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Little Cayman Beach Resort - Trip Report - Sep 2019

Discussion in 'Greater Caribbean and Bermuda' started by tridacna, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. tridacna

    tridacna ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: New Jersey
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    I have just returned from a week at Little Cayman Beach Resort.

    Getting there was simple enough (despite my initial thoughts - worrying about bags making connections etc). We arrived a day early from JFK and spent the evening at the Comfort Suites on 7MB, then the DeHavilland Otter from GC to LC on Saturday morning. The resort is a 2 min van ride from the landing strip. No problems getting there whatsoever. Hand luggage was not weighed and as long as it fitted under the seat in front of you, no sweat at all. GC airport is much better than I had anticipated - quite modern and very efficient.

    The resort is outstanding. Modern, comfortable rooms - a short walk from the restaurant, bar and dive shop. Among the best I've ever stayed in. AC was excellent - we needed it it - daily temps were >90F and felt like 105F. When you arrive, they issue each diver with a mesh bag which you can use to tote your gear from the boat to your room after each day of diving. On the first day of diving just leave your BC and reg outside your room and it will mysteriously make its way to your boat. I showed the DM how I wanted my reg set up on the first day and you never have to do it it again.

    Daily routine is simple. Breakfast at 6:30 - get to the boat at 8:10 and you're usually in the water for your first dive at 8:45am. Surface interval around an hour, dive #2 and you're back at the dock for lunch at 12:30pm. Return to the dock at 2pm for the afternoon dive and you're usually having a beer at the bar around 4:45 after checking tanks (if you dive Nitrox) for the next day.

    At the end of your last dive of the day, you hang your wetsuit in the drying room alongside the dock - very convenient. Water temps throughout the week hovered around 90F so no wetsuit for me! Believe it or not, we had divers in 5mm full suits and others in 3mm sarcophagi on our boat!

    We had three divers with DIN regs and despite the resort assuring me that they had tanks with DIN valves, all were offered DIN-Yoke adapters. None were happy - one diver checked every tank in the Nitrox room and finally located four with convertible valves and used those. Boat diving MO was unusual. Each boat has two seats on the stern. I always checked my setup then walked to the seat. The DMs place your rig behind you and you don, stand up and giant stride into the water. Exactly the same when you return; climb the ladder then sit on one of the two seats and doff the rig. They remove it and change to a new tank.

    Every dive follows a similar pattern. Drop off the boat to 30-40ft, then an "interesting" swim through onto the wall. And what a wall it is! For once all the hype was true. Spectacular corals and sponges, huge lobsters and there always seemed to be a large animal hanging a short distance from the wall. Either a turtle, shark, or ray was always there. You follow the wall for about 20-30 mins at about 70ft (pick your own depth), then exit either over the wall or through another swim-through back onto the reef. A leisurely swim back to the boat where the DM departs and leaves you as much time as you want to drift in the shallows until returning to the boat. Seriously, this was some of the best diving I've ever done in the Caribbean. It's just fantastic. I have seldom seen such healthy reefs. There was a Slender Filefish in almost every Gorgonian that I observed. Tons of small critters. My absolutely favorite interactions were the Nassau Groupers - they are like big puppies that nestle up to you desperately seeking attention but no touching allowed! The topography of the wall is very cool. Lots of tunnels, caverns and swim-thrus. Every dive lasted over an hour and I always returned with over 1300psi in my tank. Visibility was about 80-100ft and temps at 70ft were never below 86F.

    Night dives are offered on Tue and Thu. We also did the excursion to Cayman Brac which included the Tibbetts wreck. Definitely worth a dive. The old Soviet frigate has its guns intact and is in two pieces at a depth of about 80 feet. Hurricane Ivan ripped the boat in two in 2004.

    Food in the restaurant is truly excellent. They try very hard to please all their guests. No-one complained about the either the quantity (buffet) nor the quality. They have a great bar at the resort - we had the food and drinks package - definitely worth considering because Cayman is not cheap! Actually quite an understatement.

    The only negative thing for me (and my group) was the somewhat brusque and standoffish attitude of the dive shop management. A pity and very surprising considering the fantastic attitudes of everyone else at the resort. The DMs were wonderful and all staff did their best to help and were positive in every way.

    I am definitely going back to LCBR. Overall, it was one of the best dive experiences I've had in the Caribbean.
     
  2. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
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    Thank you for the excellent trip report, I am really anticipating our trip later this year! The last time we were there was a couple of years ago, before the recent renovations. How did you like the new dining room and did you have a chance to check out the new photo shop?

    Were there any issues with sargassum build-up around the resort - or out on the reefs? When you took the day trip over to Brac did you have a chance to visit that resort?

    Thanks again for sharing your information!
     
  3. Londy

    Londy Banned

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    My experience there a month ago differs from yours. We set up our gear on the boat the first day and it stayed on the boat the entire week. I didn't use a wetsuit so the only thing I took off the boat was my mesh bag with mask, fins, and dive computer.

    What's the problem with a Din-Yoke Adapter?

    The night dive was well attended on Tuesday. The bloodworms were so horrific and intense it ruined the diving for me and many others especially those who like to video as these creatures swarm around lights. No one signed up for the second night dive later in the week. I still awaken in the middle of the night clawing at my right ear drum thinking there's still a worm lodged in there slowly chewing through my eardrum where I can't reach it.

    I counted 3 large pieces of wreckage.

    Yeah that short woman [post edited by Moderator] who runs the shop is a bit too business-like. Gave me a really hard time about renting tanks for the afternoon because it might cut my time to dive before flying a bit too close.
     
  4. AdivingBel

    AdivingBel Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Missouri
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    Yeah, luv BBMP especially the Wall there. Glad you had a nice time. :bounce::bounce::bounce::)
     
    tridacna and KathyV like this.
  5. Londy

    Londy Banned

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    At least you weren't on the Trash boat.
     
  6. AdivingBel

    AdivingBel Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Missouri
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    Yeah?? I heard good things about the "trash boat"...an exceptional group of divers each with a discerning wine palate. But, hey, what do I know... :idk:
     
    Londy likes this.
  7. Londy

    Londy Banned

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    Nobody would sit with us in the dining room. :(
     
    AdivingBel likes this.
  8. AdivingBel

    AdivingBel Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Missouri
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    Sitting by yourself isn't all bad. One evening I sat by a guy wearing too much cologne...I think it was "Ye Ole Wetsuit." :shakehead:
     
  9. Dizzi Lizzi

    Dizzi Lizzi Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: California
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    Yeesh. Blood worms. Good excuse for me not to night dive when we are there in January. We were just in Roatan (coco view) and as the night divers were getting ready I saw 3 dudes just diving in their trunks! I asked "Not even a skin for the blood worms?" They thought I was kidding. Later a few people came up to me and said never again.

     
    Londy likes this.
  10. tridacna

    tridacna ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: New Jersey
    5,707
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    Joneill likes this.

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