In the Cayman Islands, travellers will enjoy a different dive site for every day of the year. The newest attraction among these waters is the Kittiwake, which was sunk in 2011. Once a storied submarine rescue vessel, the USS-Kittiwake stood by through 54 years of loyal service. The massive ship stretches 251 feet and contains five decks. Now located at the northern tip of Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman, the attraction is ideal for both snorkellers and divers alike.
Situated in a protected marine park, the wreck has blossomed into a bustling habitat for all sorts of sea life. Stubborn barracudas can be found milling the hull as schools of horse-eye jacks weave through portholes. Knowing that divers pose little threat, critters are happy to go about their daily doings in the presence of visitors. For those looking to mingle among an impressive host of sights, the Kittiwake is a must-do.
Check out the North Sound on Grand Cayman and you’ll find one of the most unique spots in all of the Caribbean. Stingray City is renowned as the world’s best 12-foot dive site. At this shallow sandbar, stingrays coast by without a care as visitors wade through their natural habitat. Our flat-bodied friends began congregating here long ago as fisherman would pause along these waters to clean their daily catch. Today, travellers delight in petting the velvety undersides of these graceful creatures. Easily accessible and completely unforgettable, Stingray City will bring a smile to any adventurers face.
Each year, some of scuba diving’s biggest names and best professionals gather for the International Underwater Film Festival in the Cayman Islands. Organized by the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA), this year’s event will be held in Grand Cayman on November 7-8, 2012. This breathtaking display of underwater imagery is open to the public with proceeds going to CITA’s marine conservation efforts.
The Cayman Islands is comprised of three islands—Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman. Featuring over 40 knowledgeable dive operators, our islands have long been recognized as a top dive destination. Each island offers very different adventures for divers of all levels from novice to Nitrox and Tec diving.
The largest of the trio, Grand Cayman, is credited as the birthplace of recreational diving. In 1957, scuba pioneer Bob Soto opened the first Grand Cayman Dive Shop and unveiled a whole new world of undersea spectacles. Today, there are over 200 dive sites to explore along this great island—including the Kittiwake and Stingray City.
The Sister Islands, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, are mostly untouched. Cayman Brac is a delightful crisscross of forested hiking paths that consummate to a grand bluff. The “Brac” has more than fifty dive sites—among them is the only Russian warship in the Western Hemisphere open to divers, the MV Capt. Keith Tibbetts. Ease into the waters of Little Cayman where you’ll be awestruck by the Bloody Bay Wall, a sheer coral wall with a vertical profile that drops beyond 1,000 ft. From rare sponges to glistening salt ponds, the Sister Islands promise an unparalleled retreat.
Whether it’s your first time in fins or you’ve long enjoyed the spoils of the sea, the Cayman Islands is an ideal destination for any traveller.
For more information about the Cayman Islands visit www.divecayman.ky