HOME › Forums › General Discussion Topics about the Cayman Islands › Trip Reports › Family SCUBA Vacation June 26-July 3, 2010
Sounds like you have been super busy-glad u had time to enjoy your family. Thank you for letting me know that going to the left will still be deep and from a snorkel, perspective, not worth it. Thank you!
What airlines did you fly on?
We fly out of DFW too. Sometimes we drive down to Houston to get the direct flight to GCM. It seems to take the same time getting there anyway. I sure wish SOME major carrier who flies out of Dallas goes non-stop to GCM. I mean, come on! DFW is a major international airport, isn’t it?
I can’t believe I skipped over Day THREE?? :confused: So I’ll post it here/now. Good thing I took notes, kept a journal, and have my dive log book to jog my memory. Oh, and all my pictures too! Also, sorry to be so long at getting back to post here. My daughter had a medical scare, she’s been in the hospital, had surgery, they removed a portion of her left lung. But thank God it’s not [Lung] Cancer! She’s still recovering and suffering with a lot of pain. They had to spread her ribs in order for the surgeon to get his ‘big’ hands inside to cut out the bad area on her left lung! Anyway… we were talking today about our fantastic GCM trip, the great diving, all the fun we had & the MEMORIES we made there… so on with the trip report.
Day Three – June 28, 2010
Got up early to go dive Eden Rock as planned, in order to use the tanks we’d rented for a night dive but wasn’t able to do because of the weather and water conditions! We were in the water by 7:30 AM, the dive lasted one hour and 17 minutes. We saw our first Lionfish, but it was by no means the last one!! Other sightings during this dive were: a small Nurse Shark, our first for GCM! That was exciting. But it was sleeping and well protected by the reef, so much so I couldn’t get my camera in a position to get a good picture. The one I did get, you couldn’t even distinguish what or where it was! ? We also saw a couple of barracuda, and crabs, and a Lettuce sea slug, arrow crabs, Christmas Tree worms and Flamingo Tongue snails. Plus the usual reef fishes. I did see more Queen Triggerfish this trip than in the past. That’s my hubby’s favorite fish.
After this dive, we stopped back in at Diver’s Supply. I wanted to see if they had lenses to fit my ‘spare’ mask because I have hated my current dive mask since the day I bought it. I need corrective lenses, ‘plus’ diopter, which are harder to find than negative. I didn’t have my Rx, so they let me try several different ones until I was happy with them. They also told me if they cause me to have a headache while diving, to get out of the water ASAP because it will only get worse, then come back and they’ll make the necessary changes. Also, if they leak, come back & they’ll correct that as well. They guarantee them not to leak! These lenses cost me $57.50 USD. That’s $28.75 each. Which surprised me, because the ones I priced at home [in the USA] were $33.00 to $35.00 each lens! And they also required the purchase a mask, they wouldn’t install them in a mask I already owned! Whatever… ?
Next we took our grandson back to the resort, he didn’t want to go on another dive yet, he wanted to sleep!! You can sleep when you get home! You can’t dive at home, well not in water this beautiful anyway! Then the rest of us went to Lighthouse Point for our 2nd dive this day.
It was a nice dive, we dove part of the mini-wall on the way out to their deep wall. The deep wall was great! It reminded me of some of the walls of Cozumel, but with a milder current!! You do drift diving in Cozumel. My hubby found a Lionfish, it was devouring another fish! This dive was only 51 minutes long, & went to 75 feet. Sightings this dive, other than the Lionfish: lots of garden eels, a Longnose Butterflyfish, Indigo Hamlet, and the usual reef fish. Some pretty coral and sponges too.
Went back to the resort, had lunch, some took naps. Then around 3 PM we headed out for another dive. This time my grandson came along, and my hubby stayed behind. He was in pain, so he took his meds and went to bed. We went back to Lighthouse Point, we only dove the mini-wall area this time. This section was sort of boring and looked like it had been sand-blasted by a hurricane?? There wasn’t any pretty reef at all in this section. The dive was only 55 minutes long, my maximum depth was 65 feet. Sightings during this dive: Porcupinefish [puffer], Southern stingray, scorpionfish, Queen Angelfish, along with the usual reef fishes.
Back at the resort, we took our dive gear in to wash/rinse it off. This resort isn’t really diver friendly, they don’t want you to hang your wet gear, or even your wet swimsuits out on the balcony or patio rails, or on the patio chairs or tables! I did it anyway! What, do they want us to let it drip on the floors or carpets inside the rooms? However, with all the rain & humidity, stuff wasn’t drying outside. So after it quit dripping, I brought it inside, hung it over some chairs under the ceiling fan, turned it on high, and let it dry overnight. It, being my BCD, booties, and wetsuits. Our swimsuits, socks, and my hotskin [lycra] I put in the dryer that is included with these rooms/suites! ?
This night we ate at Pizza Hut. My grandson’s favorite food! It was really GOOD too! Or I was really hungry…LOL No, it was good. The crust had a fantastic flavor, buttery. Yummy. I’m getting hungry thinking about it! ?
