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Dive Review of Brac Reef Beach Resort in
Cayman Islands/Cayman Brac

June, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Eric A Frick, IL, US
Sr. Contributor   (27 reports, with 4 Helpful votes)
Report Number 6591
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Great Lakes, Caribbean, Hawaii
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, dry  
calm, choppy, no currents  
Water Temp
82   to 83    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Come up with an appropriate gas reserve in your tank and a computer that is
not in deco.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
3 stars   
4 stars    
I decided to turn this trip to Cayman Brac offered by my dive shop into my
own Sister Islands trip by spending a week on my own on Little Cayman (see
separate report) before joining this trip.  Brac Reef Resort proved to be a
very good choice for a relaxing week of very good diving.  The cost of my
week included transfer from the airport.  I checked into my room and did a
load of wash in the washer and dryer they offer (Cayman $2 to wash plus $2
to dry) as I waited for the balance of the trip participants to arrive.  I
reported to the on-site dive operation and handled my paperwork.  I was
issued a net bag and asked to place my dive gear in the bag outside my room
by 7:30 on the morning of the first dive.  I was using Nitrox (32%) as a
breathing gas and it was suggested that I analyze at least 4 tanks in
preparation for the next days diving.  I analyzed 8 tanks and marked them
with my name and the name of the boat from which my group would be diving. 
My room #216 was on the second floor of the 2-floor building that bordered
the pool featured all the modern hotel amenities.  I entered through the
back but had a balcony overlooking the pool.  The room was comfortable and
clean and the air conditioning quickly got the temperature down to a
reasonable level.  Wi-fi is apparently available in most areas of the
resort and there was a computer in the lobby area for those who wished to
check e-mail.  The hotel offered complementary lockboxes behind the
reception desk for those who wished to use them.  Outdoor entertainment
could be heard while I was in my room but it quit by 10:00 p.m. and getting
a restful sleep was not a problem.

The price of the trip included meals and 3 drinks per day.  I entered the
dining room, paused at the entrance and was greeted by Omar who introduced
himself and said that I could sit anywhere and that checking in before
proceeding to the buffet was not necessary.  In addition to at least 2
salads, 2 entrees were offered and a number of other sides.  Water, coffee
, punch and iced tea were offered as well.  Food was plentiful, good and
appeared in suitable variety but it was not notably above average.  There
was never a wait to get food.  At least 3 desserts were offered at both
lunch and dinner.  The dining room staff was very attentive.  Diners could
sit in the air conditioned dining room, in a screened porch adjacent to the
dining room or, I suppose, on the patio just outside.

Dive operations manager Mick Maher runs Reef Divers very well.  Our group
would be diving from their 42-foot Newton dive boat Little Sister.  The
other 2 boats in their fleet are both 46-foot Newtons.  We reported aboard
to find our dive gear all set up on our tanks.  Mick and dive master BJ (a
native Caymanian) presented us with a boat safety briefing and we were off
for our first day of diving.  Sea conditions on the south side of the
island were a little rough but when we rounded West End Point we found
smooth water.  Conditions calmed later in the week so we were able to dive
south side sites as well as sites on the north side.  Water temperatures
were 82 and underwater visibility ranged from 60 feet or so out to more
than 80 feet.  In addition to mostly calm waters, we experienced no
currents during our week.

When you are ready to enter the water, step to the back of the boat and be
seated on one of 2 seats to put on your mask and fins.  Your dive gear is
brought to you so all you have to do is secure your straps, stand up and
giant stride into the water.  Mick or BJ led the dives but you were not
required to follow them.  When you found yourself back beneath the boat,
you could explore on your own.  You were asked to return to the boat with
an appropriate air reserve and a dive computer that was not in deco.  No
time limit was imposed.  When returning to the boat, you passed your fins
up to the crewmember, climbed the ladder and sat down on the seat where
your equipment was removed and then returned to your seat on the boat. 
Equipment was then switched to your next tank by the crew.  A surface
interval of at least 45 minutes was required and water and orange segments
were provided.

After 2 morning dives, the boat returned to the dock where the crew
switched tanks and we headed to the dining room for lunch.  After lunch, we
headed out for a single afternoon dive.  Trips to the dive sites took
anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes depending upon the distance and weather

Upon return to the dock after the afternoon dive, divers took items like
cameras, masks and wetsuits off the boat.  Suits were hung on an outdoor
drying rack or in a secure drying room.  On the first day of diving, their
full boats evidently meant that Nitrox tanks were scarce so those I had
analyzed were used by other divers so I had to analyze the next days
tanks.  From that day forward I just analyzed the next days tanks after
the diving was done for each day.

After the days dives were done, divers lounged by the pool or strolled the
excellent beach.  There were hammocks and beach chairs available.  Diving
is the primary activity here so there was always room on the beach or
around the pool.  Activities like movies, trivia games or music were
provided most evenings.  On Friday there was a barbecue.  The wind had
diminished so insects were a problem that evening and most diners ate their
meals in the dining room.  It was the best meal of the week.

One morning of diving featured a 40 minute trip over to Little Cayman for
diving on their famous walls.  It appeared to me that the dive operators on
Little Cayman do not offer daytrips over to Cayman Brac for diving.  That
tells you something.  Little Cayman features almost all wall diving while
Cayman Brac offers a mix of reefs and walls.  We found the underwater life
off of Cayman Brac to be varied and in pretty good shape but hardly lush. 
Our last day of diving featured a trip to Russian frigate 365, a retired
naval vessel purchased by the Cayman government years ago to be sunk as a
diver attraction and an artificial reef.  It is a very nice dive and that
days diving and the morning spent off of Little Cayman were ranked by
divers as our best dives of the week.

Obviously the resort caters to divers and I estimate that at least 2 other
large groups were there during our week.  Everyone appeared to have a good
time.  I noticed a few couples or what might have been very small groups. 
If you go as a couple or small group, be prepared to share your boat with
what will probably be a larger dive club or group.  Non-divers will find a
few other things to do in the resort or on the island but diving is the
overwhelming order of the day.
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All Cayman Islands Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Cayman Islands
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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