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Grand Cayman dive guidance

Who to dive west with?

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#1 diver dave1

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 10:30 AM

Just booked 2 weeks on Grand Cayman in July 2013. Staying on the east side and diving with Ocean Frontiers on that end for most of the trip. I have never done any diving on the west side of the island.
What dives should I do on that side and with what organization?
Worth an hour dive or more with the Cathy Church school there?

I did a search of trip reports and found no recommendations for the west side.
I have been diving with Ocean Frontiers before and have yet to find any one remotely close in customer service so no need to tell me about them. Just wondering if I am missing anything special on the west end.

I see Ocean F. does a morning stingray snorkel. Wishing it was scuba instead. Seems I have read positive comments from Dr. M here regarding being with the rays in the morning. Does anyone know how to get access there in the morning via diving?

Thanks for any advice in advance.

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#2 DiverPam

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 10:05 AM

Dave - The early morning sting ray snorkel is worth it - no need to scuba. You are in waist deep water. I have done this several times with Ocean Frontiers and Alex and it is SOOO worth it (oops already said that, but it is). This is a new option for guests at Ocean Frontiers - they added it this year and only go out one time per week. Prior to this, they only did it when Alex was there running his workshops. Much more personal with the sting rays this way I think. And the opprtunities to for pictures are better with this setup - IMHO.

Happy diving - DiverPam

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#3 Giles

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 01:27 PM

July in Cayman you will want to be trying out some of the Northside as well, it's Hammerhead and Eagle Ray season.
Eden Rock is a seasonal classic shore dive in town that has swim throughs that are full with Silver Sides.
If you book a session with Cathy I am sure she could teach you how to get that fmous shot, or you can shore dive it and try on your own :)
Posted Image

If you can try to get some dives on Northwest Point / Orange canyon too .. as they are spectacular.
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#4 andy_deitsch

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 03:11 PM

Dave - The early morning sting ray snorkel is worth it - no need to scuba. You are in waist deep water. I have done this several times with Ocean Frontiers and Alex and it is SOOO worth it (oops already said that, but it is). This is a new option for guests at Ocean Frontiers - they added it this year and only go out one time per week. Prior to this, they only did it when Alex was there running his workshops. Much more personal with the sting rays this way I think. And the opprtunities to for pictures are better with this setup - IMHO.

Happy diving - DiverPam


I'll vouch for the "it's SOOO worth it" comment. I did it in January of this year with Alex. Shoot B&W at first light and when the sun gets a little higher in the sky, get back on the boat, put on a magic filter and switch to color.

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#5 diver dave1

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 03:44 PM

First off, thanks for all the advice. As for diving the Northwest Point / Orange canyon, are there certain operators that get there routinely...if the weather permits?

Andy,
In water that shallow, does the magic filter make that much difference?
Part of the reason for the question is for the future. I am on a sailfish trip in Feb. and we will be shallow, generally less than 10 ft, mostly snorkeling. Thinking if its good for one place, it would be for both.

Why would I not shoot that filter the entire time and convert to black and white in post? I really dislike the idea of opening the housing on the boat. I do it on live aboards but never on day trip boats so far.

I like the idea of booking with Cathy and trying for a photo of that type.
Any operator special to use for Eden rock? I have no dive buddy so would hire a guide.

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#6 andy_deitsch

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 06:11 PM

Andy,
In water that shallow, does the magic filter make that much difference?
Part of the reason for the question is for the future. I am on a sailfish trip in Feb. and we will be shallow, generally less than 10 ft, mostly snorkeling. Thinking if its good for one place, it would be for both.

Why would I not shoot that filter the entire time and convert to black and white in post? I really dislike the idea of opening the housing on the boat. I do it on live aboards but never on day trip boats so far.


Yes, even in 3-4 feet of water the magic filter works well; the background blue is much richer with a magic filter and because you are that shallow you don't need to worry about manually white balancing the camera.

The reason you shoot in B&W first without the magic filter is because with the magic filter you lose a stop of light. Remember, you'll be jumping in the water just at first light so you'll want all the light you can get. As for changing lenses on the boat, it's not that bad. The water is very flat so it's not like you are rolling around. Just make sure no one is hosing themselves off while your housing is open.

Here's a shot I took in B&W from my trip in January:
http://www.flickr.co...sch/6728064167/

and here's a shot I took using a magic filter later that same morning:
http://www.flickr.co...sch/6739723841/

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#7 browng

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 08:42 AM

Dave

I concur with the views above from Andy and Diver Pam about Ocean Frontiers and Sting Ray City.

I have also dived with Dive Tech at the North End. They were very helpful especially as I was diving a rebreather with a full D200 camera setup. From here you get the opportunity of diving off 7 Mile Beach, Kittiwake, etc as well as some of the dives along the north coast.

All the best
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#8 alfred

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 10:12 AM

You'll be getting in the water just at first mild so you'll want all the mild you can get. As for modifying contacts on the vessel, it's not that bad. The water is very smooth so it's not like you are moving around.

#9 focker

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 04:22 PM

If you want to dive anywhere on the West Side (From South of Georgetown to West Bay) I really recommend Wall To Wall Divers.
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#10 Giles

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 12:34 PM

Eden Rock can be done as a shore dive and you may even find people to dive with there. You can also do it on a boat for an extra cost.

Pretty much all other operators will be able to take you there weather permitting. I don't want to list any here as I am probably slightly biased, but if you do want some advice message me and I can list my favourites for you depends on how you like to dive, each one has their specialities. I know them all and have dived with most of them at some point.

Cheers.
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#11 BenjaminTaylor

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 11:12 PM

Its great place to have Diving, and especially with have with some more divers, that makes the Diving more adventures.

Edited by BenjaminTaylor, 04 November 2012 - 11:13 PM.