The Cayman Islands are known for luxury properties, stunning beaches, and fresh food. But did you know that there are also an abundance of shipwrecks to explore all over the islands? This is one unique feature of the Cayman Islands that doesn’t get enough attention despite the history and beauty behind these sites.
Scuba diving is one of the most popular activities on the island. People love seeing the colorful coral, the exotic fish, the clear water, and the shipwrecks. Here are some of the most popular to check out around the islands.
Why Are There So Many Shipwrecks?
There are more than 325 ships sunken around the Cayman Islands! There are several factors that contribute to the high number of shipwrecks in the region. One factor is the location of the islands, which are situated in the western Caribbean Sea and are surrounded by deep waters. This made the Cayman Islands a popular route for ships traveling between the United States, Central and South America, and Europe.
Another factor is the geography of the area, which is characterized by coral reefs, shallow waters, and underwater caves. These natural features can be dangerous for ships, particularly if they are not navigating carefully or are caught in a storm. The reefs and shallow waters can damage a ship’s hull, while the underwater caves can create strong currents that can pull a ship off course.
Finally, the weather in the region can be unpredictable and can sometimes produce strong storms and hurricanes, which can be dangerous for ships. This fascinating aspect of the history surrounding this area now translates into a wonderful opportunity for tourists and residents alike!
This is probably one of the most popular shipwrecks in the Cayman islands and is located in Cayman Brac. It’s a 330-foot Russian Brigadier Type II that was purposefully sunken in 1996 by the government as a way to draw attention to divers.
Over time, this shipwreck has become the home for over 100 species of fish and coral. You’ll see an incredible amount of wildlife all throughout this wreck and be able to study the large boat itself as well.
This ship is currently lying in about 20 feet of calm waters 30 meters offshore in George Town, Grand Cayman. You can see its engine and mast on the horizon. The Cali was built in 1944 but was blown up by the British Corps of Army Engineers when it was labeled a shipping hazard in 1957.
It’s become a popular snorkeling site due to how close it is to the shoreline. It’s easy to explore and full of marine life.
Not all of the shipwrecks in the Cayman islands are historical. This shipwreck took place in 2011 when the decommissioned USS Kittiwake was tugged to the west side of Grand Cayman and sunk to create an artificial reef and diving site.
The ship lays almost perfectly upright, making it a sight to see for all snorkelers and divers. The top of the wreck is within seven feet of the surface, making it quite easy to explore even if you’re a casual diver.
The USS Kittiwake is also the only Russian warship in the western hemisphere, making it a fascinating destination for scuba divers and history buffs alike.
This is a favorite amongst divers. It sits upright on a bed of sand off Seven Mile Beach. The Doc Paulson is a 50 foot WWII LCM landing craft that’s now submerged in 65-feet of water as another artificial reef. Why is it so popular with divers? There’s a nine-foot bronze statue of a mermaid nearby, one of only two in the entire world.
This ship sank in the spring of 1980 and is now covered with a coat of sponge and coral. You’ll find an abundance of wildlife here, including sea bream, jewfish, eel, and barracuda. This is a super exciting wildlife site off Seven Mile Beach that’s worth exploring.
Want to explore these shipwrecks all year round? Crighton Properties has Grand Cayman property for sale that range from family homes on the beach to condos in the heart of George Town. Since 1970, they have been finding the perfect Grand Cayman property for sale for people who want to experience the sun, waves, and laid back lifestyle of the Cayman Islands all year.