Question First time to Caymans?

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neuro

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Hi, I've just returned from Caymans.
In on liner: it was good vacation :) We spent 7 days on Cayman Brac and a bit less on Grand Cayman.
Stayed with Reef Divers on sister island and I must say I've never met such friendly and helpful staff, regardless of their assignment.
I dove in multiple places in Asia / Pacific, including Micronesia and Marianas, but Caymans surprised me with the most warm waters (30C+). Very welcome change from european diving, when you jump in in your shorts and rashguard, instead of drysuit. Keith Tibbets is a must dive, we spent 2 full dives on exploring the wreck, although is not huge, there's lot of marine life in nearby reef (never seen such big-ass lobsters in my life). Penetration is not allowed anymore, since during covid part of internal decks collapsed. Well, officially not allowed...
Kissimee wreck and Snapper Point are another great divesites, with mesmerizing shoals of biiiiiiig Tarpons, that was absolutely stunning experience. Lots of stingrays, eaglerays too, with occasional nurse sharks.
Last day on Brac we spent desaturation afternoon on exploring the island, and again resort staff came helpful with arranging a rental for us. Half a day is more than enough to see caves, Lighthouse trail, and a few more highlights, still worth experiencing as the traffic is almost non-existent and driving is a pleasure.
One thing I regret wile on Grand sayman was visiting the "Stingray City". That was depressing and sad experience, at least in my own eyes... No tech diving on Caymans, as local shops could not recommend any worthy spots for exploration, although it seems Divetech in WEst Bay on GC can arrange the gear if anyone would be interested.

Thank you all again for all your recommendations!

P.S. Funny thing, with all those waring for outsiders - "drive on left", etc. I adjusted almost instantly to left-hand traffic; still one thing bothered me and I couldn't put my finger on what is that. Then suddenly... they leave the roundabouts from the inner lane! Holy ****, how's that allowed?!

Piotr
 

Doctorfish

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I think a lot of the locals and tourists have no idea how to negotiate a round about. The evening time drunken drivers and heavy traffic certainly don't help either.

I find driving on GC to be increasingly anxiety provoking. That's one of the reasons I prefer Brac and LC. When and if I stay on GC, I rent a condo right at the north end of Seven Mile Beach. That way, I only need to drive to Fosters Food fair up the road, NW Point to shore dive, or the Yacht Club to meet a dive boat. There are a few restaurants nearby as well. With any luck, the only times I need to brave heavy traffic is back and forth to the airport.
 

mi000ke

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I also find driving on the left easy to adjust to. And as for roundabouts, I'm from Boston where we have tons of "rotaries." No self-respecting Boston driver would ever exit a rotary from anywhere but the inner lane. And of course, signaling is forbidden. Makes Cayman driving easy in comparison. Now don't get me going on Caribbean spiny lobster vs real New England lobstah!
 

AggieDiver

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Hi, I've just returned from Caymans.
In on liner: it was good vacation :) We spent 7 days on Cayman Brac and a bit less on Grand Cayman.
Stayed with Reef Divers on sister island and I must say I've never met such friendly and helpful staff, regardless of their assignment.
I dove in multiple places in Asia / Pacific, including Micronesia and Marianas, but Caymans surprised me with the most warm waters (30C+). Very welcome change from european diving, when you jump in in your shorts and rashguard, instead of drysuit. Keith Tibbets is a must dive, we spent 2 full dives on exploring the wreck, although is not huge, there's lot of marine life in nearby reef (never seen such big-ass lobsters in my life). Penetration is not allowed anymore, since during covid part of internal decks collapsed. Well, officially not allowed...
Kissimee wreck and Snapper Point are another great divesites, with mesmerizing shoals of biiiiiiig Tarpons, that was absolutely stunning experience. Lots of stingrays, eaglerays too, with occasional nurse sharks.
Last day on Brac we spent desaturation afternoon on exploring the island, and again resort staff came helpful with arranging a rental for us. Half a day is more than enough to see caves, Lighthouse trail, and a few more highlights, still worth experiencing as the traffic is almost non-existent and driving is a pleasure.
One thing I regret wile on Grand sayman was visiting the "Stingray City". That was depressing and sad experience, at least in my own eyes... No tech diving on Caymans, as local shops could not recommend any worthy spots for exploration, although it seems Divetech in WEst Bay on GC can arrange the gear if anyone would be interested.

Thank you all again for all your recommendations!

P.S. Funny thing, with all those waring for outsiders - "drive on left", etc. I adjusted almost instantly to left-hand traffic; still one thing bothered me and I couldn't put my finger on what is that. Then suddenly... they leave the roundabouts from the inner lane! Holy ****, how's that allowed?!

Piotr
Glad you enjoyed the Brac. And yes, the warm water can be quite spoiling. I have gotten to the point where I get a bit grumpy if I have to pack and actually wear a wetsuit when diving now after diving Little Cayman in late summer for so long. I usually just dive in shorts with a long sleeve rash guard in LC and love the freedom of it.
 

mcohen1021

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My favorite shore dives are Sunset House house

Agree, loved the shore dive from sunset house.

If you want to do all 3 Cayman Islands, I'd recommend the Aggressor.

I was very unimpressed with Brac diving 2017, the best 2 dives were @ Little Cayman.

So you have to ask yourself do you want a Sandy beach and be land based or are you going there to dive? Personally I will never go back to cayman unless I'm on the aggressor in the future.

You will be extremely bored on brac and little cayman, I can promise you that - so take a good book
 

AggieDiver

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I also find driving on the left easy to adjust to. And as for roundabouts, I'm from Boston where we have tons of "rotaries." No self-respecting Boston driver would ever exit a rotary from anywhere but the inner lane. And of course, signaling is forbidden. Makes Cayman driving easy in comparison. Now don't get me going on Caribbean spiny lobster vs real New England lobstah!
We did a trip to Belize many years ago with a dive shop group, and one of the ladies invited a non-diving male friend who was apparently chagrined to find out very early in the trip that he was very deeply embedded in the "just a friend" zone despite the invite to come along on the trip. He proceeded to load up on cheap booze and spend the entire rest of the trip drunk. On one of the few occasions that he actually was sober enough (just barely) to come to dinner with us, he sent his lobster back to the kitchen twice because "it wasn't cooked properly and still tasted salty!" We tried to explain to him the difference between New England lobster and Caribbean spiny lobster, but by then he had downed another couple of drinks and proceeded to get up and walk out without paying any of his check, leaving the rest of the group to pull together money to cover his meal and drinks. Needless to say he was not invited to any meals with the group for the rest of the trip.
 
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