4 Jan 2008

The weather was still very overcast and windy, so there were no boat trips. Linda went for a walk on the beach. The water in front of the condo looked pretty calm in spite of the wind.

After some hang time at the condo, we drove south to Smith Cove to check out the water. It was rougher there that at the condo, so we headed back. After a quick lunch of leftovers, we headed to the water.

Near the beach, the water felt cold and was a little murky. Once we got out to the rocky bottom, the water was warmer. The visibility also got much better away from shore.  It was about 30-40 feet in spite of the rough weather.

Once we were about 300-400 yards off shore, we saw came to a reef of coral heads. We saw hundreds of blue tangs and many of the same fish we saw on Cemetery Reef. Linda found a sting ray that we followed for several minutes.

After an hour, Derek and Richard headed in while Linda and Teagan remained. The swim back against the strong wind was more difficult than the swim out. Teagan and Linda remained another 30 minutes before coming back. They found a lobster on the way in hiding under a rock.

Linda went for another walk on the beach and found some shells. After she returned, we ate leftovers for supper and headed to Burger King for dessert. After we got back, we played a game of Qwirkle.

3 Jan 2008

A cold front moved in yesterday and brought a heavy overcast and high winds in the 25-35 mph range. That wiped out all the snorkel boat trips. We went to the beach to check things out.  One of the condo workers, Patrick, had some coconuts that he was cutting open for the guests.  We got some fresh coconut from him and brought it back to the condo.  Afterward, we drove to the Safehaven harbor to look at the boats just so we would know how to get there.

After that, we drove to the north end of the island to look at the breakers hitting the rocks. There was a lot of splash from the waves at the turtle farm area. After some more exploring, we stopped for lunch at Alfresco Restaurant. Derek had lasagna, Teagan and Richard had Jerk Chicken sandwiches, and Linda had fish and chips. The restaurant had a very small interior. Usually, their business is serving customers in the open deck as the name suggests. However, with the weather, we ate inside. The food was very good.

After lunch, we hit the IGA grocery for dessert, and then headed back to the condo. Linda and Derek stayed at the condo while Teagan and Richard went to George Town to shop. T&R bought a few things (iguana figurine, shipwreck coins, christmas ornament, drink hugger) and headed back to the condo.

Once back to the condo, Richard cooked chicken and rice. After supper, we played a few games of Presidents, then a round of Yatzee.

2 Jan 2008

After breakfast we went to Cemetery Reef to snorkel.  We saw elkhorn coral, and lots of pretty fish.  There was a strong wind away from shore and incredible visibility. We took lots of pictures.  Then we headed back to the condo for lunch.  Teagan and Richard went to Botanical Gardens while Derek and Linda stayed at the condo.  Derek slept most of the time and Linda walked around on the beach.

At Botanical Gardens Richard and Teagan went on a Nature Walk.  It had all the native plants. We saw a few ponds and iguanas. There were places where you could see dead coral.  It looked like the whole place was just dead coral covered in dirt.  It was almost as if you could pick any place in Botanical Gardens and dig down in the dirt and you would come to dead coral. The Nature Walk was ok.  After that we went to the Color Garden. This was spectacular and was much more fun to look at than everything on the Nature Walk.  There were many flowers and many plants with unusual color patterns.  There was a small waterfall that we both took pictures of. We took a lot of pictures in the color garden.  After that we went to the Heritage Garden. It had an old Cayman house and gave you an idea of what a Cayman house would look like about 100 years ago.  There was a chicken coop there and a kitchen separate from the house.  There was also a medicine garden where they would grow plants and use them for medicine.  We looked around in the gift shop and headed back to the condo.

When we got back to the condo we had supper.  We played a family game of heats and Linda won. Derek was in last place by quite a wide margin I must add. Then we just hung out at the condo.

1 Jan 2008

We awoke early in the morning and prepared to go SCUBA diving. We traveled to the Eden Rock dive shop and rented four tanks and various weights and three weight belts. We put on our SCUBA gear and headed towards the water. After we had all gotten in, we tested our masks. Teagan’s mask was leaking, and so some time was spent trying to amend the problem. Linda tried to get Teagan comfortable underwater a few times, but to no avail. After forty-five minutes had elapsed, Richard and Teagan headed for shore while Linda and Derek continued. After spending roughly forty-five more minutes in the water, and after seeing an abundance of fish, coral, and other various aquatic life, Linda and Derek came back to shore.

After peeling off various layers of dive clothing, the family headed next door to Paradise Bar and Grill for lunch. Teagan ordered a turtle burger, so Derek and Teagan both tried turtle meat. Richard went back to the car to get the camera, and, in doing so, remembered that he had forgotten to pay the dive shop. He promptly did so. A rooster was picking around inside of the restaurant, which was little more then a veranda over the sea. The food was good, however, as were the various smoothies that were tried.

After lunch, the family went shopping in downtown George Town. We visited several shops, but bought fairly little. Teagan purchased a shirt and Derek purchased a thimble. Linda wanted ice cream, but most of the food shops were closed, and the open ice cream shop was overly busy. We returned to the car and drove to a nearby dive shop, Diver’s Supply, to see about getting Teagan’s mask fixed. Derek’s BCD also had a leaky dump valve, so we brought that as well. Teagan decided that she would rather have a new mask, as she did not think that her old mask would be of any good any more. Derek’s BCD dump valve had pieces of dead coral inside of it, so that was cleaned out. There was another leak, however, in the liner of the right shoulder. This leak was not fixable, but it was not a major problem. After the dive shop, we stopped at Burger King to satisfy Linda’s ice cream urge. She and Derek got ice cream cones while Teagan got a slice of cappuccino pie. We then returned to the condo.

We ate supper at the condo. We then went down to the beach for family pictures, and then Teagan and Richard built a sandcastle on the beach. The family then engaged in a family game of Quirkle. Teagan won the game by a slim margin over Derek and Linda. Richard was a bit further behind.  The family then drifted off to bed.