Nassau groupers; both Caribbean spiny and red banded lobsters, an unusually energetic soapfish, both squat anemone and velvet shrimp, lionfish and arrow blennies. We were also lucky enough to see a gathering of large, normally solitary ocean triggerfish, which appeared to be gathering above the sea grass. Whilst most of these graceful fish were cruising around on top of the wall, a small number could be seen blowing in the sea grass, this behaviour by ocean triggerfish is, in fact, how they make their nests and this was a great treat to observe.

    The night dive turned out to be spectacular – with little to no water movement on the wall our divers could explore at their leisure. Both black and horse eye jacks, together with yellowtail snappers vied for the prime hunting spots under the boat, whilst the small silvery silversides darted frantically to and fro to avoid the hunters. An extremely large Nassau grouper, a southern stingray and a soapfish, meanwhile, were observing all the action. On the wall itself spiny and flaming reef lobsters, an octopus, and a variety of shrimp, including banded coral, peppermint sponge and Pederson cleaning shrimp were found. Not to be left out of the party the morays turned out in force with spotted, green and chestnut morays all being found and photographed for posterity!!

    Early Monday morning we moved across to Rock Garden Interlude at West Caicos for our next set of dives. Here our first encounter was to see large shoals of horse eye jacks, yellowtail snappers and Creole wrasse hanging out and enjoying the current off the wall, whilst a large, harried yellow jack flew past. The wall revealed more of its delights including spotted and green morays, lobsters, arrow crabs and a spotted trunkfish. Some of our photographers were entranced by the blue-eyed hermit crab whilst others by the passing Great Hammerhead!!

    The afternoon saw a move to Magic Mushroom where yet more turtles and southern stingrays were waiting to become immortalised in video.” Lobster Tower” appeared to have extended its guest range as a gigantic channel clinging crab appears to have taken up residence, but the evicted lobsters, as well as some squat lobsters, mantis shrimp and tufted nudibranch, were found safely elsewhere. The grey reef sharks amused themselves shadowing the guests until they decided enough photos had been taken of them. The juveniles were not to be left out with both a juvenile goldentail moray and a juvenile spotted drum making an appearance. One of the highlights was the extremely friendly queen conch who patiently tried to show Kathy how to groove and move the conch way…

    Not to be outdone the nocturnal creatures ensured a great night dive; besides the southern stingray and lobsters found, the highlights proved to be the small but perfectly formed baby reef octopus, the juvenile spotted drum and juvenile squids which were seen.

    The Anchor was the location for Tuesday morning, where two large hawksbill turtles were hanging out waiting to greet us under the boat. As everyone waited their turn for the swim through and to take pictures of the Anchor itself, as this makes such a great subject with the bright corals and sponges that are found there, they were entertained by a small goldentail moray and an arrow crab feeding on passing bits of food. Again large shoals of horse eye and bar jacks, a scorpion fish and a friendly grey reef shark could be seen and as a special treat two adult African pompanos also made an appearance. Away from the wall the ‘gang’ of small barracuda were chilling and white spotted nudibranchs and a banded jawfish all became photographic models for the dive.

    A move to Brandywine for the afternoon dives were highlighted with sightings of a small male grey reef shark, giant tipped anemone with a gargantuan banded clinging crab inside, (ok size is all relative!!), a gathering of squat anemone shrimp, a juvenile spotted drum and an unidentified fish which turned out to be a juvenile puddingwife – great spot Sharon!!

    The night dive again turned out to be fun with plenty of parrotfish putting on their night attire and getting ready for bed, a flamboyant decorator crab which had covered its legs with lots of small piece of sponge so that it not only looked like a flamenco dancer but was apparently practicing the dance moves too – awesome!! Also found by our intrepid Chef Dave (yes we allowed him out of the kitchen for a little while…) was a plethora of molluscs including a measled cowrie, a king helmet conch and a trumpet triton (these have been observed living as deep as 20 fathoms!)

    Wednesday saw a move to Driveway with calmer seas and better visibility. A large very pregnant female grey reef shark and her smaller male escort were hanging around off the wall along with clouds of Creole wrasse and a vast shoal of Bermuda chub. On top of the wall there was a southern stingray convention along with a “band’ of squat lobsters doing their morning workout, being observed by a pair of peacock flounders, a tiny juvenile spotted drum, a group of yellowhead jawfish, a spotted moray, a rarely seen chalk bass, and a number of varying sized lionfish. An incredibly rare crab which was the subject of great excitement for some, until it was discovered it was in fact plastic and had been planted by Steph, what a prankster!! As a final flourish a permit made a fly by along the wall at the end of the second dive.

    A move to Gullies over lunch was next and so fantastic diving ensued. “Sully” the large resident pregnant grey reef shark came to greet the guests as they swam through ‘The Gulley’ and the elusive gnome was eventually found! A gang of sennets (small barracuda) were found guarding the mooring line and the school of horse eye jacks mesmerised everyone on their safety stop.

    The night dive proved to also be spectacular. Chestnut and spotted morays were found, hairy and channel clinging crabs, and Caribbean and red banded lobsters were seen foraging along the reef floor in search of supper. A beautiful but timid sculptured slipper lobster decided to wait until the divers had left to come out of his safe spot but, in contrast, the grey reef sharks patrolled around the boat on the periphery of the lights ensuring order was maintained and no tasty morsel went unnoticed!! The final delight was the extremely large squid, which gave a spectacular light show as the divers ended their dive.

