starfish point

Captains Log, Starfish Point, Stingray City

9 February 2015 - The calm between the storms!

Tour Time : 8:30am

Guests from : Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman, Westin Hotel Grand Cayman, residents

Star Stingray : Snowflake

No Shows : 0

Caribbean beauty stuns the mind

Caribbean beauty stuns the mind

NOT happy about having to cancel tours on the past Saturday and Sunday (lousy weather) .... leaves a bad taste in the mouth and disappointed guests. We were holding our breath for Monday morning as the prediction was for a few hours of gorgeous weather, and some guests had very kindly agreed to move their booking to this date on our advice. Tense times indeed!

Approaching the Reef in Grand Cayman for snorkelling

Approaching the Reef in Grand Cayman for snorkelling

But oh my were our guests rewarded! We set off from the Cayman Islands Yacht Club in completely still waters, and made our way across the emerald caribbean waters towards the Reef for our snorkel stop. Everyone was mesmerised by the incredible clarity of the water - you could make out each blade of turtle grass, and see the burnt amber starfish that whizzed past under the bow. The closer we got to the reef, the bluer the water ...... spectacular colours all round! The ocean was so inviting our guests were in the water before you could say "mask"!

 

A Blue Runner joins us snorkelling the Reef in Grand Cayman

A Blue Runner joins us snorkelling the Reef in Grand Cayman

"Refreshing" is the best way to describe the water - cooler than normal due to the recent winds and rain, but so easy to adjust to, especially when looking around at the beauty under the surface. Everyone shot off in different directions, all eager to ogle the tropical fish and splendid coral formations. Waiting to welcome us were Trumpet Fish, giant Parrot Fish, Blue Tangs, Blue Runners, Snappers, and stingrays ... and someone special!

Trumpet fish found along the Reef during the snorkel stop

Trumpet fish found along the Reef during the snorkel stop

Captain Mario joined the group in the water and headed off to find a friend of his ..... which he did! There is a Moray Eel who lives along the Reef, and the captain is quite adept at locating her. He found her home for the day and promised to bring everyone to see her a little later on ..... it was time to move on to Starfish Point first, and if we had time, we could return to visit. The weather was already showing signs of turning, with the wind picking up a little from the South West, and Captain Mario's priority was to make the best of the excursion before it really took hold!

Incredible cloud formations on the way to Starfish Point

Incredible cloud formations on the way to Starfish Point

"Big John" arrived at Starfish Point to find it deserted except for one couple standing in the waters, in awe of the surrounding nature. The ombre shades of blues and greens of the water lapping this idyllic beach were breath taking. Our 1st Mate Dwayne went off in search of Starfish while Captain Mario chatted to our guests about the beach and the gorgeous little creatures after which the beach is named.

Caribbean blue up in the skies at  Starfish Point

Caribbean blue up in the skies at Starfish Point

Juvenile Starfish making tracks

Juvenile Starfish making tracks

Our tour then continued onto Stingray City Sandbar, world famous for it's stingrays. All aboard were buzzing with excitement about meeting the "ladies", and questions were being fired at the crew about how to hold and kiss the stingrays. They were firing the answers back as quick as they could!

Stingray City Grand Cayman - the sandbar - and one of the stars

Stingray City Grand Cayman - the sandbar - and one of the stars

Even though the wind was slowly but surely picking up again, and the waters very moderately choppy, we had timed this visit perfectly - as we arrived, everyone else bar one boat melted into the horizon and we were left the centre of the stingrays' attention. Bliss! In minutes, the love was all around our guests, and Dwayne was once again captivated by his beloved Snowflake. Giggles, squeaks, ooooh's and aaaah's filled the air - the girls were especially affectionate today and plenty of kisses were handed out. Captain Mario was right in the thick of things trying to capture it all, taking photos of the action (which are provided free to our guests). It was sad to leave the ladies, but everyone had voted to go back to see the eel and it was time to do this.

So off we tootled back to the Reef to return to the promised spot! Most of the guests couldn't wait to get back into the water to meet her (although some were a little more cautious and preferred to stay onboard). Captain Mario did not disappoint! He managed to anchor just a few metres from the coral where the eel was regally awaiting her audience. Oh she was in such a social mood today! She put on a brilliant display of Cayman hospitality and repeatedly came all the way out of her hole to  let her visitors get some great pictures and footage!

