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Dive Review of Nekton Cruses in
Cayman Islands

Nekton Cruses, May, 2006,

by Mark Bruscke, NJ, USA ( 2 reports). Report 2514.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Cancun and Cozumel
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 79 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60 to 90 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Recreational depth; no decompression; buddy
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Nekton's boats really work to eliminate seasickness. Most of the time I was unaware I was on a boat. Boats are very well outfitted for diving. Recommend asking for cabin 5 or 6 because those cabins are entitled to the dive stations on the dive deck adjacent to the ladder. Divers at those dive stations can gear up on the seat next to the latter where there is much more maneuvering room.
The Nekton boats will hold up to 34 passengers (plus about 10 crew). Usually they don't sail with a full load (I'm told). At 28 passengers it felt pretty full; I think it would be too crowded if there were 34.
Crew was very professional, friendly and helpful. Captains Mike and Nelson especially so. Most of the crew were very experienced divers; most are instructors. Had a couple of problems with my dive computer (blown O-ring; reporting shallower depths than my other computers). Nelson replaced the O-ring and removed / replaced the battery to try to clear the depth problem. If you have an equipment problem they will do their best to try to fix it.
At Bloody Bay Wall Caymans have a limit of 20 divers per boat. We had 28 divers; so Nekton (at their own expense) hired a local dive boat to take 8 of us to Bloody Bay Wall on a separate boat.
I was on the Nekton Pilot prior to the Nekton Rorqual on this trip. Pilot had some condensation, but not enough to bother me. Rorqual didn't have any condensation.
Caymans' coral struck me as much less colorful than I remember from Cancun and Cozumel.
Both of Nekton's boats have 29% nitrox; I signed up for it on my previous trip and this trip. Unfortunately, on this trip, the nitrox oil-less compressor's oil-filled cooler failed the previous week and they couldn't repair it before our departure. They had replacement parts and a mechanic on the dock upon our return and I'm told it was repaired before the next departure. Stuff breaks; fixing it in this time frame seems to me as best one could hope for. (On my Pilot trip something else broke. On that occasion Nekton's owner flew the replacement part to the Northern Bahamas and dumped it out the door of the plane. The crew retrieved it from the ocean floor and brought it up for installation. Can't do better than that for timeliness of service.)
Nekton refuels at Cayman Brac; and, they told us, Cayman Brac authorities won't allow them to refuel with passengers aboard. Conjecture is that the authorities are trying to promote tourism ON the island and the refueling rule is a pretext. This shot a day of diving in exchange for a day of site seeing on the island. I would have preferred to be diving as there isn't that much to see on the island. I wish Nekton had hired a local dive boat to take the dive-addicts diving as an alternative to the day on the island.
Nekton has a satellite phone; but, in the Caymans signal is erratic. Bring your cell phone, you will probably have cheaper calls and more consistent signal.
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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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