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Enjoy Little Cayman Diving at its Best!

Frequently Asked Questions
(Or questions we thought you might ask anyway ;-)

 

Web site related issues

Question: My navigation links or menus don't work or don't show up properly, what am I doing wrong?
Answer: The left main menus are Javascript based. You must have scripting enabled for your computer to display them correctly. With Internet Explorer for instance, these settings are found under the menu Tools/Internet Options/Security/Custom Level.

Question: I can't seem to find a single email link anywhere on your site, even when they are mentioned. What good are invisible email links? I really need to send you guys an email, how do I do it?
Answer: The answer is the same as above. To see our email links, you must have your scripting enabled. We have encrypted all our email links via javascript in order to prevent robot web crawlers to harvest them and use them for spamming us. These crawlers look for the typical email address format, smith@somewhere.com for instance. The encryption simply renders the link unreadable. Now, since that won't do you much good, and assuming that for some reason you can't or don't want to turn your scripting on, here's our email address; it's an image and it's not clickable but you can type it into your favorite email program... Our Email There you have it ;-)

Question: The whole page display is messed up and re-loading the page doesn't fix the problem. What can I do?
Answer: First of all, make sure that your browser is recent enough to provide overall compatibility with our site. We designed the web site with the main and most recent browsers in mind, so it should work perfectly with Internet Explorer 6 and close to perfect with Netscape 7.1, Mozilla 1.6, Firefox 0.8 and Opera. Note that Internet Explorer v5 and 5.5 will work decently but some features will start degrading, hopefully in a graceful way. Intermediate versions of Netscape haven't been tested too extensively, but we know for a fact that Netscape 4.x will NOT render the web page correctly. Compatibility with that version was too much of a compromise to make when statistics reveal that 80 to 90% of web surfers use an up to date browser. You can always go to our simple version page where the important content of the site is summarized. You might also consider upgrading your browser; most of them are available as a free download from their respective company's web site:

Internet Explorer
Netscape
Mozilla
Opera
Avant

Question: I'm missing some of the functionality of your most amazing web site ;-) , probably because my browser is too old. I would like to upgrade to a newer browser, what do you recommend?
Answer: See above. Our choice would be Internet Explorer 6, not because we want to encourage Micro$oft, but because it seems to be the most advanced browser available right now. But also to be considered are the following: Netscape, Mozilla and Firefox, Opera, and finally Avant, which is more an Internet Explorer expansion than a browser in itself.

Question: Some of the items on the page seem to overlap (for instance the upper language selection bar comes over the logo on the left); is there a way to change this?
Answer: The most probable cause for this is a low screen resolution. If your computer screen is set to 800x600 for instance, you will get the overlapping effect since only the center column (the one with the main content) has the ability to resize itself. The other two are fixed, and the upper bar can only shrink itself so much. You shouldn't loose anything crucial, but you could probably use a higher resolution setting (if available), even if only for aesthetic reasons. To change your screen resolution in Windows XP (in other Windows versions, go to the control panel), right-click on your desktop, choose Properties and then the Settings tab. There you will see a slider with available screen resolution settings. We recommend at least 1280x1024 or even larger if you can (although 1024x768 will do it. Sigh.) Be aware that changing your screen resolution WILL rearrange all your neatly organized desktop icons, though. You were warned ;-)

Question: When I open the main page (index.htm) my second or third level menus disappear behind the image on the right, the one with the pretty moving titles that says "take a deep breath"... Well I have, but how do I see my menus?
Answer: Sadly, you must be using an older browser, or even a version of Netscape older than v7.0. This little bug is due to the nature of the image you mentioned, which is in fact active content in the form of a Flash movie. Active content tends to be drawn on top of everything else (including your menus) except if your browser supports a windowless property available only to recent browsers. There is no work-around to this issue from your end; however, you could try maximizing your browser window so that the flash content will be positioned further away from the menus.

Question: Why do the left cascading menus sometimes forget to disappear after I move the mouse away from them?
Answer: Because of the fade out effect, there is a slight delay between the time when you move the mouse away and the time at which the variables are reinitialized. If you go quickly over a different menu set (like for example going from Help to Photo galleries), the old menu might stay on while the new one is being drawn on top of it. This is no big issue, however if it does bother you, just move your mouse back over the stubborn menu and away again, waiting a second before going to a different selection.

Question: My Netscape 4.x browser won't display any part of your site correctly, is this normal?
Answer: Sadly, Netscape 4 and similar versions have become almost obsolete. The scripting languages have evolved rapidly and Netscape failed for a while to keep up with the changes, losing it seems, a good share of the market. Things are better now with the newer versions, so now might be a good time to upgrade...