The Moray Eel at Grand Cayman's Reef - ain't she a beauty?

The Moray Eel at Grand Cayman's Reef - ain't she a beauty?

All in all, an incredible excursion today, and we hope that our guests had a good time that will be remembered forever.

We hope you enjoyed reading all about, and genuinely hope to be able to host you one day as well!

Excursions, sunset

05 February 2015 - WARDEN'S HERE SO BEHAVE!

Yup. Chief Warden of a US prison on board with us today, so crew behaviour was exemplary - well, when he wasn't looking! 

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

Guests from : NCL Epic cruise ship, Navigator of the Seas Cruises and resident

Star Stingray : Snowflake

No Shows : 7 - OUCH!!

Today started off with a bang - 7 cruise ships in port today which mean it was madness downtown! Captain Mario found all of our guests except for one booking of 7 guests - it hurts us big time when we have this many no-shows!

But what a beautiful morning - the caribbean sun was gorgeous, the wind low and fresh, and very few clouds in the sky. You can see from the photo below that oceans were reflecting magnificent blues!

Looking directly at the Reef in Grand Cayman - North Sound

Looking directly at the Reef in Grand Cayman - North Sound

Captain Mario got quite poetic about the morning tour, and said there were so many sea stars spread out across the sands that it was like seeing the stars during daytime! He does not often get poetic, so it must have been pretty awesome!

Rasta was reported cavorting around at Starfish Point again, but his two other buddies were nowhere to be seen. Dwayne the 1st Mate stumbled upon a Sea Hare (or Sea Slug) which was a lovely and unusual find - they feed on mostly green algae and are hermaphrodites (can be boys or girls as the mood suits).

Sea Hare or Sea Slug

Sea Hare or Sea Slug

A favourite stop on our tours - view from Starfish Point in Grand Cayman

A favourite stop on our tours - view from Starfish Point in Grand Cayman

The snorkelling today was beautiful with clear waters, sparkling waters. Our excursions guests found some conch shells and we cleaned them up for them to take home as souvenirs. We were also joined by an inquisitive little Parrot Fish - they are normally very timid, so we felt well spoilt!

Snorkel guests and conch shells - Grand Cayman

Snorkel guests and conch shells - Grand Cayman

Parrot Fish

Parrot Fish

It really was an awesome tour, and it primed the crew for the afternoon trip which was a chartered excursion. The horizons got a little more cloudy than we would have liked, but this provided some beautiful lighting for photos at Stingray City - gorgeous tints of pink and grey while we were at the sandbar. A great day all round, and we hope that our visitors had a fantastic time and have left only with good memories.

Kissing stingrays at sunset in Grand Cayman

Kissing stingrays at sunset in Grand Cayman

Excursions, fish, sunset, snorkel

AWESOME DAY IN GRAND CAYMAN

The 24th January served us up an incredible day. 

Living in the Caribbean is lucky for so many reasons, but for us, the best reasons would be the climate and the beauty that we see on a daily basis. Even just taking the school route offers up a glimpse of the beautiful tropical blues along Seven Mile Beach - one almost wishes to be stuck in a traffic jam!

But there come days when Grand Cayman just goes a step further and produces a day which is stunning beyond words, and we all get excited about it, and get especially worked up about sharing such a day with our tour guests. 

It is on these days that Captain Mario's wife and child hound him half to death to be taken out into the North Sound. They do not often get this opportunity, but on days with these conditions - well, no is not accepted for an answer. Mandy adores the stingrays and cannot collect enough photos of them, while Gina adores Starfish Point and no family tour can be completed without stopping at this island attraction.

Captain Mario stopped off at a beautiful spot for the snorkelling - a little out of the usual site but along the barrier reef. The propellors had hardly stopped turning before Mandy was in the water, where she was met by a gigantic Mutton Snapper who surprisingly accompanied her for most of her visit - how wonderful! His size is not easy to see from the photo below, but he must have been at least 3 feet long - usually they are rather timid as the locals fish for them, but this guy was quite happy to tag along.

