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The Turks & Caicos Islands, located 575 miles southeast of Miami, were first populated by the Lucayan or Arawak Indians. Columbus claimed the islands for Spain in 1492, which then in 1670 ceded them to Britain. Dependencies of the Bahamas until 1874, the islands were subsequently controlled by the Jamaican government. In 1962 the islands became a British Commonwealth Colony, which they remain today.
The Turks & Caicos Explorer II has emerged from a refit/renovation in February 2007. The flagship of a growing fleet, the incomparable custom vessel was purchased by Explorer Ventures in December, 2004. The vessel was designed from the ground up and built as a corporate charter and liveaboard dive vessel in 1995.
The newly-refurbished luxury vessel carries up to 20 passengers and 8 crew. All staterooms throughout the vessel have port lights or windows, individually-controlled air-conditioning, and private ensuite bathrooms.
A comfortable full-width salon, located forward of the spacious dive deck, provides seating for all guests at once, a wet bar, and an entertainment area with VCR/DVD and CD stereo. The boat deck, one level up, has ample room for sunning and relaxing; the flybridge includes a barbeque, wet bar, and comfortable seating for up to 15. The two VIP staterooms located on the upper boat deck, as well as the two forward staterooms on the main deck, are equipped with TV/VCR.
The dive deck includes nitrox, individual gear bins, rinse tanks, camera table, recharging facilities, and ramp-style stair access to the swim platform for easy access into the water.
Scheduling 5 dives daily, including night dives, the vessel boards in Providenciales each Saturday and offers five and a half days of diving each week. You'll 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 a multitude of other dive sites along the region's plunging walls.
Days aboard Turks & Caicos Explorer II generally involve breakfast beginning at 7 am, followed by two morning dives, lunch, two afternoon dives, dinner and a night dive. Island shore excursions will be arranged when possible for those interested.
Photographs courtesy of Explorer Ventures