Grand Cayman after-trip report

OCTOPUS5In the middle of July 2013 Terra and Rob “Scubadog” Wade returned to Grand Cayman island for a week-long dive vacation.  Trisha Urban and Gay Culbertson were also onboard for this island adventure.  Interestingly enough, Grand Cayman was where Terra had her first salt water dive–an opportunity during their Caribbean cruise in 2005, and it was also Gay’s first salt water diver.  The group stayed at Compass Point, which is also home for Ocean Frontiers.  This place is valet diving at its best.  In fact, you’d likely have to spend a week on a live-aboard in order to get the service you receive at Compass Point.  The dive sites were almost all first-rate, and you’re missing out if you don’t insist on hitting places with some of the best swim-throughs anywhere.  The couples went on a night dive, a shallow drop at about 25 feet, but it presented some nice surprises, including a fantastic encounter with a small octopus.  This was also Gay’s first night dive, making it a great way to be introduced to the magic that happens when the reef wakes up.  Since Compass Point is on the opposite side of the island from the main town and the airport, a lot of time was spent travelling back and forth in order to do some shopping and touring.  Everything is pretty expensive on Cayman, nearly double what one would pay in the States.  Having been a British territory, the driving is on the left, and when anywhere outside of the main town you’re more likely to see a “roundabout” rather than a four-way stop.  If you’re willing to be adventurous in terms of both exploring and dining, there are some real gems for eating establishments.  Rob finally got to try some lionfish—and it was delicious!  Hopefully folks all over the Caribbean can push a new industry in lionfish.  The Tortuga Rum Factory visit is, of course, a must, and the gang came away with quite a few rum cakes.  Much to their surprise, there was a Divers Supply outlet on the island.  Divers Supply happens to be Scubadog’s favorite place to buy gear and they have multiple locations in the States.  Prices were higher than you can get online.  Speaking of prices, the common mistake (one which the group made, in fact) is to always assume any gear you purchase at a dive resort carries a significantly higher markup than at a traditional brick-n-mortar.  As it turns out, the exact same gear was almost always cheaper at Compass Point–there just wasn’t the variety.  So, after it was all said and done, it was a fantastic week of diving, driving, dining…and the first internationally presented netcast of Two Guys Who Dive.  If you’re looking for an easy Caribbean dive vacation, consider dropping down to Grand Cayman!

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