First time snorkelers in Grand Cayman?

Old Jun 1st, 2004, 08:49 PM
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First time snorkelers in Grand Cayman?

We will be snorkeling in Grand Cayman with kids 11, 12, and 16.. all first time snorkelers. What are the best locations for us to try first?
Thanks for any tips!
tdelano is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2004, 03:59 AM
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There are several spots to snorkel from shore, but some of the reefs are 100 yards or so offshore, and require a somewhat strong swimmer. Not sure how good of swimmers your kids are, but I'll try and make a few suggestions.

Starting at the very northern section of 7MB, you will find The Cracked Conch restaurant, and the Turtle farm. I have never snorkeled either site, but have heard a positive response. There is supposedly ladders going into the water there. I don't believe the swim is far at all.

Heading south on 7MB from there, you will find Cemetary reef, located at the cemetary. Just park along the road, and follow skinny path along the cemetary to the beach. The reef itself is 75 yards (or so) off the beach. Depending on the wind, you will find great visibility here, and lots of fish that can sometimes totally surround you looking for handouts. No worries...they are harmless.

Heading further south on 7MB, you may want to try the reef in front of Treasure Island resort. This reef is a 100 yards out from the somewhat rocky entry. Swim straight out from the small rock jetties until you find the reef. It is usually teaming with life, and we have seen fish of all shapes and sizes here.

Heading south again, there is a restaurant in Georgetown called Rackhams Pub. There is a ladder into the water that they will let you use. About 50-75 yards out, you will find a shipwreck in about 40 feet of water. This is a nice snorkel to see the big Tarpon, which can be up to 6 feet in length. They are totally harmless, so not to worry.

Heading even further south, just out of downtown, you will find Eden Rock Dive shop. They have a ladder entry into the water that you are welcome to use. This is by far our favorite snorkel. About 50-75 yards out, you will find an amazing reef, ranging from 8 feet under the surface down to small canyon-like rocks down to 80 feet deep. This place is magical with marine life. I definite "not miss" spot. You will see everything from Grouper, Tarpon & Barracuda here, along with all the smaller varieties of fish. We usually snorkel here several times during our stay. Again, it is a deep snorkel, but to us, whether you're in 5 feet, or 80 feet, you are still simply floating on the surface looking down.

Heading south even more, you will find a small cove called Smith's Cove. This is a sometimes very popular spot for swimming & snorkeling. The rock formations are pretty cool here, and there's some okay Elkhorn coral. It's an easy snorkel, without a long swim out. We didn't see as many fish here, but have heard the Tarpon will sometimes be in the area.

Again, all the suggestions I have mentioned above require good swimming skills. Do keep in mind that the salt water makes us (much) more bouyant, and most people float like a cork without having to move a muscle. If there is any concern, you can always have the kids wear life vests. Usually this is not nessesary for good swimmers.

There are many other spots to snorkel, in GC, and I'm sure some of the staff at your resort or hotel can assist. If you have any problem finding the spots, just ask anyone....most are extremely friendly & helpful on the island.

Hope this helps.......
ScottB is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2004, 05:27 PM
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Here's two suggestions:

1. There is good snorkeling just about anywhere along the shore of Seven Mile Beach. Try the Cemetary Beach section, or the rocky shoreline in front of the Discovery Point condos. You might even meet up with a few turtles.

2. Go to Rum Point (ferry ride from Hyatt). Not only is it a nice place to spend the day anyway, but there is easy snorkeling - try right under the pier, and just to the right of the pier, where there's a small reef that is just a short wade from the beach.
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Old Jul 16th, 2004, 05:20 PM
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Rum Point is great for kids. Clear, very shallow everywhere, and they can stand up anytime they need to, yet you can see Rays and countless other things right there.

Plus you can relax in a hammock there and you know the kids will be fine... there's almost no current to speak of.

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Old Jul 16th, 2004, 07:52 PM
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Take masks with you so you know they don't leak. Put them in the pool first until they get used to breathing underwater - it doesn't come naturally to everyone. They may even practice a little diving underwater in the pool with the snorkel - fetching coins, etc. They can practice clearing the snorkle without lifting their heads. Once my teenager got the hang of that, she was so much happier because she could dive down to look at things, clear and keep moving. She never fogged up after that. I'm amazed at how many people snorkle and never leave the top of the water - they miss so much that way.
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Old Jul 16th, 2004, 08:29 PM
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We just returned last week from GC and I agree with what's been said thus far but would also add snorkeling at the reef near Stingray City. Among some of the best snorkeling we have ever done and we have snorkeled in many different places.
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Old Jul 17th, 2004, 08:41 AM
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Check out and click on Offshore snorkeling.
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Old Sep 11th, 2004, 07:33 AM
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You may also want to consider purchasing a "Dolphin Kids Wet Suit". It has foam pads in the neck, chest and back which aid in buoyancy, and can be removed as the younger ones improve their snorkeling skills. Robert
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Old Sep 11th, 2004, 08:12 AM
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Not sure if this is too late. We were in exactly the same position 3 years ago. A tour called Captain Marvin's was recommended to us. Only 10 the boat with very personaized attention for those of us who had never snorkeled or who had difficulty. I would recommend them highly. We were taken to three places-including Sting Ray City. They were off shore but shallow. It was one of the highlights of our trip. We are going back this winter and will be doing it again.
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