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Dive Review of Divetech/Westin in
Cayman Islands/Grand Cayman

Divetech/Westin, Apr, 2010,

by Mr Robert Halem, CA, US (Contributor Contributor 17 reports). Report 5446.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Monterey, Hawaii, Florida
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 80 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 70 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 100 foot max
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters N/A Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments This was a special purpose trip so photography was not high on the list

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I learned about this opportunity in a note in a recent issue of Undercurrents.

DiveTech is trying to do their part to hold down the invasion of the lion fish in the Cayman Islands. They have special permits from the government to allow them to take lion fish off the reef and limit the environmental damage this non-native species can cause.

Once a week, on Saturday afternoons, they hold a two tank boat trip with the sole purpose of finding, capturing and eliminating lion fish. Since this isn't a sightseeing trip, the cost is only $25 versus the $100 a normal two tank trip would cost. After a short van ride from the office we boarded their well equipped dive boat and were given one of the most complete pre-dive briefings I have ever received. Not only did it cover the usual dive topics, but also went deep into the ecology of the reef and the problems being created by the lion fish. Considerable time was also devoted to the area to be hunted and the techniques for capturing the fish. Since only the DiveTech personnel are licensed to actual do the capture, there was instruction on how to call the divemasters when we spotted a lion fish.

On the first dive, four fish were spotted and two were captured. Since there was obviously more fish on the spot, the boat remained in the same location for the second dive. After a very proper surface interval, we made the second dive and captured an additional three fish.

I have seen lion fish where they belong in the Pacific and eight inches is a pretty large fish. The largest one we captured was over 15 inches. A ready food supply and no predators has allowed the lion fish to breed and grow much faster than in their normal environment.

On our second dive, one of the divers went too deep and stayed down too long. His computer put him into a decompression situation. DiveTech was equipped with a second stage on a long hose so he was able to do a 40 minute deco stop without having to worry about a tank change at 20 feet or risk DCS. Not many boats I have been on have that feature.

Based on this very special dive situation, I would judge that DiveTech probably runs a very high quality service for their normal trips too.
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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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