Cayman is one of the leading diving destinations in the world and nobody knows the best spots better then the instructors who go there on a regular basis. Here are the favourite dive sites of a few of Cayman’s divemasters.
Jeni Chapman, Divetech
Lighthouse Point Shore Dive: shore or boat
Lighthouse Point is my favourite shore dive on Grand Cayman. Entry to the water is either by a ladder or giant stride off the dock. You can dive the mini wall with an average depth of 40-65ft, or the main wall with an average depth of 60-100ft. There are amazing coral formations on the main wall with lots of swim-throughs and canyons and some of the biggest barrel sponges I’ve ever seen. The mini-wall is a Mecca for macro life and turtles and a favourite for photographers. The topography of the mini-wall is lovely with big coral heads along the top that quite often will house a variety of eels and our resident porcupine puffer. The site is accessed through the Divetech facility on North West Point Road and you’ll often find me up there diving on my day off so I hope to see you up there.
Russell Hartridge, Don Fosters Dive Cayman
Pallas Wreck Arches: boat
From around 15ft a tall canyon winds down to 50ft where you are greeted by a large archway, home to a spotted drum and the occasional lobster. Following the reef out across the sand you come to a second low archway hiding all kinds of invertebrates and attracting large tiger grouper coming in to be cleaned. Continuing west along the reef, the third archway is huge, standing a good 30ft high and 20ft wide, attracting a large school of tarpon that regularly fills the archway. Once through the archway you can follow another large canyon that slowly brings you up on top of the reef where you can complete a swimming safety stop whilst heading back towards the boat.
Zsolt Lazanyi, Wall to Wall Diving
Blackie’s Hole: boat dive, southwest corner of Grand Cayman
Profile: 45ft at bottom of pin with max depth 100ft.
Situated on the infrequently dived south west corner of Grand Cayman, Blackie’s Hole consists of a large “bommie” with spectacular coral coverage surrounded by sand chutes dropping off the wall. The site gets its name from a 50ft-long swim-through which cuts through the coral mound and pops you out on the top. During the summer months it is consistently filled with silversides which make it exciting dodging the grouper, jacks and snapper which line up for an easy meal. It’s worth spending some time watching the sand flats as stingrays, eagle rays and furry sea cucumbers are commonly sighted.
Scott “Happy” Hartwell, Living The Dream
Victoria’s Secret: boat dive, west side of Grand Cayman
Profile: max depth 60ft with an average of 35ft
The dive site was named as a tribute to Victoria House, a former condo complex on the beach which was hit by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. The site is part of a programme to establish 365 dive sites around Cayman and is an absolute Cayman classic. The shallow limestone and coral fingers lie perpendicular to the shore and run out to the drop-off. The orange tube sponges are incredible, making for vibrant underwater photos, and the shallow section by the mooring pin is a smorgasbord of amazing macro marine life and an excellent place to find squid.