Grand Cayman Shore Diving this time of year…
By Jay Easterbrook – www.divetech.com
Giant bait balls of tiny silversides shimmer in the shifting light, a octopus squirm under a rock, squid hovering in groups as a fat green moray eel swims by, then a green turtle emerges from behind a huge sponge with eaglerays and hammerhead sharks lurking about.
No boat, no hassle, nobody’s schedule but your own. And within a few minutes of emerging from the shore dive is your full service dive shop with a restaurant and bar at most facilities.
Grand Cayman Shore diving might just be the best way to dive for a family on a budget. It’s probably also the most relaxing.
The shore diving sites at Divetech have above water and underwater navigation markers and lines for easy of mine of knowing where you are. Their dive briefing including dive conditions are extremely helpful for a safe dive.
Divetech has kids diving programs from age 8 and up. They also provide small 50 c.f., 63 c.f. for the kids and mom with the standard size tank being 80 c.f. of air or Nitrox. They even rent the 100 c.f. tank for the heavy breathers.
Much of the diving here still centers on traditional dive shops running the standard two-tank boat trips. But Divetech’s boat dives include free shore diving, free dive computer rental at their two locations as part of your unlimited diving.
I wouldn’t seek to discourage anyone from going the boat route. A lot of the best sites in the Cayman Islands, including awesome attractions like the USS Kittiwake wreck and the shallow dive site at Stingray City, are only accessible by boat.
But if you are a beginner or experienced diver, there are scores of spectacular sites (see below) you can explore from shore for a few dollars.
The abundance of marine life like green turtle, groupers, snappers, grunts and moray eels is home to these shallow walls. Conditions this time of year are calm with warm water for an easy and rewarding dive.
During May and June, tiny silversides under the docks and on areas of the walls are a feast for the grouper, snapper and tarpon, but also for underwater photographers who are enticed by the play of the silversides.
Many visitors favor the Divetech dive sites, which, like many of the best shore dives in Grand Cayman, has healthy reefs but the added advantage of a full service dive shop with ScubaPro rental gear, benches for set up, showers, bathrooms, rinse tanks, docks and a restaurant and bar,
The headline attraction at Sunset House is the 8’ tall statue “Mermaid” setting at 50 feet; at Lighthouse Point is the 17” tall bronze statue “Guardian of the Reef”, sitting in around 60 feet of water, both a short swim from shore and at Cobalt Coast Dive Resorts the house reef open to the public, is called “Sea Fan Reef” for a good reason, being one of the healthiest reefs in all the Cayman Islands. Then at Eden Rock is the famous shallow dive called the Devils Grotto.
For experienced divers, the most thrilling aspect of some these shore dives is the ability for a short swim to the “deep wall” with canyons, swim throughs, pinnacles, huge barrel sponges with a large array of marine life.
An amazing scuba diving holiday awaits you!
The following dive shops offer shore diving facilities approved by the Cayman Islands Tourism Association which follow the Cayman Islands water sports safety guidelines.
Divetech Dive Center, Sunset House Divers, Don Fosters Dive, Eden Rock Dive Center, Divers Down, Lobster Pot Dive Center
Courtesy of Diveteck – www.divetech.com