“There’s an old bicycle down there,” said the divemaster. “You can pretend to ride it if you want. It makes for some pretty funny photos.”
When we weren’t dancing in the street at 4:00 AM or recovering from such frivolous activity meant for younger folks, our time in Grand Cayman was spent relaxing at our beachside villa or diving beneath the waves in the crystal blue waters.
With over 240 named dive sites around the island, there are plenty of spectacular locations to be explored. So we scheduled four days of diving to ensure we saw a representative sample.
After doing his research, our friend Steve T. chose to book our week with Silver Thatch Water Sports, and we couldn’t have been happier with his choice. The owner, George, accompanied us for several dives, serving as boat captain for several reef dives and as an easy-paced dive guide on the USS Kittiwake wreck.
The sea life we found was your typical Caribbean fare, with big yellowtail snapper pacing us throughout the dive and the occasional loggerhead turtle or eagle ray coming in from the deep blue to have a look at us. Although we didn’t see any sharks or other grand pelagic wildlife, all of the dives proved to be colorful and relaxing, providing several close encounters with green turtles and shy, spotted moray eels.
Beautiful. But, honestly, uneventful.
Except for the milestone that Angela achieved during this trip.
We had just completed our first dive on the morning of April 28, and I started filling out our dive logs during the surface interval before the second dive. I asked our dive guide Natasha the name of the site, and she screwed up her face and gave a shrug.
“This site doesn’t actually have a name,” she said. “We just call it Unnamed Reef.”
We all chuckled at that. Divers are notorious for proffering ever-colorful and unusual names for dive sites (see our post about the Swirling Reef of Death in St. Croix for confirmation). So it was quite unusual for a site to go unnamed.
Then, when I picked up Angela’s log book to begin filling it out, I noticed that she had just completed her 100th dive!
One hundred hours underwater. Over four days. A step beyond novice and into the semi-pro ranks.
And it happened on a site that had no name…
When I related this fact to the others on the boat, there were congratulations all around. And then Natasha exclaimed, “We have to change the name of the site now!”
So she ceremoniously dubbed it Angie’s Reef in honor of Angela’s 100th dive. We entered the new name into our log books, and Natasha provided her signature to make it official.
“It’s too bad you didn’t tell me it was your 100th dive before we splashed in,” Natasha said to Angela. “Around here, we do the 100th dive naked.”
In lieu of that, how’s about a cute, fully-clothed wave instead?
Congrats Angela! Grand Cayman was where I did my first and only 100′ bounce dive– a few years ago 🙂 It was gorgeous in the early 90s and I wanna go back to see how well the reefs have withstood the seas warming. At least I made it to the Great Barrier Reef off Port Douglas just before the 2016 Great Bleaching event :<
Thank you, Lynn! I’d love to hear your before-and-after comparison of Cayman. We saw how the bleaching affected the Great Barrier Reef, and fortunately we haven’t seen other areas around the world that seemed quite that bad.