• Store
    • Cathy's Book

      Cathy Church's favorite underwater photos from her journey (up to 2003) from the Caribbean to the South Pacific, from the surface to 150' deep, all gathered into this beautiful coffee table book.

      FREE ON-LINE PHOTO LESSONS!!!

    • Warranty and Returns

       

       Cathy Church store warranty and returns policy IMPORTANT 30 DAY SUPPLEMENTAL WARRANTY INFORMATION

       

       

  • Printing & Digital Servicing
    • Kiosk

      Self-Service Printing and Scanning

       

      Make prints from your digital media - phone, CD, thumb drive or memory card.

       

      Make calendars or holiday cards, add text and borders, crop and adjust.

       

    • Copying Art

      Share and sell your paintings and other art work over and over.

      We can make that happen with our wonderful reproduction and Giclee printing on canvas, watercolor or photo lustre paper. Our prints maintain the look and feel of your original. Or, you can direct us on how you would like it changed. What a great freedom to be able to change an oil painting that has that one little flaw you wished you had fixed. With digital printing, it is easy to make changes.

  • Wedding & Events
    • Cayman Photographers

      Cayman Photographers is part of Cathy Church’s Photo Centre. We have been the photo and video experts in the Cayman Islands since 1972. Let us help you capture your special moments in your own personal way. 

       

    • Cayman Photographers

       

      Cayman Photographers also provides Event Photography, Commercial Photography, Senior Portraits, Beach Portraits, Location Photography, Corporate Photography, Architectural Photography, Baby Bump Portraits, Underwater Photography, Baby and Children's' Photos, Trash the Dress Photography, Trash the Dress Videography, Engagement Photos, Wedding Videography, Event Videos, Press Conference Videography, Commercial Television and Video Production, and Audiovisual Displays throughout Grand Cayman and the Cayman Islands. 

       

  • Classes
    • Private Classes

       Our private, one on one affordable classes at Cathy Church's Photo Centre can help you take your photos and video to the next level.

      Whether you want to learn photography or video, the latest photo or video editing software or advanced techniques like studio lighting, we can customize a lesson for you. Our private instructor, Tony Mark will work with you whether you are a beginner or a pro or somewhere in between.

      If you have a pocket compact camera or the latest in DSLR's or even high end video equipment, we can help you get the most from your camera. Tony's personal hands on method will have you learning skills in no time and utilizing new technology to make your photos and videos look amazing.

      If video is your passion, let him teach you some of his tricks that earned him an Emmy in 2006 for film editing. Tony uses a MAC and can teach you such programs as Final Cut Pro X, iMovie, Aperture, iPhoto and PhotoShop.

      FUN EVENING CLASSES!

      Learning the basics with your compact or SLR camera!

      An intermediate class on becoming a better photographer

       

  • About Cathy
    • Cathy's Awards 

      Cathy has received many honors for her teaching and photography

      from 1971!

       

    • Articles

      Here are some recent articles by Cathy and About Cathy

       

  • Environmental Issues
    • Environmental Issues

       


      Grand Cayman is proposing the construction of a new cruise berthing facility that would totally remove the lovely wreck of the Balboa, one of my long time favorite places for teaching underwater photography. The dredging would also directly impact Soto’s Reef and Eden Rock — annual home to the incredible masses of silversides and tarpon. Silt from the dredging operations would expand for months as far as Sunset House where I teach and dive and could possibly smother and kill it.

       

       

      All of the environmental impact assessment clearly points all of this out, and also details the type of economic improvement for the island.

      We have formed a protest group called SaveCayman.org which points out the fallacy of destroying the very reefs that are the most popular for our cruise ship customers, etc. etc. and the severe economic fallout from so much environmental destruction as well as crowds, traffic, noise, and so on ad infinitum. 

  • About us
    • Location

      Grand Cayman, KY1-1106, CAYMAN ISLANDS 390 South Church Street

    • Employment Opportunities

      We occasionally need to look for a retail assistant or an underwater photo instructor

      Camera sales assistant:

      We are currently fully staffed, but we are always on the lookout ........

      Underwater Photo instructor:

      We have a great team here at the photo centre, and we sometimes need another.......

