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Scuba Diving at Morritt’s

April 20

Written By Morritt's

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Scuba Diving at Morritt’s

The sea around the Cayman Islands is a paradise for divers and watersports enthusiasts, with crystal waters, fascinating wrecks and an amazing abundance of sea life. If you’re already a keen diver, or if you’d like to dip your toe in the water (literally), there are many options for you.

Red Sail Sports has a full-service dive and watersports centre at Morritt’s Tortuga Club operating under the name of Tortuga Divers. As well as a whole range of watersports and sailing activities, Tortuga Divers can also help you to train and get Scuba certified at various levels. Feel free to contact them for more information (1-877-506-6368 / info@tortugadivers.com), but in the meantime here’s a guide to what they offer.

 

Discover Scuba Course

This two-hour East End course teaches you how to dive in one day and discover the undersea world with an experienced instructor. You’ll start easily in a swimming pool and get confident with the theory – how to breathe! – before taking a dive off a shallow reef with all the necessary equipment. The dive will last around 30-40 minutes and goes to a maximum depth of 40 feet. If you fall in love with Scuba immediately, you can take a Repeat Resort Dive.

 

PADI eLearning Open Water Course

The advantage of the eLearning course is that you can save four days of your vacation time by studying before you arrive. Complete the theory and tests online and then use your time on Grand Cayman to learn master dive skills with one of our expert instructors over three days.

DAY ONE – Get to grips with the equipment and put theory into practice in a swimming pool (confined water).

DAY TWO – Take two shallow-water dives in the sea (open water) to reinforce your skills.

DAY THREE – Enjoy two more open-water dives to be certified by your instructor and given your temporary PADI open water certification card. You’ll then receive a personal certification card with photo and ID number by mail. This can then be used anywhere in the world!

 

Open Water Referral Course

The referral course is perfect for people who have already started Scuba certification back home and who want to complete their four open-water training dives in Grand Cayman with all equipment included. After a quick pool session to test underwater skills, you’ll complete the four ‘check-out’ dives over a two-day period. Then a Tortuga Divers instructor will sign your referral forms to verify completion. Courses are available for all the largest recognized diving agencies: PADI, NAUI, SSI, IDEA, PDIC, YMCA, and HSA.

 

PADI Advanced Open Water Course

Build on the open water course with new capabilities and new activities while increasing your confidence. No need to wait if you’ve discovered a new passion – you can go straight into this course after completing the PADI Open Water course (above). If thinking about this course prior to arriving on the island, you can save time by doing the PADI theory online.

When you arrive, you’ll do five dives over one full day and a half day: a deep dive, a navigation dive and three others to be decided with your instructor. These could include a night dive, a search-and-recovery dive or boat diving. This course includes equipment, boat dives and certification materials. Your PADI Open Water certification card must be presented upon enrollment.

 

Refresher Scuba Course

If you haven’t dived for two to six years, you may want to refresh your skills, knowledge or confidence before putting on the tanks again. This two-hour course starts in the pool to go over the basic dive theory and then moves to the sea for a shallow afternoon dive. Only previously certified divers may take this course.

If you’re already an experienced diver, Tortuga Divers operates boats to various dive sites such as
Anchor Point, High Rock Drop Off, Turtle Pass, Northern Lights, Snapper Hole, Chub Hole, Grouper Grotto and Black Rock Reef to name a few. Contact them for more details.

Please also note that all certification courses need to be pre-booked. All the PADI courses are eLearning, which means you complete the theory online prior to arriving.

Recommended Reading.

Caribbean Wildlife: Creatures of the Cayman Islands

For only having 100 square miles across all three islands, Cayman is home to an impressive variety of native wildlife. Whether you’re above or below in the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean Sea, opportunities to encounter these special creatures in their natural habitats are plentiful. Check out our blog, Things to See and Do Around Morritt’s, for a list of places where you can see and interact with a few of the animals mentioned below.

 

Birds 

Did you know that over 200 different species of birds can be found in Cayman? This includes several endemic species, such as the Cayman Parrot (the Islands’ national bird is a beautiful bright green and usually seen in pairs), the Grand Cayman Woodpecker and the Cayman Bananaquit (a small bird boasting a bright yellow chest that is lovingly referred to by locals as a “banana bird”) – to name a few.  

Two of the best places for bird watching is the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park and the Mastic Trail (further details on both can be found in our blog mentioned above). 

 

Iguanas 

There are three types of iguana found in the Cayman Islands: the common green iguana, the rock iguana and the blue iguana. Most iguanas you will see in Cayman are the green iguanas, however they are considered an invasive species. The protected rock iguanas reside on the sister islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. Blue iguanas can most easily be found at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, which runs a conservation programme for the endangered reptile. 

 

Stingrays 

No trip to Cayman would be complete without visiting Stingray City! Wild Southern Stingrays are plentiful in this area of the North Sound, where you can easily stand thanks to a natural sandbar. Tour boats depart daily to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to interact with these gentle creatures – and legend has it that a kiss on one of their noses will bring you seven years of good luck! 

 

Turtles 

Much like the iguanas, Cayman is also home to three species of turtle: the green, loggerhead and hawksbill. Some of these can be seen diving or snorkelling around the Islands, and if you’re lucky enough you might happen upon a nesting female during a beach walk or a group of hatching babies making their way from the beach to the sea. Guaranteed sightings and encounters can be found at the Cayman Turtle Centrean attraction showcasing these magnificent creatures that also includes a research and conservation centre. 

December 22

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Where to eat and drink near Morritt’s

Here at Morritt’s, we are all about offering you the best experiences. When it comes to food and drink, we’ve got it covered. There’s David’s restaurant with its fresh, modern menu and spectacular sea views. There’s Mimi’s unique dock bar amid the lapping waves and balmy breeze. For hearty pub fare, you have Ivan’s Sports Bar, while the Grand and Premier Pool bars offer handy snacks.

