TURKS & CAICOS EXPLORER II
Turks & Caicos Explorer II
575 miles southeast of Miami is the Turks and Caicos Islands. Surrounded by turquoise waters containing over 1,000 square miles of coral reef they are one of the Caribbean’s top diving destinations. The islands are known for their expansive underwater visibility, wall dives, and have marine life of all sizes. Reliable ocean currents contribute to the remarkable visibility, as well as provide nutrients for the many large pelagics common in these waters.
Caribbean reef sharks are common, be on the lookout for the biggest spotted eagle rays that you’ll ever see, plus all the jacks, grouper, and turtles. Hammerheads and blacktips are spotted regularly, and the occasional manta rays and dolphins can surprise you. Famous for its spectacular walls filled with huge gorgonians, barrel sponges, hard-coral arches and macro life, the Turks & Caicos Islands have something for everyone.
Though many of the dive sites are outside the boundaries of the Princess Alexandra National Park, which provides strict protection for much of the marine life surrounding Provo, all of the dive operators in the area enthusiastically support marine conservation and preservation measures which ensure that the waters of the Turks & Caicos remain pristine for future visitors
Trips are run from Saturday to Saturday. You’ll board the vessel in Providenciales Saturday afternoon and have the next 5 1/2 days filled with diving the beautiful waters around the island. You can explore the 5 different black coral species at Black Coral Forest, the reef sharks of Provo’s Shark Hotel, the deep-water gorgonians of G-Spot, and the spotted eagle rays of Double D, along with plenty of other dive sites along the region’s plunging walls.
Days aboard Turks & Caicos Explorer II generally involve breakfast from 7 am to 8 am, followed by two morning dives, lunch at 12:30 pm, two afternoon dives, dinner at 6:30 pm, followed by a night dive. Island shore excursions can be arranged when possible for anyone interested.
Special itineraries to dive Grand Turk, South Caicos, French Cay and/or Salt Cay can be arranged on a full charter basis; contact us for details.
Tenders:Rigid hull inflatables, used for passenger transport and diver pickup.
What are the average dive conditions?
Turks & Caicos has fairly consistent weather year-round. Air temperature ranges from the 70s and up in the winter months to the low 90s in summer. Water temperatures are a little cooler than the Caribbean average with a low of about 72F in winter to a high of about 82F in summer. Current is not normally an issue at the dive sites, and visibility can be between 75 and 150 feet. A 3mm wetsuit will be sufficient in summer and a 5 mm wetsuit with hooded vest for winter.
What is the dive schedule like?
Most of your dives will be offered at scheduled times, up to 5 times daily. This is to allow adequate surface intervals, provides the option for guided dives on as many sites as possible and allows the vessel to travel on a schedule to different locations.
What should I pack?
Shorts, t-shirts, and swimsuits! No need for bulky sweaters or jeans on this boat. Consider a pair of slacks or a sundress for an evening out in St. Maarten or St. Kitts. Soft luggage is preferred as it takes up less space to store. Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat is recommended. If you are susceptible to getting seasick come prepared with motion sickness medications or patches. If you can, pack your regulator, dive computer, mask, a swimsuit, change of clothes and toiletries in your carry-on bag just in case there are any unforeseen luggage delays.
What will I eat?
Dinner usually consists of fresh vegetables, rice, pasta, chicken, beef, turkey, pork, and fish. Breakfast includes eggs, bacon, pancakes, French toast, muffins, danish and fresh fruits. Lunches rotate between soup and sandwiches, burgers, pasta, assorted salads, and quiche. Fresh baked bread, cookies, and brownies are offered between dives. If you have any dietary restrictions or requests, please let us know at the time of booking. While the boat does their best to accommodate your requests, please remember many items we have back home are not available in the Islands and consider bringing some of your own foods if the lack thereof may constitute a health risk.
Are there any additional charges?
All meals (except Friday’s dinner), beverages, transportation between islands, and much more has been taken care of with your trip payment, there are some extra items which you may charge to your onboard bill. These include:
- Hotel Tax – US$95 per person
- Departure tax
- Fuel Surcharge: US$80 per person
- Crew gratuities
- Incoming and outgoing telephone calls
- Photographic and/or scuba instruction
- Optional island tours
- Dive gear rentals
- Retail sales
Your bill may be paid at the end of the trip using all major credit cards or cash. Personal or traveler’s checks are not accepted onboard. These are the rates as of writing and are subject to change.
Are crew gratuities included?
Crew gratuities are not included in your package. The crew works very hard, providing the best possible service for you and the other guests. The industry standard for crew gratuities on dive trips (if, of course, you are happy with the service which you have received) is between 10% and 15% of the package price per passenger. Your generosity will be greatly appreciated