Private tours Grand Cayman

Captains Log, private tours, Snorkel, barracuda

EERIE BARRACUDA

Tropical storm Earl had made his way past us a couple of days before, and water clarity in some parts was still not good. However, we were delighted to be asked to take a group of five island visitors on a private tour which included Coral Gardens, the Reef and Deep Stingray City.

 Stingray City Sandbar in Grand Cayman

Captain Mario seldom gets the chance to visit Deep Stingray City and he was delighted to be doing this. As usual, he was in the water with our guests taking photos of them enjoying this experience, turned around and clicked this photo of a Barracuda swimming curiously by.

This one is called the Great Barracuda and is known by its black spots marking the incredibly sparkling silver scales along its side. The Barracuda has a very pointed face and teeth that are more like fangs. They carry a rather bad reputation for attacking people, especially in murky waters (gulp - see above) - swimmers may be mistaken for predators and be followed in the mistaken hope of picking up left-over scraps of predator meals. Shiny objects can also be mistaken as prey - hence the advice not to wear shiny jewelry and accessories when snorkelling. However, they are generally more dangerous if eaten - they have caused more food poisoning cases than any other fish!

In any case, this guy was just curious and caused no alarm at all, but the photo really turned out to suit his spooky reputation!

Captains Log, Excursions, Stingrays

MEET "MUDSLIDE" THE STINGRAY!

Mudslide - any Grand Cayman visitor or resident would immediately think "Rum Point" - the home of the famous Mudslide cocktail which can make the earth slide out from under your feet in the most fun of ways. Their first thought is not usually of a stingray ...

However, any guest who has been out with us or read our reviews, will know that we absolutely adore the stingrays that we see daily at the sandbar, and name the "girls" for their characteristics due to individual colourings, markings and personality.

Some of them are Barbara, Dark Vader and Lilly. But we now introduce another lovely dame who deserves much respect and love - Mudslide!

Mudslide the stingray giving and feeling the love at the sandbar in Grand Cayman

Mudslide the stingray giving and feeling the love at the sandbar in Grand Cayman

The name was earned from mostly visiting guests at Rum Point, but recently she has moved over to the sandbar at Stingray City. Captain Mario estimates her age at approximately 30 years (yes, human years) which we believe makes her the second oldest - Scarface is the oldest one there! 

She is one of the most lovable and sweet girls. Although her skin is a little rougher than most other rays because of her age, she is incredibly gentle when being held, taking food and appears to be particularly fond of children.

She is identified by the darker "ring" of colour around her edges and because her tail has been cut short at the point of her barb - it is not known how this might have happened.

We are loving having her at the sandbar, as are our excursion guests, and we will be keeping an eye open for her to give her extra love and attention which she deserves.

Next to we make it out to Rum Point, we will raise a Mudslide to you lovely lady - may you be with us for a long time to come!

Captains Log, conch, coral, private tours, Snorkel

MOTHER NATURE NAILED THIS GRAND CAYMAN TOUR!

Approaching North Side in Grand Cayman

Approaching North Side in Grand Cayman

No excursion is the same. Each one has something special about it.

Lobed Star Coral along the Reef in Grand Cayman

Lobed Star Coral along the Reef in Grand Cayman

It could be a special moment when a kid gets to snorkel for the first time and you hear the squeals through the snorkel. It could be a turtle sighting or Elvis the eel visiting or watching guests' stress melting away the more time they spend surrounded by this awesome Caribbean beauty.

And then there are days where Mother Nature just seems bent on blowing your mind with beauty. Yesterday was just such a day.

Conch and shell along the reef

Conch and shell along the reef

We hosted a wonderful group for a private tour - with this comes the luxury of taking things as slowly as you want (or quickly if that is your wish although we don't advise this). It is a wonderful opportunity for everyone to chill out and truly enjoy the snorkeling, the coral reef and of course, Stingray City Sandbar.

Mother Nature, simply put, showed off yesterday. Absolutely brilliant Caribbean colours both below and above surface, glorious sunshine, rainbow tropical fish, fragile coral structures and of course, cuddly stingrays made this a tour of vacation memories of note!

Stunning Elkhorn Coral

Stunning Elkhorn Coral

Here we have included some of the photos with descriptions and hope that you enjoy them. I know the crew enjoyed the tour and every moment with the guests, and we certainly hope that our guests left us feeling absolutely relaxed and awed.

Follow my leader with Parrotfish

Follow my leader with Parrotfish

Captains Log, private tours, snorkel

GET YOUR DUCKS IN A ROW AND COME SNORKEL WITH US!

Grand Cayman vacation and a moment to remember - snorkelling the  reef

Grand Cayman vacation and a moment to remember - snorkelling the reef

Aaaah - we are loving this photo of a group who chose us for a private tour. This was taken whilst out snorkelling - great conditions with the natural caribbean colours gleaming all round. Hope the photo makes it onto their walls and that they join us again soon for another excursion!

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, weather, stingray city

TROPICAL WEATHER - CONFUCIUS SAYS

Sunny with stormy clouds. Clear with tropical thunderstorms. Calm with choppy conditions.

Making sense? "Nah bo bo" as they would say locally.

But these are the tropics, and this is mid summer. The scariest question we face at this time of the year? "What will the weather be like today/tomorrow/next week?"

Usually we go through several tropical conditions through the duration of our tours in Grand Cayman, and the best Captain Mario can do is try to guage the optimal timing to visit the different sites included in our excursions. Most times he gets it right, sometimes not - and that is when our guests suddenly realise that one of the reasons we chose a boat with a comfortable inner cabin is so they can take cover from thunder showers.

Below is a photo taken on yesterday's tour showing beautiful caribbean sun highlighting the awesome colours of the sea, while threatening, dark, moody thunderstorms and downpours are clearly visible in the background. Makes for some awesome photography but certainly keeps the crew hopping!!

Ah well, all in a days work. Never boring, always interesting - and love every moment!

Kissing quickly before the rain hits us ... Stingray City in Grand Cayman

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

 

Captains Log, private tours

17 JANUARY 2015 - A LUCKY CATCH!

Determination pays off occasionally.......

Of course there is ALWAYS argument about whether it is stubbornness or determination ..... anyways .....

On Friday just past, our Captain noted that there were not one, but two brown pelicans at Starfish Point (see post here). Initially, one had previously been spotted and named "Rasta" by our 1st Mate Dwayne, but then a second pelican appeared!!

Two of the Brown Pelicans spotted at Starfish Point in Grand Cayman

Two of the Brown Pelicans spotted at Starfish Point in Grand Cayman

Mandy (pale skinned office slave of the company) had not managed to get out on the boat since October - but this was NOT to be missed. And so it was that poor Captain Mario was forced into turning the boat back from the dock at the end of the morning tour - he might have been able to refuse Mandy, but definitely not his daughter Gina who was itching to see Starfish Point - her all time favourite place on the island!!

grand-cayman-things-to-do-17011502

Starfish Point revealed not one, not two, but THREE pelicans!! They had become the centre of attention and were happily whooping it up - swooshing through the air over our heads and just generally showing off their flying skills. They do not make very elegant landings, we must say. They fly over head so gracefully but tended to look like an inebriated party-goer trying to negotiation an "invisible" glass door - just a big splat with wings and legs everywhere! 

They put on this display for some 10 minutes before taking off for another spot, so what luck we had in witnessing them - awesome moment!