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Dive Review of Ocean Frontiers/Compass Point in
Cayman Islands/East End Grand Cayman

Ocean Frontiers/Compass Point: "Easy Diving, Good Operator, But Not Many Fish", Nov, 2016,

by Sandy Falen, KS, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 27 reports with 16 Helpful votes). Report 9306.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments This was a return trip to East End after ten years. I chose this location for a quick and easy dive escape, from that perspective, it's hard to beat. Connections to Grand Cayman are many, and from there, the drive to East End is about forty minutes. The escape from Georgetown's cruise ship traffic and development is worth the pleasant drive.

The walls, crevices, and swim-throughs at East End are fun and photogenic. The water was warm, and I never encountered a current worth mentioning. During my four days of diving, the wind -- which had been very brisk upon arrival -- settled down, but there remained a persistent chop on the surface. I'll assume that is why diving the north side was never even mentioned.

Two dives in the morning begin with the boat call at 7:45. If you've got other activities in mind, or are traveling with a non-diving companion, you'll have plenty of post-dive hours remaining in your day upon return to the dock around noon (or before). The boats are roomy, with 12 divers max, and nitrox is analyzed on board before departure. All in all, the dive operation is top-notch, with skilled people who don't hover or preach.

Unfortunately, I found the fish life to be depressingly absent, and the coral reefs to be alarmingly algae-covered. Yes, we saw sharks with some regularity. But the groupers were less populous than I recalled in the past; perhaps it was a seasonal issue, but it was definitely noticeable. Even more disturbing was the absence of small tropicals. When you can count the trunk fish with two fingers over eight dives, something is wrong. Same goes with the butterflies and damsels, and even the snappers -- the fish are down and the reef at times seemed empty. I can only speculate that the lionfish invasion is in large part the culprit. Hooray for the locals for creating a demand for them in restaurants, but I suspect it's still a losing battle.

I have been diving the Caribbean for thirty years, and I realize it will never be like it was "back in the day." For those who are newer to diving, East End may have seemed like an underwater heaven -- but given the demographic I observed on the dive boat each day, I suspect I wasn't alone in my sad perspective.

Compass Point is a terrific accommodation, with everything you could want: full kitchen, washer/dryer, private ocean-front patio or balcony, security safe -- the works. Ocean Frontier's dive operation is one of the best I've ever encountered.

If you're looking for an easy dive trip from the States, this might be just the ticket.
Websites Ocean Frontiers   Compass Point

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Most of the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Palau, Sulawesi, Kosrae, Fiji, Raja Ampat
Closest Airport GCM Getting There From the airport, it's a pleasant, 40-minute drive to East End.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 80-82°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 60-80 Ft/ 18-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Dive your profile.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
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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