Question: The weather icon on the main page doesn't show any weather, does it mean it will be sunny and warm 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
Answer: We're afraid we just can't guarantee that ;-) We do wish you the best possible weather though! In the meantime, the lack of weather report could be due to your computer being offline, or to a server issue on the weather web site end. Sorry, this is out of ours hands. Clicking on the link should still get you to a more complete weather forecast.

Question: I click on the left navigation menus but nothing happens; should I click harder?
Answer: Definitely! The harder you click, the better your chances of success. Or as an alternative, make sure you are clicking on the last item to the right in a series of cascading menu items, since an intermediate title (one that still has options to the right of it, marked by an arrow) will not return any results. (i.e. in the News section, clicking on "Spring 2004 ** New **" will not get you anywhere; you must choose one of the 3 choices that unfolded to the right, "Paradise-Divers.com gets a new look", "New air service" or "Our images on Rodale's". Got it?

Question: The time shown in the upper right corner of the web site doesn't match my home town time. Does it mean it is showing Cayman time?
Answer: The script uses your system's time to update this display and also to compute the Cayman local time at the bottom left. Make sure your system is set to the correct time (in your lower right screen corner, on the task bar).

Question: You talk about Javascript, HTML and other weird things, what exactly are they? Did Javascript come from the Island of Java?
Answer: Yes, and HTML stands for Hating The Media Lies ;-) But seriously now; HTML means Hyper Text Markup Language. Big deal. The guys who invented it certainly didn't have a clue that it was going to revolutionize the world or they would've given it a friendlier name. It is the cornerstone of all internet content. Most of what you see on the web even today is written in HTML, which is basically a <tag> based scripting language, saved in plain text format. Then came more powerful scripting tools like javascript, php, xml and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), that gave web designers a lot more control over their pages, and mightier weapons to achieve their goals. One of the advantages of Javascript and CSS is that they can be saved as separate files and only referenced to from the main page, making traffic lighter (most browsers actually cache these and so only download them once per session) and streamlining the pages' code.
Is that all too technical, now? All right, new answer: we talk about it because it sounds really cool, dude ;-)

Question: When I click on a gallery's thumbnail and get a picture to appear on a blank screen, I then have to hit the "Back" button of my browser and reload the page completely to then repeat the process for the next picture. It's a little time consuming, wouldn't there be a more efficient way to browse the galleries?
Answer: Indeed there is one. At the top of each gallery you will find a link that invites you to view the slide show. Clicking on it will take you to a page designed especially for the galleries, and from where they are all available in a few clicks but without having to reload the page. A Previous and a Next button allow you to easily navigate and the only thing that changes accordingly is the picture, making for much faster browsing.

Question: I have downloaded and installed one of your screensavers and would like to uninstall it but no uninstall file was provided with it. How can I do it?
Answer: You should be able to go to the Control Panel/Add or Remove Programs and uninstall "Paradise Divers Underwater". For information, the setup program copies 2 files to your Windows directory (probably c:\windows\system32): Paradise Divers Underwater.scr and Paradise Divers Underwater.sff . Deleting those two files will uninstall the screensaver. Warning: this delete method is for advanced users only! Always be very carefull when erasing files in the Windows directory. These are system files and a lot of damage can be done if not careful.

Question: No matter how hard I concentrate, I can't seem to make the Virtual Tour appear on the relevant page. Is my computer broken?
Answer: Please keep in mind that the Virtual Tour is only an experimental feature; while we hope that it will work on most computers, some glitches/incompatibilities are unavoidable. We chose to display the Virtual Tour using Java because it's powerful and doesn't require the user to download/install any plug-ins. However, it is possible that your computer might be lacking Java, or it might just be turned off in your browser. Start by going into your browser settings and look for an option to turn Java on. It might say : Enable Java, or Enable Java Console, or Scripting of Java Applets or something similar. These settings are typically found under the Security or Advanced tab (or Languages for Netscape). Don't confuse Javascript with Java, they are two different things. After changing your settings, you might have to close and re-open your browser for the changes to take effect. If these options don't appear, you might need to install Microsoft Virtual Machine (VM) or Sun Java. Visit these sites for more info: the Java and VM downloads (not to be done lightly).

 

Diving related issues  (or back to top)

Question: I have lost my c-card years ago but would like to come diving. Will you accept my word that I am or have been certified?
Answer: As much as we would like to do just that, we will need a valid proof of certification (i.e. c-card, c-card, or c-card. Did we mention a c-card?) As an alternative, you can get in touch with your certifying agency and request a proof of certification, or even better a new c-card.

Question: My logbook is falling apart, will you guys request to see it or can I leave it at home?
Answer: No, a logbook will not be necessary; however, we do have a collection of cool official stamps just waiting to jump at your logbook pages ;-) Logging is a good habit and you will love to read about your dives in a few years...

