Snorkeling at Rum Point, Grand Cayman
I had visited Rum Point one morning previously on my trip to Grand Cayman to visit the Rum Run Stand Up Paddleboard race. From where I was staying on the West Bay/Seven Mile Beach area of the island, it took about 45 minutes to an hour to drive to the northern shore where Rum Point is located. It took a particularly long time on this trip because despite having driven there before, I found myself getting lost on my drive. I kept choosing the wrong roundabout exit and my map was no help. Regardless the time I wasted during my drive, I arrived even more excited to do some snorkeling at Rum Point!
Despite being on the less populated north side of the island, Rum Point is always busy, rain or shine. There are tons of chairs set up for beach loungers, a volleyball area, hammocks, bathrooms with showers, water sports rentals, beachfront food and drinks, and a general/souvenir store.
Because it’s so popular, I encountered the most other snorkelers at this location than any other beach I visited. I spent all of my time snorkeling to the east of the dock because the west side was mostly dedicated to people trying paddleboarding and other water sports rentals made available on the beach. There’s just a general island party atmosphere here that caters to a lot of the tourists.
You can enter the water right off the beach, one of the few locations where the shoreline wasn’t treacherous, rocky, or murky. I swam along the dock past the sea foliage until I reached the boulder garden where most of the fish seemed to be congregating.
Hey look! A squirrel fish and some French grunt fish. They seem to either be after the same food source or just enjoy one another’s company. I’ve seen them together at both Collier Beach and Eden Rock.
I couldn’t figure out what this white fish with the yellow fins and black dot on it was. It almost looks like a grunt fish because it’s a similar shape to all of the yellow striped ones but I couldn’t find a positive identification for it. Please, if you know what it is, comment below!
This school of grunt fish was interesting to watch. They were hang out in the crevices of the boulders and weave in and out of them trying to avoid the snorkelers. It was fun for me to follow them around with the GoPro and track their behavior.
Of course there were a few Blue Tang out and about.
If you’re swimming all the way from Cayman Kai, there’s a good chance you’ll get a look at some more variety, particularly if you’re swimming out farther toward where the water breaks. Just take caution or take a diving flag with you to avoid getting into trouble with passing water craft.
This fish is a species of wrasse called Halichoeres bivittatus or more commonly known as the (don't laugh) slippery dick. The one I saw is in initial phase which, like the parrotfish I saw at Eden Rock, is hermaphroditic and so could be either male or female at this point. When they are male in their terminal phase, they appear much more white in color.
Here’s a bluehead wrasse on the right along with a French grunt. I saw this guy at Collier Beach, too. They’re actually popular aquarium fish because they’re so pretty.
Here’s another one I had trouble IDing. He’s kind of the shape of a surgeonfish or a tang but not quite. Anyone out there know? Come on, internet—I believe in you!
This light yellow and black striped fish was a banded butterflyfish.
All of the coral was lovely, too. In retrospect, I should have swum out a little further because someone apparently saw and swam with a sea turtle which is something I think is on everyone’s bucket list. Ah, well. I enjoyed seeing the brain coral, coral fans, and sea whips instead.
Needlefish are always funny because I never seem to see them until the last minute. They’re silvery and slim so they blend in with their surroundings; they can be swimming right near your face and you won’t notice them until you see an actual twitch of its fins. I think I saw one at nearly every snorkeling location.
As I headed back to shore, I passed alongside the dock and noticed some very large fish hanging out down there. I’m not sure if they were barracuda, snapper, or something more menacing but it was kind of a scary scene watching those slow moving shadows lurk under there. They were each at least 18 inches long.
Rum Point was certainly worth visiting. If I went back to go snorkeling at Rum Point, I’d really like to take a buddy and snorkel from Cayman Kai to Rum Point which is what I was originally planning to try but it was not ideal conditions for that far of a solo snorkel. Rum Point is a place you could spend all day and has all the amenities you could hope for.
Again: if anyone can ID those fish that are giving me a hard time, let me know in the comments!