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

Reef Divers/Brac Reef, Mar, 2003,

by Steve Clawson, Ohio, USA . Report 434.

No photos available at this time

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 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Brac Reef Beach Resort March 21st to 28th

Arriving 2 hours late for our 3rd dive trip to the Brac due to mechanical problems with our aircraft still found Peter the resident resort manager ready to make our group feel welcome to Brac Reef. Cold drinks were ready for the guest at the reception area as Peter transported everyone’s photography and dive gear to our pool view rooms while we relaxed in the reception area.
The kitchen staff stayed open later than normal due to our flight delay to allow our group to get a good dinner after our long travel day. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner were all served buffet style with food groups and deserts to suit the most demanding eaters. We were never hungry during our entire stay even on our departure day that began at 4:00am. Peter was wide-awake serving fresh brewed coffee and sweet rolls to start our long travel day while he loaded all our gear in the hotel pickup for transport to the airport.
Room accommodations at the Brac Reef Beach Resort were decorated in the typical island theme, very well kept and clean. The daily maid service did a great job of keeping our room neat and re-stocked with fresh bath towels. The pool and spa were very clean, pool water crystal clear and the surrounding grounds nicely manicured. Board walks lead the guests to all the important areas including the restaurant, photo/dive shop, beach and pier that was the hot-spot for nightly fish watching and just sitting in the swings looking up at all the stars.

Reef Divers:
Martin Van Der Touw Dive Operations Manager runs a very tight ship with excellent happy dive staff.
Our dive boat crew for the entire week consisted of:

Craig Burhart-Boat Captain/TDI/BSAC Instructor the senior dive staff employee with over 6 years employment with Brac Reef Diving. Craig has many years’ experience diving and teaching off the Southern California Coast and the Caribbean.

Chris Roenspiess-Boat Captain/PADI/NAUI Instructor is 2nd senior dive staff working 3 years with Reef Divers. Chris also worked on Grand Cayman for 1-½ years and many other Caribbean destinations plus instructing in the cold waters of the Great Lakes before moving to the Cayman Islands.

Vicki Kaiser-SSI Dive Master is the newest member of the dive staff having only been with Reef Divers for 2 months. Vicki has many years’ experience diving off the Southern California Coast and the Caribbean and will make a very valued addition to the excellent dive staff.

On our first dive day we were instructed to put all our gear in the supplied numbered mesh bag and place it by our front door by 8:00am for transport by the staff to the dive dock and our boat for the week “Little Sister”. After breakfast our group met at the dive shop to sign in and get weights and belts then make our way to the boat where all our gear was set-up on tanks at our assigned seats for the weeks diving. After we were moored at the dive site there was a very informative dive briefing about the area and creatures we were likely to encounter. When you were ready to dive all you had to do is take your mask and fins and have a seat on one of the benches at the rear of the boat and one of the dive staff would bring your BC where you geared up. After an easy giant stride off the boat one of the dive staff brings your camera and you are free to dive. Returning to the boat after your dive finds a staff member ready to help with camera gear and assist you back on the boat. You then have a seat on the bench where your dive gear is removed and placed in the tank rack at your assigned seat, your tank is changed for a fresh filled tank for the second dive. No walking about the boat deck in choppy seas with dive gear on helps to prevent falls and injuries but requires more work for the crew.

All dive gear is left on the boat, set-up during your diving week and is rinsed with fresh water daily by the staff when the boat is docked for the night after the afternoon dive. Arrival at the dive boat the next dive day finds your gear set up and ready to go at your assigned seat. Air fills were always 3000psi or better and all tanks were recently inspected indicated by the tank labels.
We found the boat to be very clean and neat every dive day morning with lots of fresh ice water and cups, plenty of munchies and fresh fruits for between dive snacks.
Included in our package was a 2 tank Little Cayman trip to Bloody Bay Wall and a custom video by the resident photo pro for all our group members.

Little Sister, our boat for the week had a very large, double shelf camera set-up table that made film changes between dives very easy. The dive staff was very professional and knowledgeable in handling our equipment and rinsed the equipment with the fresh water rinse hose. The lack of a camera rinse tank proved not to be a problem as we kept our rigs damp with a wet towel between dives and then gave them a good soak in the camera rinse tank at the photo shop while hanging gear to dry at the dive shop. It is dive shop policy to not put cameras in rinse tanks to prevent damage to equipment.

In closing we would have to rate Brac Reef and Reef Divers as one of the top 5 resort/dive operations we have visited in our 30 years of diving and traveling through the Caribbean. Every one in our group had but one compliant, 7 days and 17 dives is not enough time to enjoy the fine diving available on the Brac.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 81-83°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 4
Water Visibility 150-300 Ft/ 46-91 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 110 ft must dive in buddy team computer divers were allowed own profile
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 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments Rinse tank on shore were refilled daily with fresh water and kept very clean. No rinse tank on the boats but crew was very good with our housed systems and rinsed them with the fresh water hose before placing on photo table. On long boat days we covered our systems with wet towel untill return to shore. Staff did not want to use rinse tank on boat to prevent damage to dome ports on our housed systems. lack of rinse tank did not present any problems on our trip and most likely prevented damage to equipment with all the photographers on the boat.
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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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