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WHAT TO EXPECT ON A ORO VERDE LIVEABOARD
Oro Verde liveaboard diving will give divers access to this popular and fascinating ship wreck located just off the coast of Seven Mile Beach near the West Wall of Grand Cayman Island. Cayman Islands liveaboard operators usually include this great dive site on their itineraries. A 184ft steel United States WWII cargo Liberty Ship, this vessel was intentionally sunk as an artificial reef system. On May 31, 1980, the ship's doors and hatches were opened. All sharp and hazardous objects were removed before the Cayman government sank her to a depth of approximately 50ft.
Individuals interested in history and culture will especially enjoy this site, as it has an exceptionally interesting history. After it was sold by the United States Navy, it is believed to have been used as a merchant cargo ship, importing and exporting bananas. After its days as a merchant cargo ship, local legend claims that it was used for the purpose of a Jamaican drug smuggling ship during its final functioning years.
WHAT YOU CAN SEE
The Wreck of the Oro Verde is exceptionally deteriorated due to hurricanes and other such unfavorable weather conditions over the years. However, deterioration is a desirable quality for a wreck site as it draws a rich diverse marine life ecosystem, something that this site certainly does. The original steel structure now sprouts blossoms of coral and sponges. While the bow remains largely intact, the snow white sand beds upon which the ship rests are scattered with remains. Snappers, grunts, chubs, jacks, and groupers are among the commonly spotted species that frequent the site of Oro Verde and the dive site right next door, 'Paradise Reef'.
Individuals that have completed their wreck specialty course are welcome and able to penetrate the vessel. There are a few notorious permanent residents that have taken shelter within its walls. Be sure to be on the lookout for a 300lb jewfish, a 6ft moray eel, and a 4ft barracuda, all of which have been named by local dive professionals.
This open, shallow, and easily navigable dive site makes for a fantastic night dive!
GETTING TO ORO VERDE
The Oro Verde wreck site is best visited from a liveaboard dive boat. This area of the West Wall has numerous varying dive sites easily accessible from the site of Oro Verde. With up to 5 dives a day, diving this site via a liveaboard enables you to add a significant number of dives at world rated dive sites all from the comfort of ìhome.î Eliminate time traveled from shore to dive site by visiting this site via a liveaboard dive cruise.
When taking an international flight, fly into Grand Cayman via the Owen Roberts International Airport conveniently located in George Town. George Town is also the location of the port of departure for liveaboard dive trips. Depending on the time of year of your trip, either depart for your liveaboard tour from the George Town Tourist Dock or the Ann Drive Docks in North Sound Estates.
Flights to and from the U.S., Canada, Cuba, Honduras, Jamaica, and the UK are offered on a weekly basis. A connecting flight will be necessary for flights departing from different countries. Airlines that offer service to Owen Roberts International Airport are Cayman Airways, Air Canada, American Airlines, British Airways, Delta, JetBlue, United, and West Jet.