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Dive Review of Nekton Rorqual in
Cayman Islands

June, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Richard Lehach, NY, USA
Report Number 2556
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Palau, Indonesia, Solomons, Bahamas, Hawaii, Most of Carribean, Cocos,
Panama, Galapagos
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
82   to 83    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
80   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Recreational diving limits. Buddy diving unless solo certified.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
2 dedicated photo tables, good charging,  good assistance on dive deck.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
2 stars    
I have dove the Caymans many times in the past 8 years(6 trips to Grand
Cayman, 3 to Little Cayman, & 2 to Brac).  All trips were land based so
when Nekton moved the Rorqual to the Caymans I decided to give it a try by
boat.  I have been on the Rorqual 6 times in the past 4 years and in
general have usually been happy with the crew and diving.  While I still
think highly of the crew, my opinion on the Nekton operation changed for
the worst.  When diving from livaboards you expect certain inconviences for
the joy of frequent dives at the best loacations.  Diving on the Rorqual
was to expierence the Caymans at their worst.  Day 1 diving was on the west
coast off by the large resorts(5 dives 3 at Joes tug), Due to the Rorqual
slow speed we arrived at Little Cayman at 9:30AM and dove the southwest
side for the AM and one of the most westerly sites on the North side for
the 3 PM dives.  Day 3 we moved to the one of the most easterly sites in
Jackson's Bay(all fives dives due to wind direction).  Day 4 we were to the
Brac for 4 dives on the Tibbetts wreck(6 AM, 830AM, 1030AM,and 830PM).  Day
5 were 2 more AM shallow dives at Brac on reefs 50-60% covered by greem
algae, the 3 PM dives we were back on Little Cayman again on the South
side.  With strong southeast winds we dove in 30-40 feet white out
visibility from the nearby shallows.  Day 6 we were back on Grand Cayman
with 2 AM dives in the north west and a long Sting Ray city visit in the
    We never dove Bloody Bay wall and unless the wind is from the Southest
the Rorqual cannot sit on a Bloody Bay site due to its draft and large
scope, this according to the Captain.  The Rorqual required all quest to
depart the boat on the Brac for 4 hours so they can take on fuel.  The
quest are on their own to get lunch and get transportation from the drop
off site to the pick up site 5 miles away.  For safety reasons quests are
not allowed on the boat during refueling.  Yet on the way back from Little
Cayman to Grand Cayman on Thursday night the Rorqual meet at sea with the
Cachalot ,the Nekton work boat, and trasferred supplies and fuel to save on
Cayman duties according to one of the boat captains.  
    I worked in the oil industry for 27 years. Many of them inconjunction
with the Marine and Supply and Distribution Departments.  The transferring
of fuel at sea is only done in emergency situations.  Transshipment of
crude a very non flamable substance is only done in very controlled
situation approved by the local coast guard.  Nekton put at danger the
passengers, crew and marine environment by this practice to save a few
bucks.  I would not have booked the trip if I knew they transferred fuel
between boats at sea.
    The Caymans has some of the best diving in the Carribean.  The Nekton
Rorqual is not the place to see it.  In my opinion I was subjected to some
of the worst diving the Cayman's has to offer on the Nekton Rorqual.  The
East and Northwest areas on Grand Cayman and Little Cayman have great land
operators that provide good access to the best dive sites.  I would stay
away from Cayman Brac until the algae problem clears.   
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Other dive reports on Nekton Diving Cruises

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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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