Scuba Diving Grand Cayman – Lonestar Ledges

Lonestar Ledges, Grand Cayman (StevenWSmeltzer.com)Overall Rating = 2.9 out of 5

Lonestar Ledges is located just off Seven Mile Beach on the west side of Grand Cayman. This scuba diving site is a frequent “second dive” site after a deep wall dive on the west side. The scuba diving site is named for the restaurant/bar of the same name that lies almost due east of the dive site and where it is rumored that local scuba diving instructors and dive masters consume copious amounts beer and sorted Leathery Barrel Sponge, Geodia neptuni, (Sollas, 1888), Grand Cayman (StevenWSmeltzer.com)adult beverages. However, you will have to confirm this rumor on your own.

Access – Easy; boat only; 10 to 25 minutes from beach depending on where you are staying
Depth to 60 ft
Visibility – good
Current – negligible
Marine Species variety – average; reef sharks are frequently seen at the “fresh water” vent on the southern part of this dive site
Reef health – average

Sponge Brittle Star, Ophiothrix suensoni, Lütken, 1856, Grand Cayman (StevenWSmeltzer.com)Lonestar Ledges is typical of shallow dive sites (60t and under) on the west side of Grand Cayman. There are fingers of coral separated by sandy flats. This scuba diving site has several long ledges or overhangs that can be explored and which are navigable. Under these ledges scuba divers will be able to frequently find turtles, crabs, and various types of fish. Several of these ledges make a nice swim through with the coral reef on both sides and the ledge overhanging above and almost but not quite creating a fully enclosed “tube” through which you can swim. These ledges are wide and should pose no problems as long as you have fairly good buoyancy control. Go slowly and carefully through each “swim threw” or you will stir up a significant amount of sediment making the dive significantly less enjoyable to those divers behind you. Make sure you are checking out the crevices for various types of eels and crustaceans and also check out the large barrel sponges that tend to be around this dive site. You can find numerous

Spotted Trunkfish, Lactophrys bicaudalis, (Linnaeus, 1758), Grand Cayman (StevenWSmeltzer.com)

types of shrimp and small marine species that are great for macro photography.

The Dive

When you are planning your dive you will usually have the opportunity to follow a dive master around the dive site or you can do this dive site on your own in a buddy team. No solo diving. The dive master will usually take the group to the southern part of the dive site where a fresh water outlet from the island flows into the sea. This is an interesting overhang and “cave” that often has a Nurse Shark or Reef Shark resting inside. This fresh water outlet is an underground stream that flows from the island to the ocean and where the sharks tend to gather on a regular basis, especially at night.
Spotlight Parrotfish Initial Phase, Sparisoma viride, (Bonnaterre, 1788), Grand Cayman (StevenWSmeltzer.com)This is a good second dive site as long as the water is not too turbid and it is almost always a good night dive site. I have been scuba diving on this site more times that I can count and always enjoy exploring the reef, the ledges and keeping an eye out for a shark or two.  You will find the typical variety of fish from parrotfishes, to angelfishes, to damsels, eels and much more.  You will very often find sea

turtles swimming around the site or resting under one of the ledges at night.  If you Lonestar Ledges, Grand Cayman (StevenWSmeltzer.com)do find a sea turtle resting at night, make sure to not disturb it.  Do not shine your light directly at the turtle and after watching it for a minute or two leave it alone and allow it to rest.  If you wake the turtle it will have to return to the surface to “hyperventilate” again which takes a substantial amount of time for the turtle on the surface where it is very vulnerable to predators.

With any marine life especially at night do not aim your light directly at the eel or fish you are trying to watch.  Use indirect light and be considerate, just as you do not want another scuba diver to shine a light in your eyes.  On this site you will find a number of large barrel sponges and a good amount of health soft corals on top of the reef above the fresh water inlet and back towards the mooring ball for the dive site.  Take your time and I am sure you will also enjoy this site as much as I do.

The pool is open…..

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