snorkelling

Excursions, Captains Log

26 March 2015 - Good news, bad news in Grand Cayman

This year is shooting by, and nothing illustrates it more to us than checking on when we last posted news to our blog!

Another way of looking at the world 

Another way of looking at the world 

We seem to have gotten over the horribly moody weather experienced since November / December last year (and all the way to the first half of this month!), although having said that, we are warily eyeing some conditions towards the end of this coming week. But it has been exciting for our crew to have our island visitors enjoy some calm conditions and stunning Caribbean colours!

The last four weeks have been very busy for the island, with an enormous pressure to try and accommodate guests wanting to visit the stingrays and do some amazing snorkelling at the reef. Of all the times for Captain Mario to get sick, this was not the best! He landed up in hospital having an operation to drain a cyst in his hand, and was most definitely not a happy chappy. Even his little girl pushing buttons and moving his bed in 16 different directions did't get the full smile going. He was released early this morning and was down at the cruise terminal by 8:00am back in full swing and ready to go! Thank you to the doctors and nurses at the George Town Hospital who were responsible for his amazing treatment!

Ready for business - even in hospital! The Acquarius sign by Captain Mario's bed .....

Ready for business - even in hospital! The Acquarius sign by Captain Mario's bed .....

There was great excitement when one of snorkel guests found a new Moray Eel during a visit to the coral reef. The other two, Elvis and Physcho (aka Brutus & Beverly), are well known to us, but a new younger one has now joined the crowd! As soon as Captain Mario found this out, like a flash he was in the water and got a gorgeous photo of her!

And here "she" is ... the new younger Moray Eel found at the Reef - Captain Mario put her at approximately 4 feet and possibly 2 years of age - ain't she a beaut? The crew have not yet named her.

And here "she" is ... the new younger Moray Eel found at the Reef - Captain Mario put her at approximately 4 feet and possibly 2 years of age - ain't she a beaut? The crew have not yet named her.

More fun and delightful news was hearing back from a couple that had sailed with us in December. The lady had suffered severe motion sickness, but Captain Mario told her he suspected that it was more than just that ..... so it was awesome when they contacted us to say he had been right, she had made it safely through the her first trimester of pregnancy and they are expecting a boy! Wonder if they will call it Mario??

We also had a very special tour with the Purkey family. Their family first toured with us a couple of years back, and it was devastating to hear that shortly after they returned from holiday, their oldest son tragically passed away. We went out in search of a stingray to be his name sake, and it took us quite a while to get a "feeling" for the right one. But upon discussing the characteristics with the family, we knew we had found right stingray, and it was named "Trinton". The family made a return cruise, but oh how cruel was it that the day they anchored in Grand Cayman, the weather was beyond safe and we could not take them out to see him. That day left a whole in our hearts. So it was with mixed feelings that we accepted another booking from them for a week back, hoping like crazy that the weather would be kind, that Trinton would turn up for a visit, and that we could all share a very special moment. We won't go into it too much, but let's say that the crew were more than touched to see Trinton come visit and say hi to the family. We would not have traded that moment for anything in the world. We will look after him for you Purkey family!

Taken too soon but always remembered - Trinton Purkey

Taken too soon but always remembered - Trinton Purkey

On a less happy note, it is with great sadness that Captain Mario still reports bad treatment of our beautiful stingrays by some operators. He witnessed one picking up a stingray right out of the water and holding it over the heads of some guests for a photo - this is something we find appalling. Captain Mario was in the process of upping anchor and leaving the sandbar so was able neither to chastise the operator, nor even take a photo as proof, but it breaks our hearts that this kind of abuse continues. It is simply so wrong. He also reported finding a dead starfish at Starfish Point .... yes, anything could have caused this, but too many times we witness operators and visitors taking the starfish right out of the water! We always stress the importance of respecting our beautiful creatures to all our visitors, and we wish all operators did the same. Let's hope we can continue to educate everyone and change their attitudes and actions.

Stingray and anchor at the Sandbar in Grand Cayman

Stingray and anchor at the Sandbar in Grand Cayman

Captain Mario has reported some pretty amazing snorkelling moments of late, not least the finding of the new comer eel! Excitement has also been generated by the the large Barracudas that have been spotted, one over 5 feet! Our excursions guests have enjoyed seeing a congregation of Bermuda Chub (Captain Mario estimates there must have been over 100 of them!), a congregation of Stoplight Parrot Fish - pretty awesome and a huge Spotted Trunk fish enjoying body polish at a "cleaning station". But his favourite moment of all was spotting a Tiger Grouper - oh, he did not stop babbling about the sighting for a while!

