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Old 06-25-2013, 02:34 PM   #1
mordecai
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Non-excursion GC Snorkeling

This may be a bit of an odd question but I came across this link that describes where you can go snorkeling in the Grand Cayman and was wondering if anyone had any non-excursion experience doing this:

http://www.grandcaymancruiseexcursio...snorkeling.htm

I'm sort of a "do it yourself" type of adventurer and wanted to explore on my own but was wondering if anyone had experience with any of these spots or if it was even doable. The instructions seem simple enough?

Thanks!
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:50 PM   #2
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open this http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3130931

skip down to #6

You do not need to pay for an excursion to get to excellent snorkeling sites on Grand Cayman. You can easily walk to them and snorkel from shore. There are dive shops right there to rent gear if you need it. However if you are inexperienced this might not be the best option for you.

The two places I usually recommend are Eden Rock and Sunset House.
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordecai View Post
This may be a bit of an odd question but I came across this link that describes where you can go snorkeling in the Grand Cayman and was wondering if anyone had any non-excursion experience doing this:

http://www.grandcaymancruiseexcursio...snorkeling.htm

I'm sort of a "do it yourself" type of adventurer and wanted to explore on my own but was wondering if anyone had experience with any of these spots or if it was even doable. The instructions seem simple enough?

Thanks!
Both times we were scheduled to go snorkeling at GC, it was too windy for the tender boats so all activity was cancelled! Both trips were in November so beware of high expectations...or you will be disappointed like us. Have fun if you make it!
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:56 AM   #4
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Good info Captain! I wouldn't say I'm extremely experienced. Do you mean because of the wildlife around that area? Also, I saw in the other post that you mentioned your bar; do you have a location down in GC?
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:59 AM   #5
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Hope it works out...sounds like a great experience!
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:57 PM   #6
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Your advice is causing me to switch from a DCL snorkel excursion to renting some gear and snorkeling from the beach. Thanks!

I am a good, confident swimmer and have a little experience snorkeling, but my wife is much less confident. Will that be an issue? For example, how far do we have to swim to see the Cali shipwreck?
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Old 06-26-2013, 01:16 PM   #7
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See, this is a concern I have as well. DH & I both are fine swimmers. I don't consider either of us weak swimmers. Hubby was a lifeguard in his late teens & early 20s to boot. We've done some snorkeling but not a whole lot. I don't really count the snorkel lagoon at CC because that's such a protected lagoon it's almost like being in a pool to me in terms of what we've experienced for water movement. We did some snorkeling via a private charter with Native Way in the north sound at GC in May that definitely was more water movement than the CC lagoon. We didn't use fins and still managed without any noticeable additional effort. I'm thinking about going to invest in our next pieces of snorkel gear (we already have good masks & snorkels) and get us some good fins. We have some cheaper full-foot ones we got a while back but don't like how much they move on our feet. They shift around a lot and wreaked havoc on an existing blister I had the one time I used mine. All that said, I wonder if having better fitted fins would render us sufficiently ready for on-our-own from-the-shore snorkeling at GC? I'm seriously thinking we might do this. I just don't want to regret it.

I swear, I'd go for a beginners dive experience in a heartbeat if I could convince the husband to do it. He worries because he has problems with sinus pressure. Several years ago during a commercial flight he had a really bad episode during the descent. Totally freaked both of us out. He's flown in small planes (was a few hours shy of his private license as a teenager) and in commercial craft all over the world. But that ONE time he had a stabbing pain that hit him thru his eye up into his sinus cavity so hard, I kid you not, he instantly turned white and I really thought he was going to pass out. He was completely incapacitated by it. As soon as we got on the ground the pain vanished and he was fine. It was the strangest thing. It left a lasting impression, tho, so now he's always wondering when it will happen again. He wants to learn to dive every bit as much as I do but the thought of that incapacitating episode while under water scares him too much. So unfortunate because we have fallen madly in love with snorkeling.
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:21 PM   #8
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Good info Captain! I wouldn't say I'm extremely experienced. Do you mean because of the wildlife around that area?

- no. I'm simply thinking of your comfort level snorkeling 'alone', just you and your partner with no one else around. And, at both EDEN and Sunset House, you'll be snorkeling in water deeper than other places you might have been. You will NOT have an option of standing up . . . water will be 10 foot deep or more depending on where you venture. This is a reason I recommend Sunset over Eden tho, because Sunset offers their 'sea pool' which is a good place to begin and get comfortable.

The Sea Pool has a brand new set of cement stairs. Over the last few years the Sea Pool has been gaining popularity and we decided to give it a face lift. We now have a very large set of cement stairs that go right down to the waters edge. You can giant stride from several levels depending on your comfort or go down to the bottom step and sit with your legs in the water. Your gonna love it.

The actual Sea Pool is located on the North End of the Sunset House property and obviously, right on the waters edge. The pool is about 8-10 feet deep in different areas and is the perfect area to get back in the water after a layoff and test your bouyancy and make sure your skills are still as sharp as ever. When you ready there is an opening about 15 feet wide that will take you out onto the Sunset House reef where you can head straight out to the Mermaid or the Wreck, or the wall, or the cannon or the....you get the point.

