December 2010


A few posts ago a discussed the USS Kittiwake … a former US warship that will be sunk off Seven Mile beach to be an artificial reef for diving.  Awesome!

Well, this ship arrived in Cayman two days ago and will be sunk most likely (no official date yet) in the next week or so.  Of course, I am off island for this event :-(

So, if you are on island anytime between now and the next few days, check out www.kittiwakecayman.com and the local newspapers  so that you don’t miss the sinking. If you are flying in to Cayman, try to sit on the left side of the plane (usually seat A) and you should be able to get a good look on the final approach.

If you are able to see this and take pictures, PLEASE send some to me (I’m looking at you David Wolfe …) or the link to your blog/Website.

Here is what she looks live just off the coast of Grand Cayman

Photo: Norma Connolly, Caymanian Compass 29/12/2010

No,  I am not in Paris this week. However, I did see a crazy amount of … Christmas lights.

In previous years, I featured a place where there were many Christmas lights (see right hand side column – click on December 2008 and 2009).  Well, this year I found a place with even more lights.  The “other” place is however set out on a larger parcel of land.  This one is packed into 1/2 the space and could probably be spotted from an airplane at 35000ft ; I kid you not.

Here are some pics to demonstrate. The first one is the view from the street as you drive by.

Now walking around inside this carnival of lights.

And finally a video to let you grasp the full size of this place.

If you are visiting Cayman and want to see this place, it is located on South Church Street, right in front of the Sunset House.  If you are staying on Seven Mile Beach ->  Just drive towards town, pass town/harbor front and keep going +-1/2 mile … I think the expression “you cant miss it” is quite applicable here :)

Even with all those lights, its been somewhat cold here!  By Cayman standards anyway.

Not complaining of course, but it did hit a low that i have not seen in my time in Cayman : 19 degrees. Just enough to make me drive to work in the morning with the windows rolled up.  No heat turned on of course.

I was thrilled when driving towards town recently. I could see that this yacht was very close to shore and that I could get a good picture of it.

The Tatoosh is in Grand Cayman. This super-yacht is the 26th largest in the world at 301-ft long.  She is owned by Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen (he co-founded with Bill Gates)  Amazingly, this is the smaller of his two boats.

Notice the helicopter on the desk ; it gives you a better idea of the size.   Apparently there is a staff of 35 and it has 2 x 4000hp diesel engines. According to what I read, Allen paid +-100M$US for it in 2001.  The original owner was Craig McGaw, the US mobile phone pioneer.

Right where I took the pictures of the boat, there is a large condo complex.  The place is only 4-5 years old if I am not mistaken.   It is quite exposed to the ocean and got a bit of a beating during Dean in 2007. Anyway, from what I can see, the salt has been murder for the air conditioning units.  Ouch!  Not sure what the exact story is, but I am guessing that the original ones are the rusted ones and that the newer ones were recently installed to replace some rusted ones which were in disrepair.

Finally, some trivia. If you know the answer, post to the comments section and ill reply if you are correct.  These pictures were taken in Manhattan on my recent trip to NY.   If you dont follow the financial markets or the news, this will be very difficult.

1) What significant financial event of 2008/2009 originated from this 3rd avenue building? More specifically on the 17th floor.

2) Which prominent financial firm once owned this building (the one with the octagonal shape) on Madison avenue? At the time it was one of the only large NY financial firms not to be based in lower Manhattan near Wall St.