I spent the evening updating my dive log book, uploading my pictures to my laptop. Another thing about this resort. They don’t offer free/complimentary internet service. They charge $7.00 per day. Don’t know if that’s CI or USD either. But, it’s higher than I pay a month for my dial-up service at home! ? Other hotels/resorts have free internet, don’t understand why this place doesn’t! Anyway…. it’s lightening, thundering and the wind is blowing at a high rate again!! ? And it started raining before I went to bed!! Thus ends day three…
These pictures are from today’s dives…
My family of divers…
Christmas Tree worm on Lumpy Porites
Flamingo Tongue Snail on a Green sea fan
Lettuce Sea Slug
Yellowline Arrow crab
Christmas Tree worm on Starlet coral
Brown Tube sponge & Sea Plume
Brown Tube sponge & Flower coral
Reef – Red Rope sponge
Not sure what this is, some sort of “eggs”??
Branching Tube Sponge
Burrfish [Puffer family]
Social Feather Duster
Flamingo Tongue Snail
Beautiful pics. I always spot sdome of those floaty jelly-like things and wonder whattey are, too. There are so many different types it has to be impossible to catalog them all.
The place we stayed last wasn’t diver-friendly either; we did the quick rail-hang to get most water off and then brought the equip inside, too. You’d think they’d be more understanding, but some places get snooty that way!
Day Five – Wednesday, June 30, 2010
It’s cloudy and WINDY again this morning. We load up our gear anyway and head for the SMB side of the island. Drive to Lighthouse Point, the water is really choppy, so we drive on to Turtle Farm Reef. It looks much better there. We get tanks and dive! At the mini-wall we started toward the left, to show my grandson the Tarpon cave. The current is a little strong (for Cayman) so we turn around and head back across and dive the right side of the mini-wall. It’s an okay dive. The vis is great, the reef is pretty, but there’s not a lot of critters around?? The dive was 63 minutes. We saw Scorpionfish, big Rainbow & Midnight Parrotfish, Peacock flounder, Barred Hamlets, Brittle stars, Flamingo Tongue snails, Christmas Tree worms, Feather Dusters, Arrow crab, garden eels & the usual reef fishes.
These are the pictures from this dive…
Reef- orange sponge, Red Rope sponge & Sea Plume
another reef shot with orange icing sponge & plate coral
Red Vase sponge
After this dive, we do our surface interval here, then get more tanks and dive the right side of the mini-wall again because of the mild current. This time the dive was only 59 minutes long. We saw the Rainbow & Midnight Parrotfish again, and the same things we saw during the first dive. We decide we want to [try] to do a night dive here tonight, so we pay in advance for our tanks. He said they’ll be sitting by the dive shop door with our name on them.
Below are the pictures from this dive…
Whitespotted Filefish – orange phase
Convoluted Orange sponge
Caribbean Spiny Lobster
Red Rope sponge
Buddy Breathing during safety stop
Buddy Breathing while ascending to the surface
Oh yeah, the water temperature stayed between 84 & 85 degrees our entire trip. And I was able to make it through all of our dives wearing my shorty wetsuit with my lycra under it. I also included a lightweight hood this trip. Normally I wear a 3mm full wetsuit, no hood, and after the first couple of days of diving, diving, diving, I’m freezing, freezing, freezing, even in these warm water temps!! LOL But this trip, I was very comfortable, only got a slight chill during one night dive, and that was near the end of the dive.
After these dives, we head back for the restore, stopping at the grocery store along the way. Foster’s, we need more sodas, snacks, and a few other food items. Once we’re in our room, we eat a late lunch and get some much needed surface time. I’m also recharging all my batteries, checked my pictures, while watching a DVD movie in.
Later, my hubby & I went down to use one of the resort’s BBQ grills. We cooked hamburger patties and pork chops on it. That is after we finally got it to work. It ran out of gas shortly after starting it. Once the new tank was installed it worked fine, and the food was great! The pork chops were so much better cooked on the grill. I had cooked some in the room a few days earlier, in a frying pan! What a difference in the flavor the grill made!
Okay, time to leave for our night dive, so we go back to the Turtle Farm. (I have trouble calling this place anything other than the Turtle Farm, because that’s what I’ve know it as forever!) LOL There’s a few people & divers there. One group of night divers come in as we are ready to go out. The dive master tells us which way the current is running, and that he’s put out a couple of lights to mark the buoy lines so it’ll be easier for us to find our way back in. We go to the left because of the current’s direction. It’s a good dive, even though it’s only 57 minutes long. I didn’t take that many pictures. Night diving photography is tricky! It’s an experience! LOL We saw: 4 or 5 octopus, Lionfish, Spiny Lobster, Spotted Rock Lobster, spotted eel, Arrow crab, a Sculptured Slipper Lobster, Channel Clinging crab, Brittle stars, and LOTS of worms!! Those things are annoying, they dart at & hit your dive light & your mask, they’re the down side of a night dive! In one of my pictures of an octopus, you can see a couple of worms on my son-in-law’s hand!
