Flag of Little Cayman

Little Cayman

An island of Cayman Islands, North America.


Little Cayman is an island that is part of the Cayman Islands. It is located in the Caribbean Sea, about 75 miles (120 km) northeast of Grand Cayman and five miles (8 km) west of Cayman Brac. Little Cayman has a permanent population of less than 170 and is about 10 miles (16 km) long with an average width of 1 mile (2 km).

The first recorded sighting of Little Cayman, along with Cayman Brac, was by Christopher Columbus on May 10, 1503 on his fourth and final voyage, when heavy winds forced his ship off course. At that time, he named the islands "Las Tortugas" for the many sea turtles found living there. The islands were later renamed "Las Caymanas" for the iguanas that were thought to be caimans living there.

The first settlement on the island was in the 17th century, when turtle fishermen set up camps. After a raid by a Spanish privateer, the settlements were abandoned in 1671 and the island was not resettled until 1833, when Blossom Village was established by a few families. By the early 20th century, a few hundred people lived on Little Cayman and exported phosphate ore, coconuts, and marine rope.

Little Cayman is famous for its scuba diving. The most famous dive site areas, Bloody Bay and Jackson's Bight, are both located on the north side of the island, just west of its midpoint. Bloody Bay is consistently ranked as one of the world's top wall dives with the ocean floor, which was purportedly based on a claim made by the late Phillipe Cousteau. At its shallowest point in Bloody Bay, the drop-off goes a depth of 18 feet (Three Fathom Wall) to approximately 1000 feet (314m), in what is a near-vertical topology at recreational depths (and a bit beyond).

The sheer wall dropoffs in Little Cayman, and Bloody Bay Wall in particular, have been a source of exaggeration - not of its degree of verticality, but of the depth to the bottom of the wall: local Dive Resort Divemasters typically claim the proximate depth to be 3,000 feet (910 m) or 5,000 feet (1,500 m). While the local waters do go deeper than, 1,000 ft (300 m) these depths simply are not as proximate to shore as is suggested or claimed; the 1000 m contour (3000+ft) has been charted to be approximately one mile offshore on Little Cayman's South side, and 2.5 miles (4.0 km) offshore of Bloody Bay on the island's North side (Ibid). These distances are generally beyond the normal range expected of freeswimming recreational scuba divers who are not Drift Diving or employing Dive Propulsion Vehicles. This exaggeration phenomenon also exists on Cayman Brac Walls.

People who dived here

top
stats
Create your free online log book now.  Easy, fast, waterproof!
dive site location

Popular dive logs

  • Mixing Bowl Caribbean Sea, Greater Antilles, Caribbean
    sea-kangaroo one year ago
  • Bush Gardens Caribbean Sea, Greater Antilles, Caribbean
    sea-kangaroo one year ago
  • Randy's Gazebo Caribbean Sea, Greater Antilles, Caribbean
    sea-kangaroo one year ago
  • Lea Lea's Lookout Caribbean Sea, Greater Antilles, Caribbean
    sea-kangaroo one year ago
  • Jig Saw Caribbean Sea, Greater Antilles, Caribbean
    sea-kangaroo one year ago
  • Joy's Joy Caribbean Sea, Greater Antilles, Caribbean
    sea-kangaroo one year ago
  • Marilyn's Cut Caribbean Sea, Greater Antilles, Caribbean
    sea-kangaroo one year ago