    Thursday morning found us at Elephant Ear Canyon, a favourite with our staff! Here a gathering of southern stingrays were feasting on the vast buffet of garden eels in the sand, which stretched from the boat to the wall, whilst the reef sharks came to say hello from off the wall and a large shoal of horse eye jacks swirled along the sand. Peacock flounders, lionfish and goldentail morays were also spotted. This site is also a macro lover’s delight and did not let us down; our intrepid divers spotted a pregnant pipe horse, arrow blennies, wire coral shrimp, headshield slugs, sea hares and sun, corkscrew, giant and branching anemones and as a special treat, a seahorse!

    For the afternoon dives the boat was moved to back to North West Point to The Dome. Here on the dive a huge variety of sea creatures were found, ranging from southern stingrays to soapfish, arrow crabs to a tiny spotted drum, fingerprint cyphomas to secretary blennies. Also our regulars were here; horse eye jacks, amberjacks, blue chromis and Creole wrasse. What a great dive!!

    The night dive brought out many lobsters, including red banded and a band of dancing Pederson cleaning shrimp. Also a cute little octopus was found who seemed to like to pose for the cameras. The squid seen were desperately trying to keep away from the black jacks who were on a hunting mission. Also, although not seen, the presence of the sharks was definitely felt!!

    Early Friday morning the final dives of the week took place at Sharks Hotel where “big” was the theme. A huge green moray reclining on the rocks was spotted enjoying the view, as were spotted and chestnut morays. The final farewell from the ocean creatures was the pass by of a large Great Hammerhead – what a way to finish the week.

    What a fantastic week was had by all.
    Thanks from your crew this week: Captain Amanda, Cole, Dave, Carlos, Steph and Bill. Tune in next week to see what adventures we have in store.

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  3. Aggressor Adventures

    Aggressor Adventures ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    567
    16
    Turks & Caicos Aggressor II Captain’s Report June 29 – July 6, 2013

    Water Temperature: 78 - 82˚F
    Thermal protection: 3 – 5 mm
    Visibility: 100 + feet

    Joining us this week were Doug, Diana, Steve, Roger, Veronica, Vivian, Renee, Larry, Reyna Eric, Phil, Debbie, Tor, Julie, Hoyt and Collin were welcomed aboard the yacht on Saturday and briefed for the week ahead. After an exciting arrival of the guests at three o’clock, they were welcomed to their new home for the week to come. We set sail to the beautiful Northwest Point that evening, due to the tides. Conditions were fair, with an excellent breeze, the crossing proved to be very smooth indeed. Having been briefed on safety aspects for the vessel, the guests were treated to a superb dinner from Chef Dave. Afterwards everyone swiftly went to bed in preparation for the following day.

    We did the first two dives Sunday morning at the absolutely breathtaking site “Eel Garden”, which proved to be a great place to start another excellent week of diving. On these dives we were treated to a few tiger and Nassau groupers; cleaner and bumblebee shrimp, as well as giant anemone, channel clinging crab, a few arrow blennies and the always lovely, but detrimental, lionfish. Just before we enjoyed lunch by Chef Dave, which was served by steward Carlos, we tied off at “The Dome”. This has a quite splendid wall where we found a fingerprint cyphoma attached to an obtuse purple sea fan. We were also lucky enough to see a few spotted cyphoma and flamingo tongues. As we moved closer to the dome, our video pro Cole captured shots of the guest checking out a rather large green moray eel.

    Early Monday morning we moved on over to “Shark Hotel”, where the name certainly suits the place. We watched the divers faces illuminate with the eerie shadow of the first few passing sharks of the trip. They were also very enthusiastic with the spotting of spiny lobsters, crabs, schools of horse-eyed jack, and two free swimming octopus. The afternoon saw a move to "RGI” where the next three dives proved to be truly brilliant!! The topography on this dive site is truly unreal, featured by an immaculate wall covered in wire coral and split-pore sea rods. We found a plethora of marine life that included branching vase sponges, golden coral shrimp, batwing coral crab and parrotfish. After the night dive, our guests Phil and Debbie celebrated their 34[SUP]th[/SUP] wedding anniversary. The popping of champagne and the bubbling of the hot tub echoed across the sun deck as they toasted to another 34 years.

    A move to “Brandywine” for the two morning dives on Tuesday proved to be very nice, as we spotted two flounders, one gigantic scorpionfish and a few schools of squirrelfish. The afternoon dives took place at the ever so wonderful site “The Anchor” where once again found ourselves being circled by sharks almost the entire first two dives. The night dive again turned out to be plenty of fun, with more eels, lobsters, sharks and an abundance of sea feather plumes and brain coral. Our guest Phil whipped out his guitar and serenaded the passengers before bed on the sun deck, underneath the translucent glow of the ocean covering stars.

    Wednesday saw a move to “Magic Mushroom” where we saw everything from circling reef sharks to juvenile drum fish. Our guest Eric was lucky enough to witness one of the groupers getting his mouth cleaned at a cleaning station. A handful of other guests also were treated to the sight of a Pederson cleaning shrimp leaving the mouth and moving into the coral sponges. The last three dives of the day took place at “The Gullies” where the sharks couldn’t be friendlier. One of the larger sharks had a small fishing hook stuck in his mouth, which proved to be quite the sight. We also spotted a few eels, including a gold spot as well as a white spot. The night was a bit chilly as the evening breeze picked up but our guests didn’t stay cold for long though, as the crew swiftly treated them to warm towels, hot chocolate and the bubbling hot tub.

