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Dive Review of Ocean Frontiers/Lacovia Condos in
Cayman Islands/Grand Cayman - East End

May, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Mort Rolleston, DC, US
Sr. Reviewer   (11 reports)
Report Number 6680
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Caribbean (Bonaire, St. Kitts, Puerto Rico, British Virgin Islands), Turks
& Caicos, Nassau, Florida (Key Largo, Palm Beach, USS Oriskany), NC
wrecks, St Lawrence River wrecks, Monterey and Catalina CA, Great Barrier
Reef and Coral Sea Australia.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, no currents  
Water Temp
77   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
100   to 150    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
None.  For a couple of sites in which you dive out to the wall through a
canyon, fly along wall, and return back via the next canyon, you follow a
guide.  But once you return to boat, you dive rest of your profile.  For
other dives, you dive your profile with option of following guide.  
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
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Separate water buckets for cameras (standard fair for smallish boats).
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
Service and Attitude
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
4 stars   
4 stars    
As I discussed in my separate entry for DNS Divers on Grand Cayman, when
researching our trip to Grand Cayman, a widespread recommendation was to
spend at least part of the trip diving the far less populated East End of
the island for better and more pristine marine life.  And the dive
operation that always came up in the discussion was Ocean Frontiers,
apparently where the local divers flock (even the dive instructors and
guides from the other side of the island when off duty).  It has a
beautiful property with nice, casual facilities and places to stay.  But I
would probably only recommend staying out there if diving on the East End
is your only planned activity on your trip and you want to isolate yourself
from the civilization on the other side of the island (nothing wrong with
that, of course!).  Otherwise, East End offers little else and most of the
restaurants, beaches, things to see/do, etc. are 45 minutes away (depending
on traffic).  By contrast, we stayed at the wonderful Lacovia Condos
halfway up Seven Mile Beach and commuted out to East End a couple of our
days to dive, which worked out well.  Ocean Frontiers does provide free

I discuss diving on West and North Walls of Grand Cayman in a separate
entry for DNS divers.  But as I note there, while the diving is solid
everywhere on the island, the East End is a step up compared to West Wall
in the variety, quantity, and quality of marine life, to include more
pelagics (mostly non-existent along West Wall) such as sharks, tarpon,
eagle rays, barracuda, and jacks as well as healthier coral (to include
more soft coral, staghorns, and Tolkien-like hard coral that reminded me
somewhat of Bonaire).  The North Wall is pretty comparable to East End in
quality (the locals we talked to debated about which wall they prefer).  We
dove eight sites with Ocean Frontiers:  River of Sand, Grouper Grotto, The
Maze, Maggies Maze, Jack McKinneys Canyons, Little House on the Prairie,
Barrel Sponge Wall, and Chub Hole.  Some of the sites were wall dives like
the West Wall, where you dive through a large beautiful canyon out to the
wall, fly along wall, and return back to shallows through the next canyon
to the boat.  Others were more standard spur and groove reef systems,
though with quite a few swimthroughs.  The reefs and top of the walls were
around 50-ish feet.  We were allowed to dive our profiles without
restrictions.  Ocean Frontier dive masters actively hunt lionfish with
divers as spotters (they have special spearfishing permits to do so) and
the dive shop hosts lionfish Bar-B-Qs in the evening.  The only negative
diving experience in the East End was the Chub Hole site, where algae is
starting to take over.  

While most of the diving around the entire island is a little on the deep
side (at least for non-advanced open water divers), it is not difficult.  I
dont believe we experienced any currents the week we were there and
visibility is probably the best of anywhere Ive been (rated in books at
120 feet, though seemed like more).  The seas off north and eastern ends of
island were a little choppier than west end of island, but barely so
(though that is apparently not always the case as East End tends to be
choppier and currents a little stronger than the docile West End). 
Therefore, while beginners can and will certainly enjoy the East End if
they are comfortable and don't mind diving 50-60 feet, I would not go to
the East End for your first dives.

Overall, any trip to Grand Cayman should include at least a couple of days
diving on the East End with Ocean Frontiers.
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Other dive reports on Ocean Frontiers

All Cayman Islands Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Cayman Islands
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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