The south side of Grand Cayman can be divided up into two different areas – south west and south east. The south west runs from Kent’s Caves near Sand Cay, down to the last deep site – Pedro’s Pinnacle. The south east starts at Breaker’s Cutback and runs down to Grouper Grotto. Diving south is heavily dependent on wind strength and direction. Throughout the year, east south east winds hammer the south coast making for a long and uncomfortable boat ride. The common 15-20 knot winds create uncomfortable conditions. However, there is a small area between Red Bay Caves and Pedro’s Reef that can sometimes be diveable when the rest of the south side is blown out. Most of the west side dive operators only dive south during nor’ western. This is a weather condition where the jet stream dips down into the southern United States pushing strong winds and seas making the west side of Grand Cayman very rough and dangerous.
There is no mistaking the bottom topography of the south side of Grand Cayman. It’s walls are deep and the corals are hearty after being pummeled for years by heavy seas. This constant barrage of wind and wave does have some advantages. As the sea moves above the reef, it encourages the corals to grow in very interesting directions. Long tunnels and overhangs are the calling card of the south coast. The deep walls, often starting around 70 feet are just as dynamic. Coral buttresses and pinnacles can be found all along the south coast. Pallase Pinnacles and Eenie Meenie Miney Mo are excellent examples of incredible south side pinnacle dive sites.
During the summer months the Cayman Islands are invaded by millions of dwarf herring locally known as silversides. These tiny fish seek shelter during the day and the south coast of Grand Cayman makes for a perfect hiding ground for these tiny, silvery creatures. Sites like iron Shore Gardens come alive as the herring fill every hole and tunnel. Pockets of these fish are also found in the area between Ned’s Tunnels and Prospect Reef. Like most islands, some of the best diving can be found on the corners and the south east corner is no exception. This area is home to The Maze, Pat’s Wall and Old Issac’s to name a few. These sites should definitely be on your bucket list!