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Dive Review of Peter Milburn's Dive Cayman AND Don Foster's Dive/Silver Sands Condominiums in
Cayman Islands/West wall

August, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Ernie, NY, USA
Report Number 2992
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Bonaire, Providenciales, north eastern US salt and fresh water
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, noCurrents  
Water Temp
83   to 86    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
75   to 150    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
I led wall dives within the Cayman Islands limits, i.e., standard maximum
depth of 100 feet.  Others followed Peter Milburn on his boat or Russ and
Sally on the Don Foster's boat wthin the prescibed limis on wall dives. 
Conservative time limits depended on actual profile.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
In our group, only digital cameras were used, and the condominium provided
an excellent setting for editing and viewing on divers' laptops.  All the
dives afforded excellent photo opportunities.  Perhaps the best were at
Turtle Reef -- a shore dive site adjacent to the Turtle Farm.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
4 stars    
I led a group of 22 divers; 3 were there for there OW certification, and
they plus 2 additional divers took continuing ed courses with me.  Also, 4
of our 10 non-divers took "resort" introductory courses with Don
Foster's Dive and 1 went on to complete a full certification course on the
Island.  We dived with Peter Milburn's Dive Cayman and Don Foster's Dive
Grand Cayman.  I have been diving with Peter since 1982 and was delighted
to meet and dive with Russ and Sally of Don Foster's and to arrrange the
charter with Sergio.  I divided my divers into 2 groups: 6 dove on Peter
Milbun's 28' rigid-hull inflatable and enjoyed private, small-group diving.
 The remaining 16 divers split among me, Sally, and Russ on Don Foster's
large, spacious, flat-top Cayman Wall dive boat and dove in small groups of
4 to 6 on the 1st dives of the day on the wall and, as is standard, dove in
buddy teams on the 2nd dives on the shallower spur and grove formations. 
Each day, a different group of 6 dove with Peter.  We were blessed with
good weather; fine, spacious, on-the-beach, 2-bedroom, condo apartments;
cooperative sea creatures; and breath-taking, west-wall architecture at Big
Tunnel, Orange Canyon, Trinity Caves, Round Rock Cave, Sand Chute, etc. 
The visibility on the wall was spectacular, making all of the architecture
easy to appreciate fully.  Peter's and Don Foster's boats met us early
every morning at the West Bay dock and took us on very brief, comfortable
rides to the sites of our choosing.  We also dove Turtle Reef from the
shore via the Divetech facility and had several thrilling experiences as
well as consistently good big-creature and macro photography.  This reef
stucture consists of an overhanging mini wall that zigzags parallel to the
shore and drops down from the hard pan at a depth of between 20 and 30 feet
to a sand bottom at 55 feet.  We were treated there to very healthy coral
along the crest of the wall; sponges covering the face of the wall; groups
of large, adult, queen, grey, and French angels feeding on sponges as a
group; free-swimming morays; scorpion fish; over a dozen huge rainbow and
midnight parrot fish pounding the hard pan to break it and feed on
encrusting algae; more than a dozen squid that allowed very close
approaches and seemed to be paired for mating; about 50 closely packed
tarpon plus one HUGE barracuda in company with a large, dense school of
silversides; several large Nassau and tiger groupers; coneys resting in
sponges; lettuce sea slugs; banded coral shrimp and arrow crabs; Peterson
cleaning shrimp living with pistol shrimp among corkscrew anemone
tentacles; a large overhanging barrel sponge filled with cleaner gobies
that would willingly clean a stable diver up to the neck (!!!); an octopus;
lobsters; etc.  What more could one want?
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