Grand Cayman, 2014

Returned for our 10th anniversary to the place we got married. Time sure flies.

Super hot, 35-37 and felt like (officially) 44-46°C most days. At night it cooled off to 28 (feels like 40°C).

Spent 7 nights on 7 mile beach. Kissing a stingray gets you 7 years good luck and you can only work here for 7 years before you have to leave and re-apply to come back. Hmmm…..

We stayed at the Comfort Suites right on 7 mile beach. Comfy, clean, wi-fi great staff, pool, close to the beach. Honestly didn't spend much time there. There is also a pub on the grounds (Stingers) and a dive shop (Ambassador Divers). The owner of the dive shop was awesome, he gave us our snorkeling gear and simply asked us to settle up when we were done with it later in the week. In the end he never even charged us.

Special shout out to the British chap on the beach who was completely solid white from the sunscreen that he never rubbed a confused Mime wandering the beach scaring kids...LOL

Beach was fantastic. Water was fantastic. Weather was fantastic. Food was fantastic. People were fantastic. Snorkeling was fantastic. Car Museum was fantastic.

Mastic trail is rough, not well travelled, and has a warning sign at the entrance. It also had crazy noise producing insects, very annoying , creepy, and louder as you got closer, anoles, iguanas, snakes, crabs, and forest like veggies all growing on what used to be underwater coral reef. 

Pirate ship ride at sunset was awesome fun, as night progressed it got a little out of hand…watch for swordfight and drunk blonde on video (sorry website has no video posted)..   Young guys own it, more or less bought it on a whim. I told them all they needed now was a cannon and he said: “We’ve got one!!”…LOL .. And they do - it’s just not mounted yet, but he showed it to me, it uses 12 gauge shells or blanks and is a full on pirate style brass cannon about 4 feet long, and they will be able to fire it off. It did not escape my attention that they were mixing drinks for the ladies much stronger than for the men...LOL  Next day we spotted the ship in front of a cruise liner in the harbour which absolutely dwarfed the thing.

Snorkeling was excellent, at one point we had hundreds of bright colored fish of all varieties around (naturally I was out of film at that time). 200 feet off the beach at our hotel, we ran into some giant parrotfish (official name), over 2 feet long and very bright green/brown, 6 of them. Just about drown when those parrot fish first came at me, all I saw was those crazy big lips and teeth and kinda lost it. Neat to swim with though, also noisy eaters as they munch on the coral! Weird.

Stingrays were awesome. Very few people in our group, and our marine biologist guide knew most of the stingrays by name. I included a picture of “scarface” who got hit by a boat propeller years ago. Also went to secluded area for more snorkeling and saw an eel, many varieties of fish etc.

Turtle farm (now rebuilt after hurricane Ivan) has display where eggs are in sand with clear plastic side on case so you can see how far they are buried just as they would be in the wild, and watch hatchlings as they make their way to the surface. Once there they enter normal population and are returned to the wild at some point. There was one that just hatched as we were there, what a way to start your life, break out of an egg 3 feet under the sand, climb up through all that sand avoid preditors and with some luck grow to be an adult of some 500 lbs...

Place is busier now than in 2004. Iguanas, chickens and rooster still run everywhere though. It’s still RH drive and still traffic circle crazy!! The entire place has been rebuilt after the hurricane so the narrow roads are gone, there are larger new much better roads. That way you can get lost faster but if you keep driving you will eventually get to where you want, it is a 30km long island after all. Even after 10 years I still remembered how to get to some spots, however.

Still a very colorful place. Pastels and bright colors everywhere including the wildlife and its great!

Kia cars ride like dump trucks.  

Thunderstorms are crazy there. We had power knocked out for 4 hours one evening, kudos to the hotel staff who let Dawn use his iPhone (we had just come from the beach) so she could go to the washroom...LOL. Lightning while snorkeling adds some drama for sure as well.  

Cayman Motor Museum was excellent. Keep in mind is this is one gentlemans collection, and not all of it either. Special hurricane proof building built just for the collection too. Incredible variety of cars, also very generous of him to let people look at them. I enjoyed myself. He does need a GS in there though :)

Went back to the Cracked Conch which is where we got married to have supper, probably the best food I have ever had including octopus, squid and conch prepared by a master chef. Wow. $$$. Wow.

Top 7 comments heard on the trip:

  1. While on the pirate ship: “Come to the bathroom and check out my cannon!”
  2. While on the pirate ship (from the crew): “ Who’s steering this thing anyway?”
  3. On the pirate ship guest referred to wheel and asked “Does that actually steer the boat?”…
  4. On the pirate ship “I was in Calgary once, just about died from the cold!”
  5. On the pirate ship from member of the crew a new word: “binoculating”…
  6. After returning from the turtle farm, the car museum and checking out a few local places, back at the hotel in the elevator another couple who just arrived asked us what there was to do around here and I said “the liquor store is up the street”…
  7. "You don't need bug spray, you need a club..." me stating the obvious while on the trail...

Grand Cayman airport is madness. 7 flights departing at same time, not sure why, it’s not like it’s a huge hub or anything. Had to stand as no sitting room.

On way home first flight was the pre-kindergarten bus, screaming kids for the entire 4 hours, not 5 minutes of peace. At times it was so loud even though I had my phone volume cranked I could not hear the podcast through my earbuds with all the screaming…did the usual ridiculous YYZ customs thing and caught our last flight home. Overall trip was excellent.



back to trips page