Doc Poulson Grand Cayman is a purpose sunk shipwreck on the western part of Grand Cayman.
Although not nearly as famous as the USS Kittiwake or the Oro Verdie it is an interesting wreck and makes a fairly good night dive.
The ship was originally a Japanese cable laying ship and was sunk in Grand Cayman in 1981 to create an artificial reef on Seven Mile beach. The wreck sits upright in about 50 to 60 feet / 15 to 18 meters of water and can be easily explored. However, given the age of the wreck there are many exposed surfaces that can cause harm to a diver. So be cautious as you explore.
The wreck site is named for Doc Poulson who helped set up the first hyperbaric chamber on Grand Cayman for the treatment of decompression sickness.
Doc Poulson Grand Cayman Rating: 3.03 out of 5
- Visibility – moderate although sometimes can be very hazy with a lot of particulate in the water
- Access – Easy 20 minutes on a boat from the west side beach hotels
- Current – moderate
- Depth to 60 ft / 18 m
- Reef health Hard / Soft Corals – Moderate
- Sponges / Plants – Moderate
- Marine species variety – Moderate
- Pelagics / Mammals / Turtles / Rays – Rare
The ship is about 70 feet in length and the cable wenches can still be seen on deck but are heavily encrusted with corals. There are a variety of fish in and around the ship from Goliath grouper, to Queen Conch, to cleaner shrimp, blue tang and many more.
The Doc Poulson Grand Cayman wreck sits on a sand flat and is about a 5 minute swim away from the reef. The clarity of the water in Grand Cayman, along with the upright position of the boat makes it a great place for underwater photography from the novice to the professional.
The hatches have been removed to make penetration diving easy and safe allowing a diver to explore the decks and the hold of the ship. The interior of the ship is filled with a good bit of sand, but working your way through the ship is still quite easy even after 30 years on the reef. As a day dive the Doc Poulson is a rather small site and is usually combined with diving the reef nearby which is about a 5 minute swim away. If you take your time however, you can spend most of your dive time at the wreck since it is fairly shallow.
Doc Poulson Grand Cayman is definitely a better when there are no more than 5 to 6 divers on the site and great when there are only two. It can be a good night-dive spot especially for an underwater photographer as you have a wide variety of marine life around the wreck including a number of small creatures great for macro shots. There are several sponges, brain corals, Christmastree worms and a nice Social Feather Duster on the stern rail and other parts of the wreck.
For other underwater photographs of the Doc Poulson just click on one of the photographs or go to my Doc Poulson Gallery. If you want to find information on other wrecks in Grand Cayman such as the USS Kittiwake you can check out my Blog and/or view more underwater photographs on my website and/or follow me on Twitter @ images2inspire.