TESTUDO'S SNORKEL GUIDE Cayman Off the Beaten Path
TESTUDO'S SNORKEL GUIDE TABLE OF CONTENTS:

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Testudo

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I am heading to Grand Cayman next week to go snorkeling. I am a retired diver with a bad back and limited mobility. I will be staying near Rum Point. Are there snorkeling boat operators, beside Red Sail Sports, who will take you out to various snorkeling spots for several half day trips?
Anonymous

There really are not any standing snorkel excursions around the North Sound by Rum Point that are anything special.  Most are comprised of a Sting Ray City or Sandbar stop and then a token snorkel at the Barrier Reef or the Sting Ray City Coral Garden.  Your best bet is to hire a half-day private charter to see the best of the Reef and Boulder Gardens.  Sorry, I haven’t used any to recommend, but I would quiz any captains about where they would stop for a snorkel focused charter.  If you get the standard Sting Ray City and Star Fish Beach responses, keep looking.  You want to spend time along the barrier reef, and not at Sting Ray City.

A proper snorkel tour I can recommend, is the weekly Ocean Frontiers East End snorkel trip.  A 20-25 minute drive from Rum Point to Compass Point.  You stop a 3 or 4 good to very good snorkel sites and truly get to see some nice sights.

http://www.oceanfrontiers.com/snorkel-boat-trips/coral-reef.html

Hi, I have really enjoyed reading your blog. We will be in Grand Cayman 4/10-4/15 and the weather forecast seems to be calling for pretty high winds. We are worried that we won't get to snorkel. We will be staying by Old Man Bay. Any thoughts? Do you think the forecast is accurate. Thanks so much.
Anonymous

Looks like it will indeed be pretty windy.  With the winds out of the East, you may still get some snorkeling, albeit choppy, in on the North Side.  Worse case, if it is just too darn windy, a trip to the South or West shore might need to be in order.

Good Luck!

Testudo, I have really enjoyed finding your website and blog. The information and photos are great. We will be in Cayman the last week of April and staying along SMB near Cemetery Beach. What sites for our preteen beginners would you recommend?

Well Cemetery would be a very good spot; Usually calm waters and plenty to see in terms of fish and other marine life, especially for beginners.  Governor’s reef over by the Westin is a bit more compact and features similar friendly fish.  

The other spots on that side of the island would be the Wreck of the Cali (enter at Rackham’s restaurant), Eden Rock in the main harbour for a deep water snorkel with plenty to see and Smith Cove Bacadere to see some nice Elkhorn corals by the rock in the center of the cover.

Enjoy,

T

Hey Testudo, I've been traveling to GC for the last 10 years, always staying at our timeshare at Morritt's. I only discovered you blog a few years ago, and have since used it as my bible for hitting snorkeling sites around the island. Barefoot beach was such an amazing place, and so surprising that so very few people seem to know about it (myself included). I just wanted to thank you. THANK YOU! Your site is truly the best resource out there for snorkeling in Cayman. Back in june! Cheers!
Anonymous

My pleasure!  Thrilled you have been able to “find” some of the hidden spots that make snorkeling Grand Cayman such a great experience.  Have fun in June.

Cheers,

Testudo

Visiting the end of April, so excited! Can you tell me how to access the snorkeling between the Reef Resort and the Morrits? Is there a public access point? Thanks for all of your great info! Jean
Anonymous

You can park in the lots for either Morritts or the Reef Resort and head down to the water.  Easy-Peasy.

I am not going to ask a question. I am going to say "thank you". We are headed to Cayman at the end of May and have had this planned for almost a year. I found your site a month or so ago and have looked at it about every day learning and planning out some things to snorkel. Your posts and blogs and pictures are amazing and again, I Thank you for what you put out here. I will not ask, but if you offer any advice on courtesies and customes to be aware of, I am all ears.
Anonymous

Well thank you.  Always nice to feel your efforts are being appreciated.  The customs and common courtesy are very much like those displayed in North America.  Saying hello to a shopkeeper when you enter their establishment, saying thank you to a server, etc…Gratuity is usually automatically included on most restaurant bills, so make sure before tipping any extra amount, grocery stores and most retail is closed on Sundays, being fairly modest the sight of “half naked” tourists in non-beach public settings is frowned upon by most Caymanians, and the correct way to pronounce the place is K-Man and while technically correct, most natives prefer not to have their home referred to as the Caymans, drop the “s” and you’ll fit right in.

We will be on a cruise and will have one day in Grand Cayman. What type of weather can we expect? Where are the best snorkeling areas (not crowded with people)?
Anonymous

While I like to think I have many talents, omniscience is not one of them.  The weather can vary from season to season and day to day.  Grand Cayman is a semi-tropical island and has nicer weather than I have at home.  

Unfortunately, coming from a Cruise it will be a time challenge to get to the best and least crowded snorkel sights.  I’d recommend Eden Rock and Devil’s Grotto since they are right at port and a rather large snorkel ground.  If it is “crowded” by fellow cruisers, there is a enough space to find a section of reef structure you can call your own.  Cemetery Beach (a section of Seven Mile Beach) can be reached by public mini-bus and, while not a secrete to the Cruise crowd, is usually far from being overrun.