Shore Diving

Best Shore Diving in the Caribbean, Cayman Brac! Text and Photos by: Jason Wood

Shore diving information provided by local divers, etc.

1. Bert Brother’s Boulders

Location
From the South side, take the West End Cross Road and turn right at the stop sign onto the North Shore Road. Follow the North Shore Road for several miles. Drive past Bluff Road until you reach a very sharp “S” turn in the road. After the “S” turn, you will pass La Esperanza (great place to try jerk chicken on Friday and Saturday night) and will be heading towards Spot Bay. As you get near to the end of Spot Bay and the North Shore Road, you will see a very interesting local craft’s store, called NIMS Things (great place to shop for Caymanite jewelry) on the right hand side. Directly opposite is a road leading to a boat ramp. Drive down this road and park just in front of the boat ramp. 

Entry
Go down the boat ramp into the dredged out area. Be sure to wear hard-soled booties to get you into the swimming area of water. Head to the mooring ball which is just to the East of the boat ramp.

What is there to see?
There’s a pristine reef with lots of ledges, overhangs and other areas to explore. There are sea fans with flamingo tongues swaying in the shallow water as you head to the mooring buoy. This is also the best spot for Flying Gurnards, which are found in about 15’-18’ of water. There are lots of opportunities to see eels and lobsters within the spur and groove system. Jewfish abound in the rubble at around 45’.

Depths
The mooring sits at a depth of about 20’ and you can reach a depth of about 60’ as you swim towards the wall. Lots to see between those ranges of depth. 

2. Bucanneer - Wreck of the Captain Keith Tibbett’s
Location
Located on the North Shore, just west of the airport. From the resorts, take the West End Cross Road and turn left at the stop sign onto the North Shore Road. Follow the North Shore Road past the airport to Robert Foster Lane. Turn right on Robert Foster Lane and follow to shoreline.

Entry
A pool like area has been dredged out and provides for a reasonably easy entry.

What is there to see?
Two mooring buoys mark the wreck. Swim out half way on the surface. When you start to see an anchor chain drop down underwater. Follow this out to the wreck. After cruising the wreck, follow the anchor chain back and continue to shore. There are several things to see in the shallow spur and groove system. Regular sightings of eagle rays, stingrays, and turtles occur.

Depths
If, you go out all the way to the wreck, you can reach about 100’ at the bow of the wreck. The stern sits in about 60’ of water. Most of the life is at the upper decks, which are in the 40’-50’ range.

3. Cemetery Wall, Charlie’s Reef, Garden Eel Wall, Strawberry Sponge Wall, and the Wreck of the Kissimmee! Choices, choices, choices...

Location
Located on the North Shore, just to the east of Tibbett’s Square and the airport. From the South Side, take the West End Cross Road and turn right at the stop sign onto North Shore Road. Take the next left onto Cemetery Road (between West End Post Office and Scott Development). Drive to the end of Cemetery Road.

Entry
There is a jetty running out from the shoreline and relatively easy entries can be made on either side. Booties are a good idea since the shoreline is primarily iron shore. 

What is there to see?
Lots of choices in this area! 5 mooring balls are visible.

To the West of the jetty you’ll find Strawberry Sponge Wall and the Wreck of the Kissimmee. The Kissimmee lies upside down in the sand at about 45’. Again, it is common to see eagle rays and turtles around this dive site. Lots of cleaning stations and small life can be seen as well.

Directly in front of the jetty is Garden Eel Wall and to the East of the jetty, you will find Cemetery Wall and Charlie’s Reef! All 3 walls have some great opportunities. 

It is a spur and groove system with wide sand channels. The walls start at around 60’. Charlie’s Reef is a nice shallow dive at about 40’-50’, with lots to see, along with juveniles. Keep your eyes open for Charlie, a large Nassau grouper, who regularly travels back and forth between Charlie’s Reef and Kissimmee.

Depths
The closer moorings, Kissimmee and Charlie’s Reef, will give you a maximum depth of 60’. If you head out to the walls, the wall starts at around the 60’ depth and drops off to never-never land…

4. Greenhouse
Location
From the Southside, take the West End Road and turn right at the stop sign onto the North Shore Road. You will pass through Stake Bay and then you’ll see the Faith Hospital on your left. Just past the hospital is Ocean Villa Drive. Turn left and follow to the end. You will then see a “green house” on your left.

Entry
There is a small sand beach here and the water entry is rocky. Wear some sort of foot protection to get you into the swimming water. Just head right to the mooring ball. The spur and groove system doesn’t start until this point.

