sunset

Captains Log, private tours, sunset

GRAND CAYMAN COMPETES WITH RIO

5th August brought on the spectacular opening of the 2016 Olympics in Rio this year, and millions of people around the world were spellbound by special effects created by incredible technology. We wish the best to all those athletes who have worked so hard to get to this point.

Meanwhile, we were experiencing our own little special show put on by Mother Nature. We are so lucky to see so many Caribbean sunsets, but have to say that this has got to have been one of the best. This photo really is a point and shoot production, no special effects done by us bar the watermark.

This was taken during a private tour, in the North Sound, heading back to port. Pretty much had everyone on board stunned to silence. Grand Cayman putting on her own show. Just beautiful. And absolutely worth sharing of course.

  Grand Cayman fires up her own special effects for the Olympic opening ...

Grand Cayman fires up her own special effects for the Olympic opening ...

Captains Log, sunset, conch

SHELLS IN THE SKY

  Conch in the sky on tour in Grand Cayman

Conch in the sky on tour in Grand Cayman

We are pretty sure that as youngsters, many of our guests enjoyed finding shapes of things in the clouds in the skies, and are sure that this fun activity gets handed down generation to generation.

During this private tour, we were sad to witness some people poaching conch while at Stingray City - it is not conch season and they are so over harvested that they really need the season to replenish themselves at least a little bit. We hope that places like the Caicos Conch Farm will prove to be a great leader of conch farming so that the wild conch can flourish.

So it was with a bittersweet feeling that we witnessed this beautiful conch shaped cloud on our journey back to dock  - lapping up the beauty of this incredible sight whilst feeling a tinge of sadness that the rule protecting these little creatures had not been observed.

All in all, a stunning end to another amazing tour soaking up the beauty of Grand Cayman!

 
  A beautiful conch shell at  Stingray City  in Grand Cayman

A beautiful conch shell at Stingray City in Grand Cayman

 

Excursions, sunset, Stingrays

SMOKY STINGRAYS IN GRAND CAYMAN

Our last two posts have described the effects of tropical downpours on the sandbar and surrounding waters of the North Sound in Grand Cayman.

We always say that there is never an ugly day in the Caribbean - even storms provide the most magnificent skies to behold. Not nice for island visitors for sure, but beautiful nonetheless.

It is always our pleasure to take photos of our tours and shares these with our guests free of charge, and the snorkel sites, Starfish Point and stingrays provide awesome subjects. 

Yesterday we hosted a standard tour in the morning, welcoming guests from the Carnival Victory and the Marriott Resort and other condos, whilst the afternoon was reserved for a private chartered tour. It was a brilliant day all round, even if the sun was somewhat shy.

The photos of the stingrays came out with unusual colours and smoky effects. We loved them, wanted to share them with you, and hope that you like them as much as we do. Happy day to all!

 A stormy sunset ..... quite spectacular .... Cayman Islands Yacht Club

A stormy sunset ..... quite spectacular .... Cayman Islands Yacht Club

 Grand Cayman attractions
 Grand Cayman attractions

Excursions, sunset

05 February 2015 - WARDEN'S HERE SO BEHAVE!

Yup. Chief Warden of a US prison on board with us today, so crew behaviour was exemplary - well, when he wasn't looking! 

Tour Time : 9:30am (standard tour) & 2:15pm (private tour)

Guests from : NCL Epic cruise ship, Navigator of the Seas Cruises and resident

Star Stingray : Snowflake

No Shows : 7 - OUCH!!

Today started off with a bang - 7 cruise ships in port today which mean it was madness downtown! Captain Mario found all of our guests except for one booking of 7 guests - it hurts us big time when we have this many no-shows!

But what a beautiful morning - the caribbean sun was gorgeous, the wind low and fresh, and very few clouds in the sky. You can see from the photo below that oceans were reflecting magnificent blues!

  Looking directly at the Reef in Grand Cayman - North Sound

Looking directly at the Reef in Grand Cayman - North Sound

Captain Mario got quite poetic about the morning tour, and said there were so many sea stars spread out across the sands that it was like seeing the stars during daytime! He does not often get poetic, so it must have been pretty awesome!

Rasta was reported cavorting around at Starfish Point again, but his two other buddies were nowhere to be seen. Dwayne the 1st Mate stumbled upon a Sea Hare (or Sea Slug) which was a lovely and unusual find - they feed on mostly green algae and are hermaphrodites (can be boys or girls as the mood suits).

  Sea Hare or Sea Slug

Sea Hare or Sea Slug

  A favourite stop on our tours - view from Starfish Point in Grand Cayman

A favourite stop on our tours - view from Starfish Point in Grand Cayman

The snorkelling today was beautiful with clear waters, sparkling waters. Our excursions guests found some conch shells and we cleaned them up for them to take home as souvenirs. We were also joined by an inquisitive little Parrot Fish - they are normally very timid, so we felt well spoilt!

