Recently I wrote an article on an incredible week diving in Little Cayman with Backscatter Underwater Video & Photo for their annual Digital Shootout Workshop & Competition which was published at Uwpmag.com. If you have ever thought of attending one of these events read on! (To enlarge text click each section):
With a trip to the States and Cayman Islands back to back, June has been quite a whirlwind. Eight flights later, I am trying to recover from a bout of severe jet lag and a cold I caught somewhere over the Atlantic. Hence the reason my writing has been seriously lacking. Although, now that I’ve clarified my silence I feel comfortable moving forward and talking about the awesome week of diving I had in Little Cayman.
Completely the opposite of Grand Cayman, Little Cayman is a quiet, undeveloped retreat with much more of a relaxing vibe to it. A short thirty minute flight and you have made it to your own deserted island. Ten miles long, one mile wide, and a population of under two hundred one can understand why. Before you read any further, I should mention if you’ve got a thing or two about small planes this might not be the place to plan your next trip; as the cockpit is wide open, the tires could use some air and well the weight of each piece of luggage is taken very seriously. But if small planes are more your speed, likely you’ll find the person sitting next to you is making the hop over to LC simply for some scuba diving. Seriously though, with fifty dive sites around the island and a regulator bag on everyones lap this isn’t too difficult to figure out.
So all the hooplah about Bloody Bay Wall is definitely right on and really the sheer size of it isn’t understood until one has the courage to swim off the wall, and out into the blue. Confirming your regulator is snug in your mouth, stop finning and pull a 180. Let your eyes adjust for a moment and hold that regulator tightly. Quite likely your jaw will have the urge to drop. Ignore it. Take a photo, make sure you got it and swim back to the safety of the wall. Of course you can’t see it but that wall descends to about 6000 feet. Pretty amazing, huh? One last thing, do me a favour and email me that shot?!
While the wall was mighty impressive I’ll admit I get weirded out by deep depths along reef walls. I’ve probably read one too many stories about downward currents and have really got to stop reading I think. This is definitely my problem! But I did dive the bloody wall several times and loved every second of it. The gi-normous barrel sponges were my favourite and snuggling up inside one may have crossed my mind for a split second ;o) But really up in the shallows, you’ve got the ambient light flickering about, the garguntuan loggerhead turtles barrelling across the reef, nurse sharks playing hide and seek with you and giant barracuda’s that seem to appear out nowhere. For me this is where it’s at.
With shallow depths your air lasts so much longer, giving you the time to find what you’re looking for and hopefully photograph it well. In the shallows I came across nurse sharks, turtles, octopi, squid, giant barracuda’s, stunning sea fans, and the peculiar but pretty trumpetfish. Unfortunately it wasn’t until my very last dive that I had a run in with some fire coral as I was trying to photograph a trumpetfish. This was my first mishap underwater and hopefully my last. Fire coral really has a bite to it and at first I wasn’t sure what happened. I just knew my hand was on fire. Hence, the name fire coral. In any case, I survived to share a few shots I snapped while diving Little Cayman.