US DIVER STEVE ROSENBERG has been a photojournalist since 1980 and has produced 22 books, including Lonely Planet travel guides and hundreds of magazine articles and photos. He also says his images have won more than 250 place awards in competitions. This guy has impressive credentials.
For the past few years he has worked with long-time dive-buddy, videographer and IT expert Greg Bassett to produce ebooks on diving destinations, of which this Grand Cayman title is the latest.
Rosenberg is honest enough in his preface in saying that these ebooks are as much a marketing tool for the destinations as they are a consumer guide, so don’t go expecting much negativity in these pages.
This isn’t an unusual approach with travel guides – what is unusual is being upfront about it.
The core of the book in any case is a guide to 75 of the Caribbean island’s 250 or so officially listed dive-sites, and presumably these have been chosen because they’re popular and the authors rate them, so what’s to be negative about?
In fact the only downbeat note comes early on when the author draws attention to plans to build a huge cruise-ship berthing facility in George Town Harbour – flying in the face of a new environmental-impact report that warns that the dredging process will destroy 15 acres of coral reef “and likely harm another 20 acres, home to historical dive-sites like Devil's Grotto and the wreck of the Balboa”.
Following the well-publicised reef damage by cruise-ships in Grand Cayman recently, this project does seem singularly ill-advised – but big bucks will usually trump coral care.
I also appreciated that attention is drawn to the fact that the Turtle Farm, often promoted as some kind of conservation project, is what the name implies – it raises turtles for meat (and petting by tourists) and if it also returns some turtles to the wild this is only to maintain the meat supply in the future.
Anyway, the book is well-written, well-organised and comprehensive, starting out with the Cayman Islands’ history and climate and proceeding logically through travel and transport, general information, non-diving attractions (including Stingray City), accommodation and eating out (with a helpful emphasis on budget dining) and general diving info.
The dive-sites are divided into those in the areas North Wall, West Wall/North-west Point, Seven Mile Beach, George Town/ South Sound and East End and cover location and topography, type of diving, highlights and marine life to expect.
On the latter topic, the dive-site section is followed by one on common marine life, again well-illustrated, and finishes with a chapter on lionfish.
A few passages about specific dive operations are printed in blue – I assume from the particularly laudatory tone that this is advertorial. The table of contents is useful and there is embedded video for those with suitable devices (you’ll find the videos on the website if yours isn’t).
It’s convenient these days to load a geographical dive-guide onto your phone, tablet or laptop, and this is a good example of a helpful and reasonably priced one. Check it out if you have Grand Cayman designs.

Review by Steve Weinman

Rosenberg eBooks
ISBN: 9780990455738
www.rosenbergebooks.com
iBooks, GooglePlay, Kindle, 340-423pp, £5.80-£6.39 depending on platform