things to do

Captains Log, barracuda, fish, things to do

MAN MEETS BARRACUDA

Hope our guests likes this picture of him taking a picture of a Barracuda. Hope he got a great shot of the Barracuda.

Our tours and excursions have become quite popular, not only because our crew genuinely love what they do, but because we take photos for our guests and share them for free.

It is photos like the one below that we hope become treasured by our guests. Many have voiced that they love not having to cart their cameras and can relax knowing Captain Mario is doing the job. They are welcome to bring their own equipment - there is no prohibition of them taking their own photos.

Captain Mario tries to take as many shots as he can, depending on conditions. If the prevailing weather is serving up tropical conditions, he is more concerned about the safety of his guests, but quieter conditions allow him the freedom to follow our guests around and get some memorable photos. The photos also bring each day's tour alive for the office staff, and keep them in touch with what is happening out there.

Hope we can host you soon and share some equally great shots with you!

  Man meets Barracuda ... Grand Cayman snorkel tour

Man meets Barracuda ... Grand Cayman snorkel tour

fish, things to do, spotted trunk fish

LEAD THE WAY!

  This Spotted Trunk Fish leads the way ...

This Spotted Trunk Fish leads the way ...

Dazzling water clarity - this photo was taken on our tour which took place August 7 - a day which makes you fall in love with the Caribbean all over again (and again and again!).

At Sandbar where the world famous Stingray City is, - you will often see the Needle Nose Fish and these little guys darting around, trying to snap up any food the stingrays might have missed. Usually very timid, it is not often that one can get close to them, so it was a delight to get this photo, while chasing him across the sands.

They are rather sweet looking and always look like they are puckering up for a kiss - must be spending too much time around the rays!

Captains Log, Excursions, starfish, Starfish Point, things to do

STARFISH POINT - GRAND CAYMAN

Sucks not being able to breathe.

THAT is why we emphasise to our guests to keep the precious Sea Stars in the water. Taking them out of the water is the same as someone holding your head under water - not a good feeling.

Imagine having your head pushed under water all day long, again and again.

They do not belong on your head and are also not rugby balls to be kicked around.

We need to look after life, no matter what form. Just look at these stunning specimens we found for our guests visiting Starfish Point. This is what we want our guests to enjoy, this is the heritage we want to leave to the future generations.

Keep them in the water folks - karma will be kinder.

  Starfish Point in Grand Cayman

Starfish Point in Grand Cayman

Gorgeous to look at, so special to hold, but keep in them in the water, so they can grow old

For more on this subject, check out what the kids are saying ...... LINK

Captains Log, Snorkel, things to do

FISH SHADOW - REEF, GRAND CAYMAN

Fan coral and fish silhouettes - the Reef, Grand Cayman

Thought that we would share this particular photo from yesterday's tour - it struck us as being really unique and unusual with the fish swimming behind this huge piece of fan coral and only their silhouettes showing. Nice. Hope you enjoy!

Captains Log, snorkel, Stingrays, things to do

AMAZING SNORKELLING IN GRAND CAYMAN

Coral along the reef in Grand Cayman

July 16 brought on a pleasant enough day in Grand Cayman, offering the the full gamut of tropical conditions throughout the day, which means never a dull moment!

On this day we hosted a private tour for two wonderful guests from the Ritz Carlton. On the itinerary were the ever popular attractions Stingray City Sandbar and Starfish Point, but being great lovers of snorkelling, it was a great pleasure to take them some of the best snorkel sites that can be found along and near the Cayman Reef.

The caribbean waters were relatively clear and showed up splendid colours. Some of the best sightings were of the coral, gorgeous colours along the reef as well as sightings of tropical fish such Angel Fish, Blue Tang and a Yellow Stingray to name a few.

A great excursion which we hope left our guests happy - we know our crew just loved every moment with them and returned feeling all "at one with nature"!

