Frequently Asked Questions
Non-divers are welcome on-board but our regularly scheduled dive trips are focused on diving. The first dive of every trip is a wall dive and is too deep for good snorkeling. The second site is a shallow dive and is much better for snorkeling. Good diving and good snorkeling don’t always mix. For optimum snorkeling & diving, a private charter customized to suit both divers and snorkelers is recommended.
Our prices are all is USD and we take Visa, Master Card, Discover, everyone’s favorite ~ cash and travelers checks. We do not accept AMEX. You pay at the end of your last trip with us.
We usually leave from either West Bay Dock, Catch Restaurant, or Coconut Bay Condos based on requested sites, boat or shore diving and weather conditions. We will communicate with you prior to diving.
Not at this time. Using a taxi or the public bus for $2.50 USD or $2.00 CI are the best ways around island unless you have a rental car.
Absolutely! However, we highly recommend a refresher course after two or more years out of the water to make your dive experience the best possible. In this brief course you will again become familiar with set up, most important safety skills, weighting, and buoyancy so you may have the safest and most comfortable experience diving.
CAYMAN ISLANDS WATER TEMPERATURE
- Temperature ranges 80F/26C to 84F/29C
- Protection: Swimsuits, dive skins & lightweight wetsuits
October – March
- Temperature ranges 78F/25C to 80F/26C.
- Protection: Full shorty wetsuits and lightweight wetsuits
Generally, 100 Ft + year round, but some sites are affected by tide changes and rain reducing visibility slightly.
We use new SCUBAPRO integrated pro glide BCD’s with MK2/ R295 Regulators and Octos. Rental masks are made by Cressi and fins by SCUBAPRO. All dives include complimentary computer use with our new Suunto Zoop Novo Nitrox compatible computers. We try to maximize your bottom time on every dive, so for your comfort we also have SCUBAPRO long sleeve shorty wetsuits for rent.
When diving with us we put a maximum of 6 divers on each boat trip unless otherwise requested. We provide a guided tour on each and every snorkel or diving excursion. We believe in small groups so everyone gets the care and attention they deserve. No crowds mean everyone can see the critters!
Temperatures in the Cayman Islands are almost always pleasant. These Caribbean islands experience fairly even temperatures throughout the year. In January, temperatures range from 73F/22C to 81/27C; in July, norms range from 80/26C to 88/31C. The Cayman Islands’ rainy season runs from May to November, and annual rainfall is about 46 inches. Don’t be afraid to visit during the rainy season, though; unlike the sustained afternoon thunderstorms of Miami and other tropical locations, Cayman rain showers are short, sporadic, and won’t impede vacation fun.
Children can begin to SCUBA dive at 10 years old. I recommend the Discover SCUBA course for the little ones. The course is designed to teach just the basics. In just an hour or two, your child can experience the sensation of breathing from a regulator and the weightlessness of neutral buoyancy. If it’s just not their thing, both child and parent have made a minimal investment. Parents or guardians must sign for any child under 18 years old.
A hyperbaric chamber is available for treatment of decompression illness. It is located at George Town Hospital in the heart of Grand Cayman. Make sure you have updated your DAN insurance before you arrive for your Cayman Islands dive holiday.
You can find Shaggy’s Diving shirts, rash-guards, caps, towels, etc. at the Lodge, located in the Strand Plaza on Canal Point Road and on our website for catalogue of items available to request upon arrival.
Absolutely! Sunscreen is an important part of everyone’s day here in the tropics. Remember that spray on sunscreen needs to be rubbed in or it will not stick to you. Also consider looking for waterproof sunscreen. This avoids the need for repeated applications. Common sunscreen ingredients have been shown to kill or bleach coral at extremely low concentrations (as low as one drop in 6.5 Olympic size swimming pool.
- Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3, BP-3) – Sunscreen ingredient that disrupts coral reproduction, causes coral bleaching, and damages coral DNA. Oxybenzone is found in over 3500 sunscreen products worldwide.
- Butylparaben – Preservative ingredient shown to cause coral bleaching.
- Octinoxate (Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate) and 4-methylbenzylidene camphor – Sunscreen ingredients shown to cause coral bleaching.