  Snorkel guests and conch shells - Grand Cayman

Snorkel guests and conch shells - Grand Cayman

  Parrot Fish

Parrot Fish

It really was an awesome tour, and it primed the crew for the afternoon trip which was a chartered excursion. The horizons got a little more cloudy than we would have liked, but this provided some beautiful lighting for photos at Stingray City - gorgeous tints of pink and grey while we were at the sandbar. A great day all round, and we hope that our visitors had a fantastic time and have left only with good memories.

  Kissing stingrays at sunset in Grand Cayman

Kissing stingrays at sunset in Grand Cayman

sunset

29 January 2015 - BLEH!

Give us a break now ...... enough of the winds already!!!

Wow. We have never experienced this much wind over such a length of time. It sure hurts business (and slap in the middle of high season too!), but worse is the disappointment on the faces of guests when we tell them tours are cancelled - that leaves a really bad taste in the mouth.

Today was especially hard - three beautiful ladies who had booked over 6 months ago - gran, daughter and granddaughter - bubbling over with excitement at meeting the stingrays. How hard it was for Captain Mario to tell them it was not going to happen.

The winds had been howling all night and we had hoped against hope that it would all have cleared up by morning. NOT! It was tough, but at the 12th hour, Captain Mario knew it was safest to cancel, and his decision was proven sound when the Marine Police also closed the sandbar.

The next 24-48 hours doesn't look too much better, so we can only hang in and hold thumbs. Them stingrays are going to be real hungry when we see them again!

  Stuck on land ... but hey, could be worse .... could be stuck in snow!

Stuck on land ... but hey, could be worse .... could be stuck in snow!

Excursions, fish, sunset, snorkel

AWESOME DAY IN GRAND CAYMAN

The 24th January served us up an incredible day. 

Living in the Caribbean is lucky for so many reasons, but for us, the best reasons would be the climate and the beauty that we see on a daily basis. Even just taking the school route offers up a glimpse of the beautiful tropical blues along Seven Mile Beach - one almost wishes to be stuck in a traffic jam!

But there come days when Grand Cayman just goes a step further and produces a day which is stunning beyond words, and we all get excited about it, and get especially worked up about sharing such a day with our tour guests. 

It is on these days that Captain Mario's wife and child hound him half to death to be taken out into the North Sound. They do not often get this opportunity, but on days with these conditions - well, no is not accepted for an answer. Mandy adores the stingrays and cannot collect enough photos of them, while Gina adores Starfish Point and no family tour can be completed without stopping at this island attraction.

Captain Mario stopped off at a beautiful spot for the snorkelling - a little out of the usual site but along the barrier reef. The propellors had hardly stopped turning before Mandy was in the water, where she was met by a gigantic Mutton Snapper who surprisingly accompanied her for most of her visit - how wonderful! His size is not easy to see from the photo below, but he must have been at least 3 feet long - usually they are rather timid as the locals fish for them, but this guy was quite happy to tag along.

  The massive Mutton Snapper that joined us for the snorkel along the Barrier Reef

The massive Mutton Snapper that joined us for the snorkel along the Barrier Reef

 What a beauty of a Queen Angel Fish found at the Barrier Reef in Grand Cayman

What a beauty of a Queen Angel Fish found at the Barrier Reef in Grand Cayman

  A school of Blue Tangs float on by during our snorkel visit

A school of Blue Tangs float on by during our snorkel visit

  Conch Shell in Grand Cayman

Conch Shell in Grand Cayman

The reef was splendid - Mandy felt that there was a certain magic in the water and was amazed to see so many fish and corals - an enormous Queen Angel Fish and a school of one of her favourite fish, the Blue Tang, were some of her pleasures. Add to that the fact that she found four live conch and her day was already made! We used to fish for conch for our standard excursions, but changed our policy this year - we feel that they are already over-harvested and hardly see any these days. You can be sure no-one will be told of these conch's whereabouts!

After the snorkelling, and during our boat ride to Stingray City Sandbar, we were treated to a beautiful rainbow hitting land on the North Side. Wow, we did not think it could get too much better, but we were wrong. 

 Things to do in Grand Cayman

Once again, Mandy was testing Captain Mario's patience with wanting to spring into the ocean before the propellors had stopped twirling ...... can you blame her when you see the conditions were like the photo below?

  Incredible conditions at Stingray City Sandbar in Grand Cayman

Incredible conditions at Stingray City Sandbar in Grand Cayman

The above image was taken from on-board "Big John" - the waters were so clear you could see right to the sand bar bed with the ripples of sand caused by the flow of the ocean. The first sight was of a ginormous stingray burying herself into the sand - we were delighted to see that she was very, very swollen with pregnancy and can't wait to have her little ones darting around. She eventually stopped "digging" and lumbered over for a kiss and some lovin' .... got a picture of her in Captain Mario's arms, just resting there for a bit.... we made sure to give her plenty of stingray "popcorn" (squid) to keep her nicely fed for her babies!