Brain coral - Grand Cayman

French Angelfish against Corky Sea Fingers

Yellow stingray

 Smooth brain coral along the reef

Smooth brain coral along the reef

Captains Log, children, things to do

A CARIBBEAN CHRISTMAS IN CAYMAN

  Everyone gets into the Christmas mood in Grand Cayman ....

Everyone gets into the Christmas mood in Grand Cayman ....

December has arrived, and along with it all the excitement that goes with Christmas! Many visitors and residents to our gorgeous caribbean island find it quite interesting to adjust to a warm Noel - not least trying explain to the small kiddies how Santa secretly gets into houses that don't have chimneys!

During this festive season, there are numerous events to attend to bring out the cheer in everyone. One of the highlights would be the Parade of Lights held at Camana Bay where boats adorned with all forms of seasonal colours and decorations parade for the public to enjoy.

Not to be missed are the awesome and magical displays of christmas lights that some of the houses put on show. Some of these are so large we reckon they must only just finish putting them away a day before they start taking them out again for the next christmas! "Ooohs" and "aaaahs" are to be heard everywhere you go, and it is a wonder to see the looks of awe and delight on children's faces.

We shall add some links to Grand Cayman event calendars below and hope that you all find something to make this christmas with us special. We wish everyone a safe, happy, healthy and loved Noel and hope to take you out for some christmas kisses with the stingrays!

 
Grand Cayman Attractions
 

We also support a wonderful animal welfare organisation called Canine Friends - they work endlessly to help find homes for unwanted dogs and cats who might otherwise face a less than happy end. Feeling in the  mood to splash out on a donation that does good? You can never know how much good it will do, and we thank you in advance!!!

Captains Log, things to do

Christmas is coming to the Caribbean!

  Gorgeous sea-themed-christmas tree

Gorgeous sea-themed-christmas tree

Yes. It seems that retailers promote christmas earlier every year, and yes, it would sometimes feel that the season of giving has become a season of spending. But, we can't help get excited about sparkling lights, the sound of bells jingling and all the festivities that are being planned on island!

For many visitors to Grand Cayman, a christmas bathed in sun is odd but wonderful - families getting away from the snowy cold of home to the tropical warmth. Ironically, there are mid-summer days here when we just wish snow flakes could take the edge off the heat!

 Cayman Islands - Quick Facts

Our daughter has just turned 5 and is getting so terribly excited about the merry season. At the age of 3 it took her well over a week to open all her presents up - she was quite content to open up one a day and play with it. At 4, this period was reduced to just 5 days - she progressed to opening up 2-3 presents per day, still seeming to want to savour them slowly. Our hope is that this sense of awe stays with her - not everyone is lucky to be so loved - we always wish to remember those not as fortunate. 

 Cayman Islands - Quick Facts

We are also challenged this year to find a different Santa Clause! Over the last few years, Captain Mario has gone outside at midnight on Christmas eve to loudly ring bells and yell out hearty "ho-ho-ho's", followed by some thumping around the house to deposit presents, afterwards taking off again with bells clanging and an order for Rudolph to get a move on. This has been a resounding success, with Gina's eyes nearly falling out of her head with excitement. However, last year she did say that Santa sounded an awful lot like Daddy, and mommy had to do some quick thinking - she had no choice but to say that she thoroughly agreed and how funny was that???? Oh dear, how clever they are ......

Camana Bay in Grand Bay is well known for hosting wonderful events over December, and on certain evenings you can even experience snow there! But to get the excitement warmed up, "Celebrations" has a christmas shop with amazing decorations and ideas, and we love their inspiration and oooh and aaaaaw at their beautiful trinkets and decorations. We have included pictures of some of their goodies and hope that they might be an inspiration to you. 

We hope that we might get the chance to wish many of you a very merry christmas in person, and look forward to welcoming on board!

 
  A christmas fit for a sailor....

A christmas fit for a sailor....

 

Captains Log, things to do

PIRATE'S WEEK GRAND CAYMAN 2015 - "AAARRRR"IVING SOON!

