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

February, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by James Filipczak, MD, USA
Reviewer   (4 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 1566
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Virginia, Florida, Bahamas (several land-based and live-aboards), Grand
Turk, Salt Caye, Saba, Dominica, Bonaire, Grand and Little Cayman, Roatan,
Utila, Costa Rica, Belize (Ambergris and atolls), Chinchorro, Quintana Roo,
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, dry  
choppy, surge  
Water Temp
75   to 78    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
80   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
110 feet maximum, 3-minute hang at 15', return with 500 lbs. air.  With
that, computer divers were pretty free to plan and execute their dives;
those on tables were well scrutinized by the divemasters.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
Reef Divers' boat staff were cameraq helpful during water entry/exit. They
have no fresh water rinse aboard, but dry space is available; separate
rinse tanks await on shore. They have a good photo pro and are helpful with
your digital and slide needs.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
3 stars    
Five months post-Ivan, the Brac, Reef Divers, and Brac Beach Reef Resort
appear nearly recovered. Replacement of the resort's pier is in process and
roof shingling is nearly complete.  Otherwise, the resort looks pretty
healthy. We hit a week of sparce bookings, with fewer than 25 guests at
Brac Beach, only 8 or so on scuba. Most of the remaining guests were
sun-bathing elders who, over dinner or drinks, enjoyed the big-fish tales
related by divers. Coupled with accommodations in Room #121 (farthest from
the bar and karaoke, but blessed with a small patio), our stay was as
restful as divers could want.  We did encounter a couple of days with 65-70
degree air temperature and strong winds. Reef Divers' two 46' Newton boats
were a real plus for dive-site travel.  Whether just from false older-diver
memories or Ivan's actual near-shore effects we perceived corals as less
than vibrant, small critters nearly absent, and a profusion of both sand
and alge coverage. Both reef and nurse sharks nosed around on several dives
and smaller turtles appeared pretty regularly.  The only dolphins we
encountered were in the underwater sculpture on Radar Reef. Our dives
revealed stonefish, green moray and viper eels, schooling barracuda, flying
gurnards, large groupers, lobster, and assorted reef fish.  Even juvenile
spotted drum, porkupine fish, octopus, squid, and eagle ray made their
appearance.  Little Cayman's Bloody Bay and Jackson Bay sites were flooded
with 8-9 boats from LC and the Brac (fortunately no live-aboards).  Reef
Divers' and Divi boats never encountered each other on Brac sites, possibly
due to a slow tourist week. Reef Divers supplemented their low Brac Reef
diver census with several divers each day from nearby condos.  Reef Diver
staff staff acknowledged worse than a near-miss by Ivan. Their 4 boats all
shuttled to Grand Cayman, anticipating a major hit on the Brac. 
Unfortunately, all four ended up in heaps or parking lots when GC was
submerged by the hurricane as it veered south. Two are still undergoing
repairs. Even now, GC appears a disaster area from the air and ground;
locals say the Camanian government banned television coverage of Ivan's
aftermath for fear of tourism repercussions.  We met several GC residents
who were living in Brac condos, reporting over 75% of residential units on
GC damaged by the hurricane. Two dive groups arrived on the Brac as we were
departing and noted they had to reschedule to the Brac after losing
accommodations on GC. All-in-all, a really interesting trip. 
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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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