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West Bay Wench!
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The latest Pirate Poop from the West Bay Wench on:
Diving Caymanís Walls
an on-going perspective on Cayman
from Northwest Point, West Bay
Grand Cayman, British West Indies
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West Bay, 15 November 1996

Hello there! Iím glad you stopped by today.

I was just telling my friend, the Webmaster, how fortunate we are to have such beautiful walls to dive here in Cayman. You know, this old wench has had the opportunity to travel a bit and dive in various parts of the world (Bonaire, Galapagos, Hawaii, St. Lucia), and I can truthfully say that I have never encountered walls that can compare with what we have here.

When we say "walls" in the Cayman Islands, we mean WALLS! Weíre talking about underwater mountainsides that tumble anywhere from 12-70í below the waterís surface down to at least 3000í (Which is probably why I feel cheated when I make a wall dive somewhere else and can see the bottom.)

We mean massive pillars of coral rising from the depths to form free-standing pinnacles adorned with fantastic shapes and colors. We mean rivers of sand pouring down the mountainside like underwater ski slopes, overhung with brilliant red and orange and yellow sponges from the massive coral buttresses on either side. We mean meandering tunnels and caverns where thousands of silversides swirl and part like a glittering curtain as you pass through. We mean breathtaking windows whose blue water views are edged with black coral and gorgonians. We mean graceful coral arches spanning canyons that snake between spurs of coral and rock before spilling over the lip of the wall and into the impenetrable depths below. We mean chimneys that lure you down, down, down, to the fantasy land that awaits discovery just out of sight. THATíS what we mean when we talk about walls in Cayman!

How anyone could resist the siren song of those incomparable walls is beyond me. Iíve heard some say they prefer the shallow dives and longer bottom times, and while I certainly wish I could stay down there longer, I wouldnít trade those magical moments on those majestic walls for anything! Besides, if youíre doing multi-level diving, you can still get plenty of bottom time on the wall. The top of the wall is usually in 50-60í of water, and in places on Bloody Bay Wall in Little Cayman, itís only 20í down! But donít tell those shallow dive aficionados, or theyíll be all over our walls! They can be happy diving all those great reefs, wrecks, grottos, and caverns that abound in Caymanís shallower depths, so letís just keep those exceptional walls to ourselves. Theyíre buried where no pirate ever thought to look, and theyíre a treasure greater than any chest of gold.

Stop by the next time youíre in Cayman, and Iíll be happy to share my favorite wall dives with you - if I can decide which are my favorites, that is. Theyíre all so good, itís hard to pick, but Iíll think on it. Letís see, thereís . . .

In addition to these essays, the wench also posts frequent short writings about her View from West Bay. Check out the latest post!

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Last update: 5 January 1997
Copyright © 1997 Don Backstrom