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Dive Review of Southern Cross Club in
Cayman Islands/Little Cayman

Southern Cross Club: "A Bloody Bay Discovery", Nov, 2015,

by Rickie Sterne/Chris Button, AR, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 24 reports with 8 Helpful votes). Report 8741.

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 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Last spring we were forced to cancel our three-week liveaboard trip to the Forgotten Islands in October when Rickie was diagnosed with advanced cancer. Happily, late October found Rickie enjoying an induced remission and dramatically improved renal function. After discussing scuba diving with his urologist, his nephrologist, and DAN, we decided to celebrate his good reports with a relaxing holiday that included some easy diving. "Relaxing" meant no jet lag, so we looked at Caribbean destinations. With the help of Kim, our travel agent at Reef and Rainforest, we decided to explore Bloody Bay Wall, which we had never seen before (despite a week on the Cayman Aggressor), from Southern Cross Club.
The Southern Cross Club van picked us up at the airstrip on Little Cayman, and we quickly arrived at the lovely resort. After signing the usual dive waiver forms while being served a welcome drink at the bar, we were escorted to our Veranda Suite, whither our luggage had preceded us. The two-room suite was quite spacious. We appreciated the large table in the living room which became our camera work station. A large platform storage bed was very comfortable and had decent reading lamps on each bedside table. A large double dresser provided more storage, as did the walk-in closet off the bathroom. The living room also contained a large couch and an armchair. However, we would do most of our relaxing in the lounge chairs on our large private veranda. The spacious bathroom was supplied with a full range of good quality toiletries, and a hair dryer was provided on request. No need to pack anything but sunblock. A folding metal rack on the veranda let us dry our swimsuits and hand-washed undies overnight. Other accommodation choices at SCC include duplex bungalows and large rooms in three buildings with one up/one down arrangements.
All accommodations offer views of the ocean across a narrow white sand beach.
After we did a bit of unpacking, we returned to the clubhouse for our first meal at Southern Cross Club. Wow! While we are not full-fledged foodies, we do come close. We had been asked while checking in if we had special dietary requirements and had communicated the bad news that we don't eat meat. The chef came to our table each morning at breakfast to discuss vegetarian alternatives for our lunch. There was never a need for a special dish at dinner. The chef always acted as if he were happy to accommodate vegetarian preferences, and he did so deliciously. Breakfast was a buffet which offered a large variety of fresh and dried fruits, homemade granola, fresh baked breads, eggs to order, and pancakes or French toast to order. Lunches were also served as a buffet with a choice of entrees, soup, more fresh baked breads, and an interesting salad. We liked the fact that a chef tossed salad individually for each guest, and we could choose the additions made. For dessert there was a fruit smoothie, with the flavor changing daily, and cookies. Rickie liked the ginger cookies so well that I begged the recipe and received full baking instructions from the pastry chef. Three-course dinners were served at tables on the deck under the stars. Dinners began with an appetizer, followed by a choice of meat or fish entrees and baked desserts or fresh fruit. The setting was beautiful and the food both delicious and interesting. SCC serves a good selection of wines at restaurant prices rather extortionate resort prices. Couples or other traveling groups were seated at private tables. We were not alone in deeming the meals excellent. The annual SITA cook off occurred while we were on island and Team Southern Cross Club was declared grand champion.
The diving, however, was the reason we had come to Little Cayman. Rickie was quite apprehensive about getting underwater for the first time since he began treatment. The dive operation was smoothly run. Staff members transported our gear save neoprene to the boat. We donned our wetsuits in the drying shed and strolled down the dock carrying only our cameras. The boats are large enough to be arranged with dive stations and have a head on board. SCC provides complimentary nitrox to the certified. When we boarded the boat we analyzed our nitrox and checked our tank fills, then sat under the covered area of the boat for the twenty to thirty-five minute ride to the reef. Entry was by an easy giant stride from the back of the boat. A crew member stabilized each diver as he walked to the swim step. Rickie asked to hand up his gear before