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Surprised at the poor condition of the reefs

Fort Lauderdale...
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Surprised at the poor condition of the reefs

This is my first trip to Cayman. We are staying in West Bay and we have been diving for the last couple of days. The water temperature is very warm, and in my opinion too warm. We have so far dove on Lemon Wall, Leslie's Curl, Katie's Canyon, Mainstreet and Lighthouse Point. The coral is 99% dead and there are very few fish. Where is the Cayman that I heard so much about??

Grand Cayman
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for Grand Cayman
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21. Re: Surprised at the poor condition of the reefs

I think the international diving community would agree that this area is holding its own. Year after year if you read any of the dive magazines you will find The Cayman Islands ranking at the top of the list. This goes for scuba and snorkeling. I have been to many places in the Caribbean and would agree. I have been snorkeling many times at Rum Point and the last time the vis was terrible because of then current wind conditions. I do not believe that the snorkeling is no longer good there but rather that on that particular day it was not good Also totally agree that if you don't know where to go it is unlikely you will find what you are looking for.

Colorado
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for Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Crested Butte, Gunnison
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22. Re: Surprised at the poor condition of the reefs

Agreeing with others here. While certainly the reefs aren't what they were when I first visited in the late 70's, comments like 99% dead and claims that snorkeling in Mexico is better than the Caymans is simply absurd. If you tried to go to the sites on Testudo's blog and you didn't' see anything then you clearly didn't go to the right places, likely from not swimming out far enough and perhaps due to poor weather. Further, so much of snorkeling from shore in particular depends on water conditions at a particular site on a particular day.

I'll point out the analogy to my other home resort area in the mountains of Colorado. Whenever people visit here during a lull in (snow) storm cycles they'll comment about the snow conditions during their 4-6 day visit as though that's what the conditions are always like at the place they visited (i.e. "not sure why people come here. It never snows"). Forget about the fact that we get 300" of snow per season, if it doesn't snow for a week, people will start posting comments like, "this resort doesn't get any snow. Next year I'm going back to….," and "does it ever show here?"

If you're worried about venturing out too far, dealing with currents, understanding where optimal conditions are on a particular day etc., you should just go with a tour operator. That goes for snorkeling and diving. In contrast, having spent 35 years diving and snorkeling Grand Cayman, I along with many others have found Testudo's guide invaluable and the place he has marked are gems.

Chicago
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for Seven Mile Beach, East End
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23. Re: Surprised at the poor condition of the reefs

Good snorkeling on GC is definitely there. It is just a little harder to find in comparison to other places, like St John or the BVIs or even the Rivera Maya. Testudo's guide is a must when snorkeling GC.

B.

NJ
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24. Re: Surprised at the poor condition of the reefs

I did not mean to stir the forum here, but I still would agree with Booyakasha1201 that the same (or better) quality of snorkeling is easier to find on many other places than on GC closer to shore. Half mile from shore with currents is not my idea of enjoyable snorkeling. In this case I hire the boat. Testudo snorkeling guide is excellent. My husband went on his routes and saw lot's of corals but said he did not see as many fish as on other reefs we went. As for believing in science... sure I believe in science, but unfortunately "climate change" science is too politically engaged. Probably I expected too much reading this forum and looking on Testudo's snorkeling pictures and was not ready to take a long swim to see the same.

grand island, ny
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25. Re: Surprised at the poor condition of the reefs

Babochka's comments blow my mind. I too have snorkeled in Mexico and other Caribbean islands and find the total opposite to be true! We just came back from our first visit to St. John and snorkeled all over the island. While the island is quite beautiful and we loved the snorkeling there, my husband commented that he felt that the reef surrounding GC seemed healthier. One of the reasons we love Grand Cayman is because the snorkeling IS so accessible from shore. We followed Testudo's snorkel guide on our visits and we were anything but disappointed( we snorkeled right around 40 hours on our last trip to GC.). Babochka must not have made it out to the reef or the coral gardens at Rum Point.

Colorado
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for Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Crested Butte, Gunnison
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26. Re: Surprised at the poor condition of the reefs

99% dead? Half mile swims from shore to snorkel? I'm starting to understand what some posters are saying and it involves a pretty serious level of exaggeration. So 100-200 yards is a half mile? Some coral bleaching worldwide over the last several decades is 99% dead? Hopefully it will be helpful to others to translate these comments into reality.

Wichita, Kansas
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27. Re: Surprised at the poor condition of the reefs

Hello,

My husband and I want to scuba dive when we are in the Cayman Islands on Wednesday September 24th, 2014. We are coming in on the Carnival Breeze cruise ship so we will only be there from 800 Am to 4:00 PM. We want to get some ideas on who to contact for scuba diving. Any recommendations on where to scuba and who to work with is greatly appreciated.

Syracuse, New York
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for Seven Mile Beach, West Bay, Syracuse, Cayman Islands
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28. Re: Surprised at the poor condition of the reefs

The ships don't truly dock - you will be taken on a tender to George Town, so your actual time on=-island will be less than that. I would strongly advise going with one of the dive companies offered through your cruise, because then you are guaranteed not to miss the boat, should there be any delay.

Grand Cayman
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for Grand Cayman
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29. Re: Surprised at the poor condition of the reefs

You can also go just north of the ship terminal to Sunset House or Eden Rock for excellent shore dives. Make sure you have your c cards and there is no solo diving should one of you miss the dive.

30. Re: Surprised at the poor condition of the reefs

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