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Dive Review of Nekton Cruises/Nekton Rorqual in
Cayman Islands/three islands

Nekton Cruises/Nekton Rorqual, Jan, 2007,

by Bill Dausses, Oklahoma, USA . Report 3432.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, Belize, Puerto Rico, Gulf of Mexico, Mona Island, Cayman Brac, Grand Turk
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy, noCurrents
Water Temp 79 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 70 to 110 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Buddy dive, safety stop, and return with 500 psi
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

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 5 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Rinse tanks on dive deck to hold equipment. Equipment is handed to you once you are in the water and ready. It is hand picked up on your return to the boat. Above the dive deck is a spacious table for storing and working on equipment.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Our group wanted to compare the three Cayman Islands for the quality of diving and we weren't disappointed. This was a fun cruise and the crew was great. Nelson, the captain, went out of his way to find the better sites on each island and provided much flexibility in site selection.
This cruise was an over-New Year's week and we wanted something different to celebrate. We were anchored on the northwest side of Grand Cayman New Year's Eve. Nelson accommodated everyone by opening the dive deck at 11:30 pm, and everyone gathered at the u-bolt on the reef at midnight for welcoming in the New Year. After returning to the boat and completing the safety stop, Nelson met me on the ladder when I surfaced with a glass of champagne on a silver platter. We were also treated to a great fireworks show by the islanders on Grand Cayman after the dive. Now that's the way to do New Years!
On Grand Cayman we did the west wall, the north wall and sites in-between. It is pretty obvious the west beach sites are stressed from the tropical storms and heavy diver traffic. Still, there was a good variety of tropicals, grouper, stingrays,lobsters and other critters. The north wall is much more colorful and looks good with corals in good condition and much more populous.
Little Cayman was a dive paradise by comparison. All of the diving was done in Bloody Bay and Jackson Bay sites. Many sites were in excellent condition, contained abundant fish life including several varieties of grouper, sharks, stingrays, spotted eagle rays, turtles, lobsters, eels and other small critters. Cleaning stations were everywhere and the highlight of the trip was diving with a friendly Nassau grouper named Jerry. He followed us on several adjacent buoys and was just like a puppy dog.
Little Cayman is not immune to coral problems, however, the site known as Jackson's Reef was in bad shape, probably because of its position in an elbow of the main reef, high summer water temps, and lack of circulation. Still, we did watch a spotted eagle ray cruise through along with a pod of dolphins.
Cayman Brac was almost as good as Little Cayman. Tarpon joined the list along with several more eels, turtles, rays, and a goliath grouper. And of course, the Russian Destroyer, the Keith Tibbetts, was as photogenic as ever, and getting better with age. The wreck has been prepared especially for divers and penetrations are allowed since there is little silting, lack of sharp protruding debris, and wide passageways with good light for exits.
The Nekton Rorqual has aged some but it is in good condition and well-maintained by the crew. The food was always plentiful and good tasting. Rooms were nice and cool and the showers hot. Most of all, the crew was fun, very attentive, and great to accommodate anyone's needs. Perhaps best of all, the boat uses steel 95 tanks. This allows for really long dives and less lead on your belt, and on nitrox, several of mine broke 75 minutes. In fact, out of 26 dives, only four were less than an hour.
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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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