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Dive Review of Wall to Wall Diving/Turtle Nest Inn in
Cayman Islands/West Bay and South side

Wall to Wall Diving/Turtle Nest Inn, Jan, 2014,

by Marshall Kirk McKusick, CA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 7490.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food N/A
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 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Index:

1.) Wall-to-Wall Diving Co.

2.) Turtle Nest Inn

3.) Grand Cayman diving in general


1.) Wall-to-Wall Diving Co.:

Wall-to-Wall was recommended to us by "Indigo divers" (who are
firm Undercurrent favorites and were fully booked), and we dived
with Wall-to-Wall for 8 days in a row. Wall-to-Wall have two
dive boats, both are spacious (especially their primary boat,
the Chelonia), and are generally limited to 6 divers. They (and
several others including "Indigo Divers" and "Off the Wall")
operate out of the Lobster Pot Dive shop which has ample parking
and easy access. They will also pick people up who are staying
along 7-mile beach, although we were further afield in Bodden
Town, and had a rental car. When doing multiple days of dives,
you can leave your gear on the boat and they will clean it up
for you after each day and have it ready for you the next.

Unfortunately for us, all our baggage including our dive gear
did not arrive until the day after we did. However, Giles who
runs Wall-to-Wall, came to our rescue and offered to rent us
full sets of kit for only $10, for which in the end he never
did charge us. All of the crew were very good, and special
mention goes to Kyle and Jenna, both of whom went far above and
beyond the usual call of duty to connect with the passengers,
and make the days and dives fun.

We are experienced recreational divers and chafe at dive
operations that require everyone to wait on the surface, drop
down with the divemaster, closely follow the divemaster underwater,
and return as a group as soon as the first person needs to surface.

Wall-to-Wall is the antithesis of this regime. You are free to
submerge as soon as the dive briefing is over. Provided you
have a buddy, you are free to take off on your own, or follow
the Divemaster who will give a 30-40 minute tour of the dive
site. You can stay down for as long as you want, provided you
have a buddy, 5 minutes of non-deco time left on your computer,
and sufficient air to have a safety stop and be out of the water
with 500psi (750psi was recommended as the point to go to your
safety stop).

A standard Wall-to-Wall diving trip begins with a deep dive
(typically 100ft) on the wall, followed by a reef dive with a
maximum depth of 60ft. They recommended using NITROX on the
first dive, but not the second dive. Although many people used
NITROX on both, we followed their recommendation. It worked well
for us and saved us half the NITROX fees. My buddy had to
borrow a NITROX computer from them, for which we were also never
charged.

Wall-to-Wall offer fantastic value for money, especially if you
do six or more dives with them. Our final cost was ~$40 per
dive, plus $15 when we used NITROX 31 (plus tip). Considering
the small number of divers on the boat and our complete freedom
to dive as long as we wanted to, we felt that we'd gotten a
very, very good deal. We had more underwater time in two dives
with Wall-to-Wall than we typically get in 3 dives with other
operators.


2.) Turtle Nest Inn

Grand Cayman is a British Territory, and as such is a developed
island nation (accommodation and food priced accordingly). We
stayed at the Turtle Nest Inn Condos, which gave us a full
kitchen, two bedrooms and balcony overlooking the ocean. We
had access to a tennis court, swimming pool, and the beach. At
$300 per night (which includes a complimentary rental car, local
cell phone, and Internet), it was not cheap, but a good deal
by Cayman island standards. We could have spent more than this
on 7-mile beach, and gotten something a lot less nice. The
staff was very helpful in our baggage recovery and incidental
maintenance issues.


3.) Grand Cayman Diving

We were impressed that one of the boxes that one could tick on
the immigration form for purpose of visit was "dive vacation".
The local government fully understands that they can make a lot
more money off of diving than fishing, and are working with the
local fishing industry to attempt to preserve ecologically
sensitive areas. They have set up approximately 200 bouys for
dive boats to tie off on, and thus no-one ever has to drop an
anchor on the reef or compete with another dive boat for a
mooring. The result is that the ecosystem is very well maintained.
Whilst larger fish are less common due to fishing, the reefs are
in fabulous shape, and covered with juvenile and young adult fish.

The trademark of Grand Cayman diving (in our experience) was
to be in an open-water fish bowl, with more fish per cubic meter
than I've seen in an aquarium. We saw Spotted Eagle Rays and
Turtles on nearly every outing, and spotted several rarer small
critters such as the Leopard Flatworm.

The deeper wall dives are dramatic with natural swim throughs,
cracks, and sand chutes. I would strongly recommend NITROX to
divers who routinely stay down for an hour, since there is a
lot to see, and you will likely be nitrogen limited if you dive
on compressed air. If you get a choice, I'd recommend Trinity
Caves, Round Rock, and Hole in the Wall as particularly epic
examples. A huge part of the attraction of Grand Cayman was
the topography and diversity of dive sites.

The U.S.S. Kittywake is also well worth a visit. It was
intentionally sunk in 2011 in 65ft of water, and was carefully
prepared as a Diver's playground. It was the one dive that
required us to stay with the divemaster, who gave us a 1 hour
tour as our "group" (of three plus the D.M.) were all good on
air consumption.
Websites Wall to Wall Diving   Turtle Nest Inn

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Belize, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Curacao, Hawaii, California
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, surge, no currents
Water Temp 81-82°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 70-140 Ft/ 21-43 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Must exit water when first one of:
5 minutes no-deco left on computer
500psi in tank
no buddy
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
Was this report helpful to you?

Subscriber's Comments

By Craig A Wood in PA, US at Jan 13, 2014 10:54 EST  
Hi Marshall, you mention great sites on the West and South Sides, did you get to the North Wall this time of year?
By report author: Marshall Kirk McKusick in CA, US at Jan 13, 2014 13:57 EST  
Wall-to-Wall does not operate on the North side and as this was our first trip to Grand Caymans, we opted to stick with the areas in which they dive. We did drive up to see the north side and it appeared to be quite calm and divable.
By Craig A Wood in PA, US at Jan 13, 2014 15:31 EST  
Thanks, my family dived with Giles and Deanna and Wall to Wall in 2002, when they were located in the Yacht Club, with easy access to the North Wall. Chelonia was brand new back then.
By report author: Marshall Kirk McKusick in CA, US at Jan 13, 2014 15:39 EST  
Glyn (my dive partner) tells me that Wall-to-Wall do run trips to the north wall in the summer. Just not in the winter when apparently the north tends to be a bit rough.
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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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