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

Reef Divers/Cayman Brac Beach Resort: "Great resort, great diver operation, struggling reefs", Dec, 2019,

by Hugh E Aaron, FL, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 26 reports with 19 Helpful votes). Report 11388.

Photos Submitted with this Report

Click on an image to see an enlarged version and captions

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This year (2019), we spent the week before Christmas at the Cayman Brac Beach Resort. Last year (2018) we spent a week in November at their sister resort, Little Cayman Beach Resort. Both resorts (along with Cobalt Coast Resort on Grand Cayman) are owned and operated by Clearly Cayman Dive Resorts, based in Florida.

Our experience this year on the "Brac" was very similar to our experience last year at "Little." Both resorts and both dive operations are extremely well run. The resorts both offer comfortable rooms with all the necessary amenities, tasty buffet meals and great resort facilities. The Brac resort's bar and pool area are larger and a bit more upscale than the equivalent areas at Little. But for most people, the two resorts would be interchangeable. We thought the diving might be a little better at Little (no pun intended) but others thought it was equivalent on Brac.

The diving is done from well maintained Newtons. The resort is located at the tip of the island. Most of the dive sites (and there are many) are no more than a 15-20 minute boat ride. All the dive sites have moorings. Reef Divers dives both side of the island depending on which side has more wind protection. It is an ideal setup.

Now the bad news. The reefs are continuing to struggle. Last year we noted an extensive amount of macroalgae on the reefs at Little. This year, there was just as much macroalgae on the reefs. However, we noticed a lot more coral disease. The two biggest concerns seemed to be stoney coral tissue loss disease and bleaching. I was told by one of the long time divemasters that they had four months of 86 degree water temperature this past summer. She said that the coral looked a lot better now that it did a couple of months ago. Like some other old timers (I started diving in the Caribbean as a kid in the 70s), my wife and I found the reef disease depressing. However, most of the others diving with us commented that they thought the diving was great. Many were already planning to return next year. I suspect the resort and dive operations are so good that people simply overlook the problems with reef health. Also, they probably realize that much of the rest of the Caribbean is in no better shape and, sadly, probably worse in many places. Plus, there were a lot of healthy fish, very little current and the visibility was consistently quite good. Overall, the diving was comfortable and pleasant.

As for us, we are going to continue to seek out healthier reefs (e.g., Red Sea, Indonesian, etc.) for as long as we, our bank account and the reefs survive. That said, the Clearly Cayman Resorts are a whole lot easier to get to and more affordable than some of the more off the beaten path places we divers go. If you are looking for a first world vacation that requires virtually no planning and is reasonably inexpensive, the Clearly Cayman resorts offer a lot of value.
Websites Reef Divers   Cayman Brac Beach Resort

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving USVI, BVI, California, Hawaii, Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, Caymans, Curacao, Dominica, Roatan, Belize, Saba, St, Barths, St Kitts, Nevis, Saint Martin, Culebra, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Bahamas, Bonaire, Thailand, Australia, Egypt
Closest Airport Cayman Brac Getting There Nonstop directly to Cayman Brac (Saturdays only) from Miami. Quick flight from Miami

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, surge
Water Temp 82-82°F / 28-28°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions First dive each day (typically a deeper profile) 50 minutes
Subsequent dives each day (shallower) 60 minutes
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments There was a shelf on the boat that was supposed to be for cameras but it tended to collect a bunch of other stuff. Surprisingly, there was no rinse tank on board for cameras as is often found on other dive boats. Although, a fresh water hose was readily available. On shore there was a dedicated rinse tank. When I asked about a shore based charging station so that we could charge up during lunch (the boat returns to the resort for about 1.5 hours during lunch) I was told "no, but that's a good idea." I ended up running back and forth to my room to charge the camera during lunch. That was only a minor hassle. The crew was more than willing to help photographers get their camera gear in and out of the water. I noticed that the crew hosed down cameras before they put them on the table. That was thoughtful.
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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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