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Scuba Diving in the Cayman Islands
 

 

Scuba Diving in the Cayman Islands
Scuba Diving on Grand Cayman
What does Grand Cayman Scuba Diving Offer?
You can swim safely at Stingray City
The Lost City of the Caymans

 

 

 

Scuba Diving in the Cayman Islands

By Lilah Tusko

If there's one place that knows scuba diving, it is the Cayman Islands. Known as the birthplace of recreational diving in the Caribbean, the Cayman Islands were pioneers in scuba diving as a recreational sport to be enjoyed by the general public in the Caribbean and the rest of the world as well. In 1957, the first dive shop was opened on Grand Cayman. Today, there are more than 40 dive shops in operation offering excursions to more than 200 dive sites.

It is made up of three islands that are actually the exposed top of an underwater mountain. The islands are the Grand Cayman, the Cayman Brac, and the Little Cayman. The mountainous nature of the islands contributes to numerous coral structures and vertical walls directly offshore. In fact, most scuba diving locations here can be reached directly offshore or within a few hundred yards of shore.

Scuba diving in the Cayman Islands is as diverse as the marine life that adds awe and beauty to this great place. There is plenty to see and do for every level of diver no matter if you are a first timer, still learning, looking to improve, or are considered a master. You can dive in as little as 20 feet or plunge to the depths of 350 feet or more. The bottom line is that you can find any type of scuba diving experience that you desire and maybe even a few that you haven't thought of yet.

Here is a brief overview of the three islands and of the scuba diving to be found on each:

Grand Cayman - It is the largest of the 3 islands and offers for main areas for scuba diving: the North Wall, the South Side, the East End, and Seven-Mile Beach. Prevailing Southeasterly winds make scuba diving off of the South Side a rarity but the experience is well worth waiting for favorable conditions.

Little Cayman - It is a sister to the Cayman Brac. It is most famous for the Bloody Bay Wall located in the Bloody Bay Marine Park which starts at a depth of only 20 feet. The best scuba diving on the Little Cayman can be found on the north and south sides but all sites are not accessible year round. Another great attraction of this area is the Jackson Bay Area.

Cayman Brac - It is most famous for being home to the only Russian Shipwreck that can be reached by scuba diving in the Caribbean. It rests at a depth of 330 feet and is an amazing sight to behold.

In addition to sheer vertical drops and shipwrecks, scuba diving in the Cayman Islands will bring you into intimate contact with numerous coral reefs and colorful fish and marine life that you have only imagined existed.

To obtain your 2 FREE Gifts: Special Report "Insider's Guide to Scuba Diving Gear" and Special Report "Top 10 Ways to Make Money while Scuba Diving", go to http://www.thatdivesite.com and sign up for the FREE Gifts. To visit the website, go to http://www.scubadivingsolutions.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Lilah_Tusko

 

Scuba Diving On Grand Cayman

Author: Justin Burch

Resting atop a submarine mountain of coral, the island of Grand Cayman offers some truly distinctive scuba diving opportunities. Off the shore, the coral walls that descend sharply into the Caribbean create some incredibly unique and challenging dives. Elsewhere around the island, there are plenty of dives perfect for all ages and skill levels. Regardless of where you dive in Grand Cayman, however, you are sure to encounter an unparalleled variety of underwater life. It also helps that the warm waters off the coast often boast visibility exceeding 100 feet - a fact sure to impress snorkelers, as well as scuba divers. With over 250 unique dive sites in all, Grand Cayman stands as one of the most diverse dive destinations in the Caribbean.

Many of the most popular dive sites on Grand Cayman are located off the western shore in an area known as the West Wall. Many of this area's dive sites are located just a short boat ride from the resorts lining Seven Mile Beach. At sites such as Armchair Reef, Wildlife Reef and Aquarium Reef, you will be able to spot numerous species of underwater creatures. Many of these reef dives are suitable for novice divers and snorkelers as well.

