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

Ocean Frontiers/Compass Point, Mar, 2007,

by Brent Barnes, OK, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 3333.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Saba, Statia, Belize, Gulf of Mexico, Catalina Island, Cozumel, Florida Keys
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 80 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 3 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 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments Separate rinse bucket for underwater cameras

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 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Ocean Frontiers offers a truly superb dive trip experience and is a first class dive operation. We had been to Grand Cayman with non-diving friends and family previously and had seen all the tourist sites on the West End and Seven Mile Beach. For this trip, we elected to spend the entire trip on the secluded east end and loved it. Lesley, of Ocean Frontiers, was prompt in responding to all of our emails and questions. We flew into Grand Cayman, rented a car from Andy's at the airport. Excellent car rental, we were quickly on our way. Driving is on the left. This can be a little bit stressful when making many turns and driving in high traffic areas but traffic is very light on the east end and very easy. Compass Point is an outstanding resort and built specifically for divers. They have one and two bedroom condominiumns that are beautiful and well-maintained. All are ocean-front and have fully functional kitchens, cable TV in living area and bedrooms. Ocean Frontiers plays video from the previous days dives on one channel continutally throughout the resort. There is a small beach and small pool. There is now a grocery store on the east end about a mile away, it is not large, but will have all the basics for making meals making it unnecessary to drive to the west end to buy groceries. This can also help cut costs as restaurants are expensive in Grandy Cayman in general. There are several excellent restaurants on the east end, both casual and upscale. We ate at Portofino's, the Reef Restaurant and Over the Edge. Especially enjoyed Over the Edge which is an outdoor restaurant/bar and was reasonably priced with relatively quick service.
Mornings began with a quick breakfast in our condo and we then walked 60 feet to our dock. Ocean Frontiers runs three boats, we generally had 8 - 12 divers on board though one dive had only five. Never felt crowded. I set up my gear the first day and never touched it after that. After final dive of the day a large plastic box was provided in which you placed all your dive gear. It would be fully rinsed and set up for you before your dive the next day. Average time to dive site was 5 - 20 minutes. Ocean Frontiers dives the north side, east end and southeast sides of the island. Due to less diver pressure the dive sites seem to be more healthy with less diver damage than the west end. The wall sites tend to start deeper than the west end, usually starting at 60 - 80 feet, so the diving is a little bit more advanced but certainly not difficult. In the winter and early spring, brisk winds are continuous from the northeast, making it rare to dive the north side during that time of the year. Dive sites were chosen based off of diver requests, previous sites dived and conditions. Excellent dive briefings, Ocean Frontiers is famous for their divemasters detailed drawings of each dive site. First dive of the morning or afternoon was almost always a wall with a maximum depth of 100 - 110 feet. The East End walls are absolutely incredible, with multiple large crevices, tunnels and swim-throughs and some pinnacles off the walls. Incredibly healthy coral on the walls with good fish life. Saw several Caribbean reef sharks at the Maze, including one swimming into the large crevice we had dropped into to swim out onto the wall. Three Sisters, Crusher's Wall, Pat's Wall and Mckennedy's Canyon were all outstanding wall dives. Second site of each 2-tank dive was a more shallow reef, usually with depth of 50 - 60 feet with nice tunnels and swim-throughs. Large numbers of tarpon seen at Ironshore Gardens. The average diver at Ocean Frontiers tends to be more experienced than most dive operations I have dove with, and that is how they treat their customers. The first dive is usually loosely guided for the first part along the wall. Divemaster generally moves group back towards the boat after 20 - 25 minutes, points out where the boat is and waves goodbye as they surface. You are then free to dive the remainder of your dive as you wish. The second dive is unguided, though divemaster does dive and offers to act as a guide for anyone who wishes to be guided. Time and depth limits are suggested but not stricly enforced and you are given a great deal of freedom on the dives. Ice water and koolaid were available on the boat and fresh fruit was served in-between dives. Usually we were back at the resort by noon and had 45 minutes to an hour to fix our own lunch in our condo. Afternoon dives were back by 5:00 and we enjoyed quiet evenings on our own. Had done Stingray City once before, it is a dive everyone should do once but is not worth doing a second time. Night dives are available twice a week or so, but we did not do one as we did 4 dives each day.
Compass Point and Ocean Frontiers are a wonderful site for the diver who is interested in outstanding diving and service coupled with seclusion and quiet. They cater to more experienced divers, but beginners would do fine. For those with non-diving friends or family, there is plenty to do on the west end but it is a 45 minute drive. A rental car is a must when staying on the east end. Rum Point is a beautiful beach with water activities and is about a 20 minute drive.
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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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