Experience LC diving, dining

This May, Little Cayman Beach Resort as special activities for R.E.E.F. Week including diver training to assist in scientific reef monitoring. The resort will also host the Sister Islands Cook Off competition among the chefs of Little Cayman.

Diving

Underwater scenes like this one will be the norm as divers take to the sea off Little Cayman. Photo: Submitted

Beginning on May 14, 2005, you can dive Little Cayman’s world-renowned coral walls while tallying reef fishes and green sea turtles as an amateur scientist during R.E.E.F. Week special dive training. Exit the water and head for the beach for lively music, drink and cuisine at a cook off competition among amateur and professional chefs from Little Cayman.

According to a press release from the resort, new and experienced divers will learn to conduct marine life surveys using the Roving Diving Technique during R.E.E.F. Week, May 14-21. It will be hosted by Little Cayman Beach Resort and R.E.E.F. (Reef Environmental Education Foundation).

‘Participants will attend fun and informative seminars and learn how to record their underwater observations on dive slates. The data is then sent to R.E.E.F. for use by conservation projects and researchers. Divers can use these new skills to complete similar surveys at dive sites around the world,’ reads the release.

Participants can start off R.E.E.F. Week with the Sister Islands Cook Off, hosted May 14 at the resort. Local residents and all guests of the resort will enjoy a traditional Caribbean meal of jerk chicken, conch fritters, corn bread, coleslaw, rice and peas. ‘Taster tickets’ are also available on a first-come-first-served basis, allowing guests to wander through the tents on the beach, sampling entries in four categories: entrees, soups/appetisers, salads and desserts.

There will cash prizes for winners of the egg toss and a Cook Off raffle for airplane tickets, Scuba gear, two-night stays at several Sister Island resorts, dinners, fishing equipment and other valuable prizes.

The R.E.E.F. Week special package includes seven nights accommodation in a pool view room, six days of two-tank morning dives, daily R.E.E.F. presentations, R.E.E.F. starter kit, three meals daily, Sister Island Cook Off dinner ticket, dive tanks, weights, tax and ground transfers for $1495 per person. Visit www.littlecayman.com for details and call Reef Fanta-Seas for details and reservations, toll free 1-800-327-3835.

Judie Clee, a member of R.E.E.F., and Little Cayman Beach Resort dive instructors will host a series of informal multi-media presentations to discuss the coral reef ecosystem and marine life identification and behaviour, says the release.

‘Armed with this knowledge, participants will contribute to a Fish Survey Program throughout the week.’

The goals of R.E.E.F. Week and amateur reef monitoring are to take advantage of keen observers already in the water and to prevent further impact on reefs by uninformed divers.

Everyone will be encouraged to take underwater photographs of mystery creatures to be identified by the group each night during the presentations. Prizes will be given for the best photos.

The release also states that R.E.E.F. Week participants will be presented with R.E.E.F. membership and, for those who wish to continue their education, the PADI AWARE – Fish Identification Specialty Course can be completed during the week for an additional charge.

‘With 57 marked and protected dive sites around Little Cayman Island, visitors have the opportunity to get up close and personal with over 500 types of fish and 100 different kinds of hard and soft corals. The 80° F (26.6°C) water is second to none when it comes to clarity and the calm coastal reef areas make many water sports easily accessible.

‘Bloody Bay Wall, a spectacular marine eco-system, is internationally known as one of the best wall diving locations in the world. Readers of Rodale’s Scuba Diving Magazine voted the Sister Islands of Little Cayman & Cayman Brac the number one spot in the Caribbean for wall diving in the 2005 Reader’s Choice Awards.

‘A picturesque beachfront resort on a small island paradise just 10 miles long, Little Cayman Beach Resort is a family-owned retreat.

While not diving, there is a full-service spa, restaurant and bar, bicycles to explore the island as well as full-island tours, including a visit to see the museum, indigenous iguanas and the Booby Pond Nature Reserve.’

The release also states that as a PADI Gold Palm 5-star resort, Little Cayman Beach Resort offers complete PADI instruction programs and boasts Rodale’s 2005 Reader’s Choice Awards for: number 1 Top Wall Diving in Caribbean; number 1 Healthiest Marine Environment in Caribbean; number 3 Best Destination for Underwater Photography; number 2 Best Destination for Advanced Diving .

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