Question: How long after flying could we start diving with you? We arrive on the first morning flight, will the boat wait for us?
Answer: As long as you feel in good shape, there are no restrictions on how soon you can dive. Do make sure that you are well re-hydrated, especially after a long flight. Sometimes though, common wisdom dictates a half a day or even a full day of rest. As far as waiting for you, you should get in touch with us prior to your arrival for that. Our scheduled morning departure time is 8:00 am, mostly for weather and dive site availability reasons. We do occasionally delay departure until arrival of the first plane, according to many factors. The best way to find out is to call ahead.

Question: How long prior to departure should we stop diving? Can we still dive the day before flying back to Grand cayman, since the little bitty plane doesn't fly very high?
Answer: We entirely agree with and follow the DAN recommendations regarding flying after diving: therefore, a minimum of 18 hours is required between diving and flying; longer is better. In practice: we will let you do 2 shallow morning dives the day prior to your departure, provided that we make an on time departure. No afternoon diving will be allowed if you are flying the following morning. Read more here.

Question: We are planning to take a day off of diving during the week, when do you recommend we take it?
Answer: The 2 competing schools of thought on the subject are:
1 - mid-week, to let yourself out-gas a little and relax; and
2 - the last day before departure, to out-gas before your flight.

Question: I own a second dive computer, should I bother bringing it along since I just had my main one serviced?
Answer: Absolutely! We highly encourage the use of a redundant computer for safety purposes, and also for a very practical reason: should your main computer fail during a dive, you are required to abort the dive and stay out of the water for 24 hours... Unless you have been using a back-up and have had it with you at all times!

Question: My husband's computer's battery is down but mine is brand new; we will both follow it. How close should he stay from me?
Answer: A computer is a personal tool and we cannot allow anybody to share computers. Keeping your safety in mind at all times, we request that each diver use their own computer or dive under a table profile, in which case they must stay with a buddy diving the same profile or with the group. As far as the distance from your buddy goes, and even though we usually dive in groups, a good rule of thumb would be that if you can't reach him/her or grab his/her attention within a few seconds, you are too far.

Question: I am planning to do deep dives, how deep will you let me go alone?
Answer: Our island-wide maximum authorized depth is 110 feet (the Cayman Islands Tourism Association Guidelines even recommend 100 ft. which we judge to be a little conservative, yet very wise). Keep in mind that the nearest recompression chamber is located in Grand Cayman. In addition, we do not allow solo diving at any time. We will, however, be happy to take you down to 110 ft when the groups level allow it (or to let you and your buddy go by yourselves the second and following days), and some of the swim through's leading there are fantastic!

Question: Do you allow gloves and knives on the reef?
Answer: Good question! We do not allow gloves in the marine park, in accordance with the island's reef protection practice. Gloves encourage people to touch the coral or just to be a little careless about their buoyancy. You will find that our reefs are extremely healthy and it is no doubt attributable to our very strict no-contact rules. As for knives, they are a safety item and every diver should consider wearing one. Our waters are, however, surprisingly free of fishing filament, all fishing in the marine park being prohibited.

Question: I get a little sea-sick. Should I take sea-sickness medication or eat something special before the dive trip, or nothing at all?
Answer: Not being doctors ourselves, we wouldn't dare prescribe you any medication on that matter. Use common sense and go with what you know works. Remember that one often feels better underwater when slightly nauseous topside. A normal or light breakfast is perfectly all right before diving provided you don't over do it. An empty stomach might actually be worse. Avoid acidic products like orange juice. Once on the boat, sit near the stern where the roll and pitch movements are minimal, and look at the horizon or something far enough that it doesn't seem to move with the boat. And think positive! The boat rides are short and well worth it :-)

Question: I have been sick recently but seem to be feeling better. I am however still taking medicine. Will it be all right to dive?
Answer: You are the only who can answer this. So might your doctor. In case of doubt, do NOT force yourself to dive, or once in the water, your ears to equalize. Equalizing should ALWAYS be easy. Fighting for a dive is not worth an eardrum.

Question: My asthma hasn't manifested itself in years but I carry my inhaler along just in case. My doctor says I'm ok to dive, what do you think?
Answer We regret to inform you that, despite what you might have been told, asthma is still a relative to absolute diving contraindication. In any case, we do not possess the necessary knowledge to medically clear you to dive with a restrictive breathing desease. Only a doctor could do so and yet some general practitioners don't seem to fully understand the meaning of diving and pressure changes. We would highly recommend seeing a dive specialist. In most cases, diving will not be allowed. If it is approved by a physician anyway, please bring an official record of that clearance and be aware that we ultimately reserve the right to refuse to allow you to dive; this is for your own safety, as well as that of others around you. Read more about asthma here.

