Passenger Pick of the Month
One of the best Cayman activities that all ages and stages can enjoy without being a certified diver is to learn how to SNUBA! It takes snorkeling to the next level! We decided to catch up with Becky Lucas, an Operational Manager with SNUBA Cayman to find out more about this interesting way to get closer to the fish and coral reefs.
PP: So Becky, what exactly is SNUBA?
BL: SNUBA is an acronym for Surface Nexus Underwater Breathing Apparatus. SCUBA is Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. So the biggest difference between SNUBA and SCUBA is we supply your air from the surface through a hose to you, as opposed to you wearing a tank on your back.
PP: What do you need to get certified?
BL: SNUBA is run all over the world and it is a great way to get under the water without needing to be certified. It’s safe and easy even if you have neversnorkeled or have only basic swimming skills. The only things we ask of our guests is that they are comfortable in the water, and of good health.
PP: How long do you get to stay under the water?
BL: The Shipwreck SNUBA tour lasts a total of 2 hours, from start to finish. This includes our setup, short but detailed briefing, quick practice on the beach, the SNUBA dive over the wreck, and finally our debriefing. Our time on the bottom averages 30-35 minutes but also depends on our air consumption.
PP: What is the minimum age to SNUBA dive?
BL: Here at SNUBA Grand Cayman we are proud to offer the SNUBA-DOO program for children aged 4-8, and children over the age of 8 can participate in the full Shipwreck SNUBA tour.
PP: Can large families and groups get instructed together?
BL: Sure, but make sure you make reservations ahead of time so we can accommodate everyone in your group.
PP: How do folks get down so deep?
BL: Weights. All of our guests will be equipped with an easy to use weight belt that will assist them in staying under the surface. These weights, plus a little instruction from our guides, will have you on the bottom swimming with the fish in no time.
PP: Tell us about the wreck of the Cali.
BL: The Cali is a wreck in the George Town harbor. It was a schooner built in 1944, at just under 200 feet in length. She was abandoned in the harbor in the 50's and in 1957 the British Corps of Army Engineers had it blown up after deeming it a shipping hazard in 1957, and has since become a very popular dive site for shore divers and snorkelers alike.
PP: How deep is it?
BL: The wreck lies in about 20 feet of calm water, roughly 30 yards offshore. As we swim the length of the wreck the ships ribs are all exposed and the engine and the masts are all visible. Having been underwater for 60 plus years, the wreck has very much become part of the reef with lots of fish and other critter calling the Cali "Home".
PP: What can you expect when you swim around the Cali? Can you feed the fish?
BL: The wreck has been under water a very long time and is pretty loaded with fish life, marine invertebrates, and a whole list of beautiful corals. All of our guides are well educated on the wildlife at our site and will be pointing things out you throughout the duration of the dive. We frequently see tarpon, turtles, stingrays, eagle rays, squid, eels, and lobster, as well as a wide array of beautiful reef fish around the reef and wreck.
PP: How often do you run the tour?
BL: Shipwreck SNUBA runs seven days a week on a reservation basis, so please call or email ahead of time to ensure your space on one of our tours.
PP: How do I make reservations?
BL: The telephone number is (345) 926-0008, andto set up a tour online please fill out the reservation sheet on our website, www.snubacayman.com.
PP: Where are you all located?
BL: SNUBA’s main base of operations is on the lower deck in Cayman Cabana Restaurant and Bar located on the waterfront in George Town very close to the Royal Watler Cruise facility. Enter Cayman Cabana and walk to the lower deck, you can check in with our staff at ‘the love shack’.
Folks, you can see why SNUBA is growing so in popularity. With no lengthy certification required, you can stay under water and enjoy the beauty and adventure of Grand Cayman’s famous marine life. Don’t miss this exciting experience.