    Our final full dive day kicked off at “Elephant Ear” Thursday where our guest Hoyt spotted two sharks, seven stingrays and 11 lionfish!! A move back to Northwest Point over lunch was next. After about a two hour boat ride we arrived at “Stairway” just in time to start dive number three. After travelling south on the wall for about five minutes, we found three lobsters hiding out under a coral formation. On the return to the boat we spotted a beautiful free swimming octopus. As Collin approached, it turned into a solid white colour. The final night dive ended up being one of the best ones yet as we were even greeted at the surface by a few squid. Our guests spotted a gigantic crab, a few lobsters and a sleeping sea turtle. Then they came up to the smell of hot chocolate and rum as it fumigated throughout the boat.

    Early Friday we hooked on the site “Two Step” early in the morning to get our final dives of the week. The dive deck became eerily quiet with the forgone conclusion that this would be the last dive of the trip. After the dives concluded we headed back towards Grace Bay to hang out for a few hours and have lunch. After the ever so delicious final lunch by our masterful Chef Dave, we eased the boat back into the dock. At six o’clock Friday evening we had our wine and cheese party.

    With another fantastic week in the books, we would like to say thanks from your crew this week: Captain Amanda, Cole, Dave, Carlos and Zach. Check back in next week to see what other wonderful things are happening in the exquisite Turks and Caicos Islands.

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  4. Aggressor Adventures

    Aggressor Adventures ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    567
    16
    Turks & Caicos Aggressor II Captain’s Report July 6 – 13, 2013

    Water Temperature: 78 - 82˚F
    Thermal protection: 3 – 5 mm
    Visibility: 60-80 feet

    Our guests for the week Jessica, Bryan, Terri, Stacey, Jeremy, Paul, Rich, David, Martin, Karen, Ben, Holly, Stuart and Richard were welcomed aboard the yacht on Saturday at 3:00 pm. After setting up gear, they were welcomed to their new home for the week to come. Having been shown the emergency action procedures on the ship, the guests were treated to a splendid dinner of steak and mashed potatoes by Chef Patti. The guests swiftly went to bed in preparation for the following day.

    We set sail to the beautiful North West Point Sunday morning just before breakfast. Conditions were fair, with an excellent breeze, the crossing proved to be very smooth indeed. We did the first two dives Sunday morning at Shark Hotel which is the perfect place for the new guests to set up and get comfortable, especially when you’re along side beautiful marine life such as barracuda, lobsters parrotfish, sponges and sea fans. Just before Chef Patti served lunch, we tied off at Stairway, which was a very lovely afternoon and night dive site. During the day we got a chance to check out the gorgeous wall, which was filled with all sorts of interesting creatures including, black sea bass, sand perch, broad saddle basses and cardinal fish.

    Early Monday morning we moved on over to the Dome. To start off we followed the wall, the divers looked like something out of a Navy seal film as the ascended through the chute spouting bubbles from throughout the tiny crevasses along the reef. Then we proceeded to follow the wall back towards the boat. Along the way we saw two flamingo tongues, five cleaner shrimp, a stingray and a few vibrant parrotfish. As we approached the Dome the guests fell in love with the growth and amazing colours that were on display, as well as the always-elusive octopus, jawfish and a damselfish. The afternoon saw a move to Eel Garden and after a few showers and heavy gust of winds the ocean water felt like a hot sauna. As we ascended the divers moved south on the wall hanging with a plethora of juvenile drum, cleaner fish, barracuda and two four-foot reef sharks. The night dive was very interesting indeed, as the guest saw squid, crabs, lobsters, horse eyed jack and a few spotted moray eels. After the guests got out of the water, they fired up the hot tub and drank a little rum as the day came to an end.

    After a weather briefing by Captain James on Tuesday morning we finally got a chance to go out to the always wonderful West Caicos dive site called Elephant Ear. The two morning dives on Tuesday proved to be superb and as we headed east on the wall our guest Stewart was approached from behind by a seven-foot reef shark who circled us for the entirety of the dive. We were also lucky enough to hang with a friendly sea turtle, a green moray eel, and several more flamingo tongues. A move to the Gullies was next, (which in my opinion has the most immaculate wall out of all the Turks and Caicos dive spots) where we swam with the lovely queen angelfish, more sharks, free swimming octopus, and a school of about 40 barracuda! The night dive at the Dome turned out to be absolutely breathtaking. We spotted an octopus changing colours at will right under Richard’s dive light, as well as several crabs, lobsters and a gold spotted moray eel.

    Wednesday saw a move to the south side marina due to the forming of a tropical storm that had potentially large swells, so we had to unfortunately dock the boat for the day to let the storm pass. Remaining optimistic, the passengers caught up with much needed sleep, took an excursion into town, mixed in a bit of shopping, and topped it all off with rum tasting in the lovely town of Providenciales.

    Thursday morning we headed back to West Caicos after the storm had passed so we could dive into the water again. First we went to Magic Mushroom where we saw a ton of jawfish and two huge moray eels. Next was a move to RGI (Rock Garden Interlude) where two reef sharks once again met us along with a three-legged sea turtle. We finished off the last day of diving at Pinnacles, which was a great way to end the dive charter. After that the guest washed their gear with a sad grin on their faces knowing that the trip was coming to an end.

