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November 2014    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 29, No. 11   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Compass Point Dive Resort, Grand Cayman

an East End dive resort for serious divers

from the November, 2014 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Dear Fellow Diver:

What I like most about diving is the full, 24-hour experience: Being on the boat with a small group of interesting divers, sharing happy-hour stories and travel tales, being awakened by the bright clang of tanks, having a short walk to the dive boat and finding my gear ready to go, being around guides who enjoy their work and their guests, a local area with a little local culture remaining. In reality, more than just the isolated experience underwater.

There was a day when the Caribbean had plenty of those resorts, and the East End of Grand Cayman itself had two. There was Cayman Divers' Lodge, now the site of a for-sale sign, advertising it was once a resort site. The other was the 14-room Tortuga Club, destroyed by Hurricane Gilbert in 1989, the very week I was there (I spent two nights hunkered down in the East End Community Center). But today, there is just one. Compass Point Dive Resort, built by the owners of the Ocean Frontiers dive shop, sports much of the camaraderie of those intimate, little dive resorts but with 28 one-, two- and threebedroom condos that are up to 21st century standards.

Eagleray's Upstairs, The Dive Shop BelowI've probably dived the East End of Cayman more than any other Caribbean venue, so when I was about to leave for a North Carolina hiking trip in mid-October and had a few extra days, I made last-minute reservations and headed south on a twohour nonstop flight from Charlotte. I've always carried my own gear, but with my bag stuffed with hiking boots and fleece jackets, I only had room for my wetsuit and mask. Because many Undercurrent readers now opt not to carry a heavy extra bag and pay stiff baggage fees, I figured I'd travel light, renting gear on the spot. It had been well more than a year since I've been wet, so Ocean Frontiers, the dive shop at COmpass Point, has a rule for people like me: hire an instructor for your first dive. Being no rule breaker, I would go along with it....

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