- Here is a list of reef safe options
Yes! If you did your classroom and pool work within the last year, you can complete your 4 open water certification dives with us. You will need to bring a referral form signed by your instructor and your logbook each day. We certify under SDI(Scuba Diving International) in regulation with the WRSTC (World Recreational Scuba Training Council) and your final certification will come from SDI.
One advantage is that Advanced OW divers can dive to 100 feet with a buddy. More importantly, the course will help you improve your diving skills while learning new ones, increasing your comfort levels and confidence, all of which contribute to safe diving. During the Advanced Open Water Certification course, you will learn about underwater navigation, deep diving, and about certain types of diving, such as wreck, night, boat, multilevel, and drift diving. You can also choose to focus on particular diving interests, such as underwater photography.
You don’t have to be an Olympic level swimmer in order to dive; however, basic water skills and comfort in the water are essential for diving. While there are no minimum swim requirements to participate in the uncertified diver Discover Scuba Diving program, during the Open Water certification course students are required to complete a 300-yard untimed swim using mask, snorkel, and fins and a 10-minute float in water too deep to stand.
Please review the medical release form prior to your dive course. If you can answer “YES” to ANY question on Page 1, we will need your physician’s permission and signature on Page 2 before your dives.
Scuba diving is an exciting and demanding activity. To Scuba dive safely, you must not be extremely overweight or out of condition. Diving can be strenuous under certain conditions. Your respiratory and circulatory systems must be in good health. All body air spaces must be normal and healthy. A person with heart trouble, a current cold or congestion, epilepsy, asthma, a severe medical problem, or who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, should not dive. If taking medication, consult your doctor before participating.
Current research recommends waiting at least 18 hours between the end of your last dive and when your flight leaves.
Our instructors work very hard to ensure that you are safe, have fun, and receive top notch scuba training during all of the charters and courses we teach at Shaggy’s Diving. Gratuities are always greatly appreciated. Most divers feel comfortable with a comparable gratuity for the customer service industry of 20% of the full retail value of their charter or course.
We certify under SDI(Scuba Diving International) in regulation with the WRSTC (World Recreational Scuba Training Council) which is the standard for all certifying agencies internationally. Your final certification will come from SDI. Shaggy was a PADI instructor for 14 years so conversion and comprehension between courses is easily done.
Generally the answer is no but that’s up to your doctor. If you have asthma, then you need to consult your physician. If s/he gives you the OK, simply have them sign the medical release form and bring it with you.
For an extra charge, if our staff photographer is available during your dive/charter, you can purchase photos of your experience. If you’d like to take your own photos, we have an underwater housing that fits virtually all new iPhone and Android phones, available for rent with deposit for damaged equipment)
We offer a 10% discount on all excursions (diving, snorkeling, bio bay) for our guests staying at our Coconut Bay Condo.
The fabulous Cracked Conch Restaurant and Macabuca Tiki Bar are within walking distance of Coconut Bay Condos. The Cayman Turtle Centre, Dolphin Discovery, HELL post office and tourist destination and the Cayman Motor Museum are also within walking distance. Seven Mile Beach is roughly 10 minutes away by vehicle. Camana Bay, our upscale retail and entertainment district, is 15 minutes from the condo. George Town, our island’s capital, is a quick 20 minutes away.
The best way to explore Grand Cayman is by car. Rent a car from Budget and mention you are staying in our condo at Coconut Bay for special pricing. Remember, as a British overseas territory, we all drive on the left! The public bus costs $2.50 USD per trip ($2.00 KYD) and runs along the Western side of the island several times each day and night (and from the bus depot in George Town out to the East end less frequently each day), with a stop in front of Coconut Bay. Taxis are also available and charge by distance, regulated by the government.
A helicopter’s ability to fly low minimizes risks decompression associated with flying. It also offers spectacular views of the Sister Islands and coastal marine life.
Check out www.explorecayman.com to get a great overview of what’s happening on the island while you’re visiting. Their events listing covers everything from marathons to festivals.
Six people can fit comfortably on our charter boat (although we have fit eight in a pinch but it’s a bit of a squeeze).
The great thing about hiring a charter boat is that we can customise your time to your needs. With a variety of dive sites we can find both amazing diving and snorkeling combined.