Hurricane season is over in just a few hours! YAY. For the 3rd summer in a row, we have had zero hurricanes or even a close call. For those that even remember, the last one that came close to Grand Cayman was Paloma which went on to strike Cayman Brac in 2008.
In the fall and during winter … there are (usually) no hurricanes but we do get the occasional Nor’wester. Essentially a storm system that comes from the North West (but you had probably figured that out already)
Today and yesterday we got the taste of our first one of the season. The place that is most affected by these systems are George Town and Seven Mile Beach
Those that snorkel at Eden Rock with recognize this place. No snorkeling going on today.
Some additionnal shots:
I actually took this picture of the tarpons swimming around just over 24h before the above pictures. I was standing just to the right of the stairs that are used to go into the ocean. (see 1st picture above) Amazing what difference a day can make.
Meanwhile … on the southern part of the island:
The ocean was amazingly calm. Virtually no wave action at all. Here you can see that all the Seven-Mile beach and George Town dive operators have taken their boats out of harms way.
As per my last post, James Murray was scheduled to run 100 miles starting Saturday morning and ending sometime on Sunday. I am pleased to report that he completed the run! There was also a second runner, Gerry, who also completed the 100 mile trek about 1h later (it took them 31 and 32h respectively to complete).
I had the honor to spend +-15 km with them Sunday at 6am until around 10am.
Here is a picture taken just west of “east end” along Lover’s wall. It was around 6:30-7am. Nice and cool with the cloud cover. James is the guy with the cap. The others, just like myself, were along as “support team”. There was a support van (and sometime someone with their SUV when the van had to go to the other runner for supplies) “shielding” us from other cars. A very well organized event. There was also a BBM (Blackberry) group where we were getting up to the minute updates as to where he was ; in essence, I knew exactly where he was when I headed out on Sunday morning.
Later on, near Bodden Town, a few more runners joined the effort. The camaraderie between James and with all the other runners is the real story for me. I had such a good time; meeting other runners, supporting James for the worthy cause (raising $ for diabetes) and of course keeping the BBM chat doing was a blast. The last 20 miles or so there was walking, running and some breaks. I am sure 99% of people would have quit. This guy’s determination was remarkable even though you could tell he was dead tired after being on the road for over 24h not to mention he did not smell very good. haha! When people in cars would honk with encouragement, he always gave the thumbs up and would even chit-chat with us which is impressive considering many people I know wont even chat with you during a casual 5km run.
Here is the grand finale at Camana Bay ; exactly where it all started the day before. From the 2-3 runners with him in the morning, more than 20 people were with him at the end. Simply awesome. It kind of reminds me of the scene in the movie Forrest Gump where where he is running across the country and everyone is following him 🙂
If you want to read more about the whole event, here is a link to a newspaper article that ran in today’s local newspaper.
This weekend, a guy I know (friend of many friends …) is doing a crazy thing in Grand Cayman ; let me tell you, this one seriously crazy idea. He is running 100 miles (+-16o km ) starting Saturday morning and will likely finish sometime around 6am Sunday (almost 24 of running!!!) Why would anyone ever do such a nutty thing? Being a (novice) runner myself, I know how tough it is to run just 10km, so add 150km to that (100 miles is roughly 4 consecutive marathons), add the Cayman sun/humidity and you have one heck of a challenge.
So, why? its to raise money and awareness for the Cayman Islands Diabetes Association. (C.I.D.A). Awesome idea.
Here is the route, mile by mile. A much bigger picture can be seen on his website:
The neat thing is that anyone can run the first 5km with him(sorta) on Saturday AM. How : Saturday AM, in another fund raiser, there is the annual C.I.D.A 5km walk/run. James Murray – the 100 mile man – will start off on that 5km run and of course continue on for another 155km while the rest of us head for the beach. I will be there running it ; only one week to go before the Cayman Islands marathon.
So if you are on island are driving around this Saturday, look out for a slow moving van driven by a redhead (Hi Lauren!) and a guy running in front of it with an orange bandana on his head.
If you would like to donate to this very worthy cause (or just for the fact that a guy is running 100 miles in one session which on its own is pretty hard core …) you can do so here.
I recently had the privilege of spending a few days on the lovely island of Barbados.
I found the island to be somewhat similar to Cayman in terms of development and friendly people, it is however a much bigger island and also much further from Miami (a 3.5h flight) that I expected. Although I did not have a lot of time, I did get some time at the beach and to see a few local attractions.
First up, the beach near my hotel. Very nice.
This was my favorite part on the beach. Starting just a few hundred feet from my hotel, there was a boardwalk that was +-1/2mile long. Awesome for an early morning jog. Actually, at 6am this boardwalk was already full of walkers and runners enjoying the scenery. I cant blame them.
View from the restaurant where I had lunch with some work colleagues. Great view.
Did you know that the first rum ever produced (invented?) was from Barbados? I certainly did not. Well, it turns out that the Mount Gay Rum company, which produces its rum entirely in Barbados started production in 1703. We got a nice visit of the facilities one evening as organized by our local office. Very nice.
Of course, we got to taste the various types of rum ; the main difference of the different types are the age/color. When tasting them back to back you can really tell the difference. That was some strong stuff 🙂
Finally, an evening at Bert’s sports bar. This place is owned by Eugene Melnyk, a Canadian expat who is also the owner of the Ottawa Senators hockey team. There are TV’s all over the place to see the hockey games. I was lucky enough to go on an evening where my home team, the Montreal Canadians were playing ; it was definitely “Hockey Night in Barbados” with nachos, pizza and local beer! Awesome