THE MER­MAID AND THE GUARDIAN

Scuba Diver Australasia - - Lost Worlds - Text by Don­ald Parker Smith and Su­san­nah H. Snow­den-Smith Images by Su­san­nah H. Snow­den-Smith

The crys­tal-clear Caribbean waters of Grand Cay­man are renowned for their fan­tas­tic reefs and wrecks. But hid­den be­low the sur­face are two more unique sights: works of art by Cana­dian sculp­tor Si­mon Mor­ris. The gorgeous Mer­maid, and im­pos­ing Guardian of the Reef, are must-sees in Cay­man. Each statue is lo­cated via an eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble shore dive.

At the Sun­set Reef, you’ll find Am­phitrite, Siren of Sun­set Reef, sunk here in 2000. Afi­ciona­dos of Greek mythol­ogy will know her as the sea god­dess and wife of Po­sei­don. Nearly three me­tres tall and made of bronze, “The Mer­maid” as she’s com­monly called, is a great sub­ject for pho­tog­ra­phers and an at­trac­tion for divers of all lev­els.

Up the road in West Bay at Light­house Point you’ll find the “Guardian of the Reef” – aptly named as he stands as a re­minder to pro­tect the frag­ile coastal reefs around Cay­man. Divers will find the four-me­tre-tall bronze warrior sea­horse statue just a short swim off shore in 20 me­tres of wa­ter. The statue, sunk in 2014, is one of four Guardians by Si­mon Mor­ris, cre­ated to pro­mote environmental aware­ness and stew­ard­ship.

With no river runoff cloud­ing the sea, year­round vis­i­bil­ity in Cay­man av­er­ages 30 me­tres, so you’ll spot these works of art long be­fore you reach them. On your swim out, stay alert for ea­gle rays, nurse sharks, and tur­tles that fre­quent the sur­round­ing reefs. It’s hard to imag­ine the waters of Grand Cay­man be­ing any more invit­ing, but these ma­jes­tic stat­ues give you two more rea­sons to love div­ing here!

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