8 posts categorized "Diving"

03/22/2015

Welcome to Grand Cayman

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I come across a lot of articles, pictures and videos on the Cayman Islands, but very few capture the island like this short video. The beautiful island of Grand Cayman features Seven Mile Beach, Stingray City and Rum Point and all of them are featured in this very unique video. It begins by the airport and takes you on an exclusive tour of all that the island has to offer, accompanied by music.

It features the pristine Seven Mile Beach, the colorful waters of the Caribbean Sea and the gorgeous daily sunsets. Words don't really do the video justice, so I suggest clicking on the link and taking a look for yourself! Enjoy!

07/22/2012

My Bar at the Sunset House

Looking for a place to snorkel? Looking for a place for lunch? Looking for a place to watch the sunset? Looking for a late night drink? My Bar, at the Sunset House has it all. This open-air cabana bar and restaurant stands right on the water's edge.

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Head over for a few hours of snorkeling on the reef just off shore, where you will see beautiful corals and colorful fish. After enjoying the amazing snorkeling, grab a table at My Bar and order an amazing dolphin ceasar wrap and your favorite drink. Then settle in for one of the best views of the Cayman Islands sunsets during Happy Hour. 

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Located just East of Downtown Georgetown, My Bar is just a short drive from any of our Cayman Condos properties. 

This blog posting was brought to you by Cayman Condos. For information on any of our blog postings or to inquire about booking a condo, please contact our office at 800-999-1388. Something you love about the blog? Something you hate? Something you want me to write about? Let me know: joe@cicondos.com.

 

05/20/2012

Kittiwake Shipwreck Attraction

Are you looking for a spot to snorkel? Do you like to suba dive? The Kittiwake Shipwreck attraction is just for you. This manmade reef is brand new to the island. THe ex-USS Kittiwake was a Submarine Rescue vessel (ASR-13) and part of the 6th Submarine squadron home ported in Norfork, VA. After serving for 54 years, the US Navy laid it up. An invitation was issued to both US and international applicants to apply for the donation of the ship for the purposes of artificial reefing. After the Cayman Islands were awarded the ship and began cleaning the ship and making it safe for scuba divers and snorkelers alike. The Kittiwake is the cleanest wreck ever to be sunk as an artificial reef.

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*Photo courtesy of Alex Mustard

This 251 foot long ship, weighing 1800 tons, was sunk at the northern end of Seven Mile Beach in West Bay in just 60 seconds. The Kittiwake rests 64 feet deep at the bottom, but only 15 from the surface, making it ideal for both divers and snorkelers.

You can snorkel overhead and see the main decks and topography of the ship, along with the beautiful fish and marine life that surrounds it. Since the Kittiwake Ship is a private park and attraction managed by the Cayman Islands Tourism Association, there is a small entry fee. It costs CI$8/day for to scuba dive or CI$4/day to snorkel. For more information on this once in a lifetime attraction, visit http://www.kittiwakecayman.com/.

This blog posting was brought to you by Cayman Condos. For information on any of our blog postings or to inquire about booking a condo, please contact our office at 800-999-1388. Something you love about the blog? Something you hate? Something you want me to write about? Let me know: joe@cicondos.com.

 

12/11/2011

Experience the Deep Sea

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There are many great snorkel and dive spots in the Cayman Islands to experience the corals, colors, and fish of the Caribbean Sea. However, you can't get to 100 feet deep with a simple mask and snorkel. The Atlantis Submarine in Grand Cayman can get you to depths of the sea that you will never see with from the surface. The Atlantis XI is an advanced submarine that can allow passengers the opportunity to brilliant sea life from 100 feet deep.

This submarine was specially designed for underwater sightseeing excursions, led by knowledgable marine guides who provide information during the entire trip. The submarine is comfortable for passengers as it is air-conditioned and maintained at sea level pressure, so there is no effect on your ears.

The submarine was developed in Australia and features large, clear windows optimal for viewing the spectacular sights of the sea, with numerous photo opportunities. There is even a moment when a trained diver enters the water and begins feeding thousands of colorful fish right outside the windows.

You will be blown away by the amazing clarity of the water as well as the colors of the coral and fish. During the 90 minute trip passengers often experience sea turtles, corals, shark, eel, and stingrays. Oh and if you feel like you've seen all these things before, but are too scared to snorkel or dive after dark, the Atlantis offers night tours too, which gives you an entire different perspective of night life, when you see shrimp, lobsters, and other night time sea creatures come alive.