As Grand Cayman is known for its wall diving, you will definitely want to explore the deeper water of the western shore. At the first steep drop-off of 60 feet, you will find such sites as the Eagle's Nest and the Orange Canyon - named for its population of colorful elephant ear sponges. Another fun challenge is Bonnie's Arch, a unique site boasting a coral archway wide enough to swim through. All in all, there are more than 50 distinct dive sites located in the West Wall area of the island.

Though the North Wall is on the windward side of the island and features incredibly steep coral walls, one of the world's most famous shallow dive sites rests along the sandy beach. A good part of this popularity is owed to the fact that Stingray City is a perfect site for divers and snorkelers of all ages and skill levels. Once you are in the warm, clear water you will be able swim with families of gentle Southern Stingrays. With wingspans approaching four feet, many visitors find a great thrill in Stingray City while feeding and photographing these majestic animals.

Along the North Wall, you can also spot a large population of tarpons at Tarpon Alley. These large, strange fish are surprising friendly and will swim close to you if you move slowly. Along the coral wall, experienced divers can visit Eagle Ray Pass and the No Name Drop-Off for a glimpse of sea turtles, exotic fish and dense coral reefs.

While many dive tours only visit the South Wall when weather is poor off the western shore, there are plenty of pleasant dives for all skill levels in the shallow southern waters. At sites such as Japanese Gardens and Oriental Gardens, divers are promised an up-close view of colorful coral and sea creatures in calm water perfect for photography. Slightly further from shore, these "gardens" sink into an intricate maze of tunnels, arches and underwater canyons.

Adventurous divers will want to visit the eastern shore of Grand Cayman. Though there are only a few dive operators offering tours of this area, you are unlikely to find more pristine coral reefs anywhere. Within the first slope of reef, you will find a series of tunnels, underwater caves and arches. Sites in this area such as Grouper Grotto and Babylon are always teeming with fish, sponges and sea turtles.

Lastly, what would a Caribbean scuba diving trip be without a few wreck dives? The Balboa, a 375-foot cargo ship that sunk during a storm in 1932, sits at a modest depth of 30 feet in Georgetown Harbor. Today, the vessel is home to an assortment of the Caribbean's most photogenic residents. The most popular wreck dive in Grand Cayman is the Oro Verde, a coral-covered freighter resting in 60 feet of water off the shore from Seven Mile Beach. Additionally, Grand Cayman recently sank five vessels in various locations for both the enjoyment of divers and the ongoing research of environmental scientists.

There are over 40 experienced dive operators serving visitors to Grand Cayman, so finding a knowledgeable guide is a breeze. Even if you have never experienced scuba diving, you can become certified in Grand Cayman and then test your skills at some of the Caribbean's best dive sites.

Come to Grand Cayman and you will see why the island is celebrated by divers and snorkelers across the globe.

About the Author:

Justin Burch writes articles about travel in Grand Cayman [ http://marriott.com/hotels/travel/gcmgc-grand-cayman-marriott-beach-resort/ ] for the Marriott Resorts.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/travel-articles/scuba-diving-on-grand-cayman-218145.html

 

 

What Does Grand Cayman Scuba Diving Offer?

Author: Dane Stanton

There is much to be said when discussing Grand Cayman scuba diving due to the history that is in the oceans there as well as because of the captivating underwater scenery. Grand Cayman offers probably one of the best places in the world to experience scuba diving as compared to Seattle with the Starbucks. On every corner in the Cayman islands, there is a scuba diving shop that offers up lessons and diving adventures just as every corner in Seattle has a Starbucks coffee shop or a vendor. It is a plentiful and demanding hobby, and for some, it is a career.

Wall and Wreck

Offered here are the adventure of a lifetime by going underwater and observing magical and marvelous walls that surround the entire island. The first wall when going diving is located about sixty feet down and is not a terribly difficult dive and offers the view of many different kinds of underwater foliage as well as sea life from a sting ray to the infamous sea turtle.

