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ABQrobin

Grand Cayman - scuba at Sunset House

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Hi all,
We are thinking of booking a cruise that stops at Grand Cayman again (done that port twice). First time there we did scuba thru the cruise ship, second time we did stingray city.
This time we would want to scuba again, and we are debating shore diving at Sunset House instead of boat dives. Anyone who has done this.... what did you think? We like shooting photos and videos, don't mind being shallow and just fish watching for an hour. Would booking a DM to lead dive be best? How's the current? We would probably be bringing gear, so just need to rent tanks and weights.
After diving, we would stay for lunch there. Then back to ship.
thanks

robin

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Posted (edited)
well if you search Sunset House either here in SCUBA or down in the Cayman port calls section you should find dozens of posts by me ....

I first dove Sunset House in the mid 80's and began spending week long dive vacations there .. many times since then. it is also where I took dd to build experience right after getting certified 5 years ago and she now has hundreds of logged dives having been a research intern at Coco View resort.

I must have a hundred hours on the 'house reef' and over 50% of my night dives were there as well. dd did her first nite here ... navigation is so easy it is ideal for first nite dives and instructors from outside are regularly seen here.

You don't need a DM to tell you where to go ... they have a good site map in the dive shop and there are easy to find 'landmarks' to ensure you won't get lost!

In general current is non-existent anywhere around Cayman. The 'exception' is certain times in the winter and spring when the seas roll in from the west and break on shore at Sunset (end Eden) ... you simply don't dive on the west side when this happens (and most ships won't stop as tendering is dangerous)

if you like u/w video and photog' don't forget the Cathy Church school and studio is at Sunset ... stop in, she sells prints and equipment.

this air shot of Sunset clearly shows the dive site .... water depth at the sea wall is around 10 feet and where the dark blue ridge ends (left) about 60' ... stay in the sand chutes and swim east / west thru the fingers. Water getting deeper, you are heading west ... shallower east. Go east far enuf you bump into the sea wall! Most night dives we'd pick a spot and sit ... turn off the lights and wait to see what showed up....

[IMG]https://uniim1.shutterfly.com/ng/services/mediarender/THISLIFE/021030690755/media/123809293829/medium/1521480121/enhance[/IMG]

IF you were to continue west .... at around 70' depth you would encounter 'the wall' and depths drop to 800+ ... technically a wall dive is possible fromt the shore, but not recommended .... Edited by Capt_BJ

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Thanks, I was hoping you would chime in. We are thinking if we like the shore dive there enough, we might consider a land vacation staying there. So there are markers that make it easy to navigate? We have done liveaboards, so we are pretty good at the navigation thing on our own, but just know that a new location is sometimes a little confusion and we don't want to miss the best spots. DH and I can literally camp out in front of a small coral head for an entire dive, just watching shrimp, trumpetfish, and blennies and stuff. We are scuba dorks, for sure.

It looks like all those fingers would be perfect for us, too.

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Posted (edited)
[COLOR=#333333][FONT="][I]So there are markers that make it easy to navigate?[/I][/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#333333][FONT="]
[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#333333][FONT="]between 'the statue' .... 'the wreck' .. and the mooring buoys for their boats it is pretty easy to keep your bearings. Add to that the general depth rules I mentioned I find it very easy to get around (altho I admit some local knowledge!)[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#333333][FONT="]
[/FONT][/COLOR]
[FONT=Helvetica Neue, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][COLOR=#333333]also, unlike Eden Rock there is very little boat traffic here so in a pinch it is easy to do a bounce and get your bearings altho with a compass, just head east and you are heading in!!!![/COLOR][/FONT]
[FONT=Helvetica Neue, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][COLOR=#333333]
[/COLOR][/FONT]
[FONT=Helvetica Neue, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][COLOR=#333333]if you can handle a live aboard this is a cake walk
[/COLOR][/FONT][FONT=Helvetica Neue, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][COLOR=#333333]
[/COLOR][/FONT]
[FONT=Helvetica Neue, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][COLOR=#333333]a pic of mine from the house reef[/COLOR][/FONT]
[FONT=Helvetica Neue, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][COLOR=#333333]
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[IMG]https://uniim1.shutterfly.com/ng/services/mediarender/THISLIFE/021030690755/media/123809327876/medium/1521481644/enhance[/IMG]

p.s. at times they have had dolphin (flipper not mahi) and mantas hanging around and smaller turtles are not unusual. Octupus common ... on dd's first nite dive a large basket star.

Dive shop folks are super friendly as is the staff at My Bar

if one thing is lacking it is lockers for day visitors. you can ask but usually all the lockers are in use by folks staying at the resort. When I visit from a cruise I either just bring the minimum - money and credit cards can get wet - and no one has ever bothered my bag with a t-shirt and some shoes left behind (there's usually others laying about) ... or I bring a non-diver friend who can watch and never complains about having some beer and conch fritters on me at My Bar while watching my stuff! Edited by Capt_BJ

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Yikes, I hadn't thought about the locker thing. That might be a deal breaker.
As I said, we haven't booked yet, we are still looking at options. I did enjoy our boat dives last time, so I am thinking we will enjoy dives there again. We thought it was pretty easy diving with lots to see.

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