  One very pregnant stingray burying herself at the Sandbar in Grand Cayman

One very pregnant stingray burying herself at the Sandbar in Grand Cayman

 Stingray City Sandbar in Grand Cayman

The "girls" felt the magic of the day and cavorted with us and the other sandbar visitors with great abandon and a lot of kisses and hugs and snuggles were shared - oh what a time was had! Mandy and Gina were in 7th heaven! It was tough to leave this spot, but Gina was in nagging mode by now, and Starfish Point was obviously next on the itinerary.

On the way over to this heavenly beach on Grand Cayman, we were given a hint of what to expect, with the skies and clouds forming incredible shades of blue and greys. Gina was extremely verbal in her delightful find of 4 starfish with excited yelps and squeals heard by all. But those quietened down when the sunset put on an astounding show. When even a four year old is heard to say "lets sit quietly and watch the sunset" you know it has got to be a good one! Below is the proof .... what a magical day to enjoy and witness. On days such as these, one can only be hugely grateful to be living surrounded by peace, surrounded by beauty and surrounded by hope - hugely lacking in so many parts of the world. Thank you.

  Sunset from Starfish Point in Grand Cayman

Sunset from Starfish Point in Grand Cayman

Snorkel, starfish, Excursions, Captains Log, sunset

1 JANUARY 2015 - SHORE EXCURSIONS TO STINGRAY CITY IN GRAND CAYMAN

It has been a busy few days since the eve of the New Year loomed way more quickly then we  had expected! Island visitors have been eager to bust out into the Caribbean sun and grab excursions to Grand Cayman's best snorkel sites and of course, to kiss the stingrays at the sandbar! Today's post will contain some of the images we have taken during our tours over 30-31 December and yesterday - we take great delight in sharing these with our guests and with you! Pictures often speak louder than words ..... enjoy!

Excursions, Starfish Point, sunset

24 December 2014 - Grand Cayman Islands Tours

Everyone passes gas some time .......

Captain Mario and crew saw every kind of weather today ....... black skies, squalls, gusting winds, rainbows through to shots of sparkling caribbean sun and clarity under the water!

Kudos to our excursion guests who took it all in their stride and were rewarded with awesome snorkelling, finding a Queen Helmut and a sunset that could only mean christmas would be here the next day!

For the most of the day, it was better to keep the head under water to watch the breath taking coral formations and the tropical fish. It is quite extraordinary how the reef can still be so lit up on a dark day. 

 Above the surface .......

Above the surface .......

 Below the surface ........

Below the surface ........

Grand Cayman island seems to always dish out superb sunsets around the festive season, and she did not let us down this year either. How quiet people become when they behold such beautiful work by Mother Nature - I am quite sure you would have to be souless not to be affected ....... we hope it added a touch of special christmas feelings to all who we were lucky to be hosting!

 Things to do on vacation in Grand Cayman

Captains Log, Excursions, sunset, Snorkel

23 December 2014 - Sea Tours in Grand Cayman

Tour Time : 9:30am & 2:15pm (afternoon tour left late - read about it below!)

Guests from : MSC Divina cruise, Carnival Splendour cruise, Westin Hotel, Plantana Condos, Caribbean Club Condos, Marriott Hotel, Comfort Suites Hotel

Star Stingray : Frosty

Our hearts were heavy that the wind had not yet died down and we expected choppy conditions again for our guests. How we wish the perfect weather for all our excursion guests!

However, the Caribbean sun was doing her best to lighten everyone's spirits, and put on quite a show. Today we visited our "Secret Garden", a beautiful snorkel site which Captain Mario has recently discovered, and boy we were not disappointed! An absolutely gorgeous display of coral formations and tropical fish - this stop was a great highlight of the tour.

Stingray City Sandbar was hugely enjoyed by our guests despite the gusts of wind, and Frosty played a big part in bring smiles to their faces! This is what vacations in Grand Cayman are all about.......

 Tours to Stingray City Sandbar in Grand Cayman
 Tours to Stingray City Sandbar in Grand Cayman

Our afternoon tour ran approximately 30 minutes late as we had stopped to rescue two people in distress. The choppy conditions had taken their toll on their small boat and they were sinking rather quickly despite the best of efforts. Most of our afternoon guests were wonderfully understanding, although some preferred to cancel. Nonetheless, a super time was had and we were hugely rewarded with a beautiful sunset at Starfish Point where the Grand Cayman sun took our breath away, yet again!

  A Grand Cayman sunset 

A Grand Cayman sunset