However, we know it’s also fun to explore and enjoy the local districts of East End, North Side, Bodden Town and Kaibo or Rum Point in search of delicious options. With that in mind, here are some suggestions of great places to eat within easy reach of the resort.

 

Italian Kitchen 

Right across the street in the Morritt’s Shopping Centrethe Italian Kitchen sources its ingredients from local farmers and fishermen for the freshest tastes. Don’t be put off by the exterior architecture – the elegant dining room is friendly and smells great 

TRY: Excellent wines, antipasti with a Cayman twist, tempting brick-oven pizzas and a selection of pasta mains that will have you ordering con gusto!  

 

Kaibo Beach Restaurant  

Around 20 minutes by car from Morritt’s, you’ll find both luxury and casual beach dining at Kaibo. The a la carte beach menu (12.00-7.00pm) draws heavily on the surrounding sea and local produce, but for special occasions you need to try Kaibo Upstairs which also has an extensive rum selection (reservations recommended for Upstairs). Breakfast and/or coffee? Drop in at Kaibo Beach Espresso.  

TRYAlmond and white bean hummus with garlic flatbread, crispy coconut fried fish with a curry sauce, and a triple-chocolate brownie for dessert. Why not? 

 

Blue Rock Restaurant Bar & Lounge 

If you also like to play pool or carrom, this place is just a 12 minute drive from Morritt’s at Health City Cayman. The cuisine is international drawing on influences from Colombia, Jamaica, India, Mexico, Italy and even the UK (fish and chips!). Drinkers will enjoy the huge array of spirits, cocktails and wines. Beers are both bottled and on tap. Don’t miss discounted drinks during the daily happy hour. 

TRY: The blackened shrimp quesadilla, a slow cooked biryani curry, a classic burger or a sinful sticky toffee pudding accompanied by a Shellshock IPA on tap or a mango mojito. 

 

Rum Point Club 

Rum Point on the tranquil North Side is the perfect place to chill out 20 minutes away from Morritt’s. The shallow water is great for families, while couples can simply get a hammock and relax. The Wreck Bar and Grill is perfect for a hearty lunch, while the Rum Point Club Restaurant offers an elegant dinner choice with magnificent views. 

TRY: The mudslides (invented here!), the renowned Caybrew-battered fish and chips, the traditional jerk chicken, seafood hotpot, or the notorious Rum Point Challenge: 16oz of flame-grilled beef stuffed with pickled jalapenos and topped with Swiss cheddar.  

 

Tukka  

Australian cuisine with a Cayman twist is just a three minute-drive south if you’d like to try yellow-fin tuna, mahi-mahi, wahoo, snapper, lionfish and (seasonally) the Caribbean spiny lobster pulled fresh from the ocean. Watch the frigate birds and tarpon from the shady terrace as you enjoy food from an award-winning chef and menus that change from week to weekend. 

TRYCoconut panko prawns, lobster bisque with cognac or a steakandmushroom pie followed by dateandwalnut pudding Mon-ThursFri-Sun, try the black Angus filet mignon or Thai bouillabaisse. 

 

South Coast Bar & Grill 

Enjoy Caribbean cuisine on the sand, on the seaside patio or inside the air-conditioned dining room just 16 minutes away from Morritt’s. 

TRY: Caribbean classics such as ackee and codfish, jerk chicken, curried goat or stewed conch.  

 

Over the Edge Café 

On the North Side 10 minutes’ drive from Morritt’s, Over the Edge offers truly authentic Caymanian dining and a real island experience. They grow all the vegetables on their own farm and their seafood is locally sourced from daily catches.  

TRY: Caymanian classics such as turtle steak, lobster with garlic, conch steak and grilled tuna. 

 

Vivine’s Kitchen  

Four minutes south brings you to the sea-grape shade and rustic charm of Miss Vivine’s, where the menu and ambience is authentically Caymanian. How authentic? The restaurant is literally Miss Vivines house and she cooks in her own kitchen. The jerk chicken on your plate was probably running round the yard the previous day 

TRY: The salt beef and seafood come recommended, as do the turtle, conch and whelk stews. Reports of the fresh mango juice are stellar. 

 

Big Tree BBQ 

If you like grilled stuff, you’ll love Big Tree BBQ close to Miss Vivine’s. Let father and son team Arvid and Henry feed you some of the best home-cooked Caymanian food hot off the BBQ and aromatic with smoke and spices. Fans of ribs have said it puts Texas to shame. NOTE: cash-only payment. 

TRY: Ribs! You also can’t go wrong with Cayman-style lobster, turtle stew and the amazing sides such as the coleslaw, corn on the cob, fried plantains and momma’s corn bread.  

  

Captain Herman’s Fish Fry 

Eight minutes down the coast takes you to the Captain’s green-and-blue shack surrounded by palms and with the sound of the surf close by. Known for its fresh local fish (he’s a real captain!) and local flavour, this is a great place to relax with an island vibe. 

TRY: The famous oxtail soupcurried goat, sweetandsour shrimp and the classic Cayman  cassava cake. 

 

Czech Inn Grill  

If laid-back and informal is the atmosphere you seek and no-fuss, excellent food your goal (and if eating off a surfboard is not a significant etiquette problem for you), welcome to the Czech Inn! Reasonable prices, local food and a friendly welcome is what you can expect a 20minute drive along the south coast from Morritt’s. 

TRY: The lauded chicken schnitzel, burgers, tacos and quesadillas 

 

Wherever you go, bon appetit! We’ll be waiting for you back at Morritt’s with a cocktail by the pool or a night cap for sweet dreams. 

March 29

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