Bonnie’s Arch is one of the better dives on the west side of Grand Cayman.
This wall dive is near the northwestern point of Grand Cayman. Bonnie’s Arch is situated near my other favorite sites on this side of the island, Northwest Point. The currents can be quite strong in the area which helps to maintain the quality of the reef. However, if the current is too strong the captain will take you to another location most likely Orange Canyon, Big Tunnels, Trinity Caves or similar site in the area.
Another excellent choice, although it is not used often, is Eagle’s Nest. This dive site is so close to the point where boats tend to leave shore from the Seven Mile Beach hotels most captains give it a pass. They do not want divers on the boat to be disappointed because it only took 10 minutes to get to the dive site. But it is an excellent alternative wall dive.
If the captain tells you the currents are strong and you cannot dive Bonnie’s Arch do not be concerned. There are several other great dive sites in the area that will not disappoint.
Bonnie’s Arch Rating: 3.79 out of 5
- Visibility – Very good to excellent
- Access – Easy to Moderately easy; boat only and about 25 minutes from the hotel beaches on Seven Mile Beach
- Current – Variable, moderate to strong most of time
- Depth to 100 ft / 30 m
- Reef health Hard / Soft Corals – Good to very good
- Sponges / Plants – Good to very good
- Marine species variety – Very good
- Pelagics / Mammals / Turtles / Rays – minimal typically 1 to 3 sightings on a dive
The prominent feature of Bonnie’s Arch is the coral archway. You will find a variety of tube and barrel sponges at the base of the archway along with a good variety of fishes and marine life including, an occasional Tarpon, Spiny Lobsters, cleaner shrimp, crabs, Nassau Groupers, Mutton Snappers, and much more. You will typically make your way down and through the arch and descend to around 100 feet and then make your way slowly back up the wall. Make sure to look into the “blue” as you come out on the wall as you may find a Spotted Stingray or even a shark cruising the wall. Depending upon how much air you have and if your no-deco time is good you will be able to spend a bit of time exploring around the base of the buoy anchor. You will usually see French Angelfish as well as Grey Angelfish in the area along with Trumpetfish, Sergeant Majors, various cleaning wrasses, Barracuda and much more.
Bonnie’s Arch is a very good site for underwater photography as the water tends to be very clear. Some of my favorites shots are wide angel shots of the wall or the sun peaking over the wall with a larger fish, Eagle Ray or Shark silohetted against the sun. So plan your shots and key searching for compelling scenes and you will definitely be rewarded with some great images on this site. As in all dives I recommend going slowly and taking time to appreciate the site. Read other dive site reviews on my blog and see other underwater photography on my website and follow me on Twitter @ images2inspire. The pool is open…