    With another fantastic week in the books, we would like to say thanks from your crew this week: Captain James, Cole, Dave, Patti, Carlos and Zach. Tune in next week to see what other amazing things we bare witness to aboard the Turks and Caicos Aggressor II.

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  5. Aggressor Adventures

    Aggressor Adventures ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    567
    16
    Turks & Caicos Aggressor II Captain’s Report July 13 – 20, 2013

    Water Temperature: 78 - 82˚F
    Thermal protection: 3 – 5 mm
    Visibility: 100-150 ft

    Our guests for the week; Katie, Eric, Louise, Glen, Paul, Liza, William, Deborah, Scott S, Scott K, Shawn, David, TJ and Robert were welcomed aboard the yacht Saturday at 3:00 pm. After setting up dive equipment and having a look at the rooms, they were shown the emergency action procedures on the ship. For dinner, Chef Owen treated us with a flavourful meal of chicken and assorted veggies.

    Sunday morning, just after breakfast, we dove the site Pinnacles twice. The shallow reef here proves to be one of the easiest places to start the week. But don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s a boring place to dive, as the topography is one of the best in all of Turks and Caicos. Dave even said it feels like you’re in Star Wars whilst you’re down there tugging along. After a tasty lunch that included shrimp, chicken, pasta salad, and freshly chopped fruit we tied off at the site Stairway, in the always-lovely Northwest Point, where we did the final three dives of the day. We saw a family of lobsters, a few crabs and a colorful school of juvenile parrotfish.

    We did the first two dives Monday morning at Sharks Hotel where the sharks had unfortunately checked out for the first dive. So we settled for schools of horse eyed jack, spotted moray eels, and a lazy sea turtle that let the paparazzi onboard snap away. After the afternoon snack was finished, we jumped back in the water and found out where the sharks had been. As our dive instructor Zach and Liza found about a three footer hidden away under some coral heads taking an afternoon nap.

    At 12:00 pm sharp the crew pulled the ladders while Captain James fired up the engines, to head out for West Caicos do the final three dives of the day. After lunch we pulled up to Magic Mushroom where we saw all sorts of marine life that included turtles, sharks, good-sized barracuda, lobster, schools of creole wrasse, which as Instructor Patti put it “was seriously prolific”. Just before the night dive Chef Owen treated everyone to a delicious dinner that included green salad, blackened Mahi Mahi, roasted rosemary potatoes and steamed cabbage. Just when everyone was about to explode, he brought out caramelized fruit for dessert. Those of us who could still fit in a wetsuit jumped in for the night dive. Our guest, TJ saw two free swimming octopus, a reef shark, and helped a black jack get a late night snack.

    In the wee hours Tuesday morning we moved to Driveway, which just so happened to be our lovely guest Liza’s 100[SUP]th[/SUP] dive!!!!! What an epic dive it was indeed, she spotted 5 black tip reef sharks, 2 octopi, and 8 beautiful but detrimental lionfish. The afternoon dive Tuesday took place at The Anchor where our guests Louise, Glen, Paul and Liza got to see a massive hammerhead shark that popped up between them and scared Louise. Everyone was super excited about the sighting; except for our Aussie guest Glen, who had taken his macro lens on that particular dive. Instructors Dave and Zach were both filled to the brim with “hammerhead envy”.

    Wednesday morning we arrived at Rock Garden Interlude, aka R.G.I. Just when we dropped in Paul spotted a stingray hunting in the sandy bottom, then a turtle cruised over to hang out with us for a bit. We continued down the wall and met up with our shark friends that seem to hang out with us every dive.

    Thursday started back at The Anchor where we had more reef shark sightings, a few tiger groupers, and schools of horse eyed jack. The afternoon dives took place at Gullies where yet again Paul and Liza saw a hammerhead! The whole boat agreed that they must have been wearing some sort of shark attracting pheromones.

    The last full dive day kicked off at Elephant Ear Canyon where our fearless leader Captain James had himself a swim with a great hammerhead shark. After lunch, we headed back to Northwest Point to dive Eel Garden. Our Instructor Dave wowed everyone with findings of spotted moray eels, camouflaged scorpionfish and some amazing swim throughs.

    On our final dive day we went to The Dome and just before the last dive we enjoyed breakfast and watched the awesome video Cole put together.

    We would like to say thanks from your crew this week: Captain James, Cole, Dave, Patti, Owen and Zach. We hope these experiences inspire you to take your next dive trip onboard the Turks and Caicos Aggressor II.

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  6. Aggressor Adventures

    Aggressor Adventures ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    567
    16
    Turks & Caicos Aggressor II Captain’s Report July 20 – 27, 2013

    Water Temperature: 78 - 82˚F
    Thermal protection: 3 – 5 mm
    Visibility: 100-150 ft

    Hello there from the Turks and Caicos Aggressor II. We began our charter Saturday July 20[SUP]th[/SUP] at 3:00pm. We welcome our guests this week Elaine, Brian, Moises, Daniel, Salomon, Lorena, Yohan, Arturo, Leonardo, Kris, Juan, Israel, Daniela, Becky, Jerred and Dorothee. What a splendid night it was indeed, we feasted upon blackened chicken, rice, steamed veggies and a wonderful cheesecake. Meanwhile Captain James and the crew introduced themselves and gave a safety briefing.