They also provides a diver with the opportunity to dive into wrecks that are around the island and is a marvelous sight. Ships that have sunk still remain with an abundance of sea life that has made the ships and wreckages a home and they are very nosy when someone comes knocking on the door and are excited when they receive guests from the scuba diving groups. This can often be seen in photography taken from previous dives, the aqua life really enjoy posing for pictures.

The Choices

There are many sites in which to dive, learn how to dive or fine-tune your current diving skills. It has the most intriguing collection of underwater life including both plant and animal than any dive spot in the world.

There are, as mentioned above, beautiful walls that are peppered with an assortment of coral and underwater sponges of all different varieties and colors. This area is also home of the legendary Stingray City in the North Sound and is a literal hot spot of scuba diving. The safety guideline of scuba diving has also recently been changed to allow a 130-foot depth limit so there is more available to day for Grand Cayman scuba diving then any place in the world.

So have you made your decision yet? I hope this information has informed you of what you will have to look forward to on your future holiday.

About the Author:

If you want to learn more about scuba diving course please visit our site which is free to the public. You'll find the best tips on everything to do with scuba diving equipment

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/sports-and-fitness-articles/what-does-grand-cayman-scuba-diving-offer-118781.html

 

 

 

You_Can_Swim_Safely_At_Stingray_City

By Mary Hanna

In the Cayman Islands there is one attraction that many tourists flocked to, Stingray City. Since the crocodile hunter, Steve Irwin, died from a poisonous barb while diving at the Great Barrier Reef, tourism to the Stingray City has significantly dropped.

The popular site was noticed about fifteen years ago. Many fishermen would guide their boats over the reef to the calmer and shallower waters to clean their catch. A little later they notice that the stingrays, scavengers by nature, would hang around the boats to get a free lunch. As this information got around a very brave dive master got into the water to hand feed them and Stingray City was born. Now those stingrays are very tame.

Stingrays are often feared due to the sharp barbs in their tails and the poison they contain, but the stingrays at Stingray City are not aggressive and they would not attack unless it is in self defense. If humans approach them in a peaceful manner they will not attack.

Stingray City has an excellent safety record and the Department of Environment intends to keep it that way. They have drafted a set of restrictions for the North Sound area where Stingray City is located. They are restricting the number of tourists in the water and the number of boats carrying paying passengers to the site. Lifting a ray out of the water and is strictly forbidden. Boats are not allowed to anchor over the reef. Nothing other than squid or fish may be fed to the rays.

Tour operators are responsible for not leaving any excess food at the site. Each boat must have laminated sheets available for passengers to read about the Stingrays Biology. Anyone who participates in the feeding program must be made aware of the potential dangers of feeding the rays. Anyone that breaks these restrictions will be fined $5,000.00 and his license will be revoked.

The thing that is not widely known is that the ray that killed Steve Irwin was a bull ray. Bull rays can be found only in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. This a much more aggressive ray than the ones found at Stingray City. The rays at Stingray City are non aggressive and will allow interaction with humans in their territory.

Be sensible when you are visiting Stingray city. Don't chase the rays or pull on their tails. When feeding them put the squid or shrimp on the back of your fisted hand. Always let the stingrays come to you. If you have food they will. And don't be afraid if they gently bump with their snouts, they are looking for food. You do not have to be a good swimmer as the water where the rays congregate is only waist deep if you are an average sized adult.

If you are still not convinced that it is safe to swim and feed the stingrays, opt for a glass bottom boat tour. You will be able to see these magnificent creatures of the sea in action.

Although some people will now not go to this unique attraction because of Irwin's death you truly do not need to fear the Rays at Stingray City. It is one of the most enjoyable attractions that you will see in the Caribbean.

