10 Tips For Scuba Diving Grand Cayman In 5 Minutes!

10 Tips to maximize your scuba diving experience: Grand Cayman 

If you are looking for great scuba diving, Grand Cayman is an easy choice. Here are 10 tips to make the best of your Grand Cayman vacation and experience all of the diving it has to offer.

Tip #1: Don’t be afraid to dive shop hop

There are lots of dive shops on Grand Cayman, and they don’t all serve the same site. Feel free to hop between different shops. It’s okay to have your favorite dive shop, but limiting yourself can lead you to miss out on what others have to offer. Another bonus tip is that the most reputable dive operators offer pickup service from all major resorts, making it easier to see what’s out there.

Tip #2: Make sure to visit these “don’t miss” dive sites

There are two iconic, world-class dive sites in Grand Cayman:

  • The wreck of the USS Kittiwake
  • The North Wall

These sites are so worth seeing, you might regret not visiting them for the rest of your days!

Tip #3: Consider your accommodation options 

Of course, this has everything from 5-star hotels to bed and breakfasts, to guest houses. However, the most important factor in selection is what part of the island you want to base yourself in, as well as one that:

  • Has a high concentration of dive shops
  • Has plenty of nearby dive operators to choose from

You can always branch out from the area you stay in, but it’s always nice to have a solid foundation of dive shops, sites, and operators close by.

Tip #4: Don’t miss out on the shore diving

There isn’t a large amount of shore diving in Grand Cayman, but the shore diving that there  is fantastic. Each shore diving site is accompanied by a dive operator where you can pick up your tanks and weights. What’s great about this is that you can reach some of the same reefs shore diving that you would otherwise have to take a boat out to. This allows you to stretch your dive budget and avoid paying more than you need to. In the meantime, check out our video on 7 tips for shore diving.

Tip #5: Dive gear buyer beware 

While on the subject of dive budget, be aware that if you are buying equipment on Grand Cayman, prices are going to be higher than they are back home due to higher import taxes. Thankfully, rental gear is available most places that you will go.

Tip #6:  Prepare for the depths

It’s important to be conscious of the fact that most boat dive trips in Grand Cayman are going to start with a deeper wall dive, usually around 70 to 90, or even 120 foot range. Before booking a boat dive, check with the operator. If you have junior open water divers or people who are scuba certified but not full open water certified, make sure the dive is appropriate for them.

Tip #7: Consider the seasons

  • Thanksgiving through Easter is high season in Grand Cayman, meaning the island is busier. The wind is also typically stronger, meaning less dive sites are accessible
  • From Easter through Thanksgiving, the weather is going to be hotter, there’s going to be less wind, and it’s going to be more humid on the island. However, the island is also going to be quieter, and more dive sites will be open.
Tip #8: Check regulations

The Cayman Islands Tourism Association strongly regulates scuba diving around the island, meaning that you’re most likely going to be safe with any choice you make. However, it’s always a good idea to check with your dive operator if any of the regulations in Grand Cayman apply to you

Example: There’s no solo diving anywhere in Grand Cayman, even if you have a solo diver certification.

Tip #9: Get your Nitrox certification 

The best diving around the island is between 60 and 90 feet, which is the prime zone for nitrox to extend your no decompression time.

Tip #10: Make sure you are organized

The boat rides to the deep dive sites are usually pretty short, about 5 to 10 minutes. This is great if you don’t like boat rides or suffer from seasickness. It also means you need to be organized and have all of your gear ready to go. Otherwise, you’re going to arrive to the dive site unprepared and waste precious underwater time setting your gear up.

Got the travel bug? Check out our video about scuba diving in Bimini, the Bahamas.

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See our specific products used in the links above, and for a full list of the gear James keep in his dive bag, see his Gear List.

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Meet James Blackman

With a career in diving spanning twenty years, James has seen a thing or two in the dive industry. James grew up on the Southwest coast of Britain and learned to dive in the frigid waters of the English Channel. If your first dives were like being placed in a cocktail shaker full of cabbage soup and you come away with a love for the sport, then you know it’s going to be a life-long pursuit.

James spent his twenties in the British merchant marine which afforded him the opportunity to travel to and dive in far flung locales… 177 countries and counting. Between stints onboard a variety of vessels, James used his shore leaves to level up his scuba training… Rescue diver in Tanzania, DM in Indonesia, Instructor in Honduras, Tec Instructor in the French West Indies.

His last ship before moving to a shore-based life style was an expedition ship where he notched up some of his most impressive dives, including briefly holding the world record for most northerly scuba dive… 82 degrees north in the Russian arctic; diving the Amazon river; the Antarctic; and virgin reef systems in Papua New Guinea and Melanesia.

Moving ashore in his early thirties, James took on the role of General Manager for a luxury dive operator in St Martin and never had a dull moment! Hollywood visited the island and called upon James’ underwater skills for on-set safety. When Cat-3 hurricane Gonzalo devastated the area, James switched hats to salvage and public safety diver to help with the recovery.

Scuba Diving has given so much to James in his life… and first on that list is his brilliant wife Karina whom he met whilst teaching her AOW class! Yes, that old cliché! James and Karina are also business partners and co-owners of two power-house scuba brands. Miami Technical Diving has become the premiere scuba training facility in South Florida. Tired of seeing other dive shops compete in a ‘race to the bottom,’ James decided his model for teaching scuba would focus on keeping the quality as high as possible; using the best gear possible; teaching beyond the minimum standards on a 1-to-1 student-to-instructor ratio. The fullness of the MTD training calendar shows that people – student divers – prefer to receive premium, quality tuition, as opposed to cheap and fast.

James is the personality and knowledge broker behind ‘Divers Ready!’ a super influential Scuba Diving YouTube channelwebsite and brand. In just a year, Divers Ready! has become the fastest growing You Tube channel in the Scuba Diving niche, with 1000s of new divers joining every month. Their weekly videos range from Mouthpiece Mondays – where James shares his insider knowledge and opinions about controversial topics in the dive industry – to practical ‘hints & tutorial’ style videos, all with one simple goal in mind – to make you a better diver!

James and Karina started small group luxury dive trips for the Divers Ready! audience.

James and Karina live in Miami, FL with their rambunctious dogs; Ziggy The Husky and Bonham the Mutt, and their Maine Coon cat Foxy, who remains unimpressed.