Grand Cayman

// February 13th, 2010 // Grand Cayman

Last weekend, we were without electricity for 4 days due to a winter storm.   We felt we deserved a trip to the beach to get some warm weather and see some amazing sunsets.  So, at the last minute, Chad and I decided to go to Grand Cayman to celebrate Chad’s birthday and Valentine’s Day.  We arrived in Grand Cayman on Wednesday afternoon (Feb. 10th) on a beautiful sunny day.  The temperature was warm and refreshing at 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  We escaped all the snow and ice in North Carolina!

When we arrived, we rented a car and headed for the Westin hotel on Seven Mile beach.  After going to the wrong side of the car, we realized the driver’s side was on the right.  It was actually a benefit because it made it easier to drive on the left side of the road since we were already uncomfortable in the car. The rental agency told us to drive slow until we got use to driving on the “wrong” side of the road.

Our room at the hotel had a great ocean view.  We got settled in and went straight for the beach.  Grand Cayman has absolutely the most spectacular sunsets.  We sat on the beach until the sun set and had a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant called Luca.

Thursday, we spent the entire day on the beach being served margaritas and beer by our beach side waitress.  Wow, this is the life.  By the end of the afternoon our skin was feeling a bit hot in a few spots.  We thought we had put enough sunscreen on, but soon realized we missed a few spots.  It’s not good to get a sun burn at the beginning of a trip, but at least it was only in a few areas…mainly our feet and shoulders.

For dinner, we decided to go to a local restaurant called the Cracked Conch.  We sat outside under candlelight next to the ocean!

The next day, we booked a 6-hour private tour!  Our tour was called Stingray City Eco tour.  Our tour guide was a local named John Michael Stafford.  He owns a 27ft Boston Whaler Outrage and we had it all to ourselves!  The first stop on the tour was to see some wildlife on the edge of a mangrove.  We saw tons of Egrets and a few Blue Herons.

We then went to Stingray City to swim with the stingrays.  John taught us how to feed them and how to hold them in our arms.  They were truly amazing.  There were about 10 swimming all around us as long as food was near.  To feed them, you hold the food (squid and conch) in your hand and make a fist.  The stingray will swim over and suck the food right out of your hand.  The first time for me was quite startling.  We also learned how to hold them.  You have to hold out your arms and make sure you are directly in front of them.   If you remain directly in front of them and lean back like you are in a dentist chair, they will stay in your arms for a long time.

The next stop was to snorkel the reef.  This was my first experience snorkeling.  John was kind enough to teach me what to do.  Once I got the hang of it, it was quite easy.  The coral and fish were incredible!  I wish we had pictures of what we saw underwater because it was amazing.  There were many bright colors such as yellow and purple.  We also even saw a huge lobster.  It was so cool to see!

We then went to the popular Rum Point.  John found a secluded area to dock his boat which was about a 10 minute walk to Rum Point.  He dropped us off and we walked along what seem to be our own private beach to Rum Point.  The beaches in the area are totally private, but there is right of way for people walking along the edge.  We passed many huge dream-like homes along the way.  Once there, we had bite to eat and enjoyed the unique atmosphere.

When we got back to the boat, John had found two large starfish!  I had not seen anything like it!  We got to pick them up for a very short time for a few photographs.   It was really neat to see them up close.

Our last stop on the tour was to see the hidden mangrove which is a part of a large scale water flow system.  We went down one channel to see some wildlife.  John pointed out that the white blobs in the water were jelly fish.  He later dove underwater to find some urchins so that we could view them up close and feel the sharp spines moving.

We had a fantastic time on the tour and are looking forward to our next trip to Grand Cayman.


Check out all of Chad’s photos below!

2 Responses to “Grand Cayman”

  1. Sandy Talley says:

    Paradise Found! Your sunset and nature photos are calendar ready Chad…very professional and inspirational. I’ll take one for sure!

    Your last photo says it all. The Ultimate Motivator……Love.

    Thanks for sharing,

    Sandy Talley

  2. Deirdre Seymour says:

    Hi Chand and Rhonda,
    I am from Grand Cayman and stumbled across your webpage. Your story about your visit to one of our Islands is awesome and your pictures are breathtaking. I am very pleased that you had a wonderful stay and hope you come back. You have been able to see some of the wildlife that I haven’t seen even though I am a ‘born & bred Caymanian’ and I am jealous! Thank you for sharing your pictures and your story about our wonderful Caribbean Island, Grand Cayman.
    Regards, Deirdre Seymour

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