Under the waves Extraordinary marine experiences

Posted: March 5, 2014 by kirisyko in Scuba diving, Water
Tags: , ,


Scuba diving is an amazing sport that can be enjoyed by just about anyone. It enables people to visit a completely different environment under the water, where incredible creatures reside.

The Cayman Islands is one of the top diving spots in the world, and is home to many top quality dive companies ready to show you what you’ve been missing.

Southern Cross Club

If you dream of escaping to a tropical island surrounded by azure blue water that offers world class scuba diving and fishing, then the Southern Cross Club on Little Cayman is the place for you.

The lure of Little Cayman, besides its seclusion and small, friendly population, is its fantastic diving, thanks to crystal clear water, pristine reefs, dramatic walls and rich marine life. Fishermen come to fish the dynamic waters of Little Cayman’s easily accessible blue seas and flats. The resort’s beach-based location provides anglers with access to bonefish and permit just minutes away. The perfect place to “Dive-Fish-Relax”, the Southern Cross Club attracts vacationers, scuba divers, and fishing loyalists alike.

The casually-sophisticated Southern Cross Club Fish & Dive Resort is Little Cayman’s original resort, founded in 1958 when this tiny island had only 12 permanent residents. Few places in the world can compare with the charm, comfort and hospitality of this 14-beach bungalow resort; situated on 900 feet of pristine white sand.

During the past 50 years the resort has maintained its unique blend of rusticity and elegance, and is often described as “Barefoot Luxury”, offering one of the highest guest-to-staff ratios in the Caribbean.

Southern Cross Club has recently been awarded a Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor. This prestigious award is given only to a few establishments – approximately ten percent – listed on the site, who have consistently achieved outstanding reviews.

The resort is also proud to have been awarded the Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI) Longevity Award for 15 years of outstanding service to the dive industry.

During the past 15 years more than 600 divers have been certified through the resort’s dive training and education program, including specialties such as Emergency First Response, Enriched Air Nitrox, and Master Scuba Diver.

Guests of Southern Cross Club can expect exceptional diving and fishing, friendly and diligent service, delicious food, and inviting rooms with breathtaking views. These are just some of the enticements that bring them back year after year.

Eden Rock

One of the longest established dive companies in Grand Cayman, Eden Rock is ideally located in George Town on South Church St., overlooking two of the most popular shore dive sites in the Cayman Islands.

Eden Rock and Devil’s Grotto are a stone’s throw away from the coast, with magnificent sights in shallow waters, perfect for the beginner scuba diver.

The dive shop offers a full selection of rental equipment, and guided dives are available for those who would like to be taken around the sites by a professional. There are many caves to explore, and lots of terrific photo opportunities, so make sure you bring your camera.

As the Eden Rock shop is so well situated next to its namesake and Devil’s Grotto, it prides itself on being an excellent choice for a “Discover Scuba Course and Dive”, otherwise known as a “Resort Course.” It’s only three hours from start to finish, and odds are good that once you’ve tried diving once, you’ll be back to book your Open Water course.

Neptune’s Divers

Neptune’s Divers just celebrated 20 years of operation in the Cayman Islands. That’s a pretty impressive milestone for a mom and pop business that has kept small and personalized, and completely mobile, with just two boats and a few members of staff.

Owner Casey Keller credits part of their success to their “big boats, little groups” philosophy, where divers are made to feel like family. A high percentage of their customers are repeat visitors, as can be seen through the numerous excellent reports posted on TripAdvisor. It’s all a testament to a company that has become a favorite of many visitors and residents over the years.

Neptune’s offers courses from a half-day resort course all the way up to divemaster, along with full equipment rental and a complimentary pickup/dropoff shuttle service from George Town to the end of the Seven Mile corridor.

20 years of success speaks for itself, and no doubt Neptune’s can look forward to at least 20 more in the future.

Lionfish culling – Eat ‘em to beat ‘em!

The Cayman United Lionfish League, or “CULL” as it is otherwise relevantly known, was officially formed in March of 2013. A group of concerned divers, snorkelers and environmentalists met to discuss the culling tournaments that had been held over the past couple of years, and determined ways to ensure future culls were successfully organized to maximize their effectiveness in protecting our fragile marine ecosystem.

The league’s mission is to work as a team, raising awareness of the need to save the reefs by culling: the selective removal of an invasive species to save then endemic marine life. CULL works closely with dive operations across Cayman, as well as the Department of the Environment and restaurants to encourage participation in organized culls that are held several times a year.