In another life, Captain Mario would have been a pirate - definitely no ordinary Jack Tar (common sailor), rather a fierce but fair version of Captain Hook with the Jolly Roger flying the Caribbean winds! We know, because once he has his pirate gear on we can't get him to take it off again. Well ..... he does weaken at the promise of wenches and stolen treasure, but it takes serious bargaining!

  MAKE ME! The look of challenge from Captain Mario

MAKE ME! The look of challenge from Captain Mario

Launched in 1977 to entice visitors to the island, Grand Cayman has become famous for its unique Pirate's Week festival, and this year it is scheduled from 12 to 22 November. This means 11 days of street dances, competitions, tempting local food and drinks, pirate invasions and fireworks! 

It has become one of the islands biggest and most fun festivals, with entire families dressing up and part taking in the mock pirate invasion and kidnapping of the Governor.

The 1650's to the 1730's was the most prolific piracy period of the island, with Edward Teach aka Blackbeard being the most infamous marauder of the Spanish galleons hauling booty from the New World. 

  The cutest pirate you ever did see! Fun for all ages at the Pirate 's Week in Grand Cayman

The cutest pirate you ever did see! Fun for all ages at the Pirate's Week in Grand Cayman

Every day of the week, each district hosts a family friendly Heritage Day to showcase traditional crafts such as rope making, silver thatch weaving and dances. Authentic Caymanian dishes are prepared and visitors can immerse themselves in genuine local custom. Throughout the week, there are events for festival goers of all ages to enjoy - a truly unique and memorable Caribbean experience!

We hope that when you need a break from all the mutineering and plundering, that we get the chance to host you on an equally enthralling experience of kissing stingrays at the sandbar. Our crew truly enjoy what they do everyday, they love sharing Grand Cayman's beauty, and look forward to welcoming each new island visitor onboard. 

Now ........ just gotta get the Captain out of his pirate kit ...............

LINKS FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Pirate's Week Website

Talk like a pirate!

Cayman Airways - official sponsor

things to do

SOAP BUBBLES AND SEVEN MILE BEACH

 Cayman Islands - Quick Facts

It is shameful to say that getting into a rut can happen anywhere, even on a stunning caribbean island. When one is constantly bombarded via news sites about atrocities occurring world wide, day in, day out, it is almost a responsibility and a duty to break the routine and make sure you get out there and enjoy the awesome life that we have. Our lives may not be perfect, we may not be 100% satisfied with what we have achieved, and we may unfairly and self-degradingly be buying into not being as "good as the next guy", but so many of us have the luxury of living without the threat of constant hunger, without constant threat to our lives and property, and instead have the luxury of living in a mostly civilised and democratic society, where we can watch awesome beauty and watch our children play, grow and develop in the middle of it all. We can still have dreams. 

And so, our little family "bust out" and broke the routine by spending a couple of hours before sunset floating in the Caribbean seas along Seven Mile Beach this past Saturday. And in this little window of time, we spied so many pieces of life going on, so much beauty, and just marvelled at it all.

Governor's beach looked quite crowded, so we opted to drive a little further down West Bay Road. There is a little path that runs down alongside Plantana Condominiums and provides public access to the beach. Children can also remind us of the fun contained in the simplest of tasks, and so, we enjoyed counting the stepping stones all the way to the coral sands with our little girl showing off her brand new counting skills. Once on the beach, it was straight into the gorgeous waters to splash around and people watch, with the first bout of giggles and laughter being brought on by a puppy gone wild in the sand (much to the delight of a watching toddler): 

 

Not more than a few metres from this delightful sight, was a gentleman putting on a display of the biggest soap bubbles we have ever seen! Complete with bucket and two fishing rods (and apparently a recipe off the internet), he was producing enormous soap bubbles which had kids and adults alike watching in awe. We immediately decided that we are going to have to master this trick so that we can become heroes to our little girl - will let you know if we get it right!

 

An awesome life was on the go all around us. Vacationers were spread out on beach beds, melting away their stress reading books or sipping cocktails. Island residents were keeping fit by either jogging, walking and swimming. The more adventurous were paddle boarding,  and some even practicing their yoga postures on boards! And all of this while watching the progress of a stunning sunset ......

