Monday, July 10, 2017

Reef Divers - Cayman Brac Deserves an A+

Cathy and I spent a week diving with Reef Divers - Cayman Brac and if there is a grade higher than A+ they deserve that grade. That evaluation is especially true for Divemasters Elle and Stu who are highly informative, very patient and make each dive an adventure.

Reef Divers offers "Valet Diving" and we are now sold on it. To avoid insurance liability from having people stumble around on the deck of the boat in fins while wearing heavy and bulky dive gear, with Valet Diving each diver sits on the stern, puts on their own fins, and then the Divemasters bring your gear to you and put it on for you. At the end of the dive, simply sit down, and the gear is removed and instantly switched over to your next tank.

The 42 foot dive boat we were on, the Coral Sister, was quite spacious and easily accommodated up to 20 divers without everyone running into each other. Onboard snacks and plenty of fresh drinking water added to the pleasurable experience.

Before each dive either Stu or Elle gave extremely detailed briefings of the dive site including drawing intricate maps of the subsurface topography with an indication of the depths to be encountered. Any potential hazards, especially on the wreck dive, were explained in intricate detail during the briefings and we were also given an indication of the species of fishes and invertebrates we could potentially see were described.

One Divemaster led each dive pointing out interesting creatures and using underwater sign language to describe the coral ecosystem being viewed. It was as if each dive was another lesson in Marine Biology 101. The divemaster stayed with us for about 30 minutes then returned to the dive boat to prepare for our eventual return. This was so helpful in allowing us to explore on our own and (for me) practice underwater navigation skills. At the conclusion of each dive we were debriefed onboard before moving on to the next dive site.

We purchased a 17-dive package of which Cathy took part in 15 dives and I participated in 13. The dive shop offers optional (for an additional fee) night dives on Tuesday and Thursday nights if a minimum of 8 divers sign up.

Reef Divers has four boats and 3 of them were in active use during our stay. Reef Divers is a PADI shop that also offers various certification classes but we didn't participate in any of them.

I especially enjoyed diving with Stu, the transplanted Brit, on July 4, and reminding him of the historical significance of that day to both of our countries! We enjoyed ourselves tremendously with Reef Divers and imagine that you will should you choose to dive with them

 Exterior of the dive shop

 A large and efficient gear drying room

 A well-stocked dive shop

 All of the requisite "Been There Done That" clothing can be found in the dive shop

 The dock can handle 4-42 foot dive boats

Expect to see many Brown Booby while at sea. They seem to have learned that passing boats flush Atlantic Flyingfish and the birds pluck the fish out of the air

The Nassau Grouper at Cayman Brac are uncommonly docile and curious, and seem to enjoy being petted!

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