It is now working with the Cayman Islands Tourism Association to educate the public about lionfish culling and organize tournaments throughout 2014 and beyond.

Since the lionfish have no known predators, these tournaments are the only sure way to keep the lionfish population from dominating the waters of the Cayman Islands.

The next big culling tournament – the tenth of its kind organized by CULL – is scheduled for the first weekend in March and thanks to generous sponsors, there will be plenty of valuable prizes as incentives for divers and snorkelers to sign up.

Diligence will be key in successfully keeping lionfish in check here, since lionfish can lay up to 30,000 eggs every four days. They are voracious eaters that consume the juvenile fish maintaining the reef. Their stomach can expand up to 30 times its normal volume and a lionfish will keep eating until its stomach is filled to capacity. Once the baby reef fish are gone, the reef can die from the build-up of algae that the smaller fish would have normally consumed.

People who neither dive nor snorkel can still do their part by ordering lionfish off the menu of the restaurants that serve them. DIY wannabe chefs at home can buy them from the local grocery stores carrying them.

Fortunately, lionfish are delicious and be prepared a number of tasty ways. They also contain healthy omega3 fat. Currently 13 local restaurants serve lionfish on their menus.
CULL’s motto is Cull, Clean, Cook, Consume – the 4 C’s for conserving the reef!

Brac Scuba Shack

Cayman Brac is the second largest island in the Cayman Islands, with a prominent bluff that runs down its centre to a peak of 140 feet at its eastern end. Just like its sister islands, the Brac offers amazing dive sites in pristine condition, including the Capt. Keith Tibbetts that was sunk off its shores in 1996.

The Brac Scuba Shack is staffed by veteran divers with many years’ experience diving the waters of Cayman Brac. With a maximum of 10 divers per boat, flexible schedules, and very personalized service, this company is perfect for an island where time slows down and people relax under the Caribbean sun.

You can rent all the equipment you need here, and book courses from discover scuba diving to divemaster. It should also be noted that the Brac Scuba Shack is a licensed lionfish culling operator, so if any locals are interested in assisting with the culling operations, this is the place to go.

The Greenhouse Dive ‘N’ Lunch

The Greenhouse, located at Lighthouse Point, and Divetech, have joined forces to offer hungry scuba divers a meal deal that can’t be beat.

For only US$25 or CI$20 you can enjoy a shore dive, air tanks and weights, followed by lunch and a soda. That’s a fantastic price any way you slice it.

Those of you who have already taken advantage of the Dive ‘N’ Lunch package will be interested to hear that the menu has been recently revamped, and some larger items added. That means you’re getting even more bang for your buck.

The setting of The Greenhouse couldn’t be more ideal, overlooking the sea, making it a wonderful place to relax after a fabulous dive. The menu caters to all tastes with attention to detail and fresh ingredients, so you can leave your lunch full, but not bloated.

Cayman Diving School and 6 Pack Divers

Cayman Diving School has been around for many, many years. The owners may have changed, but the business is still as popular and important today as it was back then.

Owner Renee Knight is one of only a handful of PADI Course Directors in the Cayman Islands, meaning that the Cayman Diving School can offer training all the way up to instructor level, as well as technical instructor training. The school is a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center, with two boats and a full complement of rental equipment.

Renee is also the owner of 6 Pack Divers, a diving operation that caters to small groups. “We offer precise service,” she says, “and can do computer profiles for our clients to make their time with us safe and enjoyable.”
The majority of Renee’s clients are repeat guests, proving her companies’ popularity. They just keep coming back for more.

Peter Milburn’s Dive Cayman Ltd.

Peter Milburn has been on more scuba dives than you’ve had hot dinners. Considered one of the legends in the local dive industry, he has paved the way for thousands, and still goes out diving almost every day. If you’re looking for someone with experience to lead you through the incredible dive sites surrounding the Cayman Islands, Peter Milburn is your man.

His web site is filled with testimonials, including praise from pioneer Bob Soto and world renowned underwater photographer, Stan Waterman, along with accolades from those who have dived with him for decades. As the title above his picture states: “Don’t just dive with a name, dive with a legend.”

The company was established in 1978, and although Peter has almost 45,000 dives under his belt, there’s nothing he’s likes better than getting out under the waves with his clients.

“I just love doing it,” he says. “It’s the best job in the world.”

see more:http://www.compasscayman.com/whatshot/2014/03/04/Under-the-waves-Extraordinary-marine-experiences/

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