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Help me decide

Discussion in 'Greater Caribbean and Bermuda' started by Mike Klieb, Jul 27, 2019.

  1. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
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    We enjoyed Blackbeards when we did the trip years ago. It is a rustic, no frills "camping at sea" vacation, but you get a lot of diving for a low price.

    My only concern is that these are new divers and there usually isn't a divemaster in the water with you on Blackbeards, so that might be a better choice for a future trip IMO.
     
  2. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    4,867
    2,877
    113
    @Mike Klieb, since @divezonescuba's shop is in Houston and they are considering a group trip in early May, that might be a nice option for you to take into consideration.
     
    Mike Klieb likes this.
  3. Mike Klieb

    Mike Klieb Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Deer Park Tx
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    I thank y'all for all the input me and my daughter are the ones going. Seeing as how it's still a good way out I am going to look into all the options thg that yall have all posted. Right now GC and Coz are the leaders. I know a local dive club is also in the works of planning a trip not sure where yet and I will also look into @divezonescubas trip
     
    jonhall and KathyV like this.
  4. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    4,867
    2,877
    113
    Good luck and let us know what you decide! If you do decide to travel in early April then don't wait too long to book, because Easter and Spring Break are very popular travel times that tend to book up quickly.
     
    Mike Klieb likes this.
  5. Snoweman

    Snoweman Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Atlanta, GA
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    I'm not a fan of Grand Cayman. I only have experience with the north wall, but I felt it was devoid of fish life. Lots and lots of corals, but barely any fish. The best dive I did was 15' deep at Stingray City.

    Given your budget and time allowance, you might consider St. Lucia. Nice fish and coral life with great things to do topside.
     
    Mike Klieb likes this.
  6. DawgFan

    DawgFan Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: United States
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    @Snoweman What time of year did you dive the north side of Grand Cayman? Were you doing boat dives? My experience in Grand Cayman earlier this month was very different. We did 7 days of 2 tank boat dives so 14 dives total with 6 on North side, 7 on West side and 1 at Southwest point. The dives on West, North and Southwest were noticeably different.

    This was our 4th trip to GC but my first experience with the North side and maybe we just got lucky. In the 6 north dives, we saw 3 reef sharks, 3 spotted eagle rays, 2 nurse sharks, southern stingray and as you mentioned some good corals and great wall formations. We did see some smaller fish but I'm not great about noting those details in my log book. I fully get this may have been good luck with the big stuff and also understand your comment that we saw less of the smaller colorful fish on the North than we do on the West side sites.

    The West side dives were super relaxing and fun as has been my past experience on GC. Plenty of fish life on every dive to keep us happy. I just passed my 2 year anniversary of diving and still consider myself new and it's pretty easy to keep me happy while diving.

    @Mike Klieb you've gotten good advice from people with far more experience than me. Good luck and have fun planning wherever you decide to go!
     
    KathyV likes this.
  7. Snoweman

    Snoweman Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Atlanta, GA
    1,623
    618
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    My buddy and I were there late April 2017. We had three days of diving and got eight dives in, including Stingray City and a night dive. The night dive was ok. We saw a slipper lobster and some eels, but not much else. It didn't help that I blindly listened to the DM that I would need less weight with an AL80 than their steel 100. I knew something was off, but I went with her recommendation. I was bobbing like a cork for the last 20 minutes.

    We didn't see anything large. I was told we probably would, since we had a CCR diver going out with us for two days. They seemed to think the electronics attracted the sharks. I think it's just that it's a new think in the water that isn't making a lot of noise blowing bubbles. I was surprised at how barren the reef was of small fish life. I expected to at least see lion fish that might have gobbled up all the sea creatures, but didn't see much at all.
     
    DawgFan likes this.
  8. caydiver

    caydiver Manta Ray

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    Summer is a good time to go north. If we have guests who want to go, we are delighted to go. Everyone wants to jump in the water for the dives instead of happily saying they will do surface watch. We had a boat go Tuesday and the guests who were first timers were thrilled. The regulars came up smiling as well!
     
  9. mcohen1021

    mcohen1021 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Texas
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    Cozumel is the biggest bang for your scuba buck still - and better than all the locations mentioned (Sorry kathy lol). That being said, you probably have more flight options from Houston than DFW where I am.

    Check your dates - you can often times get a much better prices airfare flying mid week.

    A quick search shows you could do a Saturday departure from IAH to CZM for $668 pp at my favorite hotel - Casa Del Mar. Five days of scuba w Dive With Martin $315 pp. You'd be under 2 grand not including food / drink.

    And BTW - The biggest piece of advice I can give you - do NOT go AI in Cozumel :wink:
     
    Mike Klieb and KathyV like this.
  10. Doctorfish

    Doctorfish Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Canada
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    There is nothing wrong with Grand Cayman. Some sites like Armchair, Turtle Reef, Hepps and Mesa on the West are very fishy and some of the north wall sites are as well. Last December on the north, we saw a reef shark, hammerhead, nurse sharks, eagle rays and many turtles over a week. For new divers, I can't think of a better place to dive, except maybe Bonaire, but 5 days is a potential problem and airfare is much more.
     
    DawgFan and KathyV like this.

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