    We set sail out of Turtle Cove Marina Sunday morning at 6:30 am, just in time to reach the dive site Pinnacles by eight o’clock. Our instructor Zach joined the divers in the water to make sure everyone was comfortable and properly weighted. After everyone was at the bottom we headed down the wonderful swim throughs spotting a giant lobster, some horse eyed jack, a spiny flounder, snakefish and a miraculous white-spotted filefish. After the first two dives our fantastic Video pro/Instructor/Galley-wag Cole served lunch and gave a detailed description of the photo and video services on board the vessel. The guest dove the lovely sight Eel Garden for the remainder of the day, spotting pallid gobies, pale head blennies, burrfish and the beautiful queen triggerfish. Also, several “balls deep” blennies were spotted, always a favourite with the crew.

    Monday morning at 6:30 am the crew kicked the pigs, taking the short trip down to Sharks Hotel. As we proceeded down the wall they saw a group of lobsters walking about, a beautiful sea turtle on a barrel sponge, and a little tunicate that was more than willing to pose for a few pictures. After the first two dives, Cole went over the details of the ‘once in a lifetime’ whale excursions we provide during the winter season. For the afternoon dives we cruised out to the magical West Caicos mooring line to R.G.I. and after our instructor Dave gave the dive briefing we headed out. Every single one of our sixteen divers entered the water where they were treated to a splendid encounter with five black tip reef sharks. Everyone came up smelling the aroma of freshly baked brownies Chef Owen had put together whilst we were in the water.

    Our arrival at the Anchor Tuesday morning couldn’t have been timed better by Captain James because as soon as Dave and Yohan reached the bottom they received the gift of a lifetime, spotting a majestic manta ray that gracefully swam by giving them a completely private viewing session with this whimsical beast. Magical Mushroom was our next destination for our private yacht and oh what a fantastic dive it was. The cool calm water was exponentially therapeutic after we had stuffed our faces on the superb lunch Chef Owen and Zach put out. We were fortunate enough to see a chubby hogfish, a tiny neon goby and a gigantic trumpetfish that was failing to disguise itself behind a parrotfish.

    Our morning dives on Wednesday took place at Driveway where a sandy shoot opens up and looks just like you’re pulling into an underwater aquatic driveway filled with miraculous creatures, including an awesome headshield slug and a plethora of flamingo tongues feeding on gorgonians. We switched over to Gullies next, which just so happens to be Instructor Zach’s favourite spot in Turks and Caicos. As soon as we ascended we found a coral hut that had four lobsters and two crabs snoozing it up under the vibrant hard corals.

    Our last ‘five dive day’ kicked off at Elephant Ear Canyon where our instructor Dave lead the first dive spotting two pipefish and a beautiful pipe horse. As the guests came up from their dive we spotted a tiny sea turtle coming up for a breath of fresh air. The afternoon and night dives took place at the Dome where we had the pleasure of spotting four octopi, a mammoth of a moray eel, and a mean little damselfish who likes to nibble on wetsuits. We had our final dinner Thursday night feasting upon a delicious turkey cooked to perfection along with mashed potatoes, fresh veggies, and homemade stuffing.

    Friday morning we reached Stairway where the guests spent their final bit of time underwater swimming with turtles, sharks and stingrays - oh my!

    We would like to say thanks to our guest for a fantastic week aboard the Turks and Caicos Aggressor II. We hope you come back to dive, eat and drink with us again.

    Your crew: Captain James, Cole, Dave, Owen and Zach

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  7. Aggressor Adventures

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    Turks & Caicos Aggressor II Captain’s Report July 27 – July 3, 2013

    Water Temperature: 81 - 82˚F
    Thermal protection: 3 – 5 mm
    Visibility: 100 -150 ft

    The Turks and Caicos Aggressor II would like to welcome our guests for the week: Maarit, Jukka, Rick, Havala, Katherine, David, Gordon, Nicholoas, Chris, Mark, Bill, Elijah, Nancy, Terre, Robin, Demetria, Isaiah and Ken. After a look around the vessel and some cold beverages Captain Amanda gave a safety briefing. As she was doing the weekly c-card check, our fantastic back up Captain James was manning the helm, steering us toward the lovely North West Point. After dinner tonight we celebrated our guest Nancy’s birthday with a delicious carrot cake.

    Sunday morning kicked off at the magnificent “Eel Garden” where we saw an abundance of little creatures such as banded coral shrimp, Pederson cleaner shrimp, flamingo tongues, yellow print gobies and garden eels. After a spectacular lunch by Chef Owen and his awesome assistant Gershwin, we moved over to the site “Stairway”. During the five o’clock dive our guest Bill pointed out a free swimming octopus that put on quite a show, changing colours and shape at will.

    While the guest enjoyed breakfast Monday morning, Captain Amanda had the crew start the engines in order to relocate to “Sharks Hotel”. The splendid wall here is covered in vibrant sponges and beautiful hard coral. Our awesome Instructor Dave saw a gigantic tugboat whilst he was getting divers into the water. Our guest Jukka received an underwater bath by five Pederson shrimp and a few yellow gobies. After the two morning dives, we moved over to the “Dome”. The guest really enjoyed Captain Amanda’s dive briefing, which explained the interesting details of the game show “Pago Pago”. The dome at night is truly one of North West Point’s most amazing treasures. It’s almost a guarantee that every time you dip a toe in you will see something magnificent. The guest saw creatures such as fingerprint cyphoma, octopus, three flounders, a stingray, and a chubby sea turtle.