Mary Hanna has traveled the world by Air and Ship while writing eBooks, Software Reviews and Practical Articles on Internet Marketing, Cruising, Gardening and Cooking. Visit her websites at: http://www.CruiseGold.com

http://www.CruiseTravelDirectory.com   and http://www.CruisingTips.com

 

 

 

The_Lost City_of_the_Cayman_Islands

By Justin Birch

Everyone is familiar with the mythic city of Atlantis - the ancient Greek civilization that Plato famously claimed had succumbed to tragedy and came to rest at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. However, no one has ever seen an underwater city - until now. Thousands of miles from the classical civilizations in the warm waters of the Caribbean, a sculptor has been quietly constructing his own vision of Atlantis off the coast of Cayman Brac. Though the sculptor is only a few years into the massive project, the undertaking has already attracted the attention of scuba divers and thrill seekers from throughout the world.

The Cayman version of Atlantis is the brainchild of a somewhat mysterious local artist known only as Foots. Now in his 50s, Foots has stated that he has been obsessed with the myth of Atlantis since he was a small boy. Working almost entirely by himself, Foots has already completed a number of giant sculptures and laid the foundation for Atlantis. After completing the sculptures, Foots places his work on a naturally sandy stretch of the Caribbean's floor, always mindful of the delicate submarine ecosystem. Though there is much for divers to enjoy in this Caribbean Atlantis, Foots will continue working on this massive project indefinitely, adding new sculptures to the underwater city every six months. Most surprisingly, Foots has not made any drawings of his underwater project, choosing instead to work only from his imagination, allowing the city's plans to develop and change as the civilization grows.

The entrance to Cayman's Atlantis is marked by the giant Archway of Atlantis. With each of the bases weighing over ten tons, scuba divers will immediately find themselves in the midst of an awe-inspiring environment. The great archway opens onto what Foots has called The Elders' Way. At the end of this path lined with classical temple columns, the sculptor has placed stylized sculptures of human figures - known to the sculptor as "Prophets" - to watch over the underwater city. To insure that locals were able to get involved in the project, Foots modeled each one of these sculptures after individuals who have contributed to Cayman society. The figures of the prophets look out across a large courtyard on the seafloor known as the Inner Circle of Light. In Foots' version of the Atlantis myth, a young girl made sure that the torches atop the city's eleven columns were always lit and no shadows ever passed over the great sundial. Divers will find the sundial in the middle of the courtyard, protected by the city's great columns. At the center is a representation of the Circle of Light, the space where all time was said to be endless.

One of most important aspects of the underwater city is the care given to its location at the bottom of the Caribbean Sea. Though surrounded by dense coral reefs on all sides, the site for Atlantis was chosen because no coral needed to be removed to accommodate the sculptures. Furthermore, as the sculptures are made of simple concrete and won't harm any of the area's sea creatures, the city will always be able to support vibrant life. In fact, though the Cayman Atlantis is currently set on several acres of featureless sand, divers will notice that the city has already attracted a wide variety of residents. Everywhere you look in the underwater city, hard corals have begun branching out, sponges have found homes amongst the sculptures and numerous species of tropical fish swim through the city each day.

Resting at a shallow depth (only 40-50 feet), divers are guaranteed excellent visibility. Most of the Cayman Islands' dive operators visit this special site everyday. Unlike many of the Cayman Islands' popular wall dive sites, Atlantis is a great dive for all ages and skill levels. Thanks to the shallow overall depth and excellent underwater visibility, the site can also be enjoyed by snorkelers.

If you want to experience a dive site unlike any other in the world, be sure to make the short trip to Grand Cayman's sister island, Cayman Brac. Already the world's first underwater city and the largest collection of underwater sculpture, the Caymans' "Lost City" will continue developing and welcoming submarine life for years to come.

This article was written by Justin Burch. Justin writes select pieces about vacationing in the Caribbean for the Grand Cayman Islands.

To learn more about the Cayman Islands, visit our other Cayman Pages

Cayman Attractions
Hiking and Birdwatching on Grand Cayman
Cayman Brac and Little Cayman
An Introduction to the Cayman Islands

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Last modified: January 30, 2010