Gloves?

Discussion in 'Cayman Islands' started by HJeffreyM, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. HJeffreyM

    HJeffreyM Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: New York, NY
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    My wife and I both have excellent bouyancy skills and never touch the reef. Really. Frankly, neither of us have any intention of touching anything underwater besides a decent/ascent line.

    Now, with that said, we have both at some time or another been stung by marine invertibrates in the water column. I was stung by a sea wasp on the back of my leg in Aruba while snorkling while my wife got some sea lice (baby jellyfish) while swimming in the BVIs. Consequently we take the term "exposure suit" quite seriously and never dive without a full wetsuit, booties and, yes, gloves. The gloves makes sense to me for another reason as one is often called upon to decend or ascend on a mooring line, invariable encrusted with some quantity of fire coral.

    We are going to GC for a vacation soon and, while I know that gloves are "not permitted," I am wondering just how strictly the dive ops there enforce this?

    Happy Diving!
     
  2. bowlofpetunias

    bowlofpetunias Administrator Staff Member

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sydney Australia
    9,765
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    I know how you feel. I tend to react badly to stings and bites. I would not want my holiday ruined by such an easily prevented thing. I am planning a trip to a location that is a "Glove free" site. I have been assured that they will make exceptions in appropriate cases. Before I do my final booking... I will get that confirmation from the dive operator or I will not go. I have been at other areas where there is a no glove rule.... I was unaware of it initially, wore my gloves and when the dive staff realized I was not touching things.. they never bothered me about the gloves.

    I don't know about the site you are thinking of but I would suggest you talk to the dive operation directly rather than rely on third had information no matter how well intentioned.. enjoy your dive trip :happywave:
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012
  3. Alex777

    Alex777 Divemaster

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Britannia, Grand Cayman
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    Most dive ops do indeed enforce this rule. * IF * you can find anyone who will make an exception for you, it will have to be arranged in advance.
     
  4. ian.b

    ian.b Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Plains, PA/NW Point, Grand Cayman
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    My FIL pulled them out of his bag when dressing to dive in GC this past summer and they told him to put them back. Apparently its big fines if the governement catches you diving with gloves. Even the lionfish hunters do it without gloves. As far as ascent/descent lines, the dive op we dove with (Indepth Watersports) we mostly did free descents/ascents with our safety stop right near the boat.
     
  5. BubbleBlocker

    BubbleBlocker Divemaster

    # of Dives:
    Location: FL & Cayman East End
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    For those with legitimate health issues (e.g., Raynaud's or extreme allergic reactions to marine life stings, etc.) you can request an exemption for the duration of your trip. The exemption is issued by the Cayman Marine Conservation Board. You will need a letter from your physician. Your dive shop should be able to assist with this, and it's advisable to make your request several weeks prior to your trip.
     
  6. Drew Sailbum

    Drew Sailbum Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Grand Cayman
    2,124
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    Not just a rule. Scuba diving with gloves is against the Marine Law of the Cayman Islands. Most dive ops will uniformly enforce this law. Penalties can include fines, jail time, and/or forfeiture of the equipment involved.
     
  7. BDSC

    BDSC Great White

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wake Forest, NC
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    Then I would say just keep your hands sort of tucked in close to your body. You're probably more likely to get stung on the exposed part of your face somewhere than your hands.
     
  8. keyshunter

    keyshunter Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Lower FL. Keys
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    HJeffreyM,

    The Cayman dive ops are quite strict about not wearing gloves.

    Cayman dive ops try very hard to find sites with little or no current. If, indeed, you have "excellent buoyancy skills" you should have no trouble descending or ascending without using the mooring line. Buoyancy skills consist of more than just hovering.
     
  9. BubbleBlocker

    BubbleBlocker Divemaster

    # of Dives:
    Location: FL & Cayman East End
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    Very true. Waivers are possible if you truly need one. Otherwise don't even bother packing your gloves.
     
  10. billinwilliamston

    billinwilliamston Manta Ray

    # of Dives:
    Location: Key West
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    If the waver has to come from the CIG, it may already be too late. I'm still waiting for a final decision on being able to work my US job from Cayman while my wife does her dive master. Last I heard was they were chrcking on it. That was early December. Early December 2010.
     
  11. BubbleBlocker

    BubbleBlocker Divemaster

    # of Dives:
    Location: FL & Cayman East End
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    As I said in my post, the waiver comes from the DOE Marine Conservation Board.
     
  12. -hh

    -hh Manta Ray

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    If you pull them out during your predive, you'll be told to leave them behind.

    I have heard of some individuals who will keep them in a BC pocket and put them on only if they're going to touch a crusty mooring line ... even then, it is probably wise to put the gloves back in a pocket when leaving the line (before reboarding)...in any case, its probably smarter (and better in several ways) to just carry a Jon line with hook instead if you plan on routinely using mooring lines - - I've found that for the occasional desire to hold on that a careful hand placement usually suffices ... and if it is nasty, then I'll hook my (wetsuit protected) elbow around the line instead.

