Paul and Brenda's 2nd Excellent Grand Cayman Vacation - March 2012

Brenda and I returned to Grand Cayman in 2012 but this time as part of a diving package offered through our dive shop Scuba 2000 in Richmond Hill (free introductory scuba lesson Wednesday nights for anyone who is interested in trying diving). We were also aided by the new store manager who had just returned from Grand Cayman working for Cathy Church Photography that is associated with Sunset House  where we stayed.  Steven and his wife Jenny provided a briefing night before we went on the resort, the dive shop (Sunset Divers) as well as recommendations on places to eat. We were about a 15 minute walk south of Georgetown.

Sunset Divers is part of Sunset House that, as advertised,  was made for divers by divers.  Some niceties such as unlimited shore diving plus lockers where you could leave your wet equipment instead of hauling it up to your room. While there was no beach, there was great snorkeling and diving immediately in front of the resort. However, some of our group did desire to sun bath so took a cab a couple of afternoons up to one of the resorts on 7 Mile Beach.

This was the first time Brenda and I had gone on a planned dive trip with other divers and we had a ball, made new friends and learned a lot from the dive master (Mike) who accompanied us. To boot, we were able to get our Advanced Diver Certification. Downside was we had homework and evaluations on some dives  we had to go through.

I also took the opportunity to take a private underwater photography class from Cathy Church. If you'd like to see pictures I took please click here or on one of the pictures on either side..

One of the advantages of going with a group was the large number of pictures that everyone took and shared. This means there are more pictures of myself and Brenda unlike previous trips where I was always behind the camera above and below the water.

The following are in no particular order and were taken by Andrew Laing, Mike McCabe, Ron Bogart and myself. Drill into the picture for a larger view. The picture file names have the initials of the photographer at the end (e.g. _PN for myself).

First, our motley crew. We're standing in front of the boat we normally went out on
Excluding the staff from Sunset Dives in red (wonder if they know about Star Trek Red Shirts?)
Ron, James, Russell , Jenny, Mike (in black), Alyssa
Andrew, Paul, Brenda

The resort placed a bronze mermaid at around 35 feet off shore for something to dive on. Looks like Ron has a new girl friend. I wasn't able to get pictures because I was doing a certification when we were there and you can't be using cameras when being checked out.

This is a picture I took on one of our 'swim through' dives. These are caves and tunnels formed in some of the reef's. Not full caves because you could see from one end to another.

Brenda and I at one of the customary 15 foot safety stop for 3 minutes. We were hanging on the dive line with one of dive leads who offered to take our picture. And yes, we both have bifocal dive masks. It sucks and gets more expensive to be old.

Picture of our dive boat as we normally saw it starting a dive. Nice large platform for jumping in. Water was normally around 78F so Brenda and I did not need wet suits. You will see us in our skins which are like T shirt thickness and protect you if you accidentally touch or kneel on something.

Brenda coming into the Decompression Chamber of the Kittiwake wreck. This was our 3rd dive in two years on it. I'm inside the chamber taking the picture.

We dove on several wrecks. This was one 'wrecked' more than others because of it's age ans shallow depth which
makes it subject to hurricanes that come through. That is one of the Sunset Dive guides.

Yes, we did a night dive. My first and Brenda's 2nd. As you see from the expression on my face I'm excited about going under the water in the dark. The picture on right shows how dark it was. That's James and his Dad Russell.
Sorry, it was not practical to take pictures on the night dive. In one hand was my flashlight and the other Brenda's hand.

A picture of Brenda and I by Andrew with me checking my camera.
Brenda giving the traditional OK diving sign. Both are in one of the swim through's we explored.

Beautiful picture of (I think) Wrass Fish on the Kittiwake by Andrew. He had rented a camera with a good strobe. The colours you are seeing are because if the flash he used. If he didn't the whole picture would look like a number of those above with a greenish tinge.

I think this is an immature Squirrel fish (orange colour) and Red Snapper. I took this about 90 feet down with my camera and strobe which is the only reason the colours are so great. There is a picture of a mature Squirrel fish at the top and in my photo album from my lesson.

A Parrot Fish (you can tell from their beak like mouth). You can hear them crunching the coral when they are eating. Other picture is just some of the beautiful sea scape we saw.

More sea scape

One of the many Green Morey Eels we encountered.

I think this a Green Finger Sponge

We dove in the mornings then many afternoons went exploring. This is part of the group (including Brenda) in George Town and Margaritaville. Georgetown was dead this day. No cruise ships were in. Lots of great restaurants in George Town.

So, this was a little disconcerting after the fact. These are two water spouts that formed several miles off shore. Mike took this picture from the bar. At the moment these were swirling around, I was underwater for the in water portion of my photography class with Cathy Church.

Here's a aerial picture of Sunset House. Behind the pool is the dining room. Too it's right is the dive shop and it from of it is the bar. The large diving pool is to the left of the picture. What you don't see are the reef's directly off the resort. The other buildings are the rooms. So not much unless you are there for diving which is what this resort is set up for.

Brenda and I had a blast on this vacation with fellow divers.

And of course, we always got a beautiful show at the end of each day.