August 2010

From no activity in the Atlantic to three systems in just a few days.  “Heating up” is probably an understatement.

Here is a picture that says it all.

Danielle & Earl seem to be heading north; people in Bermuda and the east coast of the USA will need to watch these.  That 3rd system on the right may have a lower trajectory.   Still too early to tell though as it is still on the African coast and  5 days or so away from the Caribbean or the USA.  So far all the systems have been curving north and out to sea.  Lets hope that continues.

What a gorgeous week-end to be in and about the water!

Water is around 85 degrees and with enough sunscreen, one can stay in for very long and never get cold.

This Sunday we went for a trip to the North side of the island for some snorkeling on a secluded beach. Here is the sight when you get there.   Now that’s a great sight!

Here is a view from about 50-70ft out in the water towards the beach.

Right about where I took the above picture from are the “underwater vents” that I discussed in a previous post.  If you missed it, scroll down to the bottom of this page and click on “Next page” and go two pages back.  In my previous post I had mentioned that they were hot water vents.  They are actually cold water vents.  Who cares anyway? 🙂  In any case, there are multiple vents that spew yellow-ish cold water into the ocean.  It smells of sulfur and the water is all distorted around that area.  Quite a strange phenomenon. I don’t have an underwater camera (I should though!) but even from above you can see the yellow color that’s coming from the ocean bed. There are better underwater pictures in my previous post.

I also had brought with my gloves, net and Lionfish license. (need a license to catch/kill them) I only saw one and managed to catch it in under 10 seconds.  With the net and a stick, you have to gently herd it so that it swims into the net.   Upon death, I fed it to some anemones.  It was an amazing sight.  The anemones loved their free lunch and wrapped around it and had no intention of letting go. For those who are not aware why I am doing this, Lionfish are a beautiful yet invasive species (they belong in the Pacific) who have been in Cayman for a bit more than two years now. In some islands such as the Bahamas they have essentially taken over the reefs since they are voracious eaters and have no predators in these waters.  So for now (until a local fish decides to step in) there are a few hundred individuals (including yours truly) who are allowed to catch and remove these fish from the water.  The reason that not everyone is allowed is that there is a technique to catch them. If not done properly, Lionfish can sting and apparently its very painful, although not lethal.

The one i caught was a +-4 inch juvenile.

That’s all for now!  No storms on the horizon.  There is one system brewing in the Atlantic, but not heading this way. Peak of hurricane season is Sept 10th, so close to being over.

Some news from the island!

First, an email that made me laugh! Two of my dive buddies went night diving last week and had the unpleasant experience of getting stung by jellyfish.  This is quite rare, but like any place in the tropics, do get some jellyfish from time to time.  When night diving, its obviously very difficult if not impossible to see them.  Here is a copy of the email I received describing the ordeal (I have changed the names to protect the innocent) 🙂


There were four of us night diving last week just out in front of the condo where I live. My friend Mike got stung on the way out during the surface swim and we all bugged him because of how much he was complaining about the pain. He did about half the dive and then had to go back. On the surface swim back in I also got stung. I continued to mock him about the pain though and he said, “Just wait 15 minutes and you’ll find out what it really feels like”. Once on shore Mike was running to get his gear inside and then he sped off to the hospital. I didn’t go with him and tried to use hot compresses in the apartment to ease the pain but it only helped a little. The pain began to shoot from my leg up my side, across my chest and down the other side. My chest felt like it was being constricted and I was in a lot of pain. I grabbed my keys and ID and headed to the hospital behind Mike. Half way there he called me and made sure I was on my way because some other people were also in the emergency room for the same reason. By the time I got there the pain was quite blinding but of course they had me sit and wait in the waiting room…well it wasn’t even about 5 minutes later that I broke out in a sweat and started to shake uncontrollably that they decided to whisk me in. I remember a little kid in the waiting room saying, “Look mommy that man is starting to shake”.

