The Ultimate Dive, and Divine Dining After
The Caymans, a three-island British Crown Colony, sit atop an ancient undersea mountain chain. On the surface, the translucent turquoise waters are serene, but below you’ll find dramatic walls and sheer drop-offs only feet from shore, like an underwater Grand Canyon.
It’s one of the best dive sites in the world, with an astounding diversity of underwater life residing among coral-encrusted reefs and walls. Bob Soto’s is the time-honored name for scuba diving in the Caymans. When he started in 1957 he had to convince the hotels he wasn’t going to drown their guests; today he is one of fifty qualified dive operators.
Off Grand Cayman is the famous Stingray City, considered one of the best shallow dive/snorkeling sites in the world, where the winged marine creatures are hand-fed by divers like so many park pigeons. The numero uno dive site in the area, though, is the 1,200-foot plunging coral garden known since pirate days as Bloody Bay Wall, located off Little Cayman’s north shore.
Little Cayman is the Caribbean’s largest bird sanctuary and has one of its smallest human populations, numbering around 100. It’s the last bastion of wilderness in the Cayman Islands, famous for its 20,000 red-footed boobies and for Texas-born Gladys Howard —a student of famed cookbook writer and chef extraordinaire Julia Child—who caters to guests’ every diving and dining need at her small beachside inn, Pirate’s Point Resort.
Aside from working miracles with fish caught in her front yard and produce flown in daily, Gladys also offers a custom- built dive boat with a staff of qualified diving instructors.