    A move to West Caicos Tuesday morning was next. We tied off at “R.G.I” around 7:30 am just in time to start the lovely day of diving spotting yellow arrow crabs, octopus, sea urchin, red-banded lobster and slipper lobster. As the day moved on, so did we, giant striding into “Magical Mushroom” where a sleeping sea turtle waited for our arrival, as well as a several lizardfish and a nurse shark. The night dive proved to be quite spectacular indeed seeing octopus, hunting stingrays, spotted moray eels, all whilst being pampered with hot towels hot coco and a hot tub.

    Wednesday morning got off to a bit of a late start, due to the dissipated tropical storm Dorian. But the trusty dive site “Anchor” didn’t disappoint and two spotted eagle rays greeted the divers as they sank to the bottom of the reef. “Brandywine” turned out to be a spectacular afternoon dive site. Captain Amanda pointed out a pregnant lobster as she was snapping photos of the passengers; we also had two very interested reef sharks that circled us for almost the entire dive. One of the sharks was obviously a female who had been roughed up a bit by her male counter parts, making her look much more unique than your typical shark. A special “shout out” to Isaiah who racked up dive number 50 during the night dive, spotting nudibranchs, spiny file clams, squat lobster, night shrimp, velvet shrimp and the creepy spaghetti shrimp.

    The dreaded final full day of diving approached way too soon Thursday morning; luckily we had “Elephant Ear Canyon” on the agenda. What a magnificent dive it was indeed, our guest Jukka got an awesome picture of a tiny headshield slug. Captain Amanda also found a lovely pipe horse to show off to Havala, Rick, Dave and Kat. Instructor Dave, who has an eye as keen as mustard, also found the always-beautiful juvenile flounder, as well as a lovely sea goddess and several pipefish. “Gullies”, which is always a crew favourite was next, where the guest searched for the gnome and other sea creatures. Ken, Demetria, Isaiah and Israel found the Gnome hiding amongst the reef along with several Caribbean reef sharks.

    Now we give you the saga of Albert the turtle, written by our guest Chris H.


    “Albert was a wise old hawksbill turtle. He lived through many moons, and has swam through many tropical storms (ahem…. Dorian). By his old age Albert had become as large as a kitchen table, and his shell had become encrusted in barnacles. One fine afternoon after yet another storm had passed Albert had a chance encounter with two divers, Chris and Mark. Chris swam through the water with grace, and his debonair good looks could be seen through his dive mask. Mark’s experience showed, with flowing silver locks and thick prescription goggles. This chance meeting between two divers and a turtle would be remembered for years to come. They swam along the wall at 70 feet below the surface for roughly 13 and a half minutes. By the end of their casual gander through the reef all parties had shared a special mental connection. Albert wanted nothing more than to stick his head under a rock and sleep (or die), and the two divers would revel in their amazing experience. It is no doubt that all of the other turtles would be jealous of Albert’s leisurely afternoon with Chris and Mark.”

    You could hear a pin drop on the dive deck Friday morning as the divers strapped on the gear for the final time. During breakfast we watched the wonderful video the multi-talented Second Captain James had put together for us. After washing up the gear we sat down and had our final lunch together.

    The crew Amanda, James, Dave, Zach, Owen and Gershwing would like to thank our guests for a fantastic week of diving and memories and we hope you join us again on the Turks and Caicos Aggressor II.

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  8. Aggressor Adventures

    Aggressor Adventures ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    Turks & Caicos Aggressor II Captain’s Report August 3 – 10, 2013

    Water Temperature: 79-85° F
    Thermal Protection Recommendation: 1-3 mm
    Visibility: 80-100 feet

    Sunny skies welcomed our guests to Turtle Cove Marina then aboard our vessel, the Turks and Caicos, Aggressor II. Introductions and safety briefings followed, after which the guests settled into their cabins. Chef Ailsa welcomed our divers with delicious roasted tenderloin, seasonal vegetables and roasted potatoes dinners.

    We spent the first morning in Grace Bay, plunging into a site called Pinnacles. A fantastic wall dive with an abundance of large spiny lobsters. Pinnacles offered up our guest Richard the chance to encounter the first of many more Caribbean reef sharks of the week. The weather was favorable so we moved to Northwest Point during lunch to Eel Garden. Divers came up jazzed after having sited a mating pair of green morays, a juvenile golden tail damsel, and of course, fields of garden eels. Lots of bioluminescence, sharks, and lobsters made the first night dive of the week a great one.

    Monday we were off to West Caicos in the morning to a site titled The Anchor. Our diver Gale shot south through the channel to come upon a school of large horse eyed jacks swarming around the mouth of the channel. At G-Spot in the afternoon (named for the shape of the reef line), Elle, Fred, Kate, and Thiago had their camera at the ready for the reef ecosystem, which provided numerous subjects for all, including the scrawled filefish, honeycomb cowfish and smooth trunkfish.

