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Dive Review of Reef Divers and Dive Tiara/La Esperanza in
Cayman Islands/Cayman Brac

Reef Divers and Dive Tiara/La Esperanza, Aug, 2005,

by David Prichard & Lily Mak, TX, USA . Report 2019.

No photos available at this time

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 4 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We wanted to try out a mixture of boat and shore diving and were happy with both. Both dive operations are next-door neighbors to each other on the western end of the island, so their trips were mostly centered on the northwest shore which is usually calm all of the time. The southern shore has nice walls, but can be choppy when the wind is up. Both Reef Divers and Dive Tiara offer two-tank trips over to Little Cayman's Bloody Bay Wall at least once a week, so you can get the best of both islands. We dived "a la carte," meaning we choose each day, depending upon our mood, to either shore dive all day or catch a few boat dives in the morning and then shore dive. We checked with each operation to see where they were planning to dive that day and then chose the one that best fit our plans. Both operators provided good service for divers. Reef Divers had the better boat and pampered the guests more, but Dive Tiara's crew was more personable and fun. Reef Divers keep us supplied with tanks and weights, plus threw in a dive-flag float, for our shore dives during the week. Most dive sites are accessable from the shore, but a lot easier to get to by boat. We first dove the M/V Keith Tibbetts, the former Russian/Cuban patrol vessel, from the shore, but it was about 200 yards out for an energetic swim both ways. We dove it again by boat and it was much easier. Diver propulsion vehicles would be excellent here for shore dives although we didn't see any at either dive operation. Lots of great wide-angle photo opportunities along the walls, the nice Tibbetts wreck and even the new (but not completed) Lost City of Atlantis sculpture garden at Radar Reef. Lots of turtles, eagle rays, large sting rays and a few nurse sharks can be found to blend in with a good assortment of the usual fish found in a healthy reef system. Besides scenic vistas, there is a lot of macro life for photo subjects, so you need to be prepared for both with your lenses. We found that you can have a great time diving from the northern shore. All sites are marked with mooring buoys and the dive operators have directions to the popular dive areas. Greenhouse Reef (named because you park near a house that is green) and Bert Brothers Reef (named after a band of brothers whose first names all ended in "bert" like Robert, Norbert, etc.) were our two favorites. Bloody Bay Wall was well worth the short ride over to Little Cayman, but Brac seems to have more to offer more both below the waves and topside. You don't go to Brac for the nightlife, but it does have lots of hiking trails and caves to explore. The big resorts appear to be comfortable and clean when we were walking around them, but we stayed on the north shore at La Esperanza in a three-bedroom house that was delightful as a "home away from home." The owners, Bussy and Velma, stocked our full kitchen with goodies and even brought over a huge slab of mahi mahi to cook on our gas grill (plus a key lime pie). Bussy also has a restaurant and bar on the shore that's famous for its jerk chicken. Brac may not be an exciting place like Grand Cayman, but its definitely got the better diving.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving All over the Caribbean & Gulf, Atlantic coast, South Pacific, Micronesia, Maldives, Hawaii, Australia/PNG, Catalina Island, Revillagigedo Islands, inland lakes, springs and wherever its wet.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 86-87°F / 30-31°C Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 80-100 Ft/ 24-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Dive your own profile but be considerate of other divers by not staying down too long.
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 5 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 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments Reef Divers' boat had a camera table and seperate rinse tank for cameras in protected area. Dive Tiara didn't have a table, so cameras had to be stowed under bench on lifevest. Both operations handled cameras carefully in and out of the water. Tricky entering water from shore dives due to sharp volcanic rock (very little sand), but many dive sites had stairs or trenches cut out to deep water.
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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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