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Dive Review of Southern Cross Club in
Cayman Islands/Little Cayman

Southern Cross Club, Jun, 2008,

by Paul Selden, MI, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 11 reports). Report 4524.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Roatan, Galapagos, California, Florida Keys, Belize, Mexico, Andros
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy, no currents
Water Temp 82 to 85 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Only usual safety limits. They preferred you to be back on board after 50-60 minutes but were not strict about it, just based on helping to time meals.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments Separate camera vs. mask tanks -- separate use firmly enforced in friendly way. Our most frequent divemaster (Mike) was an avid UWP and v. good at finding the small stuff, e.g., Pea Crab.

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 2 stars
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I made this trip especially to meet colorful bartender Terry Thompson, author of the entertaining Diary of a Dirtbag Divemaster. This very small (12 bungalow) all-inclusive (except alcoholic beverages) club has a sophisticated website that makes it look somewhat like an exclusive, nose-in-the-air resort, but my wife and I found that--while it was beautiful--it was very relaxed, with a barefoot-all-the-time atmosphere and very diver oriented. When I booked my 12-dive package I was concerned that perhaps their 3-dive a day approach would limit me to fewer dives if the weather turned sour or if the relatively small number of guests might mean that some of the afternoon dives might be cancelled. Fourteen dives later, I was a happy guy. (One afternoon only two of us wanted to go, but SCC accepted our payment for a ghost third diver, and took us out anyway.) The dive setup was convenient. After arriving, you dont even have to carry your gear down to the dock; a Gator picks up all gear left porch-side and carries it down for you. If you want, you can leave any and all gear in a drying room next to the boats and rinse tanks. I took mine back to the room to rinse, as the tanks looked a bit cloudy by day's end. Hoses next to their two boats made it easy to rinse the beach sand off my feet prior to boarding. As to the diving, I cannot imagine a better wall dive than on Bloody Bay Wall. The wall offers numerous dive sites and is where we did most of our diving. The wall is covered with more large-size sponges and corals than Id seen elsewhere in the Caribbean. We ended most dives on a shallower reef on top of the wall, creating an extended safety stop without having to stop diving. In addition to typical reef fish, I saw some I hadnt seen before, including a number of Puddingwife, slender filefish, lettuce sea slugs, green razorfish, flamefish, arrow blennies, orangesided gobies, a yellowface pikeblenny, and others I still need to identify. This is the first place Ive seen divers able to stroke (not feed) a grouper like a cat, which actually seemed to seek the attention. One day we were offered a chance to boat over to Cayman Brac for a dive on the M/V Capt. Keith Tibbetts, a 330 ft. Russian frigate (some sources call it a destroyer), which I strongly recommend if you get the chance. The gun turrets are impressive--be sure to bring a wide angle lens for this dive, and a good light for some of the swim-throughs. I think that SCC listens to diver input on where they dive; Id esp. recommend Ringers Wall, Joys Joy, and Eagle Ray Roundup. The accommodations were great. We stayed in a beach-level deluxe bungalow (#11). It had A/C and was spacious, clean, had a modern bathroom with two showers--one indoor and the other outdoor, plus a hose at the foot of our steps to rinse off feet and gear. The outdoor shower had hot and cold running water, and had no curtains, just low walls; while showering I could look out over the beach, boat dock, green palm trees and the blue Caribbean Sea. The buffet style meals were top-notch, with seating either out of doors on a pretty pool-side patio, or inside large screened rooms. The staff was friendly, often circulating among the guests to ask whether they could get us anything more, or something from the kitchen we didnt see on the tables. Breakfasts included cold and hot dishes, including custom-made eggs. There are things to do when not diving, as well, but the island itself is small and quiet. We took one of the free kayaks to nearby Owen Island, where I saw more living conch than anywhere else Id been. One night we ate with Gladys Howard at the homey, intimate, Pirates Point. Another day we took a bike ride to visit the National Trust House and Little Cayman Museum (highly recommended). Be prepared to tip at checkout, but ask to see whether part of the tip is already included in the bill. On the inter-islnd flights we werent billed for extra luggage, and had no problems with delayed bags, but study up on current charges for extra weight, and pack so that you at least keep your regulator, mask and snorkel with you to reduce problems if your gear is delayed.
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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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