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Issue 8
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Diving In the Caribbean

Very few Caymanians know how to swim, much less scuba dive, and they live next to the most beautiful underwater paradise in the world. So when you visit any island in the Caribbean and don’t scuba dive or snorkel the outlying reefs, you are missing much of the beauty in the vast Caribbean Sea. I have taught many Caymanians how to Scuba dive and snorkel and have been rewarded with the looks of wonder and amazement on their faces as they discovered their very own paradise. These days some of the best and proudest Dive Masters in the Cayman Islands are Caymanians.

I learned to Scuba dive at the age of 40 and after eight years, Dive Master training, over 600 dives, mostly working the boats at the old Spanish Cove in Grand Cayman and 6 diver rescues, I believe that anyone who wants to tour the Caribbean should take up the sport. You don’t even have to swim or buy a lot of equipment, you just need to get certified.

A NAUI or PADI certification course can take between 1 and 6 weeks, depending on the class intensity. These courses are offered all over the country but most Dive Masters will tell you that the best way to learn is " on island", for two reasons. Learning in a swimming pool or lake is not the same as in the ocean. Most problems new divers have are not related to being underwater, but result from their never being on the ocean in a small dive boat. The safest place is in the water.

The other reason is that part of your instruction relates to building your confidence and this comes from your instructor. The best instructors are at the dive resorts and the best diving in the Caribbean is the Cayman Islands, especially Little Cayman.

The Cayman Islands are on the tip of the massive Cayman Trench with depths of 20,000 feet and more, resulting in an upsurge nourishing sea life and the creation of magnificent reefs. "Wall" dives of 100 feet or more are offered, as well as the shallow reef dives which most experienced divers prefer. Jamaica is similarly situated but the Jamaican seas have been ravished by the people. The reefs are dying and the sea life has moved on.

Years ago, the Cayman Islands government set aside most of the shore line and the North and South Sounds, as well as the surrounding reefs, as a national reserve, seriously restricting the removal of sea life

from the waters, alive or dead. This has resulted in the pristine waters and thriving reefs which exist today. If you want to learn to Scuba dive, this is the place.

Many of the dive resorts offer one or two week packages with a certification course included, which, in my mind, is the best way to go. Your diving is free as it’s included in the cost of the package. The course is intensive, but will enhance your vacation, as floating under the water at 40 feet for 40 minutes is the most relaxing experience in the world.

For the wary, all dive locations offer a "Resort Course" which provides an hour instruction in shallow waters and allows you to dive with a Dive Master to depths up to 40 feet. It’s the best way to overcome any apprehension and to see if this is for you. There is also Bloody Bay off Little Cayman where the "Wall" starts at a depth of 10 feet so you can snorkel out and enjoy a wall dive without ever having to take a course. There is no place like it in the world.

What's with the Water?
We have received many compliments on the quality of the water we serve both straight and in our tea and coffee. We owe our thanks to Rich Panning of Aqua Sun Water Treatment (693-5727) for providing the services which allow us to provide you clean, pure water.

Issue 8
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