I have had some local dive instructors tell me that this is one of their favorite sites. While, I do enjoy the Gail’s Mountain and have been diving here a number of times but I would not rank it at the top end of the other north wall dive sites.
As the name implies, Gail’s Mountain, has a point or pinnacle at the edge of the wall “Gail’s Mountain” that you can explore as either a deep dive or a second dive.
Gail’s Mountain is located close to the cut in the reef on the north wall and the visibility after heavy or constant rains can be a bit challenging compared to dive sites closer to Rum Point. When it rains steadily for extended periods and/or heavily there tends to be a lot of run-off from the Mangroves inside the North Sound which has a very high amount of particulates. This will make the water quite cloudy on the sites that are close to the cuts in the reef.
I actually prefer the site as a second dive assuming I have been able to get to one of the sites such Andes Wall. The diversity of marine life on the site is quite good and I have on several occasions seen Spotted Eagle Rays and even the rare Hammerhead Shark.
Gail’s Mountain Rating: 3.36 out of 5
- Visibility – Good to very good; note visibility can be moderate to minimal here after a heavy rain
- Access – Moderate; boat only and about 30 to 40 minutes from Safe Haven harbor (Note it can be fairly rough on the North Wall and regularly has low swells so take precautions if you tend to get seasick)
- Current – Variable, moderate to strong most of time
- Depth to 100 ft / 30 m
- Reef health Hard / Soft Corals – Good
- Sponges / Plants – Good
- Marine species variety – Good
- Pelagics / Mammals / Turtles / Rays – minimal typically 1 to 3 sightings on a dive
When diving Gail’s Mountain as a top of the wall dive make sure to take your time exploring the many hard and soft corals and sponges. There is a good variety from the orange Elephant Ear sponges to a variety of beautiful vase sponges and barrel sponges, a couple or really nice Grooved Brain Coral and some very nice Gorgonian Fans, including one on top of the pinnacle. You will also find a good variety of fishes on site including the gorgeous Queen Angelfish, Nassau Groupers, Green Morays, Fairy Basslets, Bluestriped Grunt and many more.
A north wall dive on almost any of the available sites is hard to beat. On good days the visibility can be well over 150 feet and the water colored a wonderful aqua blue. When diving Gail’s Mountain as a top of the wall dive it is usually a buddy dive with depth limits of around 60 feet for 50 to 60 minutes depending upon your nitrogen levels from your previous dives. Make sure to spend at least some of the time at the edge of the wall and look down and out as you may be able to get a glimpse of one of the many pelagic species that can be found on Grand Cayman.
The pool is open…