    On Tuesday morning, we were off to lovely French Cay. The trip went very smoothly thanks to Capt. Amanda and the sites did not disappoint. First off was a site entitled Rock and Roll, followed by Dax’s Canyon, and both sites provided an abundance of gray reef sharks. These sharks were very friendly indeed, coming closer and closer with every pass. Our night dive was at the awesome Half Mile location. Thiago and Neo had a breathtaking encounter, in total blackout, with a swarm of glowworms, one of the closest ways to emulate a space flight through the stars.

    Saying goodbye and relocating back to West Caicos was on the menu for Wednesday morning. Magic Mushroom provided our site for two dives, in which visibility was 100 plus feet and multiple encounters with the invasive lionfish were in store for our divers. After a delicious tomato and basil soup course for lunch everyone was anxious for their next plunge. Off to Rock Garden Interlude for the remainder of our Wednesday’s dives, which also included seamless conditions for all three dives. Our quest Liz had such nice dives she couldn’t help but have her husband Richard film her doing a Snoopy dance sixty feet under the blue water. Spotted filefish, midnight parrotfish, walnut jellies, and a large five-foot green moray rounded out the dives on R.G.I.

    Moving back to West Caicos on Thursday was a delightful voyage, with a maroon, violet sunrise and calm, lax seas. The area entitled Elephant Ear was the stop for dives one and two. Gale, Claudia, and Alex came upon a cleaning station where a great barracuda and comb grouper were in the process of being serviced. Red seemed to be trending as long jaw squirrelfish, blackbar soldierfish, and stoplight parrotfish were the residents of this coral patch. Our dives continued at a site called The Dome, named for the structure that is submerged in the shallower section of this reef line. A plethora of blennies and lizardfish awaited the guests as they descended into the twilight abyss. Nothing but smiling faces appeared as hot chocolate was served with a spot of rum crème!

    The last morning of diving commenced at Black Forrest. The temperature of the water reached a cozy eighty-five degrees and many of the divers said their goodbyes to the underwater beauty that surrounds the Turks and Caicos. Docking back at Turtle Marina, our guests were invited to join the crew for a pleasant cheese and wine social. Stories of the week were shared and photos judged as well as a couple of ‘Iron Diver’ awards for the divers who endured the endless food and drink and completed every dive of the week.


    Another fantastic week aboard the Turks and Caicos Aggressor II came to a close. We would like to thank all our guests for spending their week aboard and providing us with the opportunity to present the lovely ecosystem, which the Turks and Caicos have to offer.

    Your crew: Captain Amanda, James, Neo, Chef Ailsa, and Rosy.

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  9. Aggressor Adventures

    Aggressor Adventures ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    Turks & Caicos Aggressor II Captain’s Report August 10 – 17, 2013

    Water Temperature: 80-86° F
    Thermal Protection Recommendation: 1-3 mm
    Visibility: 80-100 feet

    Another week aboard the spacious Turks and Caicos, Aggressor II started with sunny skies and smiling faces. Saturday began with an anchorage just outside Turtle Cove Marina, in Grace Bay. Due to tidal changes, some of our guests experienced a water taxi service provided by James aboard our speedy tender.

    Off to Northwest Point early Sunday morning to a site known as Black Forest. This section of reef has large patches of sea moss, thus the name, which gives the local population of scorpion fish the perfect camouflage to blend right into the bottom crevices. Our divers Kate and Aarron spent their entire dive under the boat encountering a wide selection of critters to use their macro setups on. Next up was the site called Stairway for the remainder of Sunday’s dives. A gentleman named Bill had fun shadowing a queen trigger attempting to get that perfect shot. A pair of reef sharks was circling our divers from about ten feet below as four bar jacks, no doubt awaiting any scraps to be had, were trailing them themselves.

    On Monday, after a delicious spread provided by our excellent chef Ailsa, we entered the water at Driveway off of West Caicos. Visibility was sublime and the water was a modest eighty-three degrees for both of the dive excursions. Large coral heads delivered sub sections of sailor’s eyeball alga, sea squirts, sponges, and other invertebrates. The site Brandywine followed for the second half of the day and night dives. Paul and April encountered the color changing habits of fish like the peacock grouper, white spotted filefish and French angels as the sun crept passed the horizon. Rounds of hot chocolate, rum crème were the perfect final touch to wrap up the days events.

    Tuesday started off with the ever-popular Anchor reef site, named for the old seventeenth century anchor, which adorns the entrance to the drop off. Various sand channels vein the reef line inviting divers to swim just a little farther with the passing of each. R.G.I., otherwise known as Rock Garden Interlude, was next on the list for Tuesday. Across the bottom, in about forty feet of water, are nice coral heads sprinkled about. Spotted morays, four-eyed butterflyfish, and large lurking frogfish were just some of the creatures found at this local. We stayed around West Caicos and relocating to Magic Mushroom for the p.m. dive. For this night dive Sommone and Steve test-drove the new ‘Solar Night Vision’ systems. These are provided complimentary to guests that want to experience the next trend in night diving adventures. They came up with raving reviews about the visual stimulations that the black lights caused on the abundant luminescence.

    After moving to Northwest Point the next day, the guests entered the blue at Shark’s Hotel. Glassy, clear water beckoned each and everyone to shake off their sleep and dive, dive, dive! Allyson made significant progress with her rented Sea and Sea camera, capturing three out of five of the shots she would put into this week’s slideshow. The picture of the Christmas tree worms, which she captured, was exquisite. Now we were on to one of the most popular dive sites in Providenciales, The Dome. A large steel cage structure that is in disarray, the Dome is a fun dive to practice your buoyancy, as there are numerous entry and exit points.

