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Dive Review of Sunset Divers/Sunset House in
Cayman Islands/Grand Cayman

Sunset Divers/Sunset House, Sep, 2006,

by Jack Hall, CA, USA . Report 2942.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, Belize, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Fiji
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 80 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 100 feet for 40 minutes or 60 feet for 60 minutes on supplied 72 cu ft tanks
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments The BEST shore facilities for photographers I have ever seen. They had a large restaurant style stainless steel double sink filled with fresh water to rinse the cameras in. Each tank was about 2-1/2feet square and 2 feet deep- plenty of room for cameras. There was a separate concrete tank for rinsing gear. That tank was about 5-1/2 feet long by 3 feet wide by 2-1/2 feet deep, and it had a drain valve and was emptied and refilled during the week (unlike the one in Fiji which is drained and refilled every Olympic year)

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Sunset House/ Sunset Divers Sept. 2006

We went for the Digital Madness week Sept 16-23, and really enjoyed ourselves. The boats were a little cramped with 14 divers, but not bad. The captains/crew/divemasters were among the best I have ever been diving with. However their choice of sites varied between fantastic and barely OK. The pre-dive briefing was comprehensive and yet brief. Safety measures were quite good, including what to do if they had to cut and run with an emergency while we were down (go to the mooring buoy and wait there until another boat came to get us). There was a great area designated for cameras only, a large (10 gallon or so) bucket for cameras, a separate bucket for rinsing masks. We were allowed to dive our own profile, but return to the boat with 500 pounds. At every dive the divemaster/captain told us the depth and time we should adhere to, but they were quite reasonable- 100 feet for 40 minutes or 60 feet for 60 minutes. My wife and I tend to be very independent divers, and we did not feel at all restricted as we have on other boats. There were lots of critters for photography, and the walls and arches and swim thrus provided lots of wide-angle possibilities. We saw a turtle on at least one of the two dives per day, and often on both dives. On one dive, we saw two turtles. Visibility was always over 50 feet, and often over 100 feet, but did seem a little off for the Caymans. Favorite sites were Eden rock, Trinity caves, Bonnies Arch, Cheeseburger (for the tarpon). Northwest Point did not seem as good as any orf the other sites, but that could just be my perspective. We had unlimited shore diving, and we VERY much enjoyed just toodling around in 25-40 feet taking pictures. For the spotted drum, find the two cylinder heads in the gully straight out from the bar, face away from the bar and follow the gully for 100 plus feet. When the sides of the gully close in close enough to almost touch them with your outspread hands, look under the ledge to your left.

Sunset House has been badly battered by the hurricanes, and, although they have made a valiant effort at remodeling, there is still a slight mildew odor to the rooms. The walkways outside of the room was slick tile, and the air conditioner dripped water, almost resulting in a slip/fall incident for both my wife and myself when we were in bare feet. Shoes/sandals are a definite safety issue at this hotel. We did not find out until later in the week, but the water you use for showering and drinking (it is fine for drinking) costs 3 cents per gallon. Had I known earlier, I would not have taken a couple of "Hollywood showers" as I did on Monday and Tuesday. Everywhere we went on the island, the people we dealt with in the shops and businesses were pleasant and polite and helpful. I have not been to any other place where the residents were so universally pleasant. Also, security was almost a non-issue (maybe because they had a 24 hour security guard). People left cameras and gear out at will, and there was never a case of items growing legs. I would not tempt fate, but in other places we have been it was wise to keep a close watch on your gear, and that just was not a concern here. We will go back again for sure. So far, this is my all time favorite hotel/dive operation combination (
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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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