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ABOUT US

Caribbean’s Only Marine Ecotourism Operator since 1986

ABOUT CAYMAN MARINE LAB

Established in 1986, Cayman Marine Lab caters to families and individuals interested in a smaller eco-diving experience. Cayman dive operators have come and gone over the years with most businesses who dive in Cayman employing divemasters who, by virtue only staying in the game for only a season or two, never acquiring the experience to truly learn their craft. Cayman diving, particularly Grand Cayman diving, is not just carried out on the 7 mile beach or west side of the island where most operators dwell because it is easy. The vast majority of outstanding Cayman dive sites are North Wall diving and South Wall diving and East End diving. Time is experience and CML has had the same operator for over 3 decades! If you think Caymans reefs are tired, you owe it to yourself to experience a dive drop where no others have ever dived - it is like going back in time. Cayman Marine Lab will run with as few as 2 or a max of 10 divers, we like small groups.

We offer a variety of things to do in Cayman; there are activities in Cayman for non-divers as well.

The atmosphere is very informal and Cayman Marine Lab is the only marine eco-tourism operation in the entire Caribbean run by a "real" marine biologist, Tom Byrnes Ph.D.

Dr. Tom

For as long as I can remember, I have always been crazy about being on the ocean; in fact, when other kids were playing with trucks and army men, I was playing with outboard motor parts and fishing gear. I shocked my school guidance counselor by breaking a string of "I want to be a policeman, fireman or shortstop"....with the charter boat captain. He, of course, tried to dissuade me, however, while still a teenager; I acquired my Coast Guard Captains License. I worked as a commercial fisherman through my youth. My first diving certification was in 1974 with the YMCA. My brother and I survived a wild diving youth in the northeast. A typical outing involved running and returning at night through one of the most, treacherous inlets in Massachusetts, covering the entire 20-mile coast of New Hampshire and then 10 miles offshore to an island off Maine in a leaky 16ft rowboat with a 35hp motor slapped on it. Somehow we always made it back and the parental concern was usually overwhelming with statements like "did you get any lobsters"? I learned from a lot of mistakes.

Commercial fishing proved to be too fickle so I decided to become a marine biologist and was lucky to have Professor. Gene Kaplan (of Peterson Field Guide to Coral Reef's fame) as my mentor. Eventually, with a Commonwealth and prestigious ITT Fellowship ( A more revered form of Fulbright), I would complete 2 graduate degrees during my 6 years in Australia.

My time was spent either in the field - I traveled nearly every meter of Australian Coastline in the most uncomfortable truck ever made - or at the lab pumping out scientific papers which have been published in journals in Australia, United States, Japan and the UK.

I took a position running the Hofstra University Marine Lab in Jamaica which hosted as many as 5 academic groups at the same time......Chaos!! It was a long but rewarding year and no one was injured although we did have guns pulled on us during field trips. In 1986, I decided to take a chance and open my own marine lab business in beautiful Grand Cayman. I was just as amazed by the marine life as I was with the friendly laid-back attitudes of the locals. The academic groups that previously booked with Hofstra, followed me to Cayman and we had great immediate success. Tourist divers too were hungry for knowledge - they wanted to know what they were seeing and so CML the dive operation took off. The 2 man operation was insanely busy running divers in the mornings and teaching tropical marine biology to academic groups in the afternoons.

Fast forward 32 years and countless thousands of dive charters (probably more than any other captain in Cayman's history), this, I believe makes us the most experienced operators on the water today. We specialize in getting our customers to the least dived spots - most never dived by other operators.

Daniel Byrnes

Danny was born Caymanian and made his first dive on the north wall when he was just 11 years old. He started working for CML on a part-time basis when he was 15. After graduating high school he became a PADI divemaster and acquired his captain's ticket. He worked fulltime for 2 years before starting at University.

Danny remained close to the business and worked during all of his breaks which, remarkably these days, allowed him to pay for his 5 years of studies. Since graduating from the from Georgia Southern University he is back fulltime.

Although just 25, he already has 10 years experience and thousands of dives under his belt. His keen knowledge of tropical marine fauna and ecosystem make him a tremendous asset to CML as a naturalist.

OUR BOATS

Symbion

28-footer with 10-foot beam and are powered by 200 hp outboard. The vessel were completely set up and rigged by Tom knowing what divers need and want.

OUR BOATS

ALeeIrene

32ft fully kitted out custom dive boat with twin engines and large seating area with plenty of shade. Come and try out with your family and friends.

OUR BOATS

Nekton

28 ft Parker with the cover so you can be more comfortable during the rainy season.

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