May 2008

Hope everyone reading this is doing well. Here in lovely Grand Cayman, all kinds of stuff happening!

First, this week was great for me professionally. I developed a presentation at work called “Your children and the Internet” ; its about the dangers kids face on the Internet. I gave the presentation twice in the office and at a local school to a group of about 60 parents.

Well, it made for good news. In fact I made the 1st page of the business section of one newspaper (Cayman Netnews) and also made the business section of the Caymanian Compass. Needless to say I am quite pleased. I am also very pleased that people are obviously concerned with their children’s Internet use : they should be!

Here are the links to the newspaper articles:–5-5—.html


In 2 days … June 1st, the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season officially starts 🙁

To prepare for an eventual hurricane, we have been working on new hurricane shutters for our house in the last few weeks. Its a long project, so we have been working on the the last 3-4 week-ends. This week-end, all of them should be ready to go if a hurricane comes to Cayman. Lets hope we dont need them!

Hurricane shutters come in 2 main types. The first type (and most expensive) are “metal curtains” that you simply pull across (or down for some models) the window. The second (and most popular type) are to simply put plywood panels. Thats the option we took. In any case, our landlady would probably not have been interested in spending 20,000$ or so for metal shutters.

So she supplied the plywood & other hardware, we supplied the labor. One of the best ways to install plywood shutters is to use “barrel bolts” (like those that are used for yard doors). You install them on the shutter and make a hole in the concrete to hold the shutter in place. We also painted them for durability and so that the house does not look like an abandoned house with non-painted plywood all around.

Here is the garage window before installation of the shutter.

Here I am making the hole in the concrete with the drill.

Here is the shutter installed. Since its already very hot here, we have installed about 1/2 of them to keep the sun out of the garage and rooms we use less frequently ; the house will be cooler during the steamy summer days. With all the holes pre-made for the remaining shutters, the rest of the shutters will take 30 minutes or so to install. Not a bad job would you say?

Summer is almost here (and hurricane season too unfortunately) and the heat is definitely back! After a nice and warm winter, the hot, humid and sweaty summer is back. Thank goodness for A/C. However, with the use of A/C, comes much bigger utility bills also. Oh well, nothings perfect!

Aipa for one does not seem bothered by the heat, which is quite amazing for a Husky. Here she is, in the blazing midday sun lying down in the driveway. I even called her to come inside and she did not move an inch. A few minutes later she slowly got up and came inside. Go figure!

Here is out window thermometer ; a lovely 34 degrees IN THE SHADE. In the sun its probably much more. Either you stay indoors or hit the beach with lots of water (or beer)

Finally, here is a place we love to go on week-ends. Its at the bitter east end of the island. Its always cool & breezy and a great place to pic-nick and read a book. BTW, no news about the Iguana deaths. So far there is a 12,000$ bounty, but no one has given the cops the information they need for an arrest. Hope they do find the person responsible.

Miles of deserted beaches … not much happening at this end of the island.

Those 4 cabanas and virtually always empty. There is rarely anyone else at this small beach, since its a 35-40 minute drive from Georgetown, so not many locals & tourist come all the way out here. The beach is not great for swimming (lots of algae) but simply a great place to relax, read or do nothing at all.

For any regular reader of this blog, you are certainly aware of my affection for animals ; dogs, birds, stingrays, chickens, etc. Todays’ post is different from the usually upbeat beach & good weather stuff.

Upon reading this mornings Caymanian Compass, the front page story ruined my whole day and then some!

It turns out that during the night of Saturday to Sunday, someone entered illegally the Queen Elizabeth II botanical park and killed 6 mature blue iguana’s. They also severely injured 3 others and 1 is missing for a total of 10 iguana’s.

During our numerous visits to the Botanical park, we have come to know the different ones and where they live since they are territorial animals. They are amazing creatures and we featured one of them in this blog a few months ago.

I truly hope that they catch those that did this. However, the fact remains that these are an endangered species and now about 1/3 of the population at the Botanical park have been savagely beaten or killed. It is estimated that only 400 are on the island and no where else on earth can you find these iguanas.

Here is the official website of the Cayman Blue Iguana’s. Beware in the press release, there are pictures of the dead Iguana’s.


Since last Sunday PM, a friend and work colleague from Montreal (formerly from the UK) is here to spend a week with us and go diving.

But before that, I took some pictures on my way back from BVI that I want to share. Here is the 1st one. Its the island of North Caicos in the Turks & Caicos Islands. The island that starts just under the wing is Providenciales where i have been a few times and where most people know it for its Club Med.

Upon my stop at the Miami airport for my connecting flight to Cayman, something on the board caught my eye. See the picture below:

Do you see it?

I saw it right away and was somewhat surprised : An American Airlines flight to Havana Cuba. I thought there was no such flights. Ill have to look into that. If anyone knows about this, drop me a line.

Back home, on Sunday morning, I saw this right in front of our house. Notice the very young chicks! I count four of them, Very cute 🙂

Now back to our visitor. Today, we went to the ever popular Stingray city. I was counting how many times I have been and am quite sure this is my 9th visit. To be honest, I don’t get bored of that place. Susan, for her first visit seemed to enjoy it thoroughly. Here she is getting ready to drive the boat 🙂

At stingray city there were very few boats today, so we had virtually all of the stingrays to ourselves. There were so many of them and they stayed with us for the whole 30 or so minutes we were with them. Here Susan is getting a hug from a rather large specimen!

After Stingray city, our friend Niko, the neighborhood dog, came over for a visit to the house. He did not smell very good, so I decided to give him a shower and use papaya (or something like that) scented shampoo. He’s a really good dog since he did not protest or try to run away.

Finally, before supper, we went for more snorkeling (and some reading) at Spotts beach which is a 5-minute drive from our house. At this place Susan & I saw 3 sea turtles, some flounders (the flat fish you get at the grocery …), 2 lobsters and a bunch of other fish.

Talk about a great day in gorgeous Grand Cayman!!!