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How windy in February?

Maine
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How windy in February?

My husband & 2 teenage daughters are ready to book a 5 night stay at The Reef in February 2015. I thought the East End would be nice to avoid the cruise ship crowds and The Reef seems more reasonably priced than SMB stays. We intend to snorkel @ The Reef Resort, take the early morning tour to Sting Ray City and enjoy some beach time.

However, I keep reading how windy the East side is. I understand weather is always an unknown factor but should I be concerned that it would be too windy in February?? How windy is it? Can you really not snorkel if it is too windy?? Would too much wind impact a Sting Ray City tour? It'd be pretty disappointing if the wind affected our plans 2 out of the 4 days we stay.

Also, how difficult is it to get a taxi from The Reef back to the Airport for departure? I read taxis are lined up at the airport and shouldn't be a problem upon arrival.

Thanks in advance!

Colorado
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for Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Crested Butte, Gunnison
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1. Re: How windy in February?

There's no need to go to East End to avoid crowds. Unless you go to one of about a half dozen specific locations that cruisers frequent (e.g. Public Beach, Royal Palms...), you'll never even notice cruisers other than some boats floating miles off in the distance near the harbour. Further, I would not recommend staying in East End if you are not planning to rent a car.

Massachusetts
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for East End, Grand Cayman
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2. Re: How windy in February?

The East End can be windy in the winter months. Whether it will be too windy for snorkeling when you are there is a crapshoot.

Agree that you will want to rent a car if you stay at The Reef. We are timeshare owners there who wouldn't dream of staying there without one.

With a car, you will be far less dependent on getting perfect snorkeling conditions at The Reef, as you will be able to hop in the car and go snorkeling anywhere on the island.

Re: crowds, like everything their impact is in the eye of the beholder. Certainly the cruiser areas are the most crowded on 7 Mile Beach. But as someone who resides in a beach community that is inundated with tourists in the summer, I much prefer the solitude and almost "desert island" feel of the East End even to the less crowded areas of 7 Mile Beach.

Edited: 11 April 2014, 18:16
Massachusetts
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for East End, Grand Cayman
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3. Re: How windy in February?

You should also check out Testudo's excellent snorkel guides, which are the gold standard for snorkeling on Grand Cayman:

www.snorkelblog.tumblr.com

Armed with that info and a rental car, you should have a great time snorkeling!

Grand Cayman
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for Grand Cayman
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4. Re: How windy in February?

The winds cannot be predicted, but going to the EE without a car can be. Don't do it :)

There is a reason why it is cheaper to stay there . . . you need a car to do anything.

Edited: 11 April 2014, 19:26
hudson valley
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5. Re: How windy in February?

I'll add one more vote for a mandatory car if you stay out east.

As for weather, my recollection is that I've encountered about as many days that prevented snorkeling on the west end as on the east end. One was a one day storm that kicked up really big surf on the west end, and at the tail end of Hurricane Mitch we saw a day with 20' waves on the west end, followed by two days of big waves on the north side. I know we missed 2 days of diving on the north side, but it's possible that we went snorkeling on one or even both of those days. Other than that, I don't recall any days that were a problem, even though the north and east sides are generally windier. I can't promise that my experience is typical, but I've done trips in every month from October to February, and 3 of the 4 days I can remember really rough conditions were because we happened to arrive the day before Mitch passed due west. Of course the chances of a hurricane in February are essentially zero.

Remember that the north and east sides are mostly sheltered by fringing reef, so even if there are 6 or 8' waves beyond the reef you can find good snorkeling conditions inside the reef. I wouldn't hesitate to book a February trip on either the north or east side. If a couple of days turn out to be unusually windy, you'll be wanting to spend at least a day or two checking out other parts of the island anyway.

Rhode Island
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for Grand Cayman
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6. Re: How windy in February?

If you stay at the Reef you ought get a rental car upon arrival and have for duration of your stay. It is about an hour drive from GCM to the Reef....expensive via taxi. Since you are concerned about potential weather issues that might have a negative impact on what you expect to do during your short stay, consider staying in a condo on the Northern part of SMB. Rental car still recommended for staying there, but the drive to a variety of other places and things your teens will enjoy is measured in minutes. If you chose to NOT have a rental car, there is frequent public bus transportation in the Northern SMB area and if you use taxis the fares will not cost a fortune.

7. Re: How windy in February?

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