First and foremost we would like to thank everyone who has reached out to us with kind words and support. We have been very touched by all the kindness.
Next up we want to let you know we are fine. Bored and maybe a little anxious to get back to “normal” but I think that is something shared by many people. Who knew when 2020 began that it was going to go this way?
On March 22nd the Cayman Islands government made the hard decision to close the airport and shut the island. It took a few weeks for us all to get the hang of everything but the island worked together and met the challenge. The social distancing and curfew laws that the government used where some of the strictest in the world. As a result we are now (at the time of writing this) living in an isolated bubble with very few cases. In total we have had 180 cases but at the moment have only 72 active, 107 fully recovered and all but 2 are asymptomatic. The government’s strategy worked and it worked well. The obvious down side to this strategy is the local economy and specifically tourism industry has been hit very hard.
The next phase is to begin the process of rebuilding our tourism industry. That will begin when the islands moves to level 2. We hope that hotels, condos and outdoor actives like diving can resume. When this happens we will get back in the water and will be offering trips to people living on the island.
The airport and islands border are closed until September 1st. With the focus being on local testing and eradication of the virus there has not be an official opening date set yet. However, the current testing is very conducive to allow full opening of local economy in the next couple of weeks. Once this huge mile stone has been accomplished we will then, as an island, be able to look at how we open the airport for people to come and visit safely again.
Our amazing crew are also fine and have chosen a safe place to shelter and wait this crazy storm out. Some went back to their country of origin, some stayed on island. We are very hopeful that we will see them all again onboard, smiling and diving.
As soon as we have anything more definite we will shout as loud as we can let the world know.
Anyone who has dived with us knows that we built Living The Dream Divers to offer small groups of divers outstanding service on large dive boats. We have been socially distancing by design long before we knew what it was. This means we are ready to take people diving without having to change our product.
Our boats have over 600 sq ft of deck space over two floors and three distinct areas. We only take a max of 8 divers with a minimum of 2 crew. This means we can all enjoy a safe, fun and interactive dive trip without breaking social distancing rules. The other bonus for divers in this new world is that we are outside in the sun getting lots of UV rays and spending most of our time in the water under the pressure of the beautiful Caribbean Sea.
Something that has changed in our world and we are taking seriously is hygiene, sanitizing and disinfecting. Working with breathing equipment has always required a high standard of cleanliness but following this pandemic we have increased our cleaning, disinfection and sanitizing. We have added hand sanitizer stations to the boats and added disinfecting rinse tanks to the dive deck. This will ensure our already high standard of care and cleanliness is out front and easy to see and use. On top of this we are adding many smaller touches like antibacterial pens, online waivers and payment system. We have also added a full range of LTD face masks and covers.It’s 2020’s new “must have” lifestyle accessory! When we have them in the shop we be offering them for sale and mail order!!
As things change on island we will update you. Please keep your fingers crossed for continued good news! No matter when the airports open we will be here ready and eager to dive with you. Stay well and see you all soon!
About the Author
Gary is a PADI Master Instructor and an RYA 200 ton Off Shore.Having worked all over the world as a dive instructor and boat captain. He has spent the last 20 year based in the Cayman Islands. Together with his wife Liz they have built the number one scuba diving operation in the Caribbean.