excursions in grand cayman

Captains Log, Excursions, Snorkel

BEST SNORKELLING BUDDY - EVER!

Snorkelling in the North Sound of Grand Cayman provides many beautiful sights with all the stunning coral formations and rainbow tropical fish that one can expect from our gorgeous caribbean island.

However, we are very often joined by one or two of the friendly stingrays who have ventured over from Stingray City. To watch the delight and amazement of our guests when they experience this is a pleasure which is hard to describe.

The "girls" will often swim next to our guests, or play a game of tag, popping up around the side a coral formation and gliding in close enough for a touch before swooshing off again.

There can be no better snorkel buddy in the world, and a moment like this has got to be at the top of the list of one of the best experiences EVER.

A game of tag ... you're it!

A game of tag ... you're it!

Captains Log, Starfish Point, weather

STORMY CARIBBEAN SKIES BUT STUNNING WATER

We live in the tropics. It is mid summer. And the weather is letting us know it ....

It can be hard to believe that weather can change so many times in such a short time, but our 3.5 hour tour yesterday experienced the full spectrum, from stunning caribbean sun to tropical storm and everything in between. The photos below give some idea of the difference whilst visiting Starfish Point .... for approximately 25 minutes!

Now you see the sun ...

Now you see the sun ...

...now you don't

...now you don't

Many times we are asked if the weather looks good - a difficult query to answer with certainty because of the above. We know that our guests want the very best possible conditions and wish we could guarantee this. We can't.

However, Captain Mario does have a pretty good gut feeling when it comes to the weather and very seldom gets caught by surprise (and is rather grumpy if it happens) becausehe genuinely wants the best for those on board.

So please bear in mind when booking, we will try our best to advise the best possible day for you, but Mother Nature always has tricks up her sleeve to keep us on our toes .....

Moody skies but awesome water clarity yesterday ... anchor line & Sea Stars at Starfish Point

Moody skies but awesome water clarity yesterday ... anchor line & Sea Stars at Starfish Point

fish, snorkel

SNORKEL TREASURE!

Families that snorkel together, keep memories forever!

Families that snorkel together, keep memories forever!

If you have read our past posts, you will be well aware of the awful conditions that we have experienced for way too long, resulting in countless tours being cancelled and so, so many disappointed guests.

We are seeing some relief from this unusual weather - last week we managed to get out for 2 days, and this week we have also managed a couple of days. This has been very tough on the local operators during what is considered to be the highest season of the year.

What is amazing, are the days of total calm between all the storms which truly brings to life the saying "the calm before the storm", although we are changing that to "the calm between the storms" for this year!

Of course, being able to go ahead with excursions with guests concerned that they might miss this experience with the stingrays, and ants-in-the-pants crew members, engenders a lot of excitement which is almost palpable.

And so it was a great big cherry on the top when we spotted these beautiful morays at the snorkeling site we chose for the day. We know Elvis the Green Moray very well, and occasionally spot another Green Moray along Cayman's North Sound reef, but to find these two morays at the Coral Gardens AND right next to each was just amazing! The Caribbean water was amazing clear and Captain Mario managed to get this stunning shot!

A Viper Moray and a Goldentail Moray alongside each other at the Coral Gardens

A Viper Moray and a Goldentail Moray alongside each other at the Coral Gardens

What beauts!

The Viper Moray is the dark one, closer to you the viewer. They usually reach a maximum of 3 feet in lengths, are dark over their entire bodies, and have very arched jaws which only touch at the tip of the mouth, thus constantly displaying their impressive teeth. They are generally nocturnal fish and feed on fish or octopus. The above photo shows a well known characteristic of them - their sit and wait approach to feeding - sticking their heads out of the coral and waiting until dinner swims past and wham! dinner is done.

The prettier one behind the Viper Moray is called a Goldentail Moray - far lighter background colouring with dots that spread over the body. The dots start small in size on the snout and progressively grow bigger towards the tail. They are small and are not expected to reach a length greater than 2 feet. They have tiny teeth which are used during night forays to catch themselves acarnivorous meal - usually solitary creatures, so the above picture shows an unusual behaviour.

We had some divers out on the boat with us for this tour, and they were so incredibly in awe at finding these moray during a snorkel, as was Captain Moray who was over the moon at spotting them.

We hope they stay for a long time and that we can visit them frequently and show them to our guests who, we are sure, will equally enjoy seeing these marvellous fish!

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