The Cayman Islands are a diver’s paradise

Sunset at Rum Point.

The underbelly of the flying wing is soft and smooth; the
topside is course like sandpaper. You’re surrounded by a dozen of
them. The creatures are friendly and loving, not unlike your
favorite yellow lab or cuddly kitty. Why are these flying wings so
friendly? Maybe you have something they want … food!
The underbelly of the flying wing is soft and smooth; the topside is course like sandpaper. You’re surrounded by a dozen of them. The creatures are friendly and loving, not unlike your favorite yellow lab or cuddly kitty. Why are these flying wings so friendly? Maybe you have something they want … food!

The dive master hands you a piece of squid, you clench your hand. With a sense of smell more powerful than your dog, the stingray begins to court you, dances around you, you grab its snout playfully, slip your hand towards its mouth, open your palm, and voila, your “friend” is gone, off to the next diver with food.

And who says fish aren’t smart?

Stingray City – in 12 feet of water – provides a dive of a lifetime for novice or veteran divers, not to mention those snorkeling above watching the festivities below. Located in the North Sound of Grand Cayman it is a must-do excursion.

The Cayman Islands, a one-hour plus flight from Miami, is comprised of three islands: Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. These islands are Mecca for the avid scuba diver.

Georgetown, on Grand Cayman, is the tender port for visitors off cruise ships. During peak months, usually in the winter, it is not uncommon to see three to four cruise ships a day off shore.

Attractions on Grand Cayman include the Turtle Farm located at the northwest corner and the unique rock formations in the town of “Hell.”

The historic site of Pedro Castle is located near Bodden Town; for nature enthusiasts, Queen Elizabeth Botanic Park is smack dab in the center of the island, and Rum Point is at the north east point of North Sound. There visitors can go kayaking and enjoy the comfortable environments of a local resort, restaurant and bar.

During moonless nights, kayaking bioluminescence tours are offered at Rum Point.

Do you like horseback riding? How about horses galloping in the ocean? That can be enjoyed near Bodden Town.

For divers, there are countless dive operators on these islands, several dive resorts and some live aboard dive boats.

A group of us recently visited Sunset House not far from the airport. This is an all-inclusive dive resort with unlimited shore diving and two boat dives per day. The food at Sunset House was excellent. The bar has a large canopy roof where one can enjoy a favorite beverage in the cool ocean breeze after a day of diving and stay dry during downpours. Room accommodations were clean and adequate. Shore entries are easy for divers with sophisticated camera equipment and rinse tanks are available post dive.

Another resort, located on the north east side of Grand Cayman, close to Hell, is Cobalt Coast Resort. This resort caters to experienced divers. Those interested in technical or re-breather diving can do so at this resort.

On the north dive sites, one can see pairs of eagle rays cruising the walls that plummet into the blue abyss – plus turtles galore. Last year, an artificial reef was made on the west side, with the Kittiwake submarine rescue vessel sunk upright in 70 feet of water. This is an outstanding dive site – for me, it was the best ever.

For those wishing a live aboard dive boat experience, the Cayman Aggressor explores all three islands where divers can dive up to five times a day.

Cayman Brac has only 1,200 residents and about the same amount of tourists per day. It boasts several resorts with the northwest side of the island providing superb diving. Puddle jumpers will get you there from Grand Cayman. Little Cayman is the smallest island with only 100 residents. If you’re a recluse, this little getaway may be for you.

They drive on the left in Caymans and our dollar is 1.25 to the Cayman dollar.

So check out the Cayman Islands, a great vacation for anyone.

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