These are the pictures from the night dive…
Sculptured Slipper Lobster
a huge Caribbean Spiny Lobster
Spotted Rock Lobster
After the dive & back at our room, I’m doing my usual routine, charging batteries, uploading pictures, entering dive in log book, drying gear. It’s late, I’m hungry after diving, so I do a no-no, I have a late night snack! Then I hear thunder outside! It’s after 11:00 PM. I look out the patio/balcony door. It’s lightening, thundering and starting to rain! After a few minutes it REALLY starts pouring down rain, a HARD rain. I can hear it hitting on the roof! The wind has picked up & is blowing hard too! I’ve got a muscle spasm in my back, so I give up & go to bed. The End of day Five.
Day Six – Thursday – July 1, 2010
I went to bed very late last night, didn’t sleep very well, tossed & turned & listened to the stormy weather outside. So I woke up very tired! But not tired enough to make me miss out on diving today. We’re getting close to the end of our trip and diving. So I’ve got to dive while I can. And rest when I get back home! ? And some of us, one of the us being me, got in FOUR dives today!!!! :laugh:
Our first dive today was at Lighthouse Point, we dove their Deep Wall again. It’s a really nice dive, I really enjoyed it. As I said before it reminds me of Cozumel before Hurricane Wilma, & without the boat ride or the strong currents! ? This dive was only 53 minutes long. We snorkeled out & then right where we dropped down, I saw a Sand Dollar lying on a sandy area. It was pretty and looked to be intact. I didn’t touch it, I just took a picture of it. There were lots of little fish everywhere, that was nice to see. The reef formations, the coral & sponges are beautiful. We saw a small Hawksbill Sea Turtle, and 2 Green Sea Turtles. The greens were not close to me, & were going in the opposite direction from me, so I didn’t get pictures of them. Your subject has to be fairly close to your camera lens for underwater photography to show up and have other colors besides BLUE! Just 5 feet away & your colors [reds & greens] disappear, then your subject starts to blend into the background. I have lots of blue pictures! ? Underwater photography takes lots of practice…I usually start getting the hang of it, & better at it, near the END of our vacation! I need a LONGER vacation!! ? Sightings: the sand dollar, the turtles, Spanish Hogfish, 2 Lionfish together in the same spot, one was a lot smaller than the other one. A Bristle worm, and the usual reef fish.
Some photos from this dive:
Our 2nd dive today was at Sunset House reef. We went over to the Mermaid statue to take pictures. While we were there, the Atlantis submarine came by. That thing stirred up the sand & water and totally messed up the visibility. This is an okay dive site. There’s not as many fish now as there were just two years ago?? Have the Lionfish already had that much of an impact on/in Cayman’s waters? This dive was only 56 minutes, and I came back in with only 500 psi. I normally end a dive with 1,000 to 1,200 psi. But the tank I got this time only started with 2,200 psi. I should have changed it out. But by the time I turned my air on, I already had all my gear set up on it. Too much trouble to change everything out, and the others were ready to get in the water, to cool off! ? At the end of this dive, I inflated my BCD just as I was on the surface & something happened to it. It was free-flowing & completely filled it up with air, I asked my daughter to turn off my air before it damaged my BDC! Sightings: the Mermaid statue ? , Christmas Tree worms, Anemone shrimp, goby, Queen Triggerfish, Lionfish, and the usual reef fish.
Photos from this dive
We went back to the resort for our surface interval. My hubby needs to rest too. I go through my usual routine while my hubby naps. Later just 3 of us go diving again. My son-in-law, daughter & myself. Since my hubby isn’t going, & our BCDs are the same brand, I borrowed his inflator hose and my BCD works again! We go back to Eden Rock and do 2 more dives there. The first one around 4:00 PM for 55 minutes. The second was a twilight dive, started around 6:30 PM. It was a good long dive, lasting 1 hour & 21 minutes! The first dive sightings: lots of Tarpon, Silversides, a conch, sea cucumber covered with sea grass or something? A large school of Yellow Jacks, an adult Drumfish, Tiger Grouper, a small turtle, and the usual reef fish.
A few photos from this dive
The last [twilight] dive sightings: Adult Hogfish, Lionfish, anemones with shrimp &/or blennies, a Tigertail, Spotted Rock Lobster, loads of Red Night shrimp, a coral crab, Filefish, and of course the usual reef fish! ?
And the photos from this dive
When I got back to our room, my hubby was waiting up for me. We talked about my dives, I uploaded my pictures and we looked at them. Then he took his meds and went to bed. He’s wore out and in pain. He can’t dive much anymore. Not like he used to before his back problems.
Just as I was about to get ready for bed, my son-in-law taps on our door. He hands me my inflator hose. He fixed it!!!! Said it just needed a good cleaning and lubrication. It works now! :bouncelaugh: That’s the End of day Six!!! ?