When Jamaica chose independence in 1962, the Cayman Islands elected to stay under British Rule. One thing you will notice flying in, they have ridiculously disproportionate banks to the size of the Island and population. The story goes..
‘…According to the legend, a member of the passenger list for the 10 vessels included a royal prince, one of the sons of Britain’s King George III. The legend further states that when the King was apprised of the bravery on the part of the Caymanians in saving the crews and passengers of the foundering ships, he decided to repay their bravery. The reward became a decree that the people of the Cayman Islands would thereafter be free from war conscription and taxes…’ –wikipedia
And for some reason today people hide their money here. Maybe because they evade taxes? Who knows. but you would think with towering banks, there would be a lot of hustle and bustle, traffic and such. Nope. It’s just a tropical island with big banks. In fact, not far away from main street on a inner city road, I poked my nose in an old, what seamed to be abandoned, shack with no one around. When I looked inside there was a gigantic cow hanging up side down getting it’s blood drained before butchering. Quite the eerie feeling being alone and rolling up on that. A few blocks up the street was a street vender with a bar-b-cue pit cooking up some jerk chicken. (You should try it, it’s yummy).
“Jerk chicken is a spicy grilled-meat dish that is coated in spices and slow-cooked over a fire or grill traditionally composed of green pimento wood positioned over burning coals; the smoke is the key to the flavor of the dish. Most associated with Jamaica but common throughout the Caribbean. A mixture of herbs, scotch bonnet peppers, spices, and seasonings that are used to flavor meats that will be grilled. A blend originated in Jamaica, includes ground chiles, black pepper, onions, garlic, thyme, cinnamon, allspice, and ginger.”
My excitement was this was the first time out of the Country where I had to get a pass port and do all that. I did go to Mexico, but I didn’t need a passport to get to Tijuana. That’s a whole nother story! Anyway, I not only got my pass port but I did get re-certified to scuba dive. I have all the gear, not including the tanks. We were going to a World class diving spot. I was excited to having some travel under my belt to start my blogging about travel. Anyway, We landed and stayed on Grand Cayman Island. We stayed at a first class Hotel / Condo. The Grand Cayman Resort. My 1st time at that too.
Other great Scuba diving sites here include Leslie’s Curl, Eagle Ray Pass and … You will likely catch a glimpse of eagle rays, turtles and sharks cruising off the wall. … as well where you can try the local brew, appropriately named. By the way I pet a shark while diving, I believe a Nurse shark -Ginglymostoma cirratum) the local fed it so it was almost like a pet. His shark who’s skin felt like it had 1000’s of tiny plastic bubbles.
Stingray Beer. [Cayman Island Brewery]…
My Dive log:
00-1 Burlingame Tank Size;
Dive Buddy: Kandie
Christy’s Pool – Castro Valley, CA
Max Depth 6 Max Bottom Time 6 Min.
ME: Tank Size: 80 PSI Start: 3000 Return: 500
Dive Buddy: Tank Size: 80 PSI Start: 3000 Return: 10
I dove with Kandi and her nieces (Sarah & Rachel) to test my equipment. They all got a chance to breath under water. I tested my dive equipment, my new dive watch and dive camera. The dive watch wasn’t working and had to return it as a recall. I had a problem with the Oceanic regulator. It was new, but used. The diaphragm would tend to flip over and I would suck in water; (Many dives later, I found out it was only that the ‘O’ ring was not in!! A very, very critical piece that held the diaphragm in place.) Dooley noted! This is why I test and retest!! AND RESEST!
I tired the new dive watch (Aeris / Savant dive computer) it working fine and logged ”6 ft 6 minutes of testing equipment.’ But reset too? It’s difficult for me to grasp. Only two buttons that do a lot. The kids adored diving. My framing was way off with the camera. I’m using the Sea & Sea USA – Underwater 35 mm Photography Camera
Grand Cayman Island “Public Beach” Grand Cayman Island “Seven Mile Beach”
Total Bottom Time: Snorkle Max Depth 15 ft.
This is a great photo opportunity for sandy beaches. The cabanas are painted mint green, pink, blue, purple, etc. Very tropical and cute. The beach is white sand with a shallow depth of about 15 feet deep. The Hotel had us a bbq party with the rest of the Hotel “Spicy Jerk Chicken”, a island specialty. The Popular beer here, or as they say, the Caribbean is “Red Strip” it’s a doable beer. Not to fancy attack on the taste buds. I say it tastes between a Bud and Amstell light.
We just snorkeled, not to many fish. Small ones huddled around underwater gadgets like a cement block anchor. Kandie seen a 2 foot spotted sing ray. As Kandie will attest to why you don’t handle the animals. She tired to pose for a photo, and it whipped around and stung her, about a 1/8 of a inch cut on her left hand. I can’t personally tell you what it feels like but she only got a small warning that hurt for about a half hour.
