Grand Cayman Wreck Dives
Cayman Islands Wreck dives
The West side of the island has the most numerous and best wrecks sites! Considered shallow dives for all these top three are our favorite for diving and snorkeling!
Grand Cayman is happy to boast of one of the most accessible wreck dives in the world. The Ex-USS Kittiwake, sunk intentionally in 2011 as an artificial reef and divers playground. During its 50-year service, the Kittiwake was commissioned as a Submariner rescue vessel. Her primary role was to assist submarines by rescuing them when they were stuck, trapped or broken, bringing supplies and personnel when needed and recovering practice torpedoes. It’s most famous recovery is the black box from the 1986 Challenger Disaster.
Originally sunk upright in the sand in about 50 feet of water, Tropical storm Nate came through the islands and uprooted it; placing it on its side and at its final resting place up against the reef sitting now around 60-70 feet of water. Making this a true wreck dive. Ambient light shines through the wreck giving divers the chance to see the sinks, mirrors, and halls of what was. Large cut-outs in the hull make for easy access for penetration and exiting allowing a safe environment for first-timers and new divers.
Ideal for certified divers and snorkelers on the reef and wreck tour! Both groups can experience the green moray eel hiding beneath the propeller, maybe the resident hawksbill munching on the corals growing and the schooling horse eyed jacks.
Translated to green gold, the 131’ steel cargo vessel is affectionately coined the wreck of a wreck of a wreck. Originally a banana hauler taking green bananas from Ecuador and arriving gold in Miami, hence the name, it is also rumored to have stored Marijuana in its hull. It ran aground off the west side reef after a mutiny from the crew wanting a share of the illicit profits. It stayed there until 1980 when the dive community adopted it and sank it as an artificial reef. After numerous storms, hurricanes and tropical storms the vessel has broken apart and now gives a whole new meaning to the term wreck dive. Plentiful overhangs hide crabs, eels and lobsters. Parrotfish and schooling chubs, horse-eye jacks, snapper, goatfish, blue tangs, and the occasional barracuda all hang around, looking for a meal. Swim around the near intact bow and don’t miss the bicycle graveyard. A divemaster tradition of those completing their internship to ride their bike off the boat to its watery grave in celebration and in full scuba gear!
Dr. Jim Polson is honored with this wreck site for his work on Grand Cayman; a pioneer in the dive industry and the first dive orientated doctor on island. He worked tirelessly on having the first recompression chamber built on the island, to which the industry is forever grateful. Originally a cable laying vessel it is now sunk in 50 feet of water in the sand patch near a beautiful cropping of reef. The Doc Poloson is a great example of individual coral growth as the corals that have come to grow here have not yet invaded their neighbor’s space. Take a short swim through its hull and see the cable lying in the corner. The sandy patch is home to stingrays and conch, and the reef behind is full of blue wrasse, lobster, turtles, and the occasional nurse shark!