The massive Mutton Snapper that joined us for the snorkel along the Barrier Reef

The massive Mutton Snapper that joined us for the snorkel along the Barrier Reef

What a beauty of a Queen Angel Fish found at the Barrier Reef in Grand Cayman

What a beauty of a Queen Angel Fish found at the Barrier Reef in Grand Cayman

A school of Blue Tangs float on by during our snorkel visit

A school of Blue Tangs float on by during our snorkel visit

Conch Shell in Grand Cayman

Conch Shell in Grand Cayman

The reef was splendid - Mandy felt that there was a certain magic in the water and was amazed to see so many fish and corals - an enormous Queen Angel Fish and a school of one of her favourite fish, the Blue Tang, were some of her pleasures. Add to that the fact that she found four live conch and her day was already made! We used to fish for conch for our standard excursions, but changed our policy this year - we feel that they are already over-harvested and hardly see any these days. You can be sure no-one will be told of these conch's whereabouts!

After the snorkelling, and during our boat ride to Stingray City Sandbar, we were treated to a beautiful rainbow hitting land on the North Side. Wow, we did not think it could get too much better, but we were wrong. 

 Things to do in Grand Cayman

Once again, Mandy was testing Captain Mario's patience with wanting to spring into the ocean before the propellors had stopped twirling ...... can you blame her when you see the conditions were like the photo below?

Incredible conditions at Stingray City Sandbar in Grand Cayman

Incredible conditions at Stingray City Sandbar in Grand Cayman

The above image was taken from on-board "Big John" - the waters were so clear you could see right to the sand bar bed with the ripples of sand caused by the flow of the ocean. The first sight was of a ginormous stingray burying herself into the sand - we were delighted to see that she was very, very swollen with pregnancy and can't wait to have her little ones darting around. She eventually stopped "digging" and lumbered over for a kiss and some lovin' .... got a picture of her in Captain Mario's arms, just resting there for a bit.... we made sure to give her plenty of stingray "popcorn" (squid) to keep her nicely fed for her babies!

One very pregnant stingray burying herself at the Sandbar in Grand Cayman

One very pregnant stingray burying herself at the Sandbar in Grand Cayman

 Stingray City Sandbar in Grand Cayman

The "girls" felt the magic of the day and cavorted with us and the other sandbar visitors with great abandon and a lot of kisses and hugs and snuggles were shared - oh what a time was had! Mandy and Gina were in 7th heaven! It was tough to leave this spot, but Gina was in nagging mode by now, and Starfish Point was obviously next on the itinerary.

On the way over to this heavenly beach on Grand Cayman, we were given a hint of what to expect, with the skies and clouds forming incredible shades of blue and greys. Gina was extremely verbal in her delightful find of 4 starfish with excited yelps and squeals heard by all. But those quietened down when the sunset put on an astounding show. When even a four year old is heard to say "lets sit quietly and watch the sunset" you know it has got to be a good one! Below is the proof .... what a magical day to enjoy and witness. On days such as these, one can only be hugely grateful to be living surrounded by peace, surrounded by beauty and surrounded by hope - hugely lacking in so many parts of the world. Thank you.

Sunset from Starfish Point in Grand Cayman

Sunset from Starfish Point in Grand Cayman

Captains Log, starfish

24 January 2015 - Caribbean Paradise day!

Tour Time : 9:30am

Guests from : Treasure Island, Wahoo Close, Self Drive

Star Stingray : Snowflake

No Shows : 0

Starfish Point in  Grand Cayman  - water so quiet the one person causes ripples ....

Starfish Point in Grand Cayman - water so quiet the one person causes ripples ....

Yesterday was the day to take "Big John" out of the water for his insurance survey and inspection, so no tours. All went well, but quite sad to see him out of water .... he truly belongs in it!

And what a day to return to the Caribbean waters! Grand Cayman produced one of those very special and awesome days where the colours were brilliant, the ocean clear and the breeze almost still.

 Things to do in Grand Cayman
 Things to do in Grand Cayman

On top of these awesome conditions for today's tour, our guests were absolutely amazed to witness a baby nurse shark and four turtles - we hope that our visitor send us some of the video footage that they managed to get of this!

Starfish Point was the little piece of paradise that we always love to share, with water so calm that even one person caused ripples wide across the water's surface.

