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Dive Review of Peter Milburn's Dive Cayman AND Don Foster's Dive/Silver Sands Condominiums in
Cayman Islands/West wall

Peter Milburn's Dive Cayman AND Don Foster's Dive/Silver Sands Condominiums, Aug, 2005,

by Ernie, NY, USA . Report 2992.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Bonaire, Providenciales, north eastern US salt and fresh water
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, noCurrents
Water Temp 83 to 86 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 75 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions I led wall dives within the Cayman Islands limits, i.e., standard maximum depth of 100 feet. Others followed Peter Milburn on his boat or Russ and Sally on the Don Foster's boat wthin the prescibed limis on wall dives. Conservative time limits depended on actual profile.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments In our group, only digital cameras were used, and the condominium provided an excellent setting for editing and viewing on divers' laptops. All the dives afforded excellent photo opportunities. Perhaps the best were at Turtle Reef -- a shore dive site adjacent to the Turtle Farm.

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 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments I led a group of 22 divers; 3 were there for there OW certification, and they plus 2 additional divers took continuing ed courses with me. Also, 4 of our 10 non-divers took "resort" introductory courses with Don Foster's Dive and 1 went on to complete a full certification course on the Island. We dived with Peter Milburn's Dive Cayman and Don Foster's Dive Grand Cayman. I have been diving with Peter since 1982 and was delighted to meet and dive with Russ and Sally of Don Foster's and to arrrange the charter with Sergio. I divided my divers into 2 groups: 6 dove on Peter Milbun's 28' rigid-hull inflatable and enjoyed private, small-group diving. The remaining 16 divers split among me, Sally, and Russ on Don Foster's large, spacious, flat-top Cayman Wall dive boat and dove in small groups of 4 to 6 on the 1st dives of the day on the wall and, as is standard, dove in buddy teams on the 2nd dives on the shallower spur and grove formations. Each day, a different group of 6 dove with Peter. We were blessed with good weather; fine, spacious, on-the-beach, 2-bedroom, condo apartments; cooperative sea creatures; and breath-taking, west-wall architecture at Big Tunnel, Orange Canyon, Trinity Caves, Round Rock Cave, Sand Chute, etc. The visibility on the wall was spectacular, making all of the architecture easy to appreciate fully. Peter's and Don Foster's boats met us early every morning at the West Bay dock and took us on very brief, comfortable rides to the sites of our choosing. We also dove Turtle Reef from the shore via the Divetech facility and had several thrilling experiences as well as consistently good big-creature and macro photography. This reef stucture consists of an overhanging mini wall that zigzags parallel to the shore and drops down from the hard pan at a depth of between 20 and 30 feet to a sand bottom at 55 feet. We were treated there to very healthy coral along the crest of the wall; sponges covering the face of the wall; groups of large, adult, queen, grey, and French angels feeding on sponges as a group; free-swimming morays; scorpion fish; over a dozen huge rainbow and midnight parrot fish pounding the hard pan to break it and feed on encrusting algae; more than a dozen squid that allowed very close approaches and seemed to be paired for mating; about 50 closely packed tarpon plus one HUGE barracuda in company with a large, dense school of silversides; several large Nassau and tiger groupers; coneys resting in sponges; lettuce sea slugs; banded coral shrimp and arrow crabs; Peterson cleaning shrimp living with pistol shrimp among corkscrew anemone tentacles; a large overhanging barrel sponge filled with cleaner gobies that would willingly clean a stable diver up to the neck (!!!); an octopus; lobsters; etc. What more could one want?
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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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