We fallowed around a pipe line and the fish seamed to hover around it for shelter. I took photos with my 35mm Sea Reef ASA 400 film. There was plenty of light due to the shallow depth and sunlight.
Later “Pepe” our Hotel driver — who I might add, took a liking to me and made sure I had a personal tour guide. Of course Kandie doesn’t like to be social at all, and gets annoyed at me. Not anymore than I get at her for being unsocial.
So anyway, Pepe drove me back to the beach to get my sandals I left behind. He insisted he take me to different spots to see the sun set for photo opps. He knew I was a professional photographer. I got a photo of a miniature lizard. A fisherman in a green boat, and back at the public beach I took sunset photos of the cabanas.
I got some photos of the Hotel and Peake, the cook holding a beautiful plate. In most cases I used a sky filter on the camera. (35 mm Minolta)
I met Gaylyn at the pool I asked her to be a stand in for a photo. We became friends. Eventually I passed out from exhaustion at the end of the day.
The Hotel offered to go on a day Cruz of Crystal Harbor. Where we met officially Gaylen and her girlfriend Tree who soon became our travel friends.
I picked up the photos I sent in for development.
Dive Log 00-3
Time: 1:11 US/Sf time
Total Bottom Time: 26 min. Max Depth 45 ft.
LOCATION: Grand Cayman Island “Eden Rock” Church & Grand
Eden Rock North W.50 19’17.618 N 81’23.227W 20 1
Eden Rock South W.51 19’17.586 N 81’23.236W 20 1
Diving with Cayman Diver Ltd.
Capt. Don Foster. WEB / Facebook
Time: 1:11 US/Sf time
Total Bottom Time: 29 min. Max Depth 105 ft.
00-4 Leslies Curl
LOCATION: North Side Grand Cayman Island
Leslie’s Curl N.18 / Latitude 19’23.030 N Longitude 81’19.214 W Depth 60 PIN 1
Grand Cayman Island “The Wall“
currency in Grand Cayman is the Cayman Island dollar (CI$) which has a fixed … and
Time 16:43 (US/SF Time?)
Total Bottom Time: 29 Max Depth 105 ft.
Swim with fishes 24 hours have gone by sense I swam to the edge of the abyss known as “The Wall” on Cayman Island. I was at 105 feet looking down into deeper darkness, venerable to another planet on earth. Amazed at it’s Grandeur and beauty, fearful of the unknown. Yet brave enough to swim to the edge. Every move I made, I was conscious of the oxygen I was breathing in, conscious of every shallow breath, as the sounds of my bubbles so deep in the ocean ascend as I slowly descend. I am more amazed to look up, where others are amazed to look down and around. Here I am; living and breathing deep underwater like a fish. Sunlight at the surface trickles beams of light through the water as though you can reach up and grab one over 100 feet away. Looking at the bottom of our boat. Wow! Wow, at it’s beautiful, and Wow, that I am breathing where few dare to tread. And wow, I can die. As I try to relax and take it all in, I try to focus on something besides the apparent sound of my troubled breathing. Our guide pointed out a giant ‘Spotted Stingray’ gracefully gliding through the water.
I caught up with him and fallowed behind the Ray who swam more graceful than anything I had ever seen. His wing span larger than my arms. As I got closer he sped up, >>>>>>>just a little more faster to my advance, and looped shortly into a sore down the edge of the abyss, until I was at my maximum depth 105 feet then back up. I fallowed him, mimicking the movements of his wings, then back up 98 feet floating into a soft ascend. For a moment I felt the sensation of what a bird following a flock of birds. Wondering what it would be like to be him. As I got closer he would speed up, being more cautious of my moves. For a moment I forgot about my breathing and all the fears I had, I was one with his grace.
My Map Cayman Islands Dive Guide Franko Maps Waterproof Map Map – October 1, 2018 https://amzn.to/40r54kh
Fodor’s InFocus Cayman Islands (Full-color Travel Guide) Paperback – June 29, 2021 https://amzn.to/3jnjSjg
Cayman Islands Reef Creatures Guide Franko Maps Laminated Fish Card 4″x6″ Map – June 1, 2010 https://amzn.to/3RmP7aZ
Fodor’s InFocus Cayman Islands (Full-color Travel Guide) 2021 https://amzn.to/3Hqtyl1
Reef Smart Guides Grand Cayman: (Best Diving Spots) Paperback – Illustrated, October 27, 2020 https://amzn.to/3YbI1Ig
Cayman Islands & Jamaica 1:37,500/250,000 road Map – Folded Map, July 10, 2012 https://amzn.to/3X2SBjQ
Buy Direct from Frankomaps… http://frankosmaps.com/cayman-islands
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