climbing the ladder after dives, and the crew cheerfully agreed. Five minutes after we had made our first entry, Rickie forgot his anxiety and simply enjoyed diving on the lovely walls. The walls off Little Cayman are densely covered with mostly healthy hard corals brightened by colorful rope, tube, and vase sponges. There are also some very large barrel sponges on every site. We thought these walls were the healthiest and most beautiful we have seen in the Caribbean. We typically dropped onto a shallow sandy area with thick growths of gorgonians, then swam over sandy expanses to the steep wall. Each area had its own inhabitants. The sand flats were well supplied with large colonies of garden eels, as well as yellow throated jawfish, sand tilefish, and hunting stingrays. Schools of creole wrasse swam up and down the walls. Largish Nassau and comb groupers lurked everywhere and allowed very close approach by divers, sometimes even swimming up to us. We saw turtles on most of our dives, and saw a couple of large reef sharks. There was a good variety of the usual suspects. Unusually we descended on one dive into a school of ten scrawled filefish. With the help of our dive guides we saw three fish we have not seen before. What we did not see was also significant; we saw far fewer lionfish than we had seen in Belize several years ago. Invertebrates were less well represented, but we did see crabs, lobsters, and three species of shrimp. As an old, short diver I can be quite critical of ladders on dive boats. The Lucky Devil had an very easy-to-ascend ladder with finger-protecting handrails. Crew members stabilized our tanks as we climbed the ladder,and on one rough site practically lifted me back onto the boat. We spent surface intervals on the boat, drinking cold water and eating granola bars while checking the ID books and chatting with our fellow divers. Dive briefings were thorough. The boat carries a full complement of safety equipment: oxygen, major and minor first aid kits, and an AED as well as a cell phone. When eight or more divers were on the boat, we were divided into two groups, each with its own dive guide. Divers were grouped by experience level and interest in photography it seemed to me. Would we wish anything different about the dive operation? Well, it would be nice if the afternoon dive departed at 1400 rather than 1330. There is not time to enjoy lunch and coffee if you have to rush back to the boat an hour after you debarked. If you have booked a three-dive-per-day package, your afternoon dive is guaranteed. We saw the boat go out with only one diver.
For those of us who chose to enjoy a leisurely lunch, several options for afternoon entertainment were available. We enjoyed pedaling around nearly traffic-free roads on bicycles and watching the booby colony return to their large Booby Pond in the late afternoon. Some guests chose to paddle the sea kayaks to nearby Owen Island. There were covered hammocks and beach loungers for reading and napping, and we enjoyed the hot tub and swimming pool.
There was always just gazing at the ocean from our veranda. The resort staff was happy to drive people to the far end of the island for snorkeling. Fishing is also offered at SCC, and several folks to forego a day of diving for the thrill of bonefishing and catching a tarpon on a fly rod.
We are now sorry that it took us fifteen years to get around to diving on Bloody Bay wall. Southern Cross Club was for us the perfect place to enjoy a restful dive holiday.

Websites Southern Cross Club   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving around the Caribbean, Sea of Cortez, GBR & Coral Sea, Fiji, Truk, Yap, Palau, most areas of Indonesia
Closest Airport Bodden Airfield, less than 5 minutes from resort Getting There good (albeit very early) connections through Grand Cayman on American

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas calm, choppy, surge
Water Temp 82-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 40-80 Ft/ 12-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions Cayman Island rules of 100 feet maximum depth on first dive and 60 feet max depth on second dive with theoretical time limit of 60 minutes. Within these limits we were free to do our own thing.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

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 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Apart from a cameras-only rinse tank on the boat, there are no real photography facilities at SCC. Boat crew handled all cameras carefully and made certain that no one put masks, etc, in the camera tank. All three couples carrying DSLR rigs had chosen to stay in Veranda Suites or the Honeymoon Cottage, where large tables provided camera work space.
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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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