WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO CONTACT OTWD? We are readily accessible. On the website, we have a CHAT on the home page. Please feel free to use it, and you will usually find it monitored after 5PM (but you never know when someone will reply).
Cayman phone #: 1-345-916-0303 (24/7/365); US VOiP phone #: 1-859-575-3635 (usually after 5PM – if we are not available, we are notified via e-mail, so feel free to leave a message); e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; this website has several inquiry forms on it.
A missed call/e-mail is a missed opportunity!
WHERE DO YOU OPERATE FROM? Off The Wall Divers operates from the dock of the Lobster Pot Dive Center, 245 N. Church St. Parking is across the street, in the paved lot marked “Lobster Pot Restaurant/Lobster Pot Dive Center”. We are located on the “left side of the building, as you look at the ocean. This was the former home of Bob Soto’s Diving for many, many years. Our dock is solid, and supportive of all the companies that operate from it.
During the Summer months, we frequently depart to the North Wall, from Dock B-6, at the Cayman Islands Yacht Club (CIYC) (do not confuse this with the George Town Yacht Club). The CIYC is located off the round-about just North of the Kimpton Seafire.
When weather dictates, we run from the dock at Red Bay (across from the Vela condominium complex).
WHAT TIME DO YOUR DIVE TRIPS RUN? Our boats are scheduled at 745AM and 1245PM, however, we can accommodate any hour and work on a 1st-come/1st-serve basis.
DO YOU DO PICKUPS? Yes, all along 7 Mile Beach, the 7 Mile Bypass, into George Town and South Sound. We also pickup in West Bay, but in many cases, our divers opt to rent a car when on-island.
DO YOU DO BEACH PICKUPS? No. This practice was stopped years ago as it puts risk on the boats/equipment, guests and staff?
TELL ME ABOUT THE OTWD CHECK-IN? Once you arrive at the Lobster Pot Dive Center (LPDC), we scan your certification card (c-card) into our system. Each diver is required to complete a waiver and we fill in a “dive log” to track your diving. We often take a payment at this time. The staff will also finalize your equipment needs and try on any gear you may request. Then, it is time to board the boat, do a final gear check, and go dive.
TELL US ABOUT THE OTWD BOATS? The company operates two (2) 28-30ft Parker boats, that are set-up identically. The boats are Prodigal Sun (Suzuki 250 engine) and Wayward Sun (Mercury 300 engine).Each boat carries a the required safety equipment which includes, but is not limited to: fire extinguishers, O2, a medical kit, VHF radio and flares. We carry fresh ice water onboard, snacks (between dives), a dry space and their is NO SMOKING PERMITTED on the boats.
HOW MANY DIVERS DO YOU TAKE OUT? Our boats have a nice, wide beam and can comfortably accommodate up to eight (8) divers. Most like, we only run with six (6), however, it depends who is on the boat and any given situation. We also adjust the staff according to who is onboard and the experience.
DO YOU HAVE A DRY SPACE ON THE BOATS? Yes. We have large YETI coolers that serve as a dry space for towels, cell phones, personal items, etc. This cooler also doubles as a seat on the boat.
WHAT INFORMATION DO YOU NEED? The more information you can provide OTWD, the better we will be prepared to accommodate you. But in general, it is important to know the following: your arrival/departure dates; how many days of diving you wish to do; rental gear needs (BC, reg, MF, EAN32, wetsuit) or do you have your own gear; if you require a rental gear package, we ask for your height/weight for proper sizing.
It is also very important that you communicate to us some history about your diving (last ocean dives, # of dives, etc). Be honest with us. There is a reason you are asked about your dive history and we want to help you build confidence and comfort.
Would you like a pickup at your hotel/condo or do you have a rental car?
WHAT AGENCIES DO YOU TEACH? People often ask, do you teach PADI? SDI? SSI? We like to respond with, “we teach diving”. The company does teach PADI, SDI and SSI and are happy to have your as a client. However, we are not interested in catering to any particular training agency as they are all our partners in the dive industry.
HOW DOES OTWD CONDUCT THEIR TRAINING? Most training takes place in the shallows of Soto’s Reef or Turtle Reef (West Bay), however, we sometimes conduct training off a boat. Let us put together a schedule that works best for all parties!
WHAT IS OUR TIME COMMITMENT WHEN TRAINING? For Open Water Referral Dives, you can plan on a 4-5 hour block of space, over a 2-day period. If you are doing an “eLearner” (confined water and open water dives, you can plan on two (2), 8-hour days.
WHERE WILL WE BE DIVING? All diving in Cayman is “weather permitting. And the majority of the dive sites are “moored”, although there are some sites that we may have to drop the anchor. All dive ops follow the rules of the Department of Environment (DoE).
Generally, the company will dive the West side of the island from October-May; and the North side from June-September. We also dive the South side when weather/winds dictate this.
To give you more detail about the weather, East winds are the main tradewinds we experience in Cayman. During the change of seasons, and into Winter, when the cold fronts push down over the US (into Florida), our winds become more NNE/N and if the cold front is “strong”, the winds become NW (which brings 7 Mile Beach, huge waves). In this case, we will operate with all other dive ops, from the Red Bay Dock (South side).
