August 2009

Last week I had the opportunity to use a jetski (waverunner)  I had never tried one and was definitely curious about them.
Well, let me tell you, its a whole lot of fun!  Along with three work colleagues, we did a “snorkel jetski safari”. Its basically riding around on a jetski and stopping at various places to snorkel.

The activity started out at the Westin hotel (pretty much right in the middle of Seven Mile Beach). Initially we went all the way to West Bay and stopped for about 25 minutes of snorkeling.  Then we rode all the way to George Town, and stopped at the “Cheeseburger Reef” near town for some more snorkeling.  Then rode back to the Westin.  All-in-all, about 1h30 minutes of fun.

Here I am on my ride ; a quality Bombardier product made in Valcourt, Quebec!


The jetski’s all tied up while we snorkel a few hundred meters from shore.


Snorkeling at Cheeseburger reef. Its called like that because its straight off shore from the downtown Burger King!   Patrick H. : Notice the new swimsuit! 😉


Plenty of friendly fish.  Many people snorkel here, so they are not afraid of humans and hope for a handout.


Here is a little video I made while we sped back to the Westin.  Considering there was a good amount of surf, I am not sure that driving & filming at the same time was the most brilliant thing to do!

No, Ana and Bill are not some crazy members of our families or friends from Canada. Ana and Bill, the first named storms of the year have formed, sort of in tandem. Both are Tropical storms right now and could become hurricanes.

Early forecasts put both systems north of Grand Cayman, but that can change in a hurry!

Below is their current position. This is definitely the first time I have seen two storms following each other like this.


Since I had been procrastinating with the hurricane supplies, last night I did some shopping ; some canned goods, pretzels, water bottles & the likes.   Got  some beer too! 🙂 Also filled up the car with gas.  If any of the two systems gets closer to us, then the gas stations will be clogged with people trying to get gas. For regular readers of this blog … no Vienna sausages this time around 😉

If there are any significant developments in the next few days I’ll be posting here.

A new building near where I work is almost completed. A local law firm has erected what I think is the most original building on island.  The look is debatable, but I think it looks good ; very modern.

The center part of the building will be an atrium that will provide almost all offices with natural light. On the roof, apparently there are solar panels that will provide hot water to the building.  Also, note the windows ; they are small for two reasons.  1. Hurricanes. 2. Less blazing heat from the sun.


Here you can see that it has been “built up” from the street level and standing on concrete pillars.  The building starts at 18ft above sea level.  It may not seem like much, but for storm surge, which is one of the biggest risks in George Town, it should be plenty.


The building has been designed to withstand a category 5 hurricane ; the worst it can get!

One thing I noted before the building was painted white. On top of the concrete, a 2-3 inch think Styrofoam “paneling” was put over the entire building.  Once the styrofoam on, then some sort of concrete paint was put on top.  For insulation from the heat, this is apparently very efficient.


One final note. I saw this tree close to where we live ; wow!  So much orange.   No idea what it is though. Anyone out there know?