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looking for a good dive op Grand Cayman

Discussion in 'Greater Antilles' started by Imabossbabe, Jun 18, 2018.

  1. Alucard

    Alucard Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Upstate New York, USA
    363
    318
    I think that there are lots of ops that will meet the requirements. I have had personal experience with Cayman University Divers, InDepth Watersports and Divetech and can recommend them all. If you want small boats, then the first two. CUD have the underwater one-way radio which is neat. InDepth have this ex-Navy Seal RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) that can get you out to dive sites faster than most. Less time on the boat is good, from my perspective. Divetech have the larger boats, but don't pack them in - you have more room to move while on board, for sure.

    Just three examples of many.
     
    Snoweman, jonhall and KathyV like this.
  2. Drew Sailbum

    Drew Sailbum Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Grand Cayman
    2,188
    103
    Some Cayman dive ops will not take you diving without a refresher if you have been out of diving for a decade or longer as the OP has. I STRONGLY urge at least a pool refresher before the trip.
     
    KathyV likes this.
  3. FindingMenno

    FindingMenno PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
    273
    290
    It is actually required by the Watersports Regulations:

    "If it has been more than 36 months since the customer’s last dive, a refresher course is mandatory prior to participating in any diving activities."

    If has been a decade, my recommendation (and my shop's policy) is:
    1) Do the PADI ReActivate theory
    2) Do a longer refresher consisting of both a confined/pool session and an open water dive.

    It's all good and well if you can run through the skills in 6 ft of water, but going in to open water brings some extra things to the table (such as equilization, buoyancy control, gas usage, currents etc) that it's good to get comfortable with those again with direct supervision by a instructor.
     
    KathyV and CMS like this.
  4. mcohen1021

    mcohen1021 Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Texas
    1,157
    613
    I really liked DiversDown - max 8 on the boat
     
    KathyV likes this.
  5. tkaelin

    tkaelin Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: CT
    2,099
    1,246
    You left off some important information in your quote. The provision provides:
    Refresher courses and/or refresher dives should be recommended based on the following guidelines:
    1. If it has been more than 18 months but less than 24 months since the customer’s last dive, a shallow dive is suggested before doing a wall dive.
    2. If it has been over 24 months since the customer’s last dive, a refresher course is recommended before any unsupervised (shallow or wall dives) are allowed.
    3. If it has been more than 36 months since the customer’s last dive, a refresher course is mandatory prior to participating in any diving activities. As with any set of guidelines there will be exceptions. The Dive Operator may elect to waive these recommendations if the customer can prove efficiency via a valid and comprehensive logbook or other means of proof. (A valid logbook consists of diving activities being recorded and accompanied with a Divemaster or instructor’s signature and number or a stamp.)
    Note the add'l language in italics from CITA which adds some more sensibility to the application of these guidelines.

    As an aside CITA regulations are referenced repeatedly on SB and create the impression that they have the force of law or imposed by the Caymanian government. CITA is a private non profit tourism association which presumably created these "guidelines' to assist in providing safety and uniformity for the dive operator membership component of CITA.

    While blatantly failing to adhere to a CITA regulation that a CITA dive op is requesting you to adhere to will likely get you blackballed with that particular op and has the potential to do the same with all CITA dive ops, it does not have the force of law and is not regulation imposed by the Caymanian government. If I am wrong on this point please correct me.

    The simple solution to avoiding this regulation is to take a dive before your trip. When it had been 7 years out of diving, I booked time at a nearby dive shop pool, put my gear together and jumped in. In 5 minutes I was reacquainted with my gear and skills and ready to go. I went two more times to swim laps underwater with my gear on just to get in dive/swim shape before my next open water dive. I was lucky as the pool was deep and designed by a dive shop for training. If you feel that what is recommended by CITA would be beneficial by all means do it. If you feel that is more than you need there are alternatives.
     
  6. FindingMenno

    FindingMenno PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
    273
    290
    @tkaelin I indeed only copied the most relevant section of that part of the guidelines.

    You address a few things in your post if I read it correctly.
    1) The guidelines, as explained to me, are an agreed up framework between CITA and the dive operators which are set up in co-operation. I'm not a member/representative of that forum so I'm happy to be clarified/corrected by one of my one-island colleagues. Although I understand it is not a law, as CITA member you do sign the guidelines and agree to uphold it.