    For floating stinging stuff, I'd say that in the Caymans that's generally only going to be a meaningful concern on night dives when the sea wasps happen to be out. Of course, even when the Wasps are really bad, they usually manifest as a surface layer, which you can address by purging your 2nd Stage to "blow a clean hole" to move them away long enough for you to ascend the last 15ft to the surface.


    Good to know at least who the relevant office is, since that info's not clearly documented on Cayman websites, just like how it isn't all that easy to find where the rule is listed ... it is not documented at all through CITA (who still keeps their "Safety Code" not available to the public by that name).

    Of course, in trying to locate a contact email address, the Govt page that popped up on my search is from 2001 ... only a mere ten years out of date!


    -hh
     
  13. Drew Sailbum

    Drew Sailbum Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Grand Cayman
    2,124
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    The rule is under the General Rules section here: http://www.doe.ky/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Marine-Parks-July-2011.pdf

    That is the standard brochure that covers most marine issues in Cayman.
     
  14. HJeffreyM

    HJeffreyM Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: New York, NY
    188
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    First, I'd like to thank everyone for their well considered responses to my question. However, I knew before I posted that it is not legal to wear gloves in the Caymans. In fact, there are many designated marine parks in the caribbean and elsewhere where that is the case. These marine park, rules and/or laws are enforced to a greater or lesser degree, depending on where you are.

    The sense I am getting from you all is that the dive ops in GC are not especially "negotiable" when it comes to this issue. On the other hand, my wife and I are especially good tippers. I guess what I'm really asking is if the DMs can be tipped into looking the other way on such matters?

    I read online that the Caymans have some fairly stiff fines and even jail time on the books for wearing gloves. I also could not find a single instance where that was enforced. Do you think the Caymans, where a good percentage of their national income comes from diving, want to become known as a place where divers end up in jail for wearing gloves?

    By the way...do they have a "law" there regarding knives? Because I WILL NOT dive without a cutting tool that will work on both monofiliment and rope.

    Happy Diving!
     
  15. BubbleBlocker

    BubbleBlocker Divemaster

    # of Dives:
    Location: FL & Cayman East End
    157
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    You won't have any problem taking your knives along on your dives. However, please do not put the DM or operator in jeopardy by asking them to allow what amounts to illegal behavior by wearing gloves. As I've said, if you have a true medical need, you can easily acquire a waiver. Otherwise I'd suggest accepting the laws of the location you'll be diving in. You may not always agree with the laws but you still must respect them.
     
  16. BDSC

    BDSC Great White

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wake Forest, NC
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    I think your best bet is to just follow the rules like everyone else instead of trying to buy your way around them.


    So if you haven't found a single instance where they enforced these stiff fines and jail time, do you really think they are worried about being known for this? It seems they have rules that work quite well for them as evidence by all the folks that go there for diving. If you are truly worried about being stung and insist on having gloves, maybe the Caymans are not the best choice for you.
     
    keyshunter likes this.
  17. keyshunter

    keyshunter Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Lower FL. Keys
    1,282
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    HJM,
    You will have no problem diving with knives, paramedic shears, etc.
     
  18. HJeffreyM

    HJeffreyM Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: New York, NY
    188
    28
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    As I mentioned, I've dived in a number of places where gloves and/or knives are not permitted within the marine park. Cozumel, Turks and the BVIs come to mind. No one ever said so much as "boo" to me about them there. So far, only the Caymans seem inflexible regarding this issue. I guess I will find out how inflexible they are when I get there and talk to the DMs on the boat. I guess if the rules cannot be bent by "buying my way around them," I'll go ahead and dive without gloves. I'm looking into this Jon Line device and considering getting one for my wife and I to use in case there is a current.

    But this brings up another issue that may not belong in this particular forum...that is who is responsible for your safety while diving? Most people agree that is YOU and you alone. In fact, most dive ops make you sign a waver of liability clearly stating that they are not in any way responsible for you, your safety, or your life for that matter. As I mentioned in my OP both my wife and I have been stung by marine invertibrates in the water column (not by touching anything with our hands) so we take the term "exposure suit" seriously. Gloves are part of the exposure suit folks, sorry. I'd wear them if the water temp was 95F...my wife often wears a lightweight hood.

    So, ultimately, what safety gear you take with you is your choice alone. So, if the water is teaming with jellyfish or I hear about alot of people getting stung by sea lice, and they still wont let me wear gloves, I'll just thumb the dives, thank you.

    Happy Diving!
     
    Mark Derail likes this.
  19. Mark Derail

    Mark Derail Photographer

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Montreal, Quebec CA
    1,090
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    I *bought* glove for Sylvie & myself - trip to Grand Cayman.

    We were *denied* to use them - they are illegal.

    Now Sylvie is suffering to a greater degree than myself to "coral bites" that we got from the buoy line "holding on" in one location that had strong current.

    I am NOT happy that a few idiots ruined it for all of us.
     
  20. HJeffreyM

    HJeffreyM Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: New York, NY
    188
    28
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    Yup :shakehead:
     

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