attractions

Excursions, private tours

9 March 2015 - From bad to better

Tour Time : 9:30am and 2:15pm

Guests from : Plantana Condos, Ritz Carlton, Discovery Point Club, Westin Hotel

Star Stingray : Frosty

Our morning excursion welcomed a wonderful group of guests who were more than willing to take on the wind and swells - they were just awesome, especially the kids! Winds reached top speeds of about 17MPH at around 10am and then slowly reduced during the rest of the day until they were around 6MPH at 9pm last night ..... not the time we go out on tour! The skies were somewhat overcast, but the sunny smiles from our visits just brightened everything up! 

The sandbar was shallow this day, although the water was quite choppy!

The sandbar was shallow this day, although the water was quite choppy!

Plenty of great snorkelling was enjoyed by our groups, and as always, the cherry on the top for the private tour in the afternoon, was watching the sunset as we made our way back to the Cayman Islands Yacht Club. Amazing how the sunset always has the power to make everyone silent and ponderous (even the kiddies) ..... penny for their thoughts anyone?

 Grand Cayman attractions

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!

Captains Log

11 February 2015 - Like a rough diamond....

As we suspected yesterday, cruise ships were diverted to Spotts again today. Everyone took a deep breath and gave the day their best shot! Weather conditions all rough on the surface, but really quite a delightful tour to be had .....

Tour Time : 9:30am & 2:15pm

Guests from : Carnival Breeze cruise, Brilliance of the Seas, The Sea Breeze condominiums, Grand Cayman Beach Suite and Comfort Suites

Star Stingray : New comer

No Shows : 0 Whoopee!

Our guest enjoys the company of a stingray during the snorkelling stop

Our guest enjoys the company of a stingray during the snorkelling stop

The morning snorkel stop was just fantastic, with so much life happening all around us. Barbara the stingray, and two of her buddies, joined us for this section and played beautifully with our guests (the above photos show how close they come to say hi!). A large Parrot Fish also joined in the fun, and some of the other tropical fish which delighted us with their presence were the Mutton Snapper, the Spotted Trunk Fish, the Grunts. Spanish Hog Fish, Sergeant Majors, Queen Angelfish and the Blue Tangs - just a rainbow of aquatic colours!

Snorkelling in Grand Cayman - huge Parrot Fish, Blue Tang and Queen Angel Fish

Snorkelling in Grand Cayman - huge Parrot Fish, Blue Tang and Queen Angel Fish

The wind was blowing, making the waters choppy, but the colours were brilliant blue and green, a product of the glorious caribbean sun that was shining down on activities.

The glorious result of the caribbean sun shining down on the North Sound in Grand Cayman

The glorious result of the caribbean sun shining down on the North Sound in Grand Cayman

Much like yesterday's morning tour, Starfish Point had to be missed because of time constrictions due the cruise ships being in Spotts. However, this beach was very much enjoyed by our visitors on the afternoon excursion, and they were treated to a stunning amber and pink sunset on the way back to dock.

A Grand Cayman sunset

A Grand Cayman sunset

We always have to say a big thank you to our wonderful guests for choosing us for their tour. We would not be here without you all. Today we invited returning guests who were visiting us for the 4th time, and we cannot be more honoured or happy! 

Captains Log, Stingrays

3 February 2015 - GLUM DAYS BUT BRIGHT SPIRITS!

Our last post showcased a video of a glory day in Grand Cayman ..... now you can see a really glum day in the caribbean! 

A glum day in Grand Cayman

A glum day in Grand Cayman

Tour Time : 9:30am

Guests from : MSC Divina Cruise Ship, Marriott Grand Cayman Beach Resort, Coral Stone Club Condominiums

Star Stingray : Lilly (Dwayne's favourite)

No Shows : 0

Talk about 50 shades of grey .... and none of them particular saucy! We woke to grumpy skies and cheeky winds which stirred up the waters and lowered the temps!

Kudos to our awesome guests who turned up despite this - they were determined to have a good time, and we were determined to make that happen. So nice to have "Barbara" the stingray back in circulation again - she went missing for a short while, and were concerned for her - she joined us both at the snorkel site as well as at the sandbar.

Close up of "Barbara" - Captain Mario's favourite girl!

Close up of "Barbara" - Captain Mario's favourite girl!

The clarity of the water at the snorkel site was good though, and our excursion guests had a good time admiring the coral and tropical fish, and were thrilled at the company of some stingrays. Captain Mario managed to some lovely snorkelling photos for our visitors, and we hope they they keep the memories alive for a long time - come back soon, you hear?!

 Snorkel Grand Cayman

Excursions, private tours, rum point

26 December 2014 - Private Chartered Tours

Today, we played host to a wonderful group of island visitors and residents who organised a private excursion so that they could visit sites they were most interested in.