  • Contact us
    • Contact us

       

      How to Contact Us:

      Cathy Church's Photo Centre and Gallery

      P.O. Box 479, Grand Cayman, KY1-1106, CAYMAN ISLANDS

      390 South Church Street, at the Sunset House Hotel

      EMAIL: click here

      Calling from within Cayman (345)-949-7415

      Calling from the US (607)-330-3504 connects directly with our Cayman office

      Fax from within the Cayman Islands: 345-949-9770

      Business Hours: Mon-Sat: 9:00 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sun and Public Holidays: closed

       

       

  • Store
    • Cathy's Book

      Cathy Church's favorite underwater photos from her journey (up to 2003) from the Caribbean to the South Pacific, from the surface to 150' deep, all gathered into this beautiful coffee table book.

      FREE ON-LINE PHOTO LESSONS!!!

    • Warranty and Returns

       

       Cathy Church store warranty and returns policy IMPORTANT 30 DAY SUPPLEMENTAL WARRANTY INFORMATION

       

       

  • Printing & Digital Servicing
    • Kiosk

      Self-Service Printing and Scanning

       

      Make prints from your digital media - phone, CD, thumb drive or memory card.

       

      Make calendars or holiday cards, add text and borders, crop and adjust.

       

    • Copying Art

      Share and sell your paintings and other art work over and over.

      We can make that happen with our wonderful reproduction and Giclee printing on canvas, watercolor or photo lustre paper. Our prints maintain the look and feel of your original. Or, you can direct us on how you would like it changed. What a great freedom to be able to change an oil painting that has that one little flaw you wished you had fixed. With digital printing, it is easy to make changes.

  • Wedding & Events
    • Cayman Photographers

      Cayman Photographers is part of Cathy Church’s Photo Centre. We have been the photo and video experts in the Cayman Islands since 1972. Let us help you capture your special moments in your own personal way. 

       

    • Cayman Photographers

       

      Cayman Photographers also provides Event Photography, Commercial Photography, Senior Portraits, Beach Portraits, Location Photography, Corporate Photography, Architectural Photography, Baby Bump Portraits, Underwater Photography, Baby and Children's' Photos, Trash the Dress Photography, Trash the Dress Videography, Engagement Photos, Wedding Videography, Event Videos, Press Conference Videography, Commercial Television and Video Production, and Audiovisual Displays throughout Grand Cayman and the Cayman Islands. 

       

  • Classes
    • Private Classes

       Our private, one on one affordable classes at Cathy Church's Photo Centre can help you take your photos and video to the next level.

      Whether you want to learn photography or video, the latest photo or video editing software or advanced techniques like studio lighting, we can customize a lesson for you. Our private instructor, Tony Mark will work with you whether you are a beginner or a pro or somewhere in between.

      If you have a pocket compact camera or the latest in DSLR's or even high end video equipment, we can help you get the most from your camera. Tony's personal hands on method will have you learning skills in no time and utilizing new technology to make your photos and videos look amazing.

      If video is your passion, let him teach you some of his tricks that earned him an Emmy in 2006 for film editing. Tony uses a MAC and can teach you such programs as Final Cut Pro X, iMovie, Aperture, iPhoto and PhotoShop.

      FUN EVENING CLASSES!

      Learning the basics with your compact or SLR camera!

      An intermediate class on becoming a better photographer

       

  • About Cathy
    • Cathy's Awards 

      Cathy has received many honors for her teaching and photography

      from 1971!

       

    • Articles

      Here are some recent articles by Cathy and About Cathy

       

  • Environmental Issues
    • Environmental Issues

       


      Grand Cayman is proposing the construction of a new cruise berthing facility that would totally remove the lovely wreck of the Balboa, one of my long time favorite places for teaching underwater photography. The dredging would also directly impact Soto’s Reef and Eden Rock — annual home to the incredible masses of silversides and tarpon. Silt from the dredging operations would expand for months as far as Sunset House where I teach and dive and could possibly smother and kill it.

       

       

      All of the environmental impact assessment clearly points all of this out, and also details the type of economic improvement for the island.

      We have formed a protest group called SaveCayman.org which points out the fallacy of destroying the very reefs that are the most popular for our cruise ship customers, etc. etc. and the severe economic fallout from so much environmental destruction as well as crowds, traffic, noise, and so on ad infinitum. 

  • About us
    • Location

      Grand Cayman, KY1-1106, CAYMAN ISLANDS 390 South Church Street

    • Employment Opportunities

      We occasionally need to look for a retail assistant or an underwater photo instructor

      Camera sales assistant:

      We are currently fully staffed, but we are always on the lookout ........

