On Saturday, I swam in the 17th annual Flowers sea swim (Flowers is a local company!) The swim is 1 mile (1.6km) and goes along Seven Mile beach from the Royal Palms (not too far from the Marriott Beach Resort) for those not too familiar) then north to the Ritz. The path can be seen below.
Here we are “getting ready” for the race and showing our race identification ! I am with my very good friend Marie (from the UK) and her friend Catherine (from Australia)
Over 730 people participated in this years event. These pictures should give you an idea how popular an event it is. There were even four Olympic medalists who took part in the race. Needless to say I did not finish before any of them.
Here people are getting in the water and lining up for the start of the swim.
… and we are off! I don’t think I am in this picture. In any case, I had a different strategy. I was at least 200ft offshore. I was pretty much alone the whole swim and did not get kicked by anyone. I think it was a smart move as many people stayed close to shore and had to constantly deal with other swimmers.
Here I am, 49 minutes later! Not too bad for a guy that did 0 practice runs and who did the breast stroke 100% of the time! I came in 562nd out of the 730 contestants. There was a 75 minute limit, so I came in with plenty of time to spare. The winner did it in just under 20 minutes; quite impressive.
We were then rewarded with sandwiches, pizza, water bottles & Gatorade.
In closing, let me tell you that 1-mile is a very long distance to swim!
If you want to participate in next years race, it will be held on June 19th, 2010. It is open to everyone, you dont need to live in Cayman to participate. Cost is 30$US and you must register on the Web before. More information can be found at : http://www.flowersseaswim.com/
Today I went scuba diving with two good friends of mine and some of their friends (was great to meet you all!) on the “North Wall” of Grand Cayman.
The wall is that there is a “dropoff” and you basically swim along the wall. The drop off is 4000+ ft deep. Imagine swimming over the edge of the Grand Canyon; probably the best comparison. You are basically swimming above an abyss ; its quite a strange feeling. So much water below; I guess its the closest feeling to flying one can get! Very nice.
The dive was spectacular ; turtles, eagle rays, lobster, moray eel, barracuda and all kinds of other stuff.
One of the three eagle rays. Quite big, very impressive sight. A definite highlight of the dive.
A very friendly sea turtle. It swam near the group for quite a few minutes.
A quite large barracuda. Very sharp teeth … they generally do not harm humans though.
Some interesting coral formations.
Lots of fish
Here are also some YouTube videos of the event. In the first one, we went down a cave. At the end of the cave, we are at the wall. Below is the 4000ft drop. The second one are the Eagle rays. (sorry about the beep sound in that one …)
There is a large mass of clouds near central america that has been “flagged” by the National hurricane center in Miami. As of right now, its officially … nothing, but needs to be watched. At the very least, this should bring us very heavy rains in the next few days. Weather Underground forecasts heavy thundershowers on Tuesday for Grand Cayman
We had a good amount of showers to this afternoon! I was supposed to head out for a stroll on Seven Mile beach and also meet a lovely couple who read my blog and who contacted me since they are on island (sorry … are you still here next week-end?) but decided to stay home.
I made sure my umbrella is in my truck ; looks like its gonna be wet!
Long time no post! Some of you even sent me emails asking why I had not posted ina while. Thanks for worring about me. 🙂
Hurricane season is also back unfortunately. June 1 – November 30 for those of you who are not familiar with this period of the year. Interestingly, the “statistical peak” of the hurricane season is around september 10th. Makes sence ; we had Ivan (2004) on Sept 11th, Dean late august (2007), Gustav late august (2008), etc.
Those that want to follow the hurricane closely, I highly recommend the following websites. Once a hurricane is forecasted to come near/close to Cayman, these sites are the ones I see on the computer screens of all my co-workers when I walk down the corridor.
Absolutely nothing on the horizon right now; lets hope it stays that way.
The “gurus” of Colorado State University predict 11 named storms (Basically Tropical storms or stronger) , of which 5 will reach hurricane strength and 2 of them to be Category 3 of more (AKA : “Major Hurricane”). They predict an “average” hurricane season, whatever that means. Lets see how it goes ; most of the time forecasters have trouble giving us accurate weather for the next day, let alone a 6-month period.