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

Reef Divers/Brac Reef Resort, Apr, 2012,

by James Sackett, VT, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports). Report 6539.

No photos available at this time

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 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This was our third trip to the Brac and our second time staying at Brac Reef Resort. We were there in 2011 and loved it, so we decided to make a return trip this year.

The facilities, food, service and attitude at Brac Reef are exemplary. As others have noted, the resort was severely damaged by Hurricane Paloma, a category 5 storm, in November of 2008, but it was completely rebuilt, so it looks and feels like a brand new facility. Many of the staff members are survivors of the storm and were actively involved in the rebuilding effort. You get the sense that Paloma was a life changing experience for many of them and that it may have given them a greater appreciation for their jobs, their co-workers, the resort and their customers. Every staff member, without exception, displayed a cheerful, positive attitude throughout our stay. I travel extensively, both for business and pleasure, and the staff at Brac Reef is second to none. The food is excellent, with many choices at each meal.

Reef Divers, the house dive operator, is first rate . When you arrive, you're assigned to one of their three 46 foot dive boats, each of which is staffed by two dive masters. The boats are comfortable and well equipped, with a head, dry storage area and camera table. There is plenty of shade for those who prefer to avoid excessive sun exposure. There were typically about 12 divers on the boat, though there is room for more. On our boat, everyone seemed to be at roughly the same level of experience - around 100 dives - so everything ran quite smoothly. When you're ready to dive, you sit at the stern and your gear is brought to you and when you return, your gear is removed, so there are no divers walking around on the deck with tanks on their backs. Entry is by giant stride at the stern with two ladders to board the boat at the end of your dive. The seas were choppy on most of the days that we dove, so a tag line and single ladder was used for boarding in those conditions. Our dive masters, Barbie and Menne, have been with Reef Divers for many years and know the dive sites very well. They gave very thorough briefings before each dive (along with a steady diet of great jokes and other banter). One of them would then lead a "guided tour" of the site, but we always had the option to explore on our own if we preferred.

The prevailing winds on Cayman Brac are out of the south, so most of the diving is done at the sites on the north side of the island. During our stay, however, the winds were out of the north and east, so we did most of our dives on the south side. This turned out to be a fantastic opportunity to see sharks, since the south side has a very healthy population of Caribbean Reef Sharks as well as a few Black Tips and Hammerheads. We saw sharks on every dive on the south side, including a few very close encounters. On one dive, Menne speared a lionfish (the lionfish population seems to be under control) and fed it to a grouper. Within two or three minutes, a group of 5 or 6 rather large reef sharks arrived, clearly turned on by the scent trail of the lionfish. They swam with us, through us, and around us for five minutes or so, until they seemingly figured out that the lionfish wasn't available. It was, to say the least, an adrenaline pumping experience.

The reefs around Cayman Brac are in excellent shape and support a wide variety of large and small fish. As I mentioned, there are lionfish, but there seem to be fewer than there were last year and they don't seem to have impacted the fish populations to any significant degree. The diving is generally pretty easy, since there are few currents to deal with and the boat rides to the dive sites are short. It was pretty choppy on a few of the days, so entry and exit was a little challenging, but manageable.

Our experiences with Brac Reef and Reef Divers were excellent and we plan to return there soon.

Websites Reef Divers   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Roatan, Utila, Saba, Little Cayman, Bermuda
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, cloudy Seas choppy
Water Temp 80-82°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Return with 500 psi
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Camera table on boat, rinse tank on the dock
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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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