    2) The CITA guidelines on refreshers. The italics do give so 'wriggle room' for an individual operator if a diver can show proof of their experience. In an earlier SB post we already touched on this subject, and again at the risk of sounding negative and condescending; In my experience, the general average vacation diver (who is the most likely the refresher discussion applies too) we see coming through has: a) no logbook or proof of dive experience b) lost their c-cards c) is not capable or willing in honestly assessing their own skill level, or is telling a 'white lie' to avoid being asked to do a refresher as they 'want to get on the boat'.
    Based on this, and having some let's say in-water 'experiences', for diver safety following the CITA regulations more literally is not a bad thing.

    3) What consists a good refresher? I'm not familiar with your dive experience, but I'm assuming you have a significant number of dives, have a logbook of some form, and are able to properly assess your own skill and experience level, and will decide and inform what the best course of action is when you need a refresher. Like you did after your 7 year break. That probably puts you in the top 25% if not higher of divers on a vacation destination.
    In that case, a pool session would be good enough to get you ready for some open water diving. For the large majority of vacation diver who are getting back into diving after an extended break form the sport in my opinion it is not sufficient. Especially as for the majority of this group they may have only done a limited number of dives before their break.
    An open water refresher session gives the diver the opportunity to get reacquainted, and comfortable with the specifics in open water dives. Also it will make that dive when they join the regular boat dives so much safer and more enjoyable that I think it is money well spent.

    I do sound negative here, but it is the reality of our work. I love this job, and I love working with divers of every level and respect all levels. I respect that a diver might only be an occasional vacation diver, and needs some more attention and guidance during their dives. Me and every fellow dive pro I know is happy to do that, and we all like to help our guests become better divers.

    But a very important part of our job in vacation destinations is maximizing safety of our guests, as well as their enjoyment. That often requires protecting guests from their own lack of knowledge, or willingness/capability to assess their own skill and experience levels. Therefore we tend to err on the conservative side of guidelines.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
  7. tkaelin

    tkaelin Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: CT
    2,099
    1,246
    Hi Findingmenno, I don't quarrel with most of your response and it does not seem that you have any correction to what I posted. I posted just to let everyone know who reads these posts "about CITA this and CITA that" that they understand what CITA is. I also posted to inform all that the policy you posted was incomplete and therefore potentially misleading to anyone reading the posts. There is a sensible provision to allow a waiver of the policy in the appropriate case. You may feel that the waiver really doesn't apply to the op and you may be correct but there are divers out there who it may.

    That's all.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
  8. Alucard

    Alucard Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Upstate New York, USA
    363
    318
    I don't think that it's just for the safety of the diver, it's also to not ruin the enjoyment for others. Imagine being on a boat where someone hasn't been diving for 10 years, has lied to the dive shop about that, has forgotten how to set up their rig, or how much weight they need, sucks at buoyancy, crashing into coral and stirring up sand and/or silt... it doesn't make it a good experience for the other divers that have to hang around waiting for their Dive Master to get down to lead the wall dive that they have paid so much for.

    To me it comes across as selfish arrogance.

    I think that this is another major consideration of why the dive shops kind of insist on divers being "current" (to use a flying terminology).
     
    Dogbowl, FindingMenno and caydiver like this.
  9. EastEndDiver

    EastEndDiver Captain

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Long Island NY
    1,979
    1,249
    Unfortunatly for the Dive Ops they get portrayed as the bad guys when they enforce the CITA rules such as Max. Depth ,No solo, No gloves,No spearing without license etc. also when erroneous info is posted on sites like Trip Advisor etc..

    I've said this before if you want to dive in Cayman you follow their rules not that I agree with all of them.
     
  10. Alucard

    Alucard Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Upstate New York, USA
    363
    318
    I think that's why there are quite a few divers active on TripAdvisor, CruiseCritic and the like to make sure that such bad information gets corrected fast.

    If you know of other sites where incorrect information about diving in Cayman gets posted, then I suggest you us know, so that people can get over there and make sure things stay on the "up and up"
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018

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