Question: I have heard about an organization called DAN that issues dive and travel insurance to divers. Are they worth considering? It sounds like a bit of a scam, I'd rather stay with my own insurance to tell you the truth...
Answer: DAN is a non-profit organization that has contributed tremendously to the diving industry in terms of research, statistics, and education. They are THE most knowledgeable entity when it comes to dive medicine. We highly recommend subscribing to their membership and insurance package (and by all means, keep your regular insurance too). The DAN deal includes travel insurance and they can help better then anybody else in case of a diving related accident/injury. You can check out their web site here.

Question: I have just bought a digital camera and its casing and I'm dying to try them out. Do you have any recommendations? Will I be able to download my pictures to something so that I can save some space on my memory card?
Answer: Congratulations! Underwater photography will open up a new world of possibilities. It is a fascinating, but also quite demanding activity that will require greater concentration underwater as one tends to focus (pardon the pun) more on the subject and less on buoyancy. It would be wise to leave the camera on the boat for your first dive in order to get back in the swing of things, especially if you haven't been diving for a while. As for the rest, we'll be more than happy to discuss the technical aspects with you on the boat. Two key points to remember, though: always keep your housing's o-ring impeccably clean, and do a test dive with an empty casing when using it for the first time. A sheet of paper towel with ink markings stuffed in the casing will help detecting any leaks: if the water gets in, the ink swells up very noticeably. Also note that we should be able to transfer your images to a disc if you need to free-up some storage space. Read more about Digital Underwater Photography.

Question: I'm not sure underwater photography is for me. Is there a way I could rent a camera to give it a try?
Answer: We do have a couple of cameras available for rent, on a first come, first served basis.

Question: Our son is going to be 9 years old next week. Our older son already is certified and is pushing the younger to follow. When can we get him started? Should he learn to snorkel first?
Answer: The minimum age decided by PADI for a junior certification with restrictions is 10. NAUI does not recognize this and requires 12. We believe that (in most cases) 12 seems to be a reasonable age. There are exceptions both ways of course; some kids are more mature then others. But diving is a potentially dangerous activity and kids often fail to realize what danger means. Their body also hasn't fully developed and the effects of diving on them are still pretty much unknown. As for snorkeling, it is the ideal introduction to diving and a good snorkeler will almost invariably make a better diver.

 

Island and travel related issues  (or back to top)

Question: Should I bring a wind-breaker? This is the Caribbean after all...
Answer: While the temperature on land is usually quite hot, it can get chilly out at sea, where the wind is stronger and since divers are (by nature) often... wet ;-) A wind-breaker might be a great addition to your luggage for the winter months.

Question: What is the best season to come and dive in Little Cayman?
Answer: There is no perfect answer to that question, it all depends on what you're seeking. The hotter months (both air and water) are maybe June to August. Sometimes almost too hot. They usually also have the best average visibility. June is however the official beginning of hurricane season, even though things don't normally get dicey until autumn. Winter months can be calm, and sometimes rougher. We don't have a very rainy season, but it does seem to rain more often in late summer and early winter.

Question: I like to travel light, will I be able to buy some duty-free liquor in the Grand Cayman lounge before flying to Little Cayman instead of buying it in the States?
Answer: No. You will no be able to purchase duty-free within the Cayman Islands just like in the States if you are flying domestic. We recommend stocking up on your favorite brand before leaving the States as the local prices tend to be a Paradise Villas Kitchenettelittle... juicy.

Question: Is there anything I should bring to Little Cayman that I won't be able to find once I'm there?
Answer: Batteries of the size you need are always a good idea. Any specific or rare food you might want, keeping the customs restrictions for meat and fruits in mind. A great book if you are an avid reader; you can always leave it behind when you leave, because so are we ;-) This being said, we do have a fairly well stocked grocery/hardware/video/drugstore on the island and you should find pretty much anything you need there, provided the supply barge has been able to come on schedule ;-)

Question: Will I be able to have breakfast at the Hungry Iguana before I go diving or should I bring cereal and coffee?
Answer: The Hungry Iguana only opens at noon but our Villas are very well equipped (microwave, coffee maker and fridge) and you will be able to prepare breakfast for yourself before the dive. We recommend bring along your favorite breakfast supplies.

 

Question: How do I submit a question that this page hasn't answered for me?
Answer: Well, that's a tough one... You could always send us an , but really, how could there be an unanswered question after all this? ;-)

Thanks for your time!!!

 


"Buoyed by water, he can fly in any direction - up, down, sideways - by merely flipping his hand. Under water, man becomes an archangel."

Jacques-Yves Cousteau

 

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