Our guests were an adventurous group, and at the time of reservation, had asked to snorkel for conch. As it is conch season we were able to assist, and once they had their conch onboard Dwayne prepared ceviche which they greatly enjoyed, while we cleaned the shells as tour mementos. Conch season is November to April in Grand Cayman, and we used to offer conch on all our tours, but now feel that they have been over fished and no longer wish to add to this problem.

Other stops included a "drive-by" at Rum Point, a little bit of exploring around Cayman Kai including Finger Cay, and a stop for a tropical cocktail at the very beautiful Kaibo Yacht Club. Of course, the best known attractions Starfish Point and Stingray City Sandbar were included and thoroughly enjoyed.

On the way back to dock, we slowly meandered through Booby Cay, truly one of the best spots to see the Grand Cayman sunsets. A beautiful day, a wonderful group and a delightful tour all round!

Snorkel, Captains Log, Starfish Point

21 December 2014 - Cayman Islands Tours

Tour Time : 2 different tours today

Guests from : Marriott Hotel, Anchorage Condo, Westin Hotel, Oceania Riviera Cruise, Grand Cayman Beach Suites Hotel, Park Place Condo

Star Stingray : Snowflake and Lilly

Barbara gently nudges one of the snorkellers to say hi

Barbara gently nudges one of the snorkellers to say hi

Gorgeous day today! The Caribbean sun which has been MIA for so many days is fighting her way back. Skies are blue and the wind is just cool enough to take the sting out of the sun rays. Brilliant colours all round us with the ocean a sparkling blue. Visibility at the snorkel sight was great and once again Barbara visited us, even giving one of our excursion guests a gentle nudge to say hi!

She has been so social lately, and has played catch and tag and follow my leader with the island visitors - how awesome is she?

 Best snorkel sites in Grand Cayman

We had two pregnant ladies on board and they did so well breathing for two during the snorkel  site visit - we are sure they enjoyed a little of the buoyancy of the water to take the weight off the legs! So many fish around - almost as if they had missed visitors for some time.

 Best snorkel sites in Grand Cayman
 Best snorkel sites in Grand Cayman
 Best snorkel sites in Grand Cayman

The tour included a visit to Starfish Point, one of the most beautiful beaches on Grand Cayman - a little piece of Caribbean paradise tucked away. It is almost a pity to let everyone know about this beach, but how can we not share? A vacation to Grand Cayman island should absolutely include this attraction!

Our visit to Stingray City Sandbar - oh what a pleasure! The tropical winds have died down, and the sea was beautifully smooth. We had a great time taking pictures of the guests kissing the stingrays.

All in all, another day in paradise ....... want to come join us?

Stingray City, Excursions

11 December 2014 - Excursion to Stingray City

Tour Time : 9:30am (departed 9:30am)

Guests from : Freedom of the Seas, NCL Epic, Navigator of the Seas

Star Stingray : Lilly (1st Mate Dwayne's favourite girl!)

When one sees the beauty of the Caribbean in these photos, it can be hard to believe that in tropical weather conditions, this spot can be quite a cauldron of waves and swells.

These last few weeks has displayed one of the longest cold fronts that Captain Mario remembers during his time on Grand Cayman, but we are slowly seeing the (sun)light again ......

This was a tour filled with a lot of fun and laughter, and was enjoyed by all. Dwayne had not seen Lilly for a while, and was missing the "girl" who has captured his heart - today they were reunited.

So ....... Caribbean waters, Cayman sun and smiles all round today ..... can't ask for much more!

Excursions, Stingray City, Starfish Point

5-7 December 2014

Tour Time : Various times over weekend (all on time)

Guests from : Carnival Pride, Island Princess, Carnival Splendour, Treasure Island, Coral Stone Club, Marriott Grand Cayman, Aida Bella, Caribbean Princess, Silversea Spirit, Tamarind Bay, Grand Cayman Beach Suites

Star Stingray : Kisses & Snowflake

Conditions over the weekend were still choppy, but at least we had some of that beautiful tropical sun shining down on us! The guests were awesome and let nothing phase them on the tours, and we managed to have a tremendous time snorkelling and visiting the Stingray City Sandbar. Starfish Point also looked all shiny and new with incredible colours and was a pleasure to visit! 

We'll let the pictures do the talking.......

Stingrays

MIRANDA .... GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN!

Yup, we get to know and name most of the stingrays that we meet at the Sandbar in Grand Cayman!

Meet "Miranda"

We named her after a bride who held her destination wedding on Grand Cayman, and then chose to have a post-wedding chartered tour for her bridal group to wind down. This stingray was the centre of attention at the sandbar that tour, and was very, very, VERY loving towards the new husband. If you look closely, there is a white spot on her left wing, which looks like a wedding ring! So with all the affection she was showing the groom, and the wedding ring, VOILA! she became Miranda! We had not seen her since that tour, but here she is again - and good to have her back.