What is there to see?
A unique, fairy tale like reef! There are lots of ledges and overhangs and areas to explore. Sandy areas provide views of stingrays, eagle rays, and conchs. A huge array of fish like congregates around the coral heads. Shark-tail eels, Angels, and turtles can also be found here too! Shallower areas provide nooks for cleaning stations.

Depths
The mooring sits at a depth of about 20’ and you can reach 60’ depths as you swim towards the wall. Lots to see between these ranges. 

5. Handcuff Reef
Location

Located right across from the Police Station on the North Shore. From the South side, take the West End Cross Road and turn right at the stop sign on the North Shore Road. Follow this road for several miles. You will pass Bluff Road and then reach a sharp “S” turn. After the “S” turn you will pass La Esperanza (great place to try jerk chicken on Friday & Saturday nights). Just passed La Esperanza you will see a cemetery on the right and a boat ramp on the left. A mooring ball is directly in front of the boat ramp and quite close to shore. 

Entry
Enter down the boat ramp and head out to the mooring ball.

What is there to see?
Handcuff Reef is a great place to see juvenile fish and invertebrates. Use the spur and groove system for navigation. Check out the ledges for lobster and crabs.

Depths
The spur and groove system starts at about 25’ and drops down to about 50’.  

6. Plymouth Rock - Smiley House

Location
Just east of Radar Reef. From the Southside, take the West End Cross Road and turn right at the stop sign onto the North Shore Road. Follow this road until you reach the Cayman Brac Museum. The road just to the east of the museum is Kirkconnell Road. Turn left here and follow to Stake Bay Front Road. Turn right and follow to the white house with small beach in front. You will see a mooring buoy directly in front of the beach area.

Entry
Enter from the beach area. There are some rocks, so wearing booties or reef shoes is recommended. Head out to the mooring ball and drop down at the start of the reef. 

What is there to see? 
Plymouth Rock is similar to Radar Reef. It is a spur and groove system. There are lots of small critters and juvenile fish. 

Depths
Like Radar Reef, the best stuff is in the 40’-50’ depths or shallower. 

7. Public Beach
Location
Located on the south shore. From the North side, take the West End Cross Road to the south shore. At the stop sign, turn left and head east until you see an area with picnic tables and shelters surrounded by a fence. Parking is at the front so you will have to carry your gear to the shore. 

Entry
There’s an east entry from the beach. Swim out to the surf area and you will see a cut in the reef directly in front of the cabanas. Take this cut to put you out in the spur and groove system.

What is there to see? 
Public Beach is a great place to see juvenile fish, lobster, crab, eels, and stingrays.

Depths
Much like Public Launch, you can do anything from 10’ on up. Most of the dive can be spent in the 30’-45’ range.

8. Radar Reef
LocationEntry
Located on the North Shore in Stake Bay. From the Southside, take the West End Cross Road and turn right at the stop sign on the North Shore Road. Follow this road until you reach the Cayman Brac Museum. The road just to the east of the museum is Kirkconnell Road. Turn left here and follow to the end.

Steps lead into the water from the jetty. This is a super easy entry, even if ther some waves on the north shore. Once you are in the water, stay on the surface to the end of the jetty. Then, drop down and turn east. You will soon see an underwater cable that you can follow out to the reef and then back again.

What is there to see? 
This site is ideal day or night. There are lots of little critters to look for. The underwater cable always has plenty of lettuce leaf slugs, juvenile fish, coral banded shrimp, and arrow crabs. While out on a night dive, watch for octopus tucked under the cable or hidden in ledges on the reef. The rocks and ledges around the jetty are a haven for spiny lobster and night shrimp. In the sandy areas, you will often see eagle rays and squid feeding. The reef system here is a spur and groove formation so navigation is easy.
The most interesting part of the reef is in the 40’-50’ zone. To the East of the pier at 42’ is a Dolphin Statue with 5 stingrays.

And to the West of the pier at 40’-50’ is Atlantis. The City of Atlantis is being done in phases with phase one already completed. Shrimp, Sting Rays, and Eagle Rays have already been seen in the area.

Depths
You can hit 60’-65’ on this dive, but really the best stuff is much shallower. You could spend the entire dive along the cable at 30’ and never run out of things to look at. At night, the boat jetty can provide hours of amusement in just 10’-15’ of water. 


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© Rosanna Sickels - updated July 7, 2020