      Underwater Photo instructor:

      We have a great team here at the photo centre, and we sometimes need another.......

  • Contact us
    • Contact us

       

      How to Contact Us:

      Cathy Church's Photo Centre and Gallery

      P.O. Box 479, Grand Cayman, KY1-1106, CAYMAN ISLANDS

      390 South Church Street, at the Sunset House Hotel

      EMAIL: click here

      Calling from within Cayman (345)-949-7415

      Calling from the US (607)-330-3504 connects directly with our Cayman office

      Fax from within the Cayman Islands: 345-949-9770

      Business Hours: Mon-Sat: 9:00 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sun and Public Holidays: closed

       

       

We had a wonderful time in the Philippines in 2016

April 9 - 16, 2016 to Tubbataha aboard the Atlantis Azores


continuing
April 16 - 23 to the Atlantis Dive Resort at Dumaguete

This fabulous dual trip included seven nights aboard the Atlantis Azores live-aboard April 9 – 16, 2016 followed by seven more nights at the Atlantis Dumaguete Dive Resort April 16 – 23, 2016.

WHY HAVE TWO DESTINATIONS IN ONE TRIP?

The only way you can go to Tubbataha is for a 5 dive-day trip. It is a small area and prone to weather even during the good months. Thus, since I wanted to go there, and since I do not want to travel all the way to the Philippines for just 5 diving days, I decided to add an open ended land trip so that people can come and go as they please after the Azores portion. Since the services are so incredible at this resort, it will give us plenty of diving and yet we have a spread out area to enjoy for a change. Also, there are many people who do not like to go on live-aboards, so this is a great way to enjoy a low-cost, high quality extension.

 

header_pic_azores.png

 

Getting there

We will fly in to Manila in time for our afternoon flight (that Atlantis will arrange for us) on April 9 to Puerto Princesa where we transfer to the Azores. Tubbataha is a pristine World Heritage site 100 miles off shore. Diving is available only a few months a year when the water is calm enough to make this trip. We will travel for 12 hours overnight and will (weather permitting) have five and one half days of diving in the incredibly clear water among every type of sea life from large to small.

For those who want more diving, we fly back to Manila on April 16 and connect the same day to a short flight to Dumaguete. We will stay at the luxurious Atlantis Dumaguete Dive Resort for seven or more days of diving. I know, packing is a pain, but I do not want to do a double trip to Tubbataha in case the weather is bad. And some people like the flexibility of coming and going on variable dates to a land based hotel. This place offers great service that makes it all worth while as you will see in the Dumaguete section.

 

 

Staterooms

The 107-foot Atlantis Azores has seven  cabins below decks, (each with a double lower and a single upper bunk) and one suite on the upper deck with a window and desk that has already been reserved. All have air conditioning, en suite wash basin, toilet and shower. Storage space is quite limited, but since your scuba gear is all in your dive locker, and your camera gear can remain above deck, you need only store your bathing suits, toiletries, a few pairs of shorts and some tee shirts. Your travel clothes can be stored in flexible dive bags under the beds.  

 

Azores_camera_table.jpg

 Diving is made easy

The large dive deck has a three-tier camera table and individual dive gear storage. Diving is primarily done from two zodiacs manned by a wonderfully reliable crew of boatmen who will find you wherever you surface. For me, this is one of the most important features of a live-aboard dive boat. Thus, I can relax, wander around and find subjects and not worry about getting lost or not being found.

 

 

Dining on the Azores 

 Dining on the Azores is always a good part of the day. No one leaves the table hungry and the chef is ready to adjust to special dietary needs. But your needs have to be honest--if you say that your religion requires your to eat lobster and filet mignon every night, and we find no mention of it on the internet you may be busted. There are drinks and snacks throughout the day, and a serving of wine included with dinner.

 For those who actually have free time between diving, eating, sleeping and reviewing your photos, there is a deck on the top with a spa and sun lounges. There are also movies and such for those who need even more to enjoy. 

 

What will we see at Tubbataha? 

