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Help me decide

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

  1. Chidiver1

    Chidiver1 Barracuda

    Do at least 6 days. That way you have time to get at least 8 in, to a maximum of probably 12-14. The high range is if you jump on a couple night dives.
    Mike Klieb likes this.
  2. Chidiver1

    Chidiver1 Barracuda

    By the time you spend all the money to get to wherever at least make it worth it.
    Mike Klieb likes this.
  3. mi000ke

    mi000ke Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Massachusetts & Grand Cayman Island
    Generally speaking I think the north side has the more spectacular coral structures but somewhat less marine life, while the west side has more marine life - and I think the visibility is usually better west side. I prefer diving the west wall and reefs. That said, we dove the north wall twice this week and saw nurse sharks, a brief sighting of a hammerhead, turtles, a couple of eagle rays, cuttle fish, barracuda, sand divers, puffers, and many other reef fish. So it was some good diving all in all.
    DawgFan and KathyV like this.
  4. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    Our experience has been just the opposite, although we've only done one trip to St. Lucia and we've been to Cayman many times, so it may not be a fair comparison. But we thought that St. Lucia was beautiful and the corals were lovely but the reefs seemed overfished - lots of small animals but not many large fish. We classified it as "probably a good environment for macrophotography."

    The Caymans always seem quite fishy to us with lots of small fish as well as bigger animals like groupers, eels, rays, tarpons, turtles, barracudas, and some sharks - although it is not a fishy as Florida IMO - and there are far more groupers around the Sister Islands rather than Grand Cayman.

    And some Cayman reefs are more fishy than others. The walls can be dramatic and beautiful but not have as much fish life, while the sites on the West side of GC are often loaded with sea life but may not have such spectacular coral formations - at least that has been our experience. We did a dive on the Oro Verde last year, and we hadn't been there in years, and we couldn't believe the number of fish surrounding the wreck on the day we visited! I tend to think of West side diving as "good, reliable Caribbean diving with lots of life".

    Whenever I read conflicting reports from different divers about the amount of sea life at a place, I have to wonder if it has something to do with season and water temp? We were in St. Lucia in the Spring and we usually go to Cayman in the Fall, or maybe it is just luck!
    jonhall, DawgFan and mi000ke like this.
  5. Mike Klieb

    Mike Klieb Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Deer Park Tx
    I am seeing that the AI places are much higher and good deals can be had within my budget.. I will have to set up a larger budget for other places but im working on that lol.
    KathyV and mcohen1021 like this.
  6. caydiver

    caydiver Manta Ray

    We normally do a fishing trip to the Keys around Presidents week. If the water temps are chilly the bigger migratory fish stay in warmer southern waters for a bit longer according to the local guides that have been doing it forever. It makes sense. We get the oceanic triggers in breeding spirals for a few weeks in Jan/Feb and then don’t see them for a year. Many little reef dwellers don’t travel far from home, but migratory fish definitely do. Unless you are diving (or fishing) regularly throughout the year, it is hard to be able to compare one destination to another. My other half is an avid fisherman. Here in Cayman the tournament season is over by summer because the prize fish have moved on. When you hit a place during low season and prices are rock bottom you know there has to be reasons. Nothing wrong with it. I don’t ski (don’t like cold) but had a lovely break in a ski resort in off season. No snow, just beautiful outdoors and as it turned out, super cheap. However I guess I would have been bummed if it was all about the skiing. Coz is way cheaper than Cayman, but it does cost ops more to be in business here. Everything is relative.
    DawgFan likes this.
  7. jonhall

    jonhall Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Indianapolis
    You can find cheaper AI's in Coz - the Melia and El Cid for example - that are within your budget. The Melia is a smaller resort north of town. Taxi is needed to get to dive ops and into town, but taxis are everywhere. AI may be around $50/day and the food was decent when we were there. Beach and water not as nice as other resorts though. El Cid la Cieba has an optional AI as well as a 3 day AI option which was nice for us as we ate other places the other days. Price there was also lower than other AI's nearby. El Cid has a nice area for snorkeling or night diving. May have an op onsite but they do have a pier where other ops could pick you up.
    Mike Klieb and KathyV like this.

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