Grand Cayman Dive Report 2019

Grand Cayman Dive Report 2019

Grand Cayman Dive Trip Report 2019 | Written by Trip Leader Shannon Crosby

The Cayman Islands are known by Americans to be one of the great getaway destinations in the Caribbean. Looking for a peaceful, idyllic setting that’s not too long of a trek from the mainland U.S.? Want to partake in some outdoor adventure activities in between sunning at the beach or reading by the pool? The Caymans can provide. 

 

Of the three Cayman Islands, Grand Cayman (as you can infer from the name) is by far the largest, comprising 76% of the territory’s total land mass. This past spring, I had the pleasure of hosting 15 divers in addition to myself for an amazing scuba vacation on Grand Cayman. We stayed at Cobalt Coast Dive Resort in West Bay, just North of the luxurious Seven Mile Beach. 

Group photo aboard boat during Grand Cayman dive trip 2019

Most of the group with Captain Curtis on the Twin Sister!  

After our arrival into Owen Roberts International Airport, we were met at arrivals by a cute little blue bus to be taken to the resort. At the resort, the staff immediately took our bags and placed them outside our rooms while we sat at the tables in the outdoor restaurant area to finish check-in procedures/orientation and waited for our rooms to be ready. Check-in was very straight forward, and the resort procedures were explained right off the bat so that there was no confusion about how to get anything we needed during our stay.

 

Once we had all settled in our rooms and unpacked as needed, we headed over to the dive shop to finish our liability forms and organize our gear in the resort gear shed. We were also taken through nitrox procedures and talked through the valet gear services that the resort dive op offers. On the first day, once we had all of our gear on the boat, we didn’t have to touch it again (apart from wetsuits, mask, snorkel, fins, which we took back to the gear shed to dry each afternoon). 

 

The two boats that the resort had were a fair size (fitting up to 20 guests comfortably), with a small center table for camera set-up and plenty of room for gear storage. Not many guests on our trip were photographers, so we didn’t have any issues with space and trying to accommodate large camera gear; with more than a few serious photographers, space would’ve been limited. 

Our first day of diving went super smoothly (as did the rest of the dive days) thanks to the very professional services from Reef Divers (the dive op at Cobalt Coast), and the experience of our dive group. Our first two dives were shallower reef to get out any gear issues/weight adjustments, and our afternoon dive the first day was the Kittiwake Wreck--it was great to kick off the trip with an exciting dive site on the first day! 

Underwater group photo during Grand Cayman dive trip 2019

Our attempt at an underwater group photo -- you can tell we didn’t plan ahead of time...

Our second dive day included Stingray City. At many other destinations, Stingray City is a very shallow snorkeling spot and is generally very overrun by tourists. Grand Cayman does have a snorkel-only Stingray City location, but we were able to go to another Stingray City that offered a shallow dive experience. While I’m sure some days the dive site could also be crowded like the snorkeling site, we were the only group there upon arrival when we went, and only one other dive group came through while we were there (and we didn’t notice they were there until we were leaving!). So our Stingray City experience ended up being really great! We sat in a circle at about 12 feet, and the divemaster used small squirts from a water bottle full of squid to attract/steer the stingrays around the group. Once the stingray was inside the circle, they kept circling around and everyone in the group was able to interact with them. We all stayed down for about 45 minutes to an hour to experience consistent interactions with multiple stingrays, and of course lots of fish!

Stingray at Stingray City during Grand Cayman dive trip 2019

The rest of the week diving was equally great--some of our group's favorite sites included Hepp’s Pipeline, Kittiwake (we went back a second time), Sandhole, Princess Penny’s Pinnacle, and Doc Poulson. The captain/divemaster drew a detailed site map before each dive, went over a specific dive plan, and stuck to the dive plan during the dive. It was all very impressively run! See our full list of dive sites in the photo gallery below.

Throughout the week, even though the resort offers full board meals, our group decided to go off-resort most nights for dinner or an excursion. Have to fit in that bonding time! Sunday night, we all went to a local Irish Pub to watch a Game of Thrones screening (and of course partake in some Irish Car Bombs). The patrons were actually very serious about remaining quiet for the show, to our hardcore-fan group’s delight, and it was a great experience to react to the show with a large group.

Watching Game of Thrones during Grand Cayman dive trip 2019


Game of Thrones Group excursion

Other nights we went out to dinner at local restaurants that staff from the resort or other guests recommended to us--we went to Morgan’s Seafood, The Cracked Conch (Macabuca Bar), Heritage Kitchen, and explored all around Rum Point. We also visited Starfish Beach on the way home from Rum Point and made it a point to hang out at the resort bar each afternoon after the boat dives to interact with the staff and boat crew. Our daily schedule became wake up, eat breakfast, 2 morning dives, back to the resort for a long lunch and lounging, 1 afternoon dive, then straight to the bar for drinks and chatter before we left the resort for our evening adventure (many people in our group also did afternoon or night dives from the house reef before joining in with the drinks). 

Dinner at Morgan's Seafood during Grand Cayman dive trip 2019

Dining at Morgan’s Seafood

All in all, our group had an amazing experience with the resort, and we all got along so well that it made the trip an unforgettable experience! To participate in one of our amazing group trips and to experience the adventure of scuba travel with a group, check out our full list of group trips and photo workshops!

Group photo during Grand Cayman dive trip 2019

 

Grand Cayman Images

Below are some photos of the trip taken by our guests and trip leader. 

Group photo at Rum Point during Grand Cayman dive trip 2019 Stingray Interaction at Stingray City during Grand Cayman dive trip 2019

Left: Group photo at Rum Point | Right: Stingray at Stingray City

Kittiwake wreck during Grand Cayman dive trip 2019 Full list of dive sites for Grand Cayman dive trip 2019

Left: Kittiwake Wreck | Right: Full list of dive sites during the trip on Grand Cayman

Grand cayman diving Grand cayman diving

Grand cayman diving Grand cayman diving 

Grand cayman diving Grand cayman diving

 

HOW TO BOOK A TRIP

Bluewater Travel can book you on a liveaboard or resort in the Cayman Islands and 40+ other destinations in the world for the same cost or less than booking any other way. We know the diving, seasons, boats and cabins and when to go better than anyone else!

Email us or write to us through the live chat box to book a resort, liveaboard, or a Bluewater trip!  

 

Further Reading

Check out these useful resources from our sister websites, Bluewater Photo, and the Underwater Photography Guide

Diving the Grand Cayman

Beginner's Guide to GoPro for Underwater Video

Go Pro Hero7 Black Camera

Best Underwater Cameras of the Year

 

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