    It is always a sad time to begin the last dive of the week, but the Eel Garden provided a pair of stealthy octopus. As many divers want to find an octopus but come up short, these creatures rounded out the week quite nicely for our divers. As always, the Friday evening cheese and wine social provided everyone the opportunity to share stories of the week’s past as well as exchange info for further diving adventures.

    Thank you to all the guests that we consider brothers and sisters in scuba. We hope to see you once again aboard one of many Aggressors around the world.

    Your crew: Captain Amanda, James, Warren, Neo, Kelly, and Chef Ailsa.

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  10. Aggressor Adventures

    Aggressor Adventures ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    Turks & Caicos Aggressor II Captain’s Report August 17 – 27, 2013
    Special 10-Night Charter

    Water Temperature: 83 – 84 ° F
    Thermal Protection Recommendation: 1-3 mm
    Visibility: 80-100 feet

    Another trip aboard the luxurious Turks and Caicos, Aggressor II started with sunny skies and smiling faces. The guests for the next 10 days were welcomed aboard, after which they got settled into their dive lockers and shown to their assigned cabins.

    We were off to Grace Bay early Sunday morning to a site known as Pinnacles with a multitude of coral heads peppering the bottom mapping the way to a beautiful reef ledge. As everyone entered and adjusted their weights, the first introduction to the attractiveness of Turks and Caicos went splendidly. The Dome, in Northwest Point, was to follow for the remainder of Sunday’s diving. Many spotted flamingo tongues were noticed as they were attached to large purple sea fans gently swaying along with the current. Later today, and always a fan favorite for a night dive, The Dome had many nocturnal mollusks using the cage as a feeding ledge.

    West Caicos was our next journey and this island has excellent dive sites; none better then The Anchor locale. The Houston-based travelers of Faustyn, Thor, Lisa, Terri, and Earlene were lucky enough to encounter two pods of dolphins that swam easily through the dive group and non-stop raving of the encounter was to be heard after everyone emerged.

    French Cay was to be the next stop on our ten-day charter. A letter shaped ledge appropriately named G Spot was to be the first site in this southern area. Never to disappoint, French Cay, has an abundant amount of healthy soft and hard coral heads full of spiny lobster, Pederson shrimp, and various nudibranchs. As we relocated to Dax Canyon where the conditions couldn’t be better stingrays were out and playful throughout the area circling the mooring pin. Our guest Mathew is a shark lover and spotted his first pelagic friend directly under the boat right after plunging in.

    Half Mile Reef was to be the last of our locations in and around French Cay. A monster eagle ray was spotted cautiously flanking our divers as they approached the edge of the drop off while the bottom feeding goatfish were busy sifting through the sand in search of their next meal. During the night dive George raised the alarm over an enormous darkly colored Caribbean spiny lobster.

    Wednesday brought the relocation back to West Caicos. Brandywine was an excellent locality for peacock groupers, as well as brightly colored cleaner wrasses, mostly living just east of the west drop off. The big barrel sponges that resembled large oak barrels (thus the name Brandywine) unfortunately have been ravaged by recent hurricanes. For the remainder of Wednesday’s dives Driveway was to be the site. This sand path that resembles a driveway or, as Dominique commented, a ski slope leads diver directly to the reef ledge. George and Kyle were treated to a dance number performed by a group of five reef sharks.

    Magic Mushroom and Rock Garden Interlude were our destinations for Thursday’s dives. A frequented large coral head, that the local dive operations call the ‘Lobster Hotel’ positioned just south of the mooring line, was an excellent place to stay shallow yet still practice our underwater photography. The boat stayed on this location for an early morning dawn dive, before relocating to Elephant Ear Canyon for dives two and three.

    Magic Mushroom was to be the divers selected site to finish our time in West Caicos. Never to disappoint, Magic Mushroom provided various coral heads teeming with juvenile wrasses and filefish of many colors. The banded lobsters were particularly easy to find because of the vast amount of them that ventured out after the sunset.

    The vessel ventured back to lovely Northwest Point for the remainder of the voyage’s dives. Shark Hotel and Stairway were next up for Saturday’s diving adventures. Our 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] Captain James was especially lucky to video most of the guests alongside a very friendly hawksbill sea turtle with a lone barnacle topping his back.

    Around the location of Black Forest our scuba enthusiasts were treated to a variety of juvenile wrasses, horse-eyed jacks, and great barracuda. Guy also had the amazing treat of photographing a huge manta ray cruising just under the boat. Eel Garden was to follow on the trip with a large population of garden eels as well as spotted moray eels. Our guest Dion captured a scary opened mouthed moray in full glory, an excellent addition to the photo slideshow for the week.

    Wrapping up the voyage at Two Step is always a little sad, but with gorgeous visibility and calm waters the divers had a blast saying their goodbyes to the underwater Turks and Caicos ecosystem. A pair of seahorses was found on the last dive and a very lucky find to round out the charter. This first ten-day charter of 2013 went fantastically well, and the final night wine and cheese social provided everyone the chance to reminisce of the days past. Until next time, happy diving!

    Your crew: Captain Amanda, James, Warren, Dave, Neo, and Chef Ailsa.

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