Scuba Diving Grand Cayman – Orange Canyon

Overall Rating = 3.5 out of 5

Elephant Ear Sponge, Agelas clathrodes, Orange Canyon Grand Cayman (StevenWSmeltzer.com)Orange Canyon is one of the more well known and visited scuba diving sites on the west side of Grand Cayman.  The dive site is near the west end of the island and is very close to several other well know sites, such as Big Tunnels.  This scuba diving site is typical of the Reef Silversides, Atherinidae, Clupeidae, Engraulididae, Orange Canyon, Grand Cayman (Steven Smeltzer)better sites on the west side.  You start on the mooring ball and descend through a break in the coral and emerge on the wall around 100 feet.  The dive moves along the wall where you can look out into the blue for large pelagic species such as sharks and Spotted Eagle Rays  and then finishes at the top of the wall where you can explore various coral, sponges, fish, eels and turtles.

  1. Access – Boat 15 to 25 minutes
  2. Depth to 105+
  3. Visibility – good to excellent
  4. Marine Life Variety – Moderate to high
  5. Reef Health – Moderate to healthy
  6. Subject – Wall Dive

This site compares very well with other west side dive sites, but I admit my favorites sites are on the north wall.  However, I definitely like this site and I dive it regularly.  It is especially good when there are large “swarms” of Silversides on this site.  There are also likely to be several Tarpon in the canyons as you explore the site.  This site gets its name from the spectacular Elephant Ear Sponges.  These colorful sponges make a great backdrop for photos and if you explore closely you will likely find various cleaner shrimps and blennys on the sponges.  You will also likely find a cleaning Nassau Grouper, Epinephelus striatus, Epinephelus striatus, (Bloch, 1792), Grand Cayman (StevenWSmeltzer.com)station with a grouper exposing his gills for servicing.  The site can have a current and can have a good bit of turbidity but normally the visibility is quite good and the diver operator should check this before you enter the water.

I recommend taking this dive very slowly and actively looking around at the wide variety of life that can be found here.

The pool is open…..

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