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

Brac Reef Beach Resort, Jun, 2012,

by Eric A Frick, IL, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 30 reports with 23 Helpful votes). Report 6591.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments I decided to turn this trip to Cayman Brac offered by my dive shop into my own Sister Islands trip by spending a week on my own on Little Cayman (see separate report) before joining this trip. Brac Reef Resort proved to be a very good choice for a relaxing week of very good diving. The cost of my week included transfer from the airport. I checked into my room and did a load of wash in the washer and dryer they offer (Cayman $2 to wash plus $2 to dry) as I waited for the balance of the trip participants to arrive. I reported to the on-site dive operation and handled my paperwork. I was issued a net bag and asked to place my dive gear in the bag outside my room by 7:30 on the morning of the first dive. I was using Nitrox (32%) as a breathing gas and it was suggested that I analyze at least 4 tanks in preparation for the next day’s diving. I analyzed 8 tanks and marked them with my name and the name of the boat from which my group would be diving. My room #216 was on the second floor of the 2-floor building that bordered the pool featured all the modern hotel amenities. I entered through the back but had a balcony overlooking the pool. The room was comfortable and clean and the air conditioning quickly got the temperature down to a reasonable level. Wi-fi is apparently available in most areas of the resort and there was a computer in the lobby area for those who wished to check e-mail. The hotel offered complementary lockboxes behind the reception desk for those who wished to use them. Outdoor entertainment could be heard while I was in my room but it quit by 10:00 p.m. and getting a restful sleep was not a problem.

The price of the trip included meals and 3 drinks per day. I entered the dining room, paused at the entrance and was greeted by Omar who introduced himself and said that I could sit anywhere and that checking in before proceeding to the buffet was not necessary. In addition to at least 2 salads, 2 entrees were offered and a number of other sides. Water, coffee , punch and iced tea were offered as well. Food was plentiful, good and appeared in suitable variety but it was not notably above average. There was never a wait to get food. At least 3 desserts were offered at both lunch and dinner. The dining room staff was very attentive. Diners could sit in the air conditioned dining room, in a screened porch adjacent to the dining room or, I suppose, on the patio just outside.

Dive operations manager Mick Maher runs Reef Divers very well. Our group would be diving from their 42-foot Newton dive boat “Little Sister”. The other 2 boats in their fleet are both 46-foot Newtons. We reported aboard to find our dive gear all set up on our tanks. Mick and dive master BJ (a native Caymanian) presented us with a boat safety briefing and we were off for our first day of diving. Sea conditions on the south side of the island were a little rough but when we rounded West End Point we found smooth water. Conditions calmed later in the week so we were able to dive south side sites as well as sites on the north side. Water temperatures were 82 and underwater visibility ranged from 60 feet or so out to more than 80 feet. In addition to mostly calm waters, we experienced no currents during our week.

When you are ready to enter the water, step to the back of the boat and be seated on one of 2 seats to put on your mask and fins. Your dive gear is brought to you so all you have to do is secure your straps, stand up and giant stride into the water. Mick or BJ led the dives but you were not required to follow them. When you found yourself back beneath the boat, you could explore on your own. You were asked to return to the boat with an appropriate air reserve and a dive computer that was not in deco. No time limit was imposed. When returning to the boat, you passed your fins up to the crewmember, climbed the ladder and sat down on the seat where your equipment was removed and then returned to your seat on the boat. Equipment was then switched to your next tank by the crew. A surface interval of at least 45 minutes was required and water and orange segments were provided.

After 2 morning dives, the boat returned to the dock where the crew switched tanks and we headed to the dining room for lunch. After lunch, we headed out for a single afternoon dive. Trips to the dive sites took anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes depending upon the distance and weather conditions.

Upon return to the dock after the afternoon dive, divers took items like cameras, masks and wetsuits off the boat. Suits were hung on an outdoor drying rack or in a secure drying room. On the first day of diving, their full boats evidently meant that Nitrox tanks were scarce so those I had analyzed were used by other divers so I had to analyze the next day’s tanks. From that day forward I just analyzed the next day’s tanks after the diving was done for each day.

After the day’s dives were done, divers lounged by the pool or strolled the excellent beach. There were hammocks and beach chairs available. Diving is the primary activity here so there was always room on the beach or around the pool. Activities like movies, trivia games or music were provided most evenings. On Friday there was a barbecue. The wind had diminished so insects were a problem that evening and most diners ate their meals in the dining room. It was the best meal of the week.

One morning of diving featured a 40 minute trip over to Little Cayman for diving on their famous walls. It appeared to me that the dive operators on Little Cayman do not offer daytrips over to Cayman Brac for diving. That tells you something. Little Cayman features almost all wall diving while Cayman Brac offers a mix of reefs and walls. We found the underwater life off of Cayman Brac to be varied and in pretty good shape but hardly lush. Our last day of diving featured a trip to Russian frigate 365, a retired naval vessel purchased by the Cayman government years ago to be sunk as a diver attraction and an artificial reef. It is a very nice dive and that day’s diving and the morning spent off of Little Cayman were ranked by divers as our best dives of the week.

Obviously the resort caters to divers and I estimate that at least 2 other large groups were there during our week. Everyone appeared to have a good time. I noticed a few couples or what might have been very small groups. If you go as a couple or small group, be prepared to share your boat with what will probably be a larger dive club or group. Non-divers will find a few other things to do in the resort or on the island but diving is the overwhelming order of the day.
Websites Brac Reef Beach Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Great Lakes, Caribbean, Hawaii
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas calm, choppy, no currents
Water Temp 82-83°F / 28-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 60-80 Ft/ 18-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions Come up with an appropriate gas reserve in your tank and a computer that is not in deco.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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