31 Dec 2007

We left the condo in the morning and went to the wreck of the Gamma. It is located just offshore in the north part of George Town. The wreck was only about 50 feet from the shore, so it was an easy swim to get to it. The visibility was not very good — maybe 20 feet. Most of the pictures have a lot of back scatter in them.

The wreck was partly above water, but there were openings where we could swim into the hull of the ship. The surf wasn’t bad, so we didn’t get thrown around much.

After the wreck, we went to Eden Rock. This is just south of where most of the cruise ships anchor. The dive shop there has a ladder going to the water for easy access. A swim directly away from shore leads to a reef that goes from about 10 feet to perhaps 35 feet deep. The visibility there was much better that at the Gamma. We could easily see the bottom. There was an abundance of fish life there that included tangs, trigger fish, grouper, and angel fish.

After Eden Rock, we headed south to find a picnic spot. We got to Smith’s Cove and ate lunch. We also walked along the rocky coast.

Then we headed north. We stopped at one of the Dive Tech spots at the north west corner of the island to look at the beach entrance for dives and snorkeling. Then we went to the community of Hell. We took a few pictures there and looked at the gift shops.

We continued exploring the north end of the island all the way to Conch Point. After that we headed back to the condo. Derek and Richard watched some of the Music City Bowl that pitted Derek’s current school against Richard’s alma mater. I won’t mention the outcome.

We ate spaghetti in the condo while watching the game. Afterward, we went to the beach briefly to watch for fireworks along the shore. There was not much wind, so the mosquitos were out. We stayed there about 30 minutes, and returned to the condo.

30 Dec 2007

We began the day by going to the turtle farm at Boatswain’s Beach at the northwest end of the island. This farm raises turtles for consumption and for release. There were about a thousand turtles occupying several tanks. The turtles were sorted by size. Several of the tanks allowed for touching the turtles.

After we toured the tanks, we stopped at a viewing window for a large aquarium. The tank was large enough to house several nurse sharks, blue sharks, jack crevalle, moray eels, and several other species. A staff member gave an interesting presentation about the tank’s inhabitants.

After that, we went to the aviary where we saw several local birds. Then we grabbed some lunch at the on-site restaurant.

After a visit to the gift shop, we changed into snorkeling gear and hit the artificial lagoon at the turtle farm where we swam with turtles and thousands of reef fish. This was a really fun experience.

We wrapped up the snorkeling and headed back to the condo to clean up. Linda and Richard went to a nearby dive shop for a few items. Then we all headed to the beach in front of the condo for some late afternoon snorkeling.

The water was very murky at the beach. Farther out, the visibility was better, but it was nothing like yesterday and the day before. Linda saw what she thinks was a leopard ray, but she only got a glimpse of the tail as it was swimming off.

We returned to the condo for supper, and a game of Qwirkle.

29 Dec 2007

Mom went to walk on the beach. Dad got Teagan up and made her an egg with bacon for breakfast. We went out to walk on the beach with Mom. We saw some very cool things in the tide pools. Derek was still asleep because he wouldn’t get up out of bed. We walked along to the north. Eventually, Mom said she would go back to the condo because she was hungry. Dad and I kept walking for a little while but not much further. Then we decide to go back. while we are walking back to the condo we see Mom walking toward us with a lobster in her hand. She caught a lobster in one of the tidal pools! She was holding it with her hat. We thought we might be able to eat it for super but we had to check the rules so we headed back to the condo to ask the lady in the office if we could keep it. On our way this lady passes us and stops and says Lady what do you plan to do with that lobster? She said that we were not allowed to keep it because we were in the Marine zone. I thought we should probably put it back but Mom was like I understand and just kept walking. when we got to the condo the lady in the office said that we werent allowed to keep it. we kept it in this bucket of water on the beach while Mom went up and tried to get Derek so he could see it. He finally came down and Mom and Derek released it into the water. This whole time people had been coming up to us looking at the lobster. These 2 ladies at the condo kept saying we should cook it for dinner even after we found out we couldn’t keep it.

After that we went snorkeling outside the condo. we saw some pretty cool stuff.

After that we went on a drive around the island. we stopped at sunset house to get information on a beach dive. We went to the south coast and stopped at a lighthouse at Breakers and took pictures there. Then up to botanical gardens, then up to Rum point. We got out at rum point and took pictures there and looked around. We headed back to the condo and stopped at a grocery store to get some food. We had supper at the condo.

28 Dec 2007

We left Nashville at 8:00 a.m. and arrived in Grand Cayman around 2:00 via Charlotte, NC.  After picking up a car at Andy’s, we checked in at The Anchorage and unpacked.

We went to Cemetery Reef about a half mile from the condo.  It was around 5:30 when we hit the water and there wasn’t much light, but we saw a lot of blue tangs, sergeant majors, blue parrot fish, black durgon, squirrel fish, banded butterfly fish, sea cucumbers, grouper, school master, urchins.

After cleaning up at the condo, we ate at Aqua Beach Restaurant and Bar.  Then we returned to the condo for games.