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Dive Review of Nekton Rorqual in
Cayman Islands

Nekton Rorqual, Jun, 2006,

by Richard Lehach, NY, USA . Report 2556.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 2 stars
Comments I have dove the Caymans many times in the past 8 years(6 trips to Grand Cayman, 3 to Little Cayman, & 2 to Brac). All trips were land based so when Nekton moved the Rorqual to the Caymans I decided to give it a try by boat. I have been on the Rorqual 6 times in the past 4 years and in general have usually been happy with the crew and diving. While I still think highly of the crew, my opinion on the Nekton operation changed for the worst. When diving from livaboards you expect certain inconviences for the joy of frequent dives at the best loacations. Diving on the Rorqual was to expierence the Caymans at their worst. Day 1 diving was on the west coast off by the large resorts(5 dives 3 at Joes tug), Due to the Rorqual slow speed we arrived at Little Cayman at 9:30AM and dove the southwest side for the AM and one of the most westerly sites on the North side for the 3 PM dives. Day 3 we moved to the one of the most easterly sites in Jackson's Bay(all fives dives due to wind direction). Day 4 we were to the Brac for 4 dives on the Tibbetts wreck(6 AM, 830AM, 1030AM,and 830PM). Day 5 were 2 more AM shallow dives at Brac on reefs 50-60% covered by greem algae, the 3 PM dives we were back on Little Cayman again on the South side. With strong southeast winds we dove in 30-40 feet white out visibility from the nearby shallows. Day 6 we were back on Grand Cayman with 2 AM dives in the north west and a long Sting Ray city visit in the PM.
We never dove Bloody Bay wall and unless the wind is from the Southest the Rorqual cannot sit on a Bloody Bay site due to its draft and large scope, this according to the Captain. The Rorqual required all quest to depart the boat on the Brac for 4 hours so they can take on fuel. The quest are on their own to get lunch and get transportation from the drop off site to the pick up site 5 miles away. For safety reasons quests are not allowed on the boat during refueling. Yet on the way back from Little Cayman to Grand Cayman on Thursday night the Rorqual meet at sea with the Cachalot ,the Nekton work boat, and trasferred supplies and fuel to save on Cayman duties according to one of the boat captains.
I worked in the oil industry for 27 years. Many of them inconjunction with the Marine and Supply and Distribution Departments. The transferring of fuel at sea is only done in emergency situations. Transshipment of crude a very non flamable substance is only done in very controlled situation approved by the local coast guard. Nekton put at danger the passengers, crew and marine environment by this practice to save a few bucks. I would not have booked the trip if I knew they transferred fuel between boats at sea.
The Caymans has some of the best diving in the Carribean. The Nekton Rorqual is not the place to see it. In my opinion I was subjected to some of the worst diving the Cayman's has to offer on the Nekton Rorqual. The East and Northwest areas on Grand Cayman and Little Cayman have great land operators that provide good access to the best dive sites. I would stay away from Cayman Brac until the algae problem clears.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Palau, Indonesia, Solomons, Bahamas, Hawaii, Most of Carribean, Cocos, Panama, Galapagos
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 82-83°F / 28-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 80-100 Ft/ 24-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Recreational diving limits. Buddy diving unless solo certified.
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 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments 2 dedicated photo tables, good charging, good assistance on dive deck.
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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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