Tubbataha consists of two atolls, North and South Tubbataha, separated by a deep channel about 5 miles across, all perched on a tall ridge in the middle of the Sulu Sea. What we are specifically looking for at Tubbataha is the clear water for scenic photos with colorful soft corals and gorgonians along the steep walls, schools of jacks and barracudas, 600 species of fish, turtles, several species of rays and lots of sharks, plus some not-so-clear water to attract mantas and whale sharks. There are, of course, the usual large cast of South Pacific characters.

The area is lush because the pinnacles are isolated and regular currents bring nutrients. By planning our dive times we can minimize our time in fierce currents. Plus, we are going to be there during a waning quarter moon, so hopefully the neap tide currents will not be stronger than normal.

I have not yet been to Tubbataha, but everyone says that the reefs are the best of any they have ever seen. People whom I respect say that this is a must do destination so I really want to take a look. 

 

The Atlantis Dumaguete Dive Resort

This incredible resort is in the southern Philippines 60 minutes from Manila and 30 minutes from the airport. It is on a long peaceful stretch of beach in the front and a lush tropical garden everywhere else.

Diving is EASY

Land based, you ask? NEVER-- too much lugging gear you think? NOT HERE. It is all done for you. You do not have to carry anything around, just arrive, let them put your tank on your back and fall in or walk in. 

Now pay attention here. The words First Class and Luxury are used way too loosely. So you decide if this next image rates a "Wow": Here is the dive locker storage area:

Duma_gear_storage.png

 

 

There are sixty of these--so you each get one! More importantly, your gear is carried for you to and from the dive boat. All of the ease of a live-aboard only you have a lot bigger cabin and plenty of places to walk!

 

  

The facilities are First Class

Azores_camera_table.jpg

How about the shower and rinse area--and the water is hot! Is this classy enough?  

And check this out --an air-conditioned camera room with 110 and 220 charging shelf above your work area and fluorescent light under it to see your O-rings better. Yes, they even have a paper towel  dispenser and there are 21 spaces!! 

 

Diving

Dive boats take no more than 6 divers. Most dive sites are within 10 minutes of the hotel, so dive boats can go out at 9, 11, 2 pm, 4 pm and 6pm if you want to do five dives a day. With 16 of us, we can plan for our own three boats and those who wish fewer, long dives can do so. We can arrange our own boats to suit our particular needs. Or, we can take a special longer three tank trip to Apo Island. Right now, I have no idea what that entails, but I am sure it will be wonderful. I will know everything pretty soon..

Here is the important part -- Every critter known to divers is found here-- well, almost every kind. No leafy sea dragons, but there are mantis shrimp, mandarin fish, wasp fish, seahorses, frog fish, mimic octopus--the list is getting too long but you get the idea. Southern Philippines throughout northern Indonesia has the oldest shallow sea in the world and thus has the most diversity. Add a very friendly, service oriented culture to the mix and you have a great destination.

Go to here where you will find complete descriptions of 33 dive sites and the type of critters from the tiniest frog fish to the largest schools of Big-Eye Trevally. .

 

Rooms

There are several classes of rooms. (See here ) Most of them are the standard deluxe rooms, but there are two huge garden

suites, a large sea-view suite and four oceanfront rooms. I can get you package price surcharges for the bigger rooms.

   

Cancellation policies

AZORES live-aboard cancellation policy:

Cancellations before May 9, 2015, full deposit refund

Cancellations after July 21, 0% deposit refund unless I refill your spot(s). I highly recommend that you get trip insurance at least for the boat portion.

 

Atlantis Resort Dumaguete cancellation policy:

Cancellations before July 20, 2015, full hotel deposit refund.

Before Feb 15, 2016, you lose 10% of the hotel costs.

Before March 16, 2016, you lose 30% of hotel costs.

Before April 13, 2016, you lose 80% of hotel costs.

Less than three days before, you lose 100% of hotel costs. 

 

Proud supporters and members of: DEMA (Dive Equipment and Marketing Association), The Historical Diving Society, Natural Resources Defense Council, Cayman Islands Tourism Association, National Trust of the Cayman Islands, Divers Alert Network, The Cayman Islands Humane Society, SeaSave.org, SaveOurLoggerheads.org and many more.

 

Jasmin, Herb, Cathy and Sparky

See Cathy's Imagination Gallery: click here

The TG4 is Cathy's Point-and-Shoot recommendation!

 TG4 is waterproof to 50 feet without a housing, and 130 feet with the housing. This new model also shoots in RAW!