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Dive Review of Sunset House in
Cayman Islands

Sunset House: "Sunset House and Grand Cayman", Jul, 2015,

by Patricia A. Sinclair, LA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 31 reports with 9 Helpful votes). Report 8612.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments My Grand Cayman Trip – July 11, 2015 to July 18, 2015

The Trip to the Grand Cayman
My MIA flight (first class, all on points) was to leave at 6:00AM, and I like to be way ahead of time. Sadly, AA was not on time, nor was it anything that I expected. I was rerouted (due to plane issues) from MSY to DFW (rather than MIA) and from DFW to GCM. I was not given First class seating (although I had paid for it, from DFW to GCM). After all was said and done, I arrived 2 hours later than planned abd missed the class I had set up with T at Cathy Church’s PhotoCentre.


The arrival
I arrived at Sunset House at about 3:30PM and proceeded to see if I could check in. Of course I could – I was greeted by name upon walking in the front door. My stuff was taken on over to my room and I went down to apologize to T for missing the class due to AA’s flight delays. We rescheduled for Monday.

I went on over to the Dive shop, which was still open, and checked in. I got a locker, presented my C-card(s), filled out the paperwork and signed up for the Nitrox package. Then I went upstairs and got my BCD, fins, BCD pockets and put them into the locker in preparation for Sunday’s diving. All I needed to bring down stairs in the morning was my mask, regulator, camera setup and of course, ME! 

I went back over to the office to rent a safe box, passport, wallet, car keys, cell phone, etc. went into the box for the week. Fewer things to worry about! I spent a little more time with Murphy, who was helping me with my dog withdrawal symptoms.

Lastly, I went to My Bar to eat and catch up on Facebook posting and to email the family that I had gotten to Grand Cayman safely and would of course, keep in touch via Facebook. Ate a nice dinner, had a mudslide, as per the recommendations of some of my FB friends, but had forgotten my camera in the room and was unable to do the obligatory drink shot looking out to the sea.

On Sunday morning, after a wonderful sleep, I got up and went to breakfast and the wait person remembered from my previous visits my preferences for breakfast, and without my asking on any day, he brought that to me without fail! Great guy and always smiling!

After breakfast went upstairs, put away my Macbook Air, got my camera and other stuff and headed down to the camera rinse tank. At 7:50AM, I presented myself at the boat with my gear. I was listed as diving with the DM on each dive, but after they went I up I usually teamed with a crazy older gentleman from CA…very irascible, he was. The first dive is always to ensure that I am properly weighted and everything is working properly and that I am then good to go with the camera for the second dive. This time, I was using a new BCD, so both dives were going to make sure I knew the new BCD before I added the camera to the dives. When I first went in, I dropped like a rock…16 lbs was too much. Well, I had gotten a new, travel light bcd…so was perhaps over-weighted a bit.

The second dive was closer to shore and much less chop and wave action, and although I had already dropped 2 lbs from my weight pockets, I still dropped rapidly. Adding the camera would make me a bit heavier, so I planned to drop two more lbs on the morning dives.

The next day, Monday,I did the two morning dives using 12 lbs of weight and still felt slightly overweighted. Nice easy dives, as they always are in Grand Cayman . After the dives I cleaned up and went to lunch and then headed down to Cathy’s shop for the class at 1:00PM. T and I spent an hour going over settings on the camera menus (I have two, and we set them to match each other, so I have a backup.) I also opted to purchase the 180 degree view-finder for the Nautican housing for the macro work. Then we went out to do the shore dive. What a dive! One can hear T clearly underwater when he yells shoot at you!  We took photos of Social Feather Duster worms, Cleaning Shrimp, Red Snapping Shrimp, sailfin blenny, female, juvenile and adult French Angelfish and of course the Mermaid and much, much more. We had been in the water almost 45 minutes when we headed to the Mermaid. The total dive ended up being 62 minutes long, would have been longer, but T had an appointment that evening for which he could not be late. The mermaid shots I did were head shots, since I love her hair and wanted to show all the growth in it.


On Tuesday, armed with my new camera and the 8mm FE lens, I proceeded to the boat after breakfast for my first day shooting WA with the OMD EM-1. I love the help the DMs gave me, allowing me to gear off in the water and hand the weights up, air up the bcd and pass it up as well. So much easier on my back than walking up the ladder in the waves with the equipment on would be. I did the Kittwake dive this day for the first time. My usual feeling about wrecks was there again – rusting metal on the bottom. I wish I could fall in love with wrecks, but until they have lots of growth on them, like the Doc Poulson, I just do not really care for them that much.

Wednesday went much as Tuesday did, I practiced more WA. This was the day we went to Sting Ray City. Upon the return from Sting Ray City, I cleaned up and headed over to My Bar for dinner. After dinner and a beautiful sunset, I went back to the room for photo editing.

Thursday I switched to the macro set up, since I was going to do an afternoon shore dive with my friends Len and Nina. After the shore dive (we saw a skelton shrimp!) I cleaned up and met Len and Nina for dinner. Great dinner, wonderful friends, beautiful sunset and a nice drink, who can ask for anything more? After all that it was back to the room to download photos to the MacBook Air and do some editing.

Friday was much like the other days, only without an afternoon dive. I collected all my equipment and rinsed it off and spread it out to dry on the porch of my room.

I checked my weights back in at the dive shop and paid for the Nitrox and went ahead and did the tip-out thing with my dive boat crew.

On Saturday, my flight was at 4:10 PM, so I had plenty of time to go to a leisurely breakfast, I spent the morning packing my camera system into the pelican case. At 11:00AM I got the dive gear, and finished packing my dive bag. Then I read for an hour. At 12:30PM, I called for the person to come and get my bags. I checked out, cleared my tab and then left the tip for the housekeeping staff. Caught the cab to the airport and checked in, checked my dive bag and the pelican case and then waited around until my flight home. The flight to MIA was uneventful, nothing was offered for food in first class, so I just read. Getting through MIA customs was awful, since the escalators were down, and the MIA Immigrations/Customs computers were down, so the lines from the Customs area to where I was standing and waiting was over 2 hours long. By the time we finally made it through and got our bags, I was cutting it close to catching my plane on time. Not to worry – AA pulled one of their good ones, and that plane was 2.5 hours late, of course they did not tell us the whole story the first time, it took over 4 announcements to find out when the plane would show up.

Bottomline –
For the whole trip, I got in 15 dives and got in 15 hours and 30 minutes in the water. The average dive time was one hour and about 2 minutes.

Will I go back to Grand Cayman and Sunset House, you bet I would, in a heartbeat. Everything was just great. Keith is a wonderful manager/host and the dive shop is very good. My DM Jessica and Boat Captain (and diveshop manager) Roger, were both wonderful in and out of the water. Both had a great sense of humor and are just so very nice.

And Lastly (but not least) The FOOD:
In case I have not yet mentioned it, the Indian food at Sunset House is wonderful. Some of the best I have had. I had the Tikka Masala, the Chicken Biryani, Korma and Samosas over the course of the week. I also had the bacon wrapped shrimp – to die for!

Pictures from the trip can be found here:
[flickr.com link]
]
Websites Sunset House   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Jamaica, Bahamas, Florida, Florida Keys, Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, Little Cayman, Bonaire, Curacao, Roatan, Dumagette/Philippines, Cebu/Philippines, St Eustatius
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas calm, choppy, surge
Water Temp 82-86°F / 28-30°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50-75 Ft/ 15-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions no more than 100 feet and 50 minutes (though they generally looked the other way if your dive went a bit long) and always with a buddy - NO SOLOS DIVING.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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