Next time you are in Grand Cayman, make sure to make a visit to the Atlantis Submarine for some breathtaking views that you will remember forever. To book your submarine tour for $79, you can visit this website:

https://www.caymanislandssubmarines.com/

Unfortunately, I don't have any under-water photos of the submarine to post here, but if you visit the website above or do a simple google image search, you will see plenty of great photographs to give you an idea of what this trip is all about.

This blog posting was brought to you by Cayman Condos. For information on any of our blog postings or to inquire about booking a condo, please contact our office at 800-999-1388. Something you love about the blog? Something you hate? Something you want me to write about? Let me know: joe@cicondos.com.

09/17/2011

Cayman Islands from A to Z

For a little fun this week, I decided to go a different route. Enjoy!

A: Appleton Rum--The local rum is much cheaper than the imported rums such as Captain Morgan. By the end of your trip you won't even know the difference.

B: Beach--7 Mile Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Whether you are walking, jogging, swimming, snorkeling, wading, or relaxing, 7 Mile Beach is for people of all ages.

C: Casanova's By The Sea--There isn't a better restaurant on the entire island than Casanova's. This authentic Italian restaurant overlooks the ocean and the service is what sets this restaurant apart from any other restaurant in the world.

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D: Diving--Cayman has been known to have some of the best diving in the world. If you have never gotten certified, there are half-day certification classes offered at several places on the island. 

E: Eel--A morray eel is among the many exciting sea creatures you can see on a snorkel trip to the North Sound, including lobsters, sea turtles, nurse sharks, and barracuda to name a few.

F: Food--The Cayman Islands offer some of the best seafood in the world. It is always caught fresh and every restaurant has their own unique preparation, including the always popular "Cayman Style."

G: Georgetown--Downtown Georgetown offers the island's best shopping. From jewelry, sunglasses, watches to souveniers and t-shirts, you will find it all in Georgetown. You'll even be able to find discounts and deals due to everything being duty free and tax free.

H: Hell--Yes there is a city on Grand Cayman called Hell. You can visit for photos, and even have a postcard sent back home from the "Hell" Post Office with an official postage stamp. 

I: Iguanas--Don't be frightened by the large iguanas that sometimes hang around the pool area. They are very friendly and offer great photo opportunities.

J: Jolly Roger: This sunset cruise on an old pirate ship offers a great opportunity to sip on some rum punch while watching the sun hit the horizon. They also offer a day time lunch cruise, geared towards children, complete with walking the plank, like the old pirates.

K: Kirk's--This supermarket is centrally located near 7 Mile Beach for you to stock up on groceries for your stay.

L: Lobster Pot--Another popular Cayman Restuarant that over looks the ocean and offers some of the best lobster dishes you will ever find.

M: Moon--When the full moon reflects off the ocean at night, there isn't a more romantic moment.

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N: North Sound--This is the area between the two points of the North side of the island, where all the snorkel trips visit. The snorkel reef at the North Sound is second to none with the beautiful corrals and colorful fish.

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O: Ocean--The Cayman Islands waters offer great clarity for snorkeling and optimum temperatures for swimming or wading all day. They also are safe for children because the Cayman Islands have no current or high waves.

P: People--Caymanians are some of the friendliest people in all the world. They are always willing to help and are quite entertaining to talk to with all their stories. You will also see Jamaicans on the island who make their way over from the nearby island.

Q: Quiet--Grand Cayman is not a place to go if you are looking for a lot of noise and night life. It is a very quiet, relaxing island, whicn is perfect for a vacation. 

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R: Rum Point--Home of the Original Mudslide, Rum Point is a must-visit place. It's a good 45 minute drive from Georgetown, but offers an opportunity to see the native land and you are rewarded with a mudslide when you get there. This quiet beach offers a nice swimming area as well.

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S: Stingray City--One of the more unique places in the world, Stingray City offers the opportunity to swim with, pet, and feed these amazing animals. If you have the right captain, you might even be able to get a stingray back massage. 

T: Turtle Farm--The Cayman Island's Turtle Farm is a great spot for children to visit where then can pet, hold, and learn all about turtles.

U: UV Rays--No matter how much sun you are used to or how much you tanned before you visited, lots of sunscreen is going to be needed. The Cayman Islands are located on the equator and combined with the reflection of the sun off the pool and ocean, the perfect receipe for sunburn.

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V: Vacation--There is no better vacation spot in my mind than Grