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Dive Review of Reef Divers/Brac Reef Beach Resort in
Cayman Islands/Cayman Brac/Little Cayman

Reef Divers/Brac Reef Beach Resort, Mar, 2003,

by Michael Culby, Mi, USA . Report 710.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Bonaire, Cozumel, Curacao, Yap
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, surge, noCurrents
Water Temp 80 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions 110' Max. depth, 50 minutes, not srickly enforced.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 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 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments
The resort is small –about 40 rooms- and very comfy. The rooms are all on the small side but were clean and totally adequate for our needs. Daily made service with lots of clean towels. Fresh big blue beach/dive towels are available in the lobby every day. Our room had tub/shower, air/ceiling-fan, cable TV, and a coffee maker. The restaurant served tasty meals with a varied selection every night. Breakfast was typical eggs, fruit, waffles, etc., also served buffet style. Tap water at the resort was drinkable with no ill effects. The bar had a good selection of drinks, all on the pricey side. All-in-all, we were very satisfied with the food and accommodations. I don’t know how this resort compares to the other 2 or 3 on the island, ‘cause we never had need or desire to leave the premises – except by dive boat of course.

Reef Divers, the in house dive-op, had gear bags and release forms waiting in our room upon arrival. Put your filled gear bag outside your door the first morning and they will take it to the assigned boat for you. BC’s, regulators, and weights are left on the boat for the week. Wetsuits, fins, etc. were taken (by ourselves) to the gear room each day for rinsing (3 big rinse tanks) and storage. I took my cameras and detachable computer back to our room each day. This meant that our gear was scattered amongst three different places each day – a little confusing at times! I opted for the unlimited Nitrox for the week, $140 for 17 tanks. Marianne made fewer dives, so was charged $10 per tank of Nitrox. 32% is the only flavor available. Due to dive time restrictions of 50 minutes/dive (not strictly enforced) Nitrox really doesn’t give you much of an advantage, other than safety. My computer never went close to yellow, and I often came up with 1200# left in the tank. Night dives were offered on Tuesday and Thursday nights for an extra charge of $50@ – we did not do the night dives. Shore diving in front of the resort really isn’t an option, so all diving is done by boat.

Reef Divers uses 3 large dive boats (15-20 divers/ boat) equipped with camera table, radio, O2, shower, and head. There are two sturdy ladders off the back platform for easy exit/entry. When divers are in the water, they drop a safety stop rope/chain in the water, next to it is an extra regulator for low air situations. BC’s and regs, are set up by the DM’s. Be sure to check your own outfit, minor problems in gear set-up did occur. Over the course of the week, we dove with a total of 6 different DM’s, all very friendly and competent, but all slightly different in their interpretation of the rules. We could buddy up and do our own thing, or go on the group tour. Solo diving was not permitted. In the 17 dives I made, no sites were repeated. We made two trips over to Little Cayman (2 tanks/trip) to dive the famous Bloody Bay. Randy’s Gazebo was the best, with Marilyn’s Cut a close second. At Cayman Brac, we dove the East end, West end, North side, South side, and all points in-between! The DM’s did a great job of selecting a good mix of sites – especially for the morning 2-tank trips. The afternoon 1-tank dives tended to be closer and shallower sites with a little more surge and reduced visibility. Pre-dive briefings were very detailed with good maps drawn for each site. Roll call was done before and after every dive. They are a very safe outfit to dive with.
Dive sites are selected by the DM’s, not by a group vote like many other places. The one exception to this was the day that most of the divers threatened to mutiny if we didn’t go back to Little Cayman, A quick check of the fuel tanks, and we were on our way – smiles all around!

In general, we were very pleased with the diving at both islands. Depending on conditions, every site has the potential of being a very good to great dive. Sheer walls, spur and grove, patch reefs, and sand flats with HUGE barrel sponges. Sharks, rays, large grouper, and turtles were spotted on almost every dive; first ones in the water always had a better chance of seeing the big stuff. We felt the variety and abundance of the smaller critters was far less than other places we’ve been. The one exception was Randy’s Gazebo over at L.C. – tons of fish! On C.B. our favorite site was Schoolhouse. A sand flat at 50-60 ft. with plenty of huge barrel sponges (some with lobster inside) several rays, and a turtle or two just for good measure. Add to that 150+ft. vis, no current and 81degree water and you have the makings of a totally enjoyable dive – even the long surface swim back to the boat, but that’s another story. The other “must do” dive is the MV Capt. Keith Tibbetts (AKA Russian Frigate 356). Purchased from Cuba and intentionally sunk off CB it makes for a nice wreck dive for all skill levels. Speaking of skill level, we had several “new” divers on the boat, and none of the dives presented them with major problems. They just stayed a little shallower and avoided some of the tighter swim-thrus. No diving was permitted below 110’.

We really enjoyed our trip to Brac. Nice resort, outstanding food, good diving, and a fine group of fellow divers to trade stories with. Just what a dive vacation should be.
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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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