Turks & Caicos Aggressor II

Welcome aboard luxury liveaboard diveboat Turks & Caicos Aggressor II, where you will experience a variety of amazing scuba diving and snorkeling opportunities. For the best scuba diving the beautiful Turks & Caicos Islands have to offer, select a charter that departs from Grand Turk in the Turks & Caicos Islands. For a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to snorkel and swim with migrating North Atlantic Humpback Whales, choose a charter that departs from Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic and heads for Silver Bank, where the whales gather for their annual ritual. In addition to unmatched scuba diving and snorkeling, guests aboard the Turks & Caicos Aggressor II always enjoy excellent accommodations and delicious meals as part of their vacation package.

The Turks & Caicos Islands are located 575 miles (925 km.) southeast of Miami, Florida. Comprised of numerous islands and cays, some of which are uninhabited, the Turks & Caicos Islands are located in the Atlantic Ocean. The islands’ white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and one of the most extensive coral reefs in the world make them a premier diving destination. Surface temperatures average between 85° and 90°F (29-32°C) during the months of June through October and are known to go even higher in the late summer months. From November to May, surface temperatures average 80° to 84°F (27-29°C). In the summer months, water temperatures will average 82-84°F (28-29°C) while in the winter they average 74-78°F (23-26°C). With an average of 350 days of sunshine each year, continual trade winds keep the climate comfortable year round. Because you will be making up to five dives each day (two on the last day) including night dives, it is recommended that you wear protection, such as a 1-3mm. wetsuit or shorty. In January and February, you may prefer a 5mm. wetsuit.

Silver Bank, part of the Dominican Republic, is a shallow underwater area located between the islands of Turks & Caicos and the Dominican Republic. In 1996, the area was declared the Sanctuary for Marine Mammals, offering protection and safe haven for sea mammals. Humpback Whales have long migrated to the area of Silver Bank for breeding and calving. The warm, clear waters of Silver Bank make it an ideal location for viewing and photographing the whales. Because of numerous coral pinnacles that rise from depths of 60-100 feet (18-30 m.) to within a few feet of the water’s surface, this area is considered treacherous for large ships to enter. The Turks & Caicos Aggressor II, however, is one of the few boats that is allowed to access the Silver Bank area during the mating and breeding season of the Humpback Whales.

Silver Bank Humpback Whale Excursion

From mid-January through March the Turks & Caicos Aggressor II offers guests a singular and extremely rewarding opportunity to snorkel with migrating North Atlantic Humpback Whales. Your Saturday-to-Saturday whale charter to Silver Bank, located approximately 70 miles (113 km.) north of Dominican Republic, includes two distinct types of encounters with Humpback Whales. From aboard the Turks & Caicos Aggressor II’s inflatable pontoon boat, as well as at a safe distance, you will be able to observe the amazing show the male whales put on as they compete for the attention of the females. With surface behavior unique to these whales, you will see the males breaching and lunging as they court the females, or spyhopping out of curiosity to see who else is visiting these waters besides themselves.

You will also have an opportunity to slip non-intrusively into the water and approach the most curious and least aggressive of the whales. The Whale Commission does not allow scuba diving in the Sanctuary for Marine Mammals, so you will enter the water wearing your mask, fins, and snorkel. Because you will be making two “whale runs” each day, you may want to wear a 2mm. light wetsuit or shorty. You will be snorkeling in water that averages 78°F (25.5°C). It is always important to remember that your best opportunity for viewing these creatures in the water will occur if you move slowly and gently, and avoid quick, loud, aggressive behaviors that will frighten away even the most curious of whales.
Turk & Caicos Island Excursions

Various weeklong itineraries may include scuba diving off the Turks & Caicos Islands of Providenciales, also known as “Provo”, as well as West Caicos, French Cay, West Sand Spit, Salt Cay, and Grand Turk. Dive sites may vary due to location and weather conditions. All scuba diving occurs from the mother ship. Prior to diving you must provide proof of certification. The April-to-mid-January itinerary starts with diving in Providenciales, then moves on to West Caicos, French Cay, and West Sand Spit. This particular itinerary is completely dependent on wind and weather conditions. Then, starting in mid-January, in addition to diving at the above-mentioned sites, you will also visit South Caicos, Salt Cay, and Grand Turk, which is the last stop on this itinerary. The final itinerary, occurring in late March, has guests starting out diving at Grand Turk, then traveling to Salt Cay, South Caicos, West Sand Spit, French Cay, West Caicos, and lastly, in Providenciales where the trip ends.

