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

Ocean Frontiers/Compass Point: "Ocean Frontiers- East End Grand Cayman", Jun, 2018,

by Howard Kaiser, MO, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 11 reports with 10 Helpful votes). Report 10343.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Compass Point condos are directly across the street from the dive boats. Fully equipped kitchens, new mattresses a pleasant surprise. After 10 yrs, condo in great shape. We always stop at Hurleys on our way from the airport and make breakfasts every morning and occasional sandwiches if we are doing four dives per day and need a quick turnaround.
Staff at OF has had a fairly large turnover which is common and they continue to carefully vet their staff, retaining the ones that show skills consistent with OF's operating credo- always be positive and helpful with customers. The dive masters- especially Evan, Hunter, James , Miriam, and Steve are great at remembering names and engaging with the customers. A few newer members tended to get ahead of the dive group and didn't make an effort to show divers critters etc, but these were in the minority. OF's secret to success is consistently seeking out the best employees.
THE DIVING pleasant surprise finding that the lion fish situation is well in-hand. Over 16 dives this trip, I saw less than ten total compared to five years ago when the lion fish derbies were consistently bringing up large numbers. Steve Broadbelt, one of the principals at OF has been tracking the numbers pulled out of GC waters and believes that fishing pressure aided by local restaurants all serving lion fish ceviche, tacos , fried , blackened etc. have resulted in a victory over these invaders. Bahamas and Belize would do well to follow suit. The reefs are in much better shape than our last trip despite a month of consistent storms and rain having impacted the visibility this trip. The usual 100 ft viz was down to an average of 60-70 ft but algae was not as prevalent on sites like Grouper Grotto and Chib Hole as in the past. Silverside were just beginning to appear this trip and I only saw one lone tarpon, probably waiting for the Early Bird special. Consistent shark sightings , especially out on the point- at sites like Jack McKenney's, the Maze etc. Turtles on every dive and they are used to having pictures, selfies taken these days. One even had a publicist! We also ran into a free swimming five ft green moray at Anchor Point and ocean triggers, schools of bar jacks and the usual suspects in decent numbers.
Water temp was slightly cooler than expected, around 80 degrees F and there was no significant current although surge was a factor on a few shallow dives. I did notice that on the second dive in the afternoon -about halfway through the dive- the visibility closed down to around 30-40 ft max. This has happened several years' running.

DINING we ate mostly at Eagle Ray's, the bar across the street run by our favorite restauranteur - Ron at Tukka's. Tukka's has a great menu, is a very pleasant place sit outside and watch the tarpon or watch Ron feeding the frigate birds. It's hard to realize how large these birds are until they swoop down to take food- 5-6 ft wingspans!! Try the curry at Tukkas and don't miss trying lion fish tacos if you haven't already. Ron also has a new taco place just steps away from our condo; decent mole chicken and tequila bar plus unusual tacos like lobster and alligator. The gas station in town on East End has a great fish fry on Sundays- get there early and grab a picnic table. Best deal on the island with a whole snapper running 12 CI including johnny cakes and fried plantains. There are two jerk places back in Bodden Town- the Czech Inn and Chesters both have good jerk pork and chicken and are reasonably priced. Italian Kitchen is okay for pizza and has a good past selection and also very good wine prices- roughly double what they cost next door at the liquor store.
My sister-in-law went on OF's snorkel trips four times during our stay and they saw seven or eight eagle rays, nurse and a small reef sharks, eels , turtles and sting rays. I've noticed more kids staying at Compass Point. The pool is about twenty feet from our back door and there are grilling facilities, tables and chairs and a hot tub. The area has become the meeting spot after dives and we ran into old friends we hadn't seen in years- repeat customers at Ocean Frontiers. Nothing says success like repeat customers. OF's Green Shorts Challenge has been an unqualified success story - with hundreds of divers investing their time and money on diving the 55 sites around the East End. It also speaks to the consistently good diving that the East End offers.
East End is experiencing a huge growth in building centered in large part on the new hospital near Half Moon Bay and the Blowholes. Hopefully, no cruise ships will show up in either the East End or South Sound. The government claims otherwise, but the five cruise ships a week in Georgetown has decimated the reefs on the West Wall, especially down by Sunset House and Eden Rock- two places that used to have quality shore dives. Places like Parrot's Landing, Coconut Harbor, and Bob Soto's used to be our hangout back when we were young and on a budget. There are still good shore dives like the old Turtle Farm/Cracked Conch site and Cobalt Coast in West Bay that young families could seek out for cheap diving.
BY WAY OF FULL DISCLOSURE, JEAN AND I ARE OWNERS AT COMPASS POINT. We started with one fraction and have since bought three more; we invested in the property because we knew that Steve and Mo and the OF staff would take care of our investment, keep it safe for our kids and their families to enjoy once we're gone and to maintain the sort of high-end service that experienced divers and their families will appreciate. We would never have invested without Ocean Frontiers' reputation driving sales.
Websites Ocean Frontiers   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Baja, Cozumel, Honduras, Belize, Bahamas, Hawaii , Grand Caymans, North Carolina, Costa Rica
Closest Airport GCM Getting There KC to Charlotte to GCM; leave 7AM and arrive 2:15 PM

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas surge
Water Temp 80-°F / 27-°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 60-70 Ft/ 18-21 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Requested 100 ft max depth but flexible with experienced divers; come back with 500psi min.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

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