A bad trip to report, just a heads up to others. As usual... get the facts and triple check them to avoid disaster. We researched the area and consulted with friends that had lived in Provo and found Arthur Dean's outfit at Silver Deep to be the best on the island. What a mistake! We booked online after several emails. Confirmed a price of $1700 (mates rates, typically chg. 1800 they say) for private charter on 'Fair Play', their top sportfisher. They arranged a hotel pickup for 8am (I thought we were in trouble already with such a late start), that arrived at 8:40am. Turns out a bunch of other resorters had to be picked up on a milk run to Leeward marina. We arrived a little after 9am and were promptly asked to pay the balance of our charter prior to seeing our boat or meeting our capt. We settled up as asked and found the Fair Play. Iced down the beer, chatted with the mate and then had 6 more folks introduce themselves as our co-fishermen. We were further alarmed until Paola came and told us we were a private charter and had another boat. There were no other sportfishers on the dock but she pointed us to our vessel. Turns out they throw us on a 27' Angler Panga w/ twin 90hp, a gimpy fighting chair and a bonefishing capt of 21 yrs with a 19 yr old mate. We asked if this was the correct deal, $1700 for a Panga after having confirmed the Fair Play? Their response, "Welcome to the Turks and Caicos." Turns out the mate falls asleep on the stern, the lines constantly are in a tangle and we boat a whopping barracuda. I couldn't believe it. We went back the next day and asked them to make the situation right and nothing has happened, not even an apology. I re-sent the company my emails confirming the right booking and no response. BEWARE of Silver Deep. They will sub your charter for 1/2 day resorter trips to save fuel(which garnish $275 a piece) for a Panga!
Thoroughly disgusted with the whole thing. I know several of you have had great times in TCI and hope you continue to do so. And although charter options are small, avoid Silver Deep at all costs.
I chartered the Gwendelyn about four years ago during my honeymoon. I had read a feature article in Sportfishing or Marlin that centered around this guy and his charter business. Turns out I had a similar experience. I was supposed to be picked up at 8am, turned out to be 9:30. The driver stopped at the IGA and told us to get lunch. We get to the boat and it had more unfinished fiberglass patches than I've ever seen on any self-respecting sportboat. There were two mates asleep in the salon. The captian/owner was sitting in a chair on the dock yelling at them to get up. He went on to explain that it's always a late bite there, so not to worry about the late start. Then he instructs one of the mates to put oil in the engines. He proceeds to spill it all over the engine room. I had to tell him to get a funnel. I bet we left the dock at 11am. After running about 15 minutes we start to fish and the captain went below and to sleep. A teenage mate starts running the boat. We didn't see a fish. Every other boat fisihing was off in deeper water, asked about that, the mate didn't care. The other mate was asleep in the cockpit. When he woke up he drank all my wife's soda's. At some point the mate running the boat decided to take a ring he had been wearing on one hand for five years and put it on the other hand. Then he couldn't get it off the other hand and started to freak out. So now I'm running the boat, my wife,(who's a nurse), is trying to get this guy's ring off with some soap and water. He finally wakes up the captian because he's freaking out so bad. The captain cuts the ring off with a set of bolt cutters he had on board. No fish, just a pair of pissed off newlyweds.
I'll never fish there again on anybody's boat but my own.