Stingray City was flat, sparkling and stunning, and Snowflake was the most gracious host and everyone fell in love with her - who could not?

Conditions were so good, that the office staff demanded to be taken out after the morning tour, and we shall shortly post some of the photos taken in the afternoon!

 Best things to in Grand Cayman Islands

Starfish Point, Stingray City, Captains Log

22 December 2014 - Stingray City Tours in Grand Cayman

Tour Time : 9:00am & Private Chartered Tour at 2:30pm

Guests from : Westin Hotel, The Meridian Condos, The Castle in East End

Star Stingray : Lilly & Snowflake

The island is buzzing with excitement - Christmas in Grand Cayman is a Caribbean delight. The sunny, tropical climate often leaves visitors from colder climates a little off balance, but we are sure they are lapping up the warmth whatever attraction they choose to tackle for the day!

We enjoyed two excursions to Stingray City Sandbar, snorkel sites and Starfish Point today - how lucky can we get? The first tour was a standard tour, and the second a private excursion for a wonderful group staying at the Castle in East End. 

Chasing Barbara the stingray

Chasing Barbara the stingray

Snorkelling at Coral Gardens brought Captain Mario's favourite stingray out to play, and play she did! The Caribbean ocean once again provided an underwater beauty spot with fabulous coral, tropical fish and a lovely school of Grunts.

A school of Grunts surround us while snorkelling

A school of Grunts surround us while snorkelling

Circling above us was a lone seagull, hoping to grab a take-away lunch - they can be very cheeky at Stingray City Sandbar. When feeding the stingrays at the sandbar, the initial knee-jerk reaction is to pull away and hold the squid up in the air - and that is when the seagulls pounce!! Incredibly quick - before you know it is just your hand waving about above your head, whilst a happy bird disappears into the horizon. 

In-coming squid thief!

In-coming squid thief!

Starfish Point, was, as usual, stunning. Our excursions guests relaxed and pondered the Sea Stars and breathed in the fresh tropical air. 1st Mate Dwayne and a guest enjoyed a touch of American football during the stop - definitely working up the appetite for pizza!

Cayman vacation - relaxing, exploring and having fun!

Cayman vacation - relaxing, exploring and having fun!

The stingrays were an eager bunch at the Sandbar, ready to share the love (and the squid!). We call squid Stingray Popcorn - they can't stop eating it!

What a smile - what a moment! Cradling a stingray at  Stingray City  in Grand Cayman

What a smile - what a moment! Cradling a stingray at Stingray City in Grand Cayman

The second tour of the day was a private chartered tour for a lovely group enjoying their holiday at the Castle in East End. Private tours are definitely the best way to visit these attractions, and are surprisingly affordable if you are a group. These excursions are a fantastic way to celebrate a destination wedding or another special occasion! 

Our private tour guests enjoying their visit to Stingray City Sandbar, Grand Cayman

Our private tour guests enjoying their visit to Stingray City Sandbar, Grand Cayman

And of course, to round the day off ....... a splendid Caribbean sunset watched in awe from Starfish Point, before setting off to drop our guests back at the Kaibo Yacht Club. Another gorgeous and memorable day in paradise!

Grand Cayman sunset from Starfish Point

Grand Cayman sunset from Starfish Point

Captains Log, Excursions, Starfish Point

10 December 2014 - Stingray City Tours

Tour Time : 9:30am (departed 9:45am due to ships anchoring at Spotts beach)

Guests from : Carnival Freedom, Sunshines Suites Grand Cayman

Star Stingray : Barbara

OH so good to have some tropical sun on our skins which have been rain-soaked over the last few weeks - life is good when the sun is shining!

The tour went well with our guests basking in the sun at one of Grand Cayman's best beaches - Starfish Point. Guests oohed and aaahed at the sea stars, posed for pictures and lost themselves in their Caribbean vacation.

The snorkel site was enjoyed - this day we visited Coral Garden and were joined, once again, by the stingray Barbara. Captain Mario got this sequence of photos of her doing a "flyby"! She later joined the group at the Sandbar and happily snuggled in for all their kisses! Thanks to all our visitors who make each and every excursion awesome!

Our guests enjoying a stroll around Starfish Point

Our guests enjoying a stroll around Starfish Point