Before you use it we recommend that you talk to one of the dive staff so they can brief you on the area and even show you the dive site map so you have an idea of what's in store.




Also, I saw in the other post that you mentioned your bar; do you have a location down in GC?


"My Bar" is the name of the bar at Sunset House .... http://sunsethouse.com/bar.php

A visit to Grand Cayman, for many would not be complete without spending a few hours, at least, at My Bar. Capturing the essence of the tropics, My Bar, is a huge open-sided cabana, standing on the water's edge at Sunset House. Looking west, it's the best advantage point imaginable to watch the sun setting in a blaze of glory at the end of the day.

Voted Best Bar in the Caribbean by Caribbean Travel & Life (December 2006 issue), My Bar is one of those places that you "can not miss"! An island favorite. Go early to get a good spot.







My Bar Takes Top Honours in Top 100 Gold List

Friday, January 11, 2013, 16:23

My Bar came in 1st place in the Best Dive Bar Category and 11th out of all categories in Scuba Diving Magazine's Top 100 Gold List of operators, resorts, live-aboards, underwater experiences (i.e., best wall, shore and wreck sites), dive bars and more was determined on a “popularity contest” basis. Rankings are based on the total number of responses, regardless of category.

By far the number one Dive Bar in the list! Thank you for your support!
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:24 PM   #9
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All that said, I wonder if having better fitted fins would render us sufficiently ready for on-our-own from-the-shore snorkeling at GC? I'm seriously thinking we might do this


poor fitting equipment is a great way to ruin a day of snorkeling or diving. I can't speak about Eden, but Sunset rents top quality gear, mostly SCUBAPRO and SUB-GEAR {which is owned by SCUBAPRO}. On our recent trip, dd decided she was unhappy with the fins she brought - growing girl and all that - and rented some from Sunset Divers. They had full foot SUBGEAR fins in all sizes and said if they don't fit just come back and change size .... Sunset Divers caters to divers who know the difference in equipment, but that probably applies to ALL the SCUBA operations in Cayman.

On the other hand the large 'cattle boat' snorkel trips MIGHT not offer the same quality of equipment.

*** SP-93 ... you are very welcome ***
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:13 PM   #10
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One last question, does Sunset charge a fee to get in at their location or do you just walk through and jump in? I have my own gear so I don't really have a need to talk with anyone if it's not necessary.
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:41 PM   #11
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Considering my wife may not be as confident in her abilities, do these places rent a "snorkel-friendly" life vest along with the gear?

Also, is it possible to rent gear at one of these places and then snorkel at multiple locations before returning the gear? We may want to hit two or three of the places and I wouldn't want to rent gear each time.
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:42 PM   #12
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One last question, does Sunset charge a fee to get in at their location or do you just walk through and jump in? I have my own gear so I don't really have a need to talk with anyone if it's not necessary.
No charge .... this is a VERY popular entry point for the local folks. They drive in, gear up, do their dive, then visit MY BAR

this where the locals hang out . . .

I'll have to see if I can find the recent picture of the Island Governor at MY BAR
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:44 PM   #13
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My husband and I dive and have spent a lot of time on Grand Cayman. I've been to all of those sites. I'd pick Sunset House over them.
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:52 PM   #14
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Considering my wife may not be as confident in her abilities, do these places rent a "snorkel-friendly" life vest along with the gear?

Also, is it possible to rent gear at one of these places and then snorkel at multiple locations before returning the gear? We may want to hit two or three of the places and I wouldn't want to rent gear each time.
IME these places do rent these but these places are what I would consider 'higher skill' places

AND IME recently these places do NOT rent for off site use because of losses over the years. This was a new one for me recently, but I can see where it came from.
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt_BJ View Post
All that said, I wonder if having better fitted fins would render us sufficiently ready for on-our-own from-the-shore snorkeling at GC? I'm seriously thinking we might do this


poor fitting equipment is a great way to ruin a day of snorkeling or diving. I can't speak about Eden, but Sunset rents top quality gear, mostly SCUBAPRO and SUB-GEAR {which is owned by SCUBAPRO}. On our recent trip, dd decided she was unhappy with the fins she brought - growing girl and all that - and rented some from Sunset Divers. They had full foot SUBGEAR fins in all sizes and said if they don't fit just come back and change size .... Sunset Divers caters to divers who know the difference in equipment, but that probably applies to ALL the SCUBA operations in Cayman.

On the other hand the large 'cattle boat' snorkel trips MIGHT not offer the same quality of equipment.

*** SP-93 ... you are very welcome ***
I'm glad to know ScubaPro is a good brand. That's what we spent the big-bucks on for our masks. I think renting fins might be a good idea so we don't have to haul the bulk.

I'm glad mordecai asked about the okay-factor in showing up & heading for the water. That was our final question. Sunset House sounds absolutely perfect to us. The biggest reason we stopped going to the parks is the herd-feeling. If I can experience the things I want without being lumped-in with the herd then that's the way I'll go. It's not about the cost or money savings (although that's a LOVELY perk!), it's about the experience. Sunset House and My Bar sounds juuuuust right for us!

Again, Capt_BJ, thanks ever so much for the wealth of info you've offered up so kindly. You rock! ((but not with a real rock because that might hurt ))
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