Once with the doctor I asked if she could hurry up and give me some drugs that would be great because it felt like my balls were in a vice!  She cheekily replied, “Whoa, too much information!” Mike was beside me laughing because he did not break into a sweat or start shaking…revenge for me laughing earlier I guess. But the last joke was on him because since he was better off he had to keep on replacing the hot vinegar and water soaked towels on my leg as they cooled off, hahaha, my own little nurse.

Eventually they put an IV in me (Mike just got a shot in the ass) and gave me some great drugs. The shaking and sweating stopped almost immediately, thankfully. We were eventually sent home with some drugs in our pockets and prescriptions in our hands.  I had to have someone else drive my car back because I could barely walk. The other people in the emergency however had to stay over night…apparently they were much worse. Of course I couldn’t suffer with only Mike at my side so I called Marie and she took great care of me.

You know all those stories about people peeing on each other to ease the pain…you seriously consider it once the pain really starts. My friend Bill (who was here visiting) offered…I told him quite matter-of-factly to “censored“!

Just another story from Grand Cayman I guess…


Next up since we are on the topic of critters. Spotted this guy in the garage! 🙁  Lets hope he does not make it into the house.  He was too fast and I was not able to catch it.  Was a good 2.5-3 inches from side to side.

Lastly, some nice stuff!

The diving at Macabuca. Thats how us locals call it.  Most people know this as the turtle farm ; in fact just in front on the turtle farm in the district of West Bay.  There is an great dive site.  It has a protected cove to get in the water and then a nice 100 or so meter swim out to the “mini-wall” ; essentially a large coral formation with some drop offs, overhangs and other great things to see.  There are many large Tarpon’s that hang out here as well as many parrot fish and blue tangs!  Not sure if its a coincidence due to the proximity to the turtle farm, but I have often seen turtles at this dive site.

If you are looking for a really great shore dive or snorkel (only when ocean is really calm though since its a good swim out), its an awesome place.  Plus there is a bar & restaurant onsite for once you are done.

A home I featured at lease twice on this blog is for sale!

Whats the big deal?  Well, its the biggest house on island and for sale for a cool 60M$US.

However, this place is spectacular. 48,000sq ft of floor space & 14 bathrooms.

Here is the realtor listing:

Here are some more amazing pictures:

If you buy it, please have me over for drinks! 🙂

Since I travel a lot, I have taken an interest in civil aviation.  It turns out that Grand Cayman (GCM is the airport code for airline buffs …) is a pretty good place to do some plane spotting.

The runway at our airport is very short by international standards ; its only 7000ft.  Normal runways are 10,000ft. If you have ever flown into Cayman, you will notice that the pilots “slam” on the brakes as soon as you touch down since at the end of the runway is the ocean! Its part of the Cayman experience when you visit our lovely island.

Also, the airport is right in town, so very convenient. If I fly out on the AA 1250 PM flight, I can have a decent morning of work at the office and leave at around 11:15 and be there at 11:20. Very practical.  I know some people that when they are expecting guests, they just check for the plane out of their office window approximately at the time it should arrive and once they see it on approach they hop in their car and go pick them up.

The runway is also very close to the road.  Here is a picture of an AA 737 aircraft leaving for Miami. This picture was taken along Crew road.

The rich guys also like our airport ; cant really blame them.  Here is a lovely Dassault Falcon 2000 that is registered to a Canadian petroleum firm.

This lovely Gulfstream-V is owned a by a corporation that is owned by Internet billionaire Mark Cuban. He apparently has a place in Grand Cayman. I like this guys style and choice of jet.

Now off to sunset house. An amazing place to go for a shore dive. The water is blue and inviting. But keeping with the theme of this post … see next picture.

Sunset is right on the approach to the airport. Great place to do some spotting while enjoying a fish & chips and a beer and why not a shore dive also 🙂

Last word .. that tropical system (see last post) just fizzed away and we had a  brilliant week-end.

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