When it was time to make our way home, it was with hearts full of thanks for living the lives that we have, with a little less weariness from the day of work, and a greater awe for nature. Don't forget to enjoy each moment of luck in your lives .......

 Cayman Islands - Quick Facts

things to do

QUAKERS NEST!

Captain Mario is a great lover of the sea and it's inhabitants, and assimilates facts about aquatic species like his lungs assimilate oxygen. However, he also has another great love ...... birds!

Over the past weekend when weather made tours impossible, the opportunity to have a drive around the island was greatly enjoyed, and he was delighted to spot some Quaker Parrots on a power line down South Sound. He had not seen any around the island for quite some time, so was doubly delighted by the show they put on ..... one by one they joined others on the power line. As each new Quaker joined the group, the others would side step down the line in unison until their was enough space ..... very sweet to watch.

  Quaker Parrots

Quaker Parrots

Yesterday, after a very happy excursion, he went off the a camera shop in South Sound to get some advice on taking photos. Upon arrival there, he heard them again, followed the sound and VOILA - found their nest. 

Also known as Monk Parakeets, these little birds originate from South America, and are believed to have been brought to Grand Cayman as pets. Over the years, some of these have been released and they have now formed breeding groups, establishing breeding colonies mostly on the South-West side of the island. 

They breed in groups of pairs in large shared nests - the girls and boys cannot be told apart. The nests are large and consist of a series of "apartment" - each pair having a "bedroom" and "lounge" area. These birds are vegetarian and will make a meal out of any seed and vegetation.

So it was an awesome start to the week for the Captain - stingrays and Quaker Parrots - what more could he ask for?

things to do, For children

Bel Air Gardens - Whistling Ducks & Iguanas Galore!

 Things to do on Grand Cayman

When you and the kids need a break from sun and the beach, hidden away down South Sound is Bel Air Drive, where you will find a small public park called Bel Air Gardens Family Park.

Here you will find endangered West Indian Whistling Ducks, fresh water turtles and a LOT of green iguanas - we usually splurge out on a couple of loaves of bread to feed them all. Other visitors also bring along a variety of leafy vegetables which are greatly enjoyed by the inhabitants.

This is the only duck to breed on the island. Sadly their numbers were hugely depleted due to loss of habitation and over-hunting, and they are now a protected species. Breeding groups of these beautiful ducks are now only found on a few of the caribbean islands. 

The ones here are quite familiar with their human visitors, and the turtles, ducks and iguanas all jostle for front position when the snacks are being handed out.

Great fun for little and big visitors alike - come on over and enjoy a rare bird!


things to do, For children

21 February 2015 - WINGED SUNSET FROM DART FAMILY PARK

Very occasionally, we get the chance to go out and enjoy an island outing. We are so lucky to living on the beautiful island of Grand Cayman, however, like anywhere in the world, work can sometimes get in the way of enjoying what we have around us.

Grand Cayman Attractions

Tours had been cancelled for today, and our little family was lucky to have some time all together - Mandy managed to finish her work by around 11am, so a bit of fun was planned. It was a truly lovely day with our little caribbean island glowing in the sun shine and we ended our day at the Dart Family Park along South Sound.

Grand Cayman Attractions

This is situated right next door to the National Trust for the Cayman Islands off South Church Street. This little gem offers something for everyone - jungle gyms for the kids with a selection of monkey bars and slides, walks, picnic areas with seating and tables, and a gorgeous view of the caribbean ocean. Incoming flights carrying visitors to our island usually make their way right over this little park as they come in to land, and today we managed a lovely photo of one of them doing this at sunset.

  A flight comes in to land on Grand Cayman at sunset

A flight comes in to land on Grand Cayman at sunset

It is always exciting to wonder if we are going to be the lucky operators who will get to take them for a visit to the Stingray Sandbar ........ here's hoping!