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7MB Grand Cayman trip report first week of May

Discussion in 'Cayman Islands' started by Skeptic14, May 6, 2019.

  1. Skeptic14

    Skeptic14 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Va
    After quite a hiatus from diving (1.5 years) my wife and I returned with a toddler in tow to GC for some diving for me and topside activities for my wife and toddler.

    Seven mile beach is of course still beautiful and even with somewhat strong winds, usually pretty calm since the winds in GC are typically out of the east and 7MB faces west.

    We stayed at Plantana this time and were very happy with the accommodations. They have some nice trees providing shade along their beach front which is great with a toddler.

    The diving:


    I was able to squeeze in three days of diving and started with two tanks at lighthouse point (divetech) on the mini wall. It is described as one of the best shore dives on GC and it delivered even with my expectations being high. In fact, only one other dive (North wall, tarpon alley) would I say was better. The fish life, sponges, corals, and bigger critters (turtles, tarpon, barracuda etc) were more abundant on my dives at lighthouse point than any other dives aside from Tarpon Alley. The mini wall while maybe not as dramatic as the main walls provides some pretty impressive topography.

    The facilities and staff were great and I can't imagine returning to GC to dive and not doing at least one tank here.

    My wife and I dove with Living The Dream in 2015 and I went back with them again this time, but not after taking a look at other options. The small numbers on big comfy boats is just tough to pass up. Scott and Christian were the guides and were my favorite of the week. Tarpon Alley was the deep dive, and it was awesome. The canyon swim through leading out over the wall is excellent. We encountered a huge school of tarpon and the other fish life and coral and sponges were excellent throughout the dive. Two sharks were spotted at the end of the dive as well. The second site Rays Bedroom was pretty good too. We saw two rays, one was pretty massive. And again the coral and sponge and fish life was pretty good.

    The deep dive was at Lemon drop and it turned at to be my least favorite (one has to be). The sponge and coral didn't seem nearly as abundant or dramatic here and there was also very little fish life through a big portion of the dive. We did see an eagle ray do a fly-by though. The shallow dive was Durgon Dungeon and it was better as far as fish life and sponges and coral. The big schools of durgon triggerfish were pretty cool too and some large lobster were spotted in different hidey holes along the wall.

    Overall, the diving was great and I'm sure we'll return again to GC!

    Link to a few photos; will eventually review all and upload some more: https://www.flickr.com/photos/skeptic14/albums/72157708301000165
    drrich2, mi000ke, jonhall and 2 others like this.
  2. Yellowdog

    Yellowdog Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Maryland
    Enjoyed the pictures. TFS. What camera set up are you using?
  3. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US

    Thank you for sharing your trip report and beautiful photos; did you enjoy any topside activities during your time on GC, or was it mostly just relaxing on the beach? That's a very nice thing to do, too!
  4. mi000ke

    mi000ke Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Massachusetts & Grand Cayman Island
    Nice photos. Glad you enjoyed your stay. Christian and Scotty are great, so I'm sure you were well taken care of. I think in general the west side has better marine life and the north side has more interesting coral on the deep wall. But it's all pretty good diving regardless. Hope the family enjoyed the topside.
    cgills and Skeptic14 like this.
  5. Skeptic14

    Skeptic14 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Va
    Thanks, I'm using an rx100mk2 with uwl-04 WAL and ys-d2 strobes. Got a few keepers despite being a little rusty.
    Yellowdog likes this.
  6. Skeptic14

    Skeptic14 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Va
    Thanks, they did a few days on 7MB playing in the sand and pool, a couple trips to camana bay for the shops and splash pads and one day I played in the wadding pool by Wreck of the Gamma with our toddler while my wife snorkeled. We were thinking of driving out to starfish point one day but ended up staying entirely on west side. Mostly got food from chicken-chicken, sunshine grill and fosters; the exciting variety of life with a toddler :wink:
    Redfoot and KathyV like this.
  7. Trivan

    Trivan Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: New Jersey
    Great pictures. I’m doing the same trip in July, staying at Plantana and diving with LTD for the week. Your trip report has me counting the days.
    KathyV likes this.
  8. FindingMenno

    FindingMenno PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
    That would be my summary as well if you compare the two.
    cgills and KathyV like this.
  9. Saboteur

    Saboteur Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Earth
    How's the water temperature? Various websites say it's around 82F in May. I'll be there next week, and I know everyone is different but were many people in shorty's this time of year?
  10. Skeptic14

    Skeptic14 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Va

    I haven't downloaded my dives yet but I think low 80s, 83 specifically was being tossed about on the boat. Most were diving either 1-2mm fulls or 3mm shorties. Myself and one other diver didn't wear any wet suit. Near the end of the second dive I was beginning to feel a little cool, and I might pack a shorty next time if temps are below 85.
    Saboteur and KathyV like this.

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