February 2014


I have often mentioned Spotts Beach in past posts. ¬†So here it is again ūüôā

This time however, I brought an underwater camera.  I am really glad I had it with me, since I was in for a treat ; one that I hope you will also enjoy with the pictures below.

So here is this awesome (hidden) gem of Grand Cayman ; Spotts Beach. Not as majestic as Seven Mile Beach, but quiet and full of marine life as you will see.

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So in the water I went, armed with that underwater camera.

It was not long before I started to spot a bunch of turtles. On this day I saw 6 different ones during my +-45 minute snorkel.  Note that water is never much deeper than 10ft (and sometimes less than 5) in this reef protected bay.

Here is what I assume a cute couple.

 

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I managed to get some close up shots with this fellow.  S/he was not at all concerned by my presence. Note that for both of these shots I had to swim to the bottom to get level since it was having a sea grass lunch at the bottom.

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Going up to the surface for a breath of air.  Note this one has a cleaner fish following it. You can see the tail of the cleaner fish at the bottom sticking out.

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I also took a video of this one ; here you can also see the cleaner fish very well.

Here I managed to do a bit of an “artsy” picture with both myself and the turtle in the picture. ¬†Not bad ūüôā

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Here is a selfie!  Also came out well.  These underwater cameras sure are a lot of fun!

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This large Barracuda showed up all of a sudden very close to me. The picture is misleading, but it must have been 2.5-3ft long. ¬†They are very “stealth” and indeed are known for showing up all of a sudden and are also quite curious.

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Since this was already an awesome dive on a fabulous Cayman day, a stingray swam by me.  Of course, this is not Stingray City, so no touching!

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Some brain coral with a few yellow fish

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A lovely view from underwater and the sea grass.   The sea grass is what attracts all the turtles to this area.

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And finally a view of Spotts Beach from a few hundred feet out.

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That’s it! ¬†I hope you enjoyed these pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them.

As my longtime readers will know, January is time for my annual visit to Los Angeles.

This year the list of things done is quite exceptional, so here we go.

First: A hockey game. ¬†But not any game. ¬†There was an outdoor game at Dodger stadium, part of the NHL’s “Stadium series games”. ¬†It was nice and warn in LA, so was not sure how they would pull it off ; but they did.

Here is the ice rink in the middle of Dodger Stadium.

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A better perspective with the upper deck seats.

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Of course this being LA, saw some celebs. ¬†Here is the creepy guy from “Desperate Housewives”

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Wayne Gretzky & wife Janet.

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Here is a funny one with Cuba Gooding Jr. The girl is a friend of my buddy who I went to the game with. I essentially “Crashed” her once in a lifetime picture with her favorite actor. ¬†haha

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So that is it for the hockey game!  It was a lot of fun.  Of course very different from any hockey game I had ever seen before. Total attendance was over 55,000 people. It was a sold out event.

That made the Los Angeles Lakes basketball game not as amazing.  It was certainly fun and entertaining, but not as awesome as an outdoor hockey game.

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Next up … I had to go see Endeavor! The space shuttle was moved here in 2012. ¬†What was amazing is how big it is. I did not realize how huge the shuttles are. Since I see a lot of planes with my travel, I estimate that the fuselage size is similar to a Boeing 747 in width & height. (shorter though) ¬†I any case, I was awe struck by its size. ¬†Very impressive and worth the visit. Endeavor is located at the “California Science Center” that is close to downtown Los Angeles. What was amazing is that entry is free! ¬†In fact it is donation based, so a few dollars is more accurate. ¬†ūüôā

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Here is the actual “transfer” document. ¬†Note the estimated price tag ; almost 2-Billion dollars.

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So those were some of my evenings in LA.  Lots to do as you can see.

On my one full day off I did a road trip. ¬† Nothing super spectacular, just a long and nice drive. Starting and finishing in Los Angeles, I headed out early Sunday AM, ¬†north towards Bakersfield. Then across all the way to Barstow and then back to LA. ¬†Just under 400 miles of lovely roads and some cool stops along the way, like a visit of the Borax mine in Boron and some other sites. ¬†For US travel geeks, note the deviation between Barstow & Victorville on the right hand side of the map. ¬† I took a secondary road for this part. ¬†That secondary road is part of the old “Route 66”. ¬†Route 66 is one of the original US highways and linked Chicago to Los Angeles. ¬†Route 66 no longer exists (at least not formally)

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Of course, having this brand new rental (a 2014 BMW 335) helped a bit with the driving enjoyment ūüôā

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That’s it! ¬†Now I realize why I was tired when I left Los Angeles. ¬†It’s certainly not my favorite place, but it certainly is a place where there are plenty of things to see and do.