We left Heathrow on 20th April on the BA flight to Nassau and then onto Grand Cayman ( Owen Roberts airport ). Terminal 5 at Heathrow is dedicated to BA and so check in was a fairly simple affair !
After the usual stop over at Nassau where we had an hour ‘s wait on the plane it was onto Georgetown where we were greeted by clouds, wind and rain ( not very Caymanian weather !!).
The Holidayinn where we were booked in is on a recently developed area with a Golf course and one of those “ Gated” communities so beloved of our colonial cousins. This meant that we would need a car to get around as the hotel was a fairway ( no pun here then 🙂 from Seven Mile Beach.
Next morning the car was collected and although Cayman is a British Colony, which means they drive on the left like we do, the car was left hand drive! ( ah thinks I, no problem having lived in countries where they drive on the right but the mirrors being magnified on the driver’s side meant that coming off and on to roundabouts was a bit challenging especially as some of the locals and the resident expats didn’t seem to understand how roundabouts should be used, but we survived ).
On to the diving:
We checked in with our dive operator and then decided to have our own shore dive as a bit of a checkout.
We chose to dive Turtle Reef which is located next to where the old Turtle farm was located ( this was moved across the road after Hurricane Ivan a few years ago which did a fair amount of damage on the Island ).
The dive operator who now runs this site is run by Sundivers (Phone Number: 345-916-0862 )
who are very friendly and have Nitrox as well as air together with a shady kit up area.
The site has a resident shoal of Tarpon which usually hang around on the mini wall and is a relaxing easy site to dive which has a bar/restaurant on site for an “après dive” beer .
We ended up diving here several times during our stay.
We also booked 3 days boat diving with Divetech who are based at Lighthouse point.
The first dive was on the “Kittywake” which was an ex USN submarine rescue ship that has been sunk as a dive attraction just off Seven Mile Beach.
This lays in about 20 ish meters on a sandy bed, and has been prepared for divers with holes cut into the hull enabling penetration ( although it is a strictly guided dive ).
The North Wall is very dramatic, being as shear drop to the bottom of the “Cayman Trench” and has numerous buoyed sites where sometimes you can see the bigger stuff , and there now appears to be a Grey Reef shark resident in one area. Turtles are also fairly common as well.
The other “must do” is Stingray City ( probably the best 4 mtr dive I’ve done ). The dive site is just as you come into the large lagoon and is supposed to be where the fishing boats stopped to clean their catch before bringing it ashore. This first attracted the Stingrays and now provides a chance to interact with these gentle creatures ( yes I know it’s a bit Disney but ………)
The other wildlife that is extremely common is the humble CHICKEN !!! these bring a new meaning to free range as they are everywhere.
And for those who are into lizards, there are iguanas ( but they are not too co-operative where cameras are concerned !).
One word of caution though, everything is imported and although there is no income tax, import duty on everything is high so prices are as one would expect…………
Having said that, the folk are friendly, crime is low, and the weather for the most part is “ totally tropical”.
We first dived here 20 years ago and over the years the island has become more and more developed. So if you are thinking about Cayman as a holiday destination I’d say do it sooner rather than later.
More trip reports to follow………………………………………………..