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

Reef Divers/Cayman Brac Beach Resort, May, 2008,

by James A. Heimer, TX, United States (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 10 reports). Report 4098.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Tahiti, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hawaii, Mexico (both coasts), California, Texas, Norway, Bahamas, Caymans, Aruba, Bonaire, BVI, USVI.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 82 to 85 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Maximum depth of 110 feet and max dive time specified but dive duration only loosely enforced. Buddy diving only.
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 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 2 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments Large camera rinse tank on shore, boat had camera table but no rinse tank - fresh water hose available. Dive staff passed cameras to divers in the water and picked them up at the end of each dive.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Cayman Brac Beach Resort

The trip to Cayman Brac is by either a twice daily 737 on Cayman Airways or a 14-passenger twin engine turboprop on Cayman Express. Baggage capacity is limited on the turbo prop, so either book the 737 or plan on your dive or photography gear (or your clothes) to arrive on a later flight. Since this happens frequently, the resort is equipped to collect it for you, when it arrives. Cayman Air has recently changed their baggage limitations everything is weighed and you will pay for excess bags or weight.

The Cayman Brac Beach Resort is nearly a twin of the Little Cayman Beach Resort both having Reef Divers as the dive operation running 46 boats to the dive sites. The difference between the two resorts comes down to the diving, and Little Caymans Bloody Bay Wall wins in all respects, except for the Tibbetts wreck on Cayman Brac. Both resorts, weather permitting, will make one trip to the other island for a two dive morning.

Accommodations at Cayman Brac are large rooms with double beds facing the pool with a small patio or deck attached. There is a table for setting up cameras, but bring a power strip to augment the electrical outlets, if you have a lot of batteries to charge. Rooms are serviced daily, and we had no problems with pests. In fact, we did not notice any mosquitos, no-seeums, or any other bugs the entire week.

The resort packages include either two or three meals per day. We had the two meal package and saved a little by buying lunch at the bar each day. The meals served in the restaurant are first rate, with at least three entrées for dinner as well as plentiful salads and vegetables. The dessert table was an insult to dieters everywhere cakes, pies, cheesecakes, mousses, and ice cream. You can also get an all you can drink package, but those who had it were hard pressed to get their quota of three in each day, but you could resort to stockpiling canned soft drinks for the boat the next day.

When you arrive, you put your BC, regulator, and fins in a mesh bag provided in your room. They will be delivered to your assigned boat and rigged up for you, when you report in the morning after checking in and signing the usual waivers in the dive shop. You carry your wet suit and mask to the boat, then remove them and hang them in a dry room or rack next to the dive shop between boat trips. The boats go out at 8:30 am each morning for a two-tanker, returning about noon for lunch, then go out again between 2 and 3 pm for a one tank afternoon dive. The first morning dive is usually deep (limit 110 max) on the wall; the rest of the dives are usually shallow at 60 feet or so. Night dives are offered for $60 per person on Tuesday and Thursday with a minimum of six divers required. The Tuesday dive was so uninspiring that no one volunteered for Thursday.

The dive staff is great (thanks Barbie and Ian!!!) and work hard to rig up gear and handle the tanks. Entry is from the rear of the boats, and the dive staff brings your BC and tank to you, so that all you need to do is stand up and step off. One dive master is in the water with the group, but you can dive your own plan with your buddy no solo diving.

The dive sites varied in interest. The reef on top of the wall was generally more interesting than the wall itself. During the week we saw turtles on nearly every dive, morays, eagle rays (usually feeding in the sandy shallows in the afternoon), stingrays, and the usual tropicals. My wife and I found a lot of small things to photograph or video jaw fish with eggs, blennies, red stripe, Pedersen, and snapping shrimp, lobster, etc. Other than the wreck of the Tibbets, which we dove once, the best dives were those we did on Bloody Bay Wall at Little Cayman on our one day field trip to that island. The other best dives at Cayman Brac were the Preachers Barge, Patch Reef, and Snapper Reef even though the rumored seahorse failed to materialize.

At present, Cayman Brac Beach Resort is the only resort on the island, so if you want to dive the Brac, this is the place. We could go back, given a special deal, but would probably go back to Little Cayman first for the better diving.
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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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