While at the island of Providenciales, dive sites you may visit include Black Coral Forest, Shark Hotel, and The Crack. Black Coral Forest, with at least five species of Black Coral, features an exciting overhang. The wall at Shark Hotel levels off at 90 feet (27 m.) in a plateau covered with Plate Corals. Beautiful strands of Pillar Coral cover the top of the wall. At a depth of 100 feet (30 m.), a chimney cuts through the reef and exits at 130 feet (40 m.). Due to a dogleg in the wall at the dive site of The Crack, a large crack formed through which divers can swim. Incredible Barrel Sponges, turtles, and schooling fish can be spotted at dive depths of 85 feet (26 m.). Sheer walls at Providenciales begin at 40 feet (12 m.) and plunge into the abyss from there. Along the walls you will encounter crevasses and ledges that appear to be decorated with Crimson Rope Sponges, Gorgonians, and orange Elephant Ear Sponges.

Divers at uninhabited West Caicos Island will be able to swim through a gully and view a 17th century anchor wedged into place at the north side. At a depth of about 95 feet (29 m.) you will be able to see a beautiful white Anemone. The Anchor offers an amazing night dive during which you will see Nurse Sharks, Lobsters, and octopuses. Elephant Ear Canyon gets its name from the huge Elephant Ear Sponge that can be seen here. In addition, divers will see Sting Rays, Garden Eels, and Tilefish.

Dive sites at French Cay, also deserted, include Double D and Half Mile Reef. Two huge coral mounds that rise from the ocean floor give Double D its name. Large numbers of Grouper, Jacks, and Black Durgons populate the waters around these pinnacles. Eagle Rays pass by on occasion and the resident Scorpionfish poses for photographers. The wall at Double D slopes gradually and boasts an abundant carpet of vibrant corals. To the east of French Cay lies Half Mile Reef. Currents are diminished at one popular section of the reef due to its location in a large bowl on the wall. Divers will spot large schools of Mahogany Snappers and Barracuda, as well as Elephant Ear Sponges at this site.

A thriving and vibrant reef, West Sand Spit is an area of sand in the open ocean. In addition to the lush coral formations covering the wall here such as Pillar Corals, Deep Water Gorgonians, and Barrel Sponges, divers will see large schools of Goatfish, French Angelfish, and Stingrays. Seasonally, Sargassum Triggers, Ocean Triggers, and a variety of pelagics spend time at West Sand Spit.

Salt Cay, with its numerous dive sites, light currents, and depths ranging from 25 to 130 feet (8-40 m.) will treat scuba divers to a variety of underwater treasures. Colorful Sponges here include Purple Tube, Barrel, and Yellow Tube. Look for schools of Blue Tangs, Ocean Triggers, and Bermuda Chub. Spotted Eagle Rays, Nurse Sharks, African Pompano, and Hawksbill Turtles are a few of the other diverse marine life you will see here.

Dive sites at Grand Turk can only be described as pristine and lush. Visibility is 100 feet (30 m.) or more. Dive sites typically start at about 25-30 feet (8-9 m.) and may present tunnels, arches, valleys, or some other unique feature. An amazing variety of hard and soft corals adorn the walls. Sponges grow all along the reef system, and the waters team with a large number of species of fish and pelagics. Depending on the season, you can expect to see Giant Manta Rays or Humpback Whales. You can also see Spotted Eagle Rays, Stingrays, schools of Horse-eyed Jack, Trumpet Fish, Snappers, and Puffers. Opportunities abound for photographers and videographers.

Everyone at the Aggressor Fleet strives to provide scuba divers and vacationers with the highest quality and most innovative liveaboard experience possible. The expert crew assists passengers with their every need and their dive boats afford guests both safety and comfort as they travel to the best diving locations around the world.