Cayman Island Diving
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Tuesday, July 31, 2018
By Taz Tally Photography
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All three Cayman Islands (Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac) offer good diving, however, for me, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac are the gems due to their world-class water clarity, amazing big-walls, cave and alcove diving and quiet secluded locations. Little Cayman and Cayman Brac Islands are much smaller than Grand Cayman Island and have little surface runoff an no major stream channels that intriduce water-clouding sediment. This lack of sediment input accounts for their awesome water clarity of Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, with visibility that commonly exceeds 100 feet! Additionally, both islands offer a quiet, relaxing and slow pace of life. Little Cayman also offers 20+ miles of biking on a partially paved, two-Lane road that encircles the island offering many opportunities for side excursions to numerous beaches and rocky sections of coastline. Additionally, Little Cayman supports several conservation and research organizations, including the Little Cayman Research Centre, the surprisingly sophisticated Little Cayman Museum <http://www.littlecaymanmuseum.org/>, as well as a rock iguana protection program.

Amazingly Clear Waters, Plus Awesome Big-Wall Diving

Little Cayman and Cayman Brac Islands are located along the top of a major geologic feature known as the Cayman Trench, which is part of a complex series of plate tectonic intersections between the North American and Caribbean plates, featuring a suduction zone that plunges to thousands of feet, and which creates the backdrop and underpinnings of the great vertical walls, including the diver-famous Bloody Bay Wall, for which Little Cayman and Cayman Brac are well known. The extreme clarity, that often exceeds 150 feet, as well as the visually bottomless depths of the Cayman Trough create a spectacular diving experience featuring colors that range from light blue near the surface that grade into to inky black purples at unfathomable depths in water that drop directly beneath as you swim along the vertical walls.

Fascinating Caves and Alcoves

The shallower near-shore waters, inshore from the massive bottomless big walls, offer a fanscinating variety of arches, caves and alcoves featuring numerous roof collapses carved out of multiple layers of limestone deposited on top of the volcanic underpinnings of these islands. The play of light around and through these nearshore topographies offer divers and photographers a playland of opportunities.

Reef Sea Life Includes Brain Corals, Skates & Rays, Schooling Fish and Turtles

Little Cayman Sting Ray and Cleaner Fish

Skates and Rays are commonly seen cruising the sandy shallows looking for food. They are sometimes accompanied by scavenger fish, like this Jack that you see here, who hang around snatching up any scraps that the ray may leave behind.

Little Cayman Schoolmaster Snappers

The shallow top-reef areas, and particularly near the tops of the big walls, feature numerous pods of schooling of fish that are quite delightful to swim through. If you approach them slowly and quietly, they will calmly part and allow you to pass through their midst without scattering.

Cayman Brac Hawksbill Sea Turtle

Both Little Cayman and Cayman Brac offer opportunities to see and swim with turtles. If you swim slowly and quietly near them, sometimes they will linger near you. This young Hawksbill turtle was curious and allowed me some buddy time.

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