"" Writer's Wanderings: Grand Cayman Diving

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Grand Cayman Diving

Our annual trip to Grand Cayman for scuba diving was enhanced this year by having the newest diver in the family accompany us. Our eleven year old grandson became a junior diver in May getting his certification dives in frigid 65 degree water in a quarry near where he lives. This was his first venture into the ocean below the surface and taking that first giant stride off the back of the dive boat was intimidating but after a few minutes of hesitation, we saw him join us in the water and thus began our dive adventure together.

Junior divers are not allowed at the same depths as adult divers so when the others on board did their deep dives on the wall, we went the opposite direction to the shallower areas and explored. His eyes were keen to  spot a huge eagle ray on one dive, a turtle on another and we found a group of divers observing a nurse shark they were kind to point out to us. On one site there were so many fish "you couldn't see the water."

It was fun to listen to the dive briefings and hear the stories of how each site was named. Our grandson particularly enjoyed the site called the Fish Tank and repeated the story verbatim to his mother later. The story goes that NASA and the National Geographic Society got together to try to preserve a part of the Cayman reef by enclosing it in a large Plexiglas aquarium structure. Since it was hard to see the glass underwater it was suggested that you swim with one arm extended so you didn't run into it with your head. He didn't buy into it but we had fun with it.

Cayman is one of the most beautiful areas to go diving and that coupled with the excellent dive operation we always book with, Ocean Frontiers, is why we keep coming back. We hope to earn our Green Shorts soon by having dived all 55 of the dive sites on the east end of the island. And now that our grandson has had a good taste of diving there as well, he is nine dives closer to earning his Green Shorts and a piece of congratulatory cake!

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