Sunday, April 27, 2014

From Cayman

The overnight sail to the Cayman Islands was rough. The seas were confused, but the fair winds made for a relatively quick sail. We arrived safely on April tenth. Upon our arrival we tied up to a mooring ball and Jimi contacted the authorities via radio. He was instructed to report to the customs and immigration office to check in. The seas were still in a bit of turmoil and he had a hard time docking to dinghy. He finally decided to beach it. When he did, he landed in front of several elderly women on vacation at a private resort. At first they seemed skeptical of his intentions, but after a few minutes of conversation he had them eating out of his hand and watching the dinghy while he took care of business. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that checking into the country is free. Jimi was told he would need to turn in his spear guns. Guns of any sort are prohibited on the island. The next day we gathered up the guns and walked through the tourists to customs. Along the way, we were stopped by some officials who questioned us. We explained our circumstances and they let us continue. Later we learned that had the police seen us, we may have won a free nights stay in the Cayman hotel known as jail.

 After clearing immigration and customs, the first item on our agenda was to find a couple of hamburgers as large as our heads. We had been lacking in the beef consumption department. We found a nice little restaurant and ordered two hamburgers and two beers. The total of our bill was fifty U.S. dollars. That meal shoved us back into the real world with a taste of Cayman prices.

The area is beautiful and caters to the vast number of cruise ships full of tourists arriving and leaving  daily. More tourists are packed in the seemingly never ending row of hotels and resorts that line the beaches. There are cruisers  here, but not as many as we’ve seen in Florida or the Bahamas. It’s an extreme change in scenery for us, from one extreme of a secluded island time way of living to the hustle bustle of horns honking and people buzzing.
Jimi took this photo is S/V Jingle motoring next to a cruise ship.

Jimi took this photo from the top of the mast of Lorie relaxing on her new raft.

The water is beautiful, just as breathtaking as we’ve seen in other parts of the Caribbean; the rich deep cyans and royal blues. Sanibel is moored in forty-five foot depth and we can see clear to the bottom with detail of fish swimming and chasing one another. Jimi jokes that he can even see an enlarged medulla oblongata on the brain coral beneath Sanibel. Every evening after the sun has gone to sleep three needle fish swim at the surface next to Sanibel’s cockpit. We’re not sure what they want, but we talk to them and ogle at their presence. We’ve even tried throwing them a few crackers and fatty bits of meat, but they don’t seem interested.

We've visited several snorkel spots.  The Kittywake wreck is a large ship, 250 feet in length, from WWII sitting in sixty-two feet of water. She is now a reef for hundreds of fish and other sea life. We enjoyed snorkeling the wreck and playing with the fish. When we feed them stale soda crackers, they swarm around us in a feeding frenzy eating up the  food as fast as they can. We've also snorkeled other natural reefs and have found so many new and interesting things. Jimi has been taking underwater video, which he will soon edit and publish for all to see.

As comes with the territory of finding civilization, we've done laundry, reprovisioned and purchased supplies at the hardware store. The best purchase we've made (or the best deal we've found, I should say) is a wet suit for Lorie. We found it at the Humane Society Thrift store for twelve Cayman Island dollars, which is about fifteen U.S. dollars. Already she’s gotten plenty of use out of it and now won’t have any problem worrying about being cold in the water for long periods of time.

We met up with our sailing buddies, Eric and Sandrine on S/V Jingle, on March first and are still together. They are moored close to us. We continue to get together for dinners, drinks and cards. Our newest game has been Mexican Train, a domino's game.

The weather has been good. We've had a few rainy days, but those are nice on occasion, as it washes the salt water off our deck. The wind doesn't blow enough to allow the wind generator to produce power and about fifty percent of our daylight hours are somewhat cloudy, so keeping the batteries charged has been challenging.
At times we can pick up internet from shore on Sanibel, but it’s not consistent. It’s a treat to have the luxury of contact with you in our home. Otherwise, Burger King is just on shore for our mooring site. They offer free internet, so on occasion we pack up our laptops and go to Burger King. We usually order a couple of coffees, French fries or an ice cream sundae.

We've exhausted our entertainment in this area of Grand Cayman. Today we are moving to another area of Grand Cayman. We understand there are many nice things to see there also.