We have included some of the photos from the last few beautiful tours, and we hope that you enjoy them. Come visit soon!

Captains Log, Excursions

12 February 2015 - Speechless in Grand Cayman

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

Guests from : Carnival Dream cruise, Carnival Triumph cruise, NCL Epic cruise and resident

Star Stingray : Dark Vader

No Shows : 0

There are times when words generally fail to do justice to an experience. Times when you just have to keep the mouth shut, and let the photos do the talking. We think the photos from today's tour speak for themselves. Enjoy.

A great group photo of some visitors snorkelling  Coral Gardens

A great group photo of some visitors snorkelling Coral Gardens

A huge Barracuda joins us for the snorkelling

A huge Barracuda joins us for the snorkelling

LOVE the poses that some of our guests come up with!

LOVE the poses that some of our guests come up with!

Starfish Point was spectacular and the tour guests were mesmerised by the Sea Stars

Starfish Point was spectacular and the tour guests were mesmerised by the Sea Stars

"Big John" at anchor at  Stingray City  yesterday ...... mind boggling beauty

"Big John" at anchor at Stingray City yesterday ...... mind boggling beauty

Fragile beauty at the Reef in Grand Cayman

Fragile beauty at the Reef in Grand Cayman

The Moray Eel comes out to play for a second day in a row -  the Reef  in Grand Cayman

The Moray Eel comes out to play for a second day in a row - the Reef in Grand Cayman

Captain Mario  calls this "Mandy's heart"

Captain Mario calls this "Mandy's heart"

A symphony of blues - Parrot Fish, Blue Tangs, coral and Caribbean Ocean - Grand Cayman

A symphony of blues - Parrot Fish, Blue Tangs, coral and Caribbean Ocean - Grand Cayman

Lazy days and stingrays ...... the sandbar in Grand Cayman

Lazy days and stingrays ...... the sandbar in Grand Cayman

A stunning farewell to another day in paradise ..... 

A stunning farewell to another day in paradise ..... 

Captains Log, Excursions

6 JANUARY 2015 - STINGRAY CITY SNORKEL EXCURSIONS CAYMAN ISLANDS

Typical  Grand Cayman excursion  pose - watching and being watched in return

Typical Grand Cayman excursion pose - watching and being watched in return

Tour Time : 2:15pm (departed 2:15pm)

Guests from : Marriott Hotel, Morritts (East End)

Star Stingray : Snowflake

And yes - that is the Caribbean sun on his back - YIPPEE! I should imagine some Canadians could happily throw snowballs at me for saying this, but we have had a rough winter so far! Cloudy skies, high winds and temperatures as low as 20 celsius! It has been a mean few weeks and we are looking forward to the season settling down now.....

Sadly, we again had to miss Starfish Point today - the presence there of an abundance of jelly fish meant avoiding this beautiful beach - usually a favourite attraction during our excursions. However, our guests had a great time snorkelling at the Coral Gardens and we managed to get some great pictures of them frolicking with some of the visiting stingrays. We love collecting these images during our tours and sharing them with our guests for free. We hope they bring life long smiles.

Captain Mario gives a hand with new snorkelers during our tour - they loved every moment!

Captain Mario gives a hand with new snorkelers during our tour - they loved every moment!

Snowflake gathered all the love and kisses at the Sandbar today - she took a particular liking to one of our guests and was quite happy not to move on at all. I don't know if the stingrays have any idea how many smiles they produce on a daily basis, but we sure wish they do. I reckon the "girls" MUST be the most photographed celebrities in the world, and they deserve every bit of squid they receive!

Our deckhand contemplates his naughty versus nice strategy for 2015

Our deckhand contemplates his naughty versus nice strategy for 2015


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 

Snorkel, Stingrays

8-9 December 2014

Watch this video to show how our guests played with two stingrays during the snorkel sections of our excursions over the weekend.

The stingray stars are Barbara and Stumpy - they have been joining us for the last few days each time we have stopped for snorkelling.


Amazing interaction between the guests and the the "girls" almost like a dance of introduction.

Hope you enjoy!