Scuba Diving Grand Cayman – Penny’s Arch

Overall Rating 4.2 out of 5

 (StevenWSmeltzer.com)Scuba Diving on Penny’s Arch is usually great dive. It is almost directly across from Rum Point and in a place that does not get high traffic, but is still within the typical “west side” dive operators range. The dive site is typical for those on the north wall and this far to the east the coral reef really looks good. When the water is clear, which is most of the time, this site can be really great. The wall is spectacular as usual and you have a great chance to sea Spotted Eagle Rays, turtles, numerous Caribbean fish and maybe even sharks Penny's Arch, Grand Cayman (StevenWSmeltzer.com)on this site.

You will start down by the buoy and then start making you will down through a cut in the coral and then swim down and through Penny’s Arch. Do not worry it is very wide. You will then be emerge on the wall and swim along the wall for a bit before returning to the top of the wall to explore the coral gardens. If you are into underwater photography look back and up as you emerge from the arch and you can typically get some very nice wall shots looking up at towards the sun (assuming the sun is shinning). You can get a great sense of the deep trench that surrounds Grand Cayman as you gaze downward into the blue for literally hundreds of Green Moray Eel, Gymnothorax funebris, Ranzani, 1840, on the reef, Grand Cayman (StevenWSmeltzer.com)feet.  The sense is surreal and I love this view.

The coral reef is quite good on this dive site. It gets plenty of nutrients and is far enough away from the cuts in the reef by the North Sound that you don’t usually have a problem with visibility even after a rain. It can get cloudy like any other site, but the visibility here is usually excellent.

When finishing up your dive in the coral, make sure to look carefully, usually you will find a good number of spiny Soft Corals Penny's Arch, Grand Cayman (StevenWSmeltzer.com)lobsters, moray eels, quite a variety of fish, as well as a large variety of soft and hard corals.  The Slimy Sea Plumes, Bent Sea Rods, Common Sea fans, Giant Slit-pore Sea Rods, and much more.  On the Gorgonian fans, you will usually find the colorful Flamingo Tongue snails, but be careful to leave them alone as the color on the shell is from a membrane that can be extended and retracted.  When taken from the water Lionfish, Pterois volitans, Grand Cayman (StevenWSmeltzer.com)these shells are just basic white with no color at all.

We found several Lionfish on the site, reminding everyone of the need to cull these fish so that they do not cause anymore damage to the local environment.

The pool is open…..

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