Each summer, Silversides appear and inhabit caves and other aquatic type shelters in the Caribbean. ¬† So late Friday afternoon, with some work colleague, we snuck out early from work to go diving ūüôā

Here were are, all smiles, swimming out to the reef.  The first 400-500ft are not very scenic, so no point in wasting our precious air, so we paddle out.

Lots of caves to visit in the area of “Eden Rock”. ¬†Ocean has been calm, so great visibility. ¬†These caves are not for anyone claustrophobic though. ¬†Panicking in an underwater tunnel is probably not a very good situation.

Around Eden Rock, there are LOT of Tarpon.  Although they are large (anywhere between 3-4ft long) they are 100% harmless and quite friendly.  After-all, they see divers and snorkelers 365 days a year at this location.  Always a nice sight though.

Lots of colorful sights to see. No idea what these banana colored formations are.  Definitely pretty though.

Now for the real show : the Silversides! ¬†The reason it’s a show, is that there are 1000’s of them and they hang around in a school that moves in perfect harmony to protect from predators. ¬†It also makes for some spectacular pictures and videos. ¬†The two pictures below show the “formations” of Silversides that moves in perfect sync – really neat.

Of course video’s give you an even better idea of how neat this is, and how it is to be in an underwater cave. ūüôā

 


 

Lastly, on the swim back to shore, I got to see one of my favorite Cayman underwater sights Рa school of Blue Tang.  These guys always bring a massive smile to my face.  They just cruise around, doing their thing.  Not to mention they are lovely looking fish.

So there you have it! ¬†Another awesome diving experience in Cayman. I had seen the Silversides before, but did not have an underwater to document it. ūüôā ¬†If planning a trip to Cayman, they are around from sometime in June to end of July. ¬†We were likely on the last week-end of them being around so were lucky to find them.

Just a quick post about something exciting that happened today.

We had an unexpected, yet very exciting visitor : A barn owl!  I knew we had them here, but had never seen one.  This lovely bird stayed with us for about 1h.

At about 3/4 of the time s/he was sleeping quite nicely. Seemed very content.

Look at the talons on this bird. ¬†Probably doing a good job eating mice/rats in the area. ¬†Good to have this bird around ūüôā

At one point it woke up and realized we were looking. The bird looked right back at me.

Right before its graceful departure!

So that’s it! ¬†I was glued to the window the whole time taking pictures and marveling at this beautiful bird. ¬†I was maybe +-6ft away so it was a privilege to be able to observe from so close for an extended period of time. ūüôā

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I was recently on one of my annual (or Bi-annual) trips to the British Virgin Islands.  This time I was there on the week-end and chose to visit one of the other Virgin Islands : The island of Anegada. Contrary to most of the BVI which are essentially mountain pinnacles sticking out of the water, Anegada is like Cayman and almost perfectly flat.

Getting to Anegada from Tortola, the main island is either via ferry or small plane.  We opted for small plane since we were only there for a day and as such were able to maximize time exploring the island.

Clearly a very small place. ¬†Here is the airport “terminal”. ¬†No fences, guards or metal detectors to be seen!

The flight from Tortola is only 10 minutes. I was told that if asked nicely, the pilot will do a slight flight path modification to do a fly over Necker Island.  Necker Island is the island the belongs to British Billionaire Richard Branson. A lovely place.  Anyway, as you can see by the pic below, the pilot accepted to take the extra 2-minutes (seriously) and show us Necker!

Once on-site, the best way to get around is via scooter. ¬†For this trip i’m joined by one of my Quebecois friends who lives in the BVI.

Only a about three hundred people live on Anegada.  But, there are also a number of donkeys and cows.  I liked these the best Рthe young donkey was quite cute.

And of course the beach.   Since this was out of main tourist season, the beach was essentially deserted.  What a sight it was Рso lovely.  Water was warm and we had some cold beer.  Not bad.

On the other side of the island, there are some very low lying sand flats.  Here you can walk out many hundreds of feet out to the sea. Very neat experience being far from shore, yet being only in less than 2ft of water.

So there you have it – a quick trip to an island in the Caribbean many people have never heard of. ¬† I very much enjoyed my day. ¬†Its always nice to visit these “almost uninhabited” islands, not unlike Little Cayman.

Some more information about Anegada can be found here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anegada

One of the great pleasures about being in Cayman is to have guests over. I recently had the privilege of having my dad over for a week. ¬†Its obviously different from “back home” where we see our friends and family for a day or less most of the time. So when in Cayman, we get to spend lots of quality time with our loved ones and in a great place.

I also got to discover something new about my 77 year old dad: The man is a snorkeling manic!  He had only snorkeled once in his life before (in Cayman a few years back, but not in ideal conditions) This time we did it right and started with easy stuff and moved on to bigger and better snorkeling.  What a great time we had!

Here is a great shot of us in the very calm waters that week-end – we were really lucky as the conditions were close to perfection. Although he’s a good swimmer, I insisted he wear a life vest for which he did not put up much of a fuss ūüôā

We also got to see some lovely turtles at Spotts Beach

As well as all kinds of coral formations with plenty of fish!

Here is a short video of him snorkeling at Cemetery Beach – with all the fish around, its easy to see why he had such a good time.

What do to after all that exercise in the water? ¬†Head over to CayBrew for a cold beer of course ūüôā

We our course went to the beach, the Crystal caves, a Sunday brunch, the Submarine,etc. ¬†Essentially to many of the things residents don’t really do unless we have friends or family in town. Of course, each time i’m more than happy to do them all over again and again.

Many locals have been following the whole UK “Brexit” from the European Union with much interest. ¬†Its widely known that the Queen has waning influence in the island and that some local politicians are looking north, about 500 miles north for new opportunities in the wake of the UK’s historic departure from the EU!

So it was announced two days ago that a closer link to the US will be sought after – ideally joining NAFTA – the free trade deal between the US, Mexico & Canada. That deal is currently being renegotiated so the timing to get Cayman included in the deal was right. ¬†In fact, during one of US President Trump’s week-ends at his Florida estate, he came for a series of quick meetings with local officials to indicate his support in including the Cayman Islands in the Free trade agreement, stating that he loves our local Rum and Stingray City.

Here is the President with the local minister of foreign affairs, Bobby Conner.  Things are sure looking up for Cayman exports!

In future years, there is room for negotiation on Cayman getting a status not unlike the US Virgin Islands as a sort of “Quasi US state”. ¬†It makes sense, we already use the US$ so we already have a foot in the door so to say. ¬†That would also allow major chains such as McDonald’s, Walmart and Hooters to open stores in Cayman.

According to local reports, the second wave of the negotiations to become part of the USA will start on April 1st. 2018 – next April Fools day ūüôā

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