Cayman Islands. Few dive destinations in the world are held in such high of esteem as the Cayman Islands. The reason is simple. The three islands – Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac – are the evidence of an enormous undersea ridge that forms an enormous undersea valley known as the Cayman Trench with a depth of more than 24,000 feet.
The Caymans sit on the north side of the Cayman Trench. Deep-sea exploration has determined that the north wall has almost no sediment on it – rising like a sheer bald face of a mountain cliff. No sediment plus deep water equals fabulous diving.
Don’t take our word for how great the diving is in the Caymans. In SCUBA DIVING magazine’s annual READER’S CHOICE AWARDS, Cayman consistently takes away top awards. In 2012, Cayman was voted the top dive destination in the Atlantic/Caribbean. Here’s how the islands ranked in the latest 2013
- Best Wall Diving – First Place!
- Best Overall Diving, Best Marine Environment, Best Macro Diving – Third Place
- Best Shore Diving, Best Underwater Photography, Best Overall Destination – Fourth Place
- Best Beginner Diving – Fifth Place
We read dive reviews on a lot of destinations. Trust us, or the readers of Scuba Diving magazine – the Cayman Islands is a dive vacation of a lifetime!
As good as Cayman walls are, among divers who have ventured beyond Grand Cayman to the Sister Islands, the diving off Little Cayman is, if possible, considered even more spectacular. Visibility of more than 100 feet common. Water moving up the wall from the deep trench brings microscopic plankton with it. These provide a never-ending buffet for sponges and corals, both of which grow to giant proportions. They also feed lots of small critters, which attract even bigger creatures, including majestic eagle rays and even the occasional whale shark.
At Bloody Bay, the wall starts in just 15 feet of water and goes completely vertical down to about 6,000 feet: Think twenty football fields stacked atop each other! The wall looks as if it were a staged cinematic event, lavish in its colorful decoration of coral formations and sea fans.
The clear waters and healthy reefs in the Caymans are national treasures, and are protected by a series of Cayman Island Marine Parks, that include replenishment zones, environmental zones and animal sanctuaries. To learn more about the Marine Parks, click here.
Around Little Cayman, dive and snorkel options can be found for virtually all weather conditions. Some moorings are a mere 10 minute boat ride from the Club’s dock; a ride to sites on the north side are typically a half hour, sometimes more depending on the site.
The Southern Cross Club is renown for its top-of-class dive programs, and that takes top-of-class divemasters and instructors. The Club does not hire kids looking for a Caribbean adventure at your expense. The Club hires seasoned, professional Dive Instructors who are knowledgeable, safe, and competent. Club Manager, South African Neil van Niekrerk, himself a divemaster, leads an international team of veteran guides. The current dive team is pictured below.
The staff lets you set up your gear before your very first dive, and thereafter you will not have to touch it again except to get in and out of the clear blue waters. The staff will rinse and store your equipment at the end of every dive day and have it ready for you to strap in and dive the next morning. If you just want to roll in, our dive masters are happy to provide their assistance, easy in, easy out!
The Club’s dive boat fleet includes two custom built 36 Sea Hawk dive boats, Lucky Star (14 divers) and Lucky Devil (12 divers).
Fresh fruit, granola bars, banana bread, water and juices are served during dive intervals.
The dive boats are comfortable and were designed to easily accommodate the photographic gear of underwater photographers. On board, each boat has oxygen and first aid kits, the REEF Fish, Coral, and Creature ID books, a marine head and fresh water.
Top-of-class scuba diving is provided by the Club’s in-house dive operation. An accredited P.A.D.I dive operation, the Southern Cross club offers a complete range of diving adventures.
|Dive Packages – US$’s per Diver|
|Length of Stay||2 Tank Dives||3 Tank Dives|
|Additional Nights||Please Inquire||Please Inquire|
|Equipment Rental – US$/Day|
|Equipment Rental – US$/Day||$40 per day|
|Dive light||$15 per day|
|Digital Camera (includes image download to a CD)||$25/dive|
|Nitrox||$15 per tank|
The Club’s dive guides/instructors can provide a confidence building refresher course, and a eye popping Discover Scuba Diving Experience. They can even certify you as a PADI Dive Instructor…and most of the other specialized certifications offered by P.A.D.I.
There are three parts to getting a PADI Open Water Scuba Certification – the class room, the pool, and the open water dives. In class, you will watch videos and listen to lectures about what scuba diving is, physically and mentally. In the pool, you practice basic underwater scuba skill with your instructor. Finally, you go on four (4) open water dives with your instructor, and with a successful completion, you are thereafter a CERTIFIED scuba diver.
Open Water Referral
Many Club guests complete class room and pool work at their home town scuba center and then, instead of finishing their certification with open water dives in a cold rock quarry, or a low visibility pond somewhere, they bring an instructor’s letter confirming completion of the classroom and pool portions of your certification. Do your 4 open water dives in the warm, clear waters of Little Cayman. Not only are you then a certified diver, you’re indisputably a smart certified diver!
The wall diving around Little Cayman provide fantastic opportunities for computer divers to experience multi-level profiles in blissful safety and comfort. For those certified, Southern Cross Club has Nitrox tanks available (32%). The instructors at Southern Cross Club are able to train those divers wanting to experience the benefits of Nitrox diving for the first time.
So, there’s paperwork. That’s the bad news. The good news is the Club run’s a first-class operation, and those come with rules, regulations and policies to keep everyone safe, and keep the Club in business, free of liability!
Prior to diving, you will have to complete a number of forms and return them to the Club management. These can be completed in advance and returned to the Club via email. These are also available for download here if you wish to complete them prior to travel. Please remember to print all pages.
All guests participating in scuba diving activities are required to fill out the following
In addition to the above, all guests participating in scuba training programs are required to review and return, as appropriate, the following