Liveabaord Diving in the Cayman Islands, a small group of 3 islands in the central Caribbean, is considered the best diving in the caribbean and is a world class diving destination providing divers with year round scuba diving opportunities.
Most liveaboard charters depart from Georgetown, on the west coast of Grand Cayman.
The diving industry is controlled by Cayman Islands Tourism Association government and there are a lot of mooring buoys and the dive sites. Conservation policies have ensured that the reefs remain in good condition and fish populations are protected.
In fact there are more than 200 recognised diving sites around the Cayman Islands. suitable for divers of all levels – variety of reef systems, from shallow reefs to deep drop offs to the trench.
The history of the Cayman Islands dates back to 1503, when Christopher Columbus first discovered them. Today they remain a British Crown Colony and are a popular scuba diving destination for divers living in north america.
The island group, consisting of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, lie approximately 150 miles (240km) south of Cuba and 180 miles (288km) west of Jamaica in the Caribbean Sea.
The Cayman Islands lie on the edge of the Cayman trench, a 7,500m deep trough which is the deepest part of the Caribbean Sea. The islands are the above water peaks of a submerged mountain range that form the trench.
The largest of the group is Grand Cayman covers an area of 77 sq miles, spanning 22 miles in length and between 4-8 miles wide. This oval-shaped, low-lying island is where most of the population live.
Grand Cayman is a short distance from Miami (490 miles) 800km and lies around 90 miles southwest of the 2 smaller islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. There are more than 35 flights per week between Miami and Grand Cayman.
Little Cayman lies 75 miles (120km) north of Grand Cayman. This, the smallest island, measures 9 miles (14km) long and a mile wide.
Cayman Brac is somewhat isolated, lying 90 miles northeast of Grand Cayman. The island is approximately 12 miles long and just over a mile wide.
Diving is similar conditions to that of Grand Cayman although there are far few divers here. The result is that the corals are in better condition and there is huge variety of marine life as well as 4 wrecks to dive.
The islands are low lying, rising to just 14m (46ft) at its highest point, resulting in any rain water seeping through the porous lime stone rocks that make up the islands. This results in virtually no run off through rivers or streams resulting in excellent visibility in the surrounding dive sites.
In times of heavy rainfall, when the islands seem to flush themselves, the water can become murky for a day or so. Having said that, the islands are of such a size that there’s always a dive site on a lee shore that still has great visibility.
Underwater topography ranges from fringing reefs to steep walls. There is an abundance of large tube and barrel sponges, very prevalent in the Caribbean but more so here. You can also expect to see lots colourful Gorgonain fan coral.
You can expect to see eagle rays, nurse sharks. Don’t count on a lot of big fish encounters, but with the proximity to deep water you can never tell!
Due to the islands not being close to any other land mass they they are fortunate to experience fine and constant weather all year round, with very little change in water and air temperature throughout the year.
Water temperature is roughly 27°c / 77°f, and the air temperature remains between 30-40°c most of the year – but will drop to low 20’s during the short winter season.