Cayman Island Cruising Notes

We were unable to find a cruising guide to the Cayman Islands so we had to learn as we went...

Cayman Brac

  1. We arrived during a period of northeast winds. Neither side of the SW-NE running island was comfortable!
  2. Port of Entry is at the main jetty at Creek, near the northeast point. However, Customs will come to you if you're accessible elsewhere.
  3. One can theoretically anchor anywhere around the island, but not in coral. But it's pretty much all coral! We anchored a couple of times off the northwest coast but only after several attempts, and then only hooked precariously onto rock.
  4. We spent most time in the lagoon behind the reef at the southwest end of the island. Entry was easy enough but depths inside were 5-6'. With 25' beam it was tight at points and we had to thread around the moored dive boats. We used two anchors to reduce our swing. This anchorage was close to resorts and a restaurant but a long way from the grocery store (2 miles).

Little Cayman

  1. Little Cayman officially has no Customs so you clear in and out at Cayman Brac.
  2. We anchored in South Sound. Entry is 12' but it quickly becomes less than 6' inside. We couldn't go far before we anchored, but it's big so we were out of the channels used by the dive boats. The entry was challenging in a SE swell. Resorts, restaurants and grocery shop are convenient.
  3. There's another partially reef-protected sound at the northeast point but we never tried it. It's on the windward side in all prevailing winds.

Grand Cayman

  1. George Town is noisy and busy with up to six cruise ships there every weekday.
  2. To clear Customs call Port Security and they will schedule you into the Customs jetty. To get there you must thread your way through the many cruise ship tenders going in and out and avoid the huge rock in the middle! It's intimidating when busy.
  3. The anchorage just north of the harbor has moorings with orange buoys that are available free, on a first-come-first-served basis, to transient boats.
  4. You can dinghy into the cruise ship terminal and visit stores and restaurants in town.
  5. There is a fuel pier just outside the harbor.
  6. Further north along Seven Mile Beach it's easy enough to find sand to anchor in.
  7. On the north side of the island is North Sound. Entry is easy with several channels some of which are marked. With our 4' draft we could go anywhere in the sound.
  8. At the southeast end of the sound there is Harbor House Marine which has fuel and a very well stocked marine store.