With the winds minimum in the Summer months, the company operates from the Cayman Islands Yacht Club and dives the North Wall.
HOW DO YOU SCHEDULE YOUR DIVES? All dives are scheduled as a 2-tank “wall/shallow” unless otherwise requested/noted. That means, if you are interested in diving the ex-USS Kittiwake, we ask that you request it. Our dives are on a 1st-come/1st-serve basis and we will accommodate you as we can.
Our dives are scheduled for 745AM and 1245PM daily unless the schedule dictates otherwise. Pickup/check-in will be 30 minutes prior to that so sort out and “loose ends” and complete any paperwork.
WHAT “SPECIALTY DIVES” DO YOU DO? OTWD dives the ex- USS Kittiwake and Stingray City (SRC). SRC is usually reserved for the Summer months, but again, it is all weather permitting.
Night dives are done upon request….if you are interested in night diving, simple let us know. We love to shore dive from Macabuca (a/k/a Turtle Reef). We are also happy to take the boat out for a. night dive.
NIGHT DIVE DETAILS: as indicated above, night dives are on request and can be conducted any evening. “Start time” depends on time of year and sunset.
We do not permit your 1st dive of the dive trip to be a night dive, unless we know you as a diver and your dive abilities.
AS A CERTIFIED DIVER, I’VE NOT BEEN DIVING IN FIVE (5) YEARS. CAN I DIVE? Great question, and in Cayman, we see all “comfort levels” of divers. Most importantly, you have to be comfortable and have “self-respect”.
If you’ve not been ocean diving in two (2) years, we ask that you start with a “shallow” (60ft. or less) dive or complete a refresher. You will find this a guideline that many dive ops utilize in Cayman. If greater than five (5) years, a “refresher” is preferable; greater than 10 years, we recommend a “refresher” followed by one (1) or two (2) shallow dives and over 15 years, recertification would be recommended.
PADI offers the “reactivate” program and this, or something similar is always recommended. Remember, “it only takes a spoonful of water to do the damage”. We want our divers to be comfortably and confident.
You will be asked, “when were your last ocean dives?” Be honest and upfront with us. It will make your trip more enjoyable, and our job easier.
WHY DO I NEED DIVE INSURANCE? No one is required to purchase dive insurance, however, if you get “the bends” (decompression sickness) or need to have a run in the recompression chamber (George Town Hospital), the cost can exceed $3000USD per chamber run. Insurance is much cheaper. www.dan.org (Divers Alert Network) or www.diveassure.com (DivAssure). You will not regret the decision. INSURANCE IS STRONGLY SUGGESTED!
OTWD offers a full-range of Aqua Lung rental gear – BCD, regs, MF, and i100 wrist computers. Effective 1OCT, our charge per day is $35 for the gear package (BCD, reg), and we include the i100 wrist computers for all divers.
ODODO I NEED A WETSUIT? This is a personal preference and it is strictly up to you. In the Summer months (MAY-SEPT), you can expect 83-86 degree water; OCT-DEC/JAN it will cool to 81-83 and JAN-APR, the temperature of the water is usually around 79-80, or maybe a tad cooler.
CAN WE BRING OUR OWN GEAR? Absolutely. We encourage all divers to own their own gear. It means, “you’ve invested into the sport and you’ll continue to learn and take care of your gear properly”; however, with travel restrictions, some wish to rent.
If you bring your own dive gear, the OTWD staff will be happy to rinse your BCD/reg and hang it nightly, and have it ready for you on your next dive day. We are also happy to keep your mask and fins, but sometimes, you want them for snorkeling.
DO I NEED A WETSUIT? A wetsuit is a “personal preference”. Your decision may be based upon water temperatures, or just your preference. At OTWD, we do not charge for wetsuits, and they are available, however, we ask that you request them.
COMPUTERS: All divers will dive with a computer. AND YOU WILL KNOW HOW TO USE IT. If you own your own computer, there is no excuse not to know how to set it, what all the numbers mean, and how to use it safely.
If you are using an OTWD Aqua Lung i100, we will go through the computer with you and review it
If you “bend” your computer, you will adhere to the “no dive time”. That may be 24 hours or 48 hours out of the water, and there are no questions to be asked. It is for your safety.
HOW CAN WE PAY FOR OUR DIVING? OTWD accepts credit/debit cards (VI, MC or Discover). We do not accept AMEX. We also accept US$ and CI$.
WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY? For “stayover” guests, we ask that you give us 24hr notice to cancel. For “cruise ship divers”, we ask that you cancel prior to the ship sailing (cruise ship divers have given a credit card as a deposit and it will be charged if you “no show” or do not cancel prior to sailing).
We had an amazing two weeks of diving with Off the Wall Divers in July. Tom runs a first class diving operation. From the first phone call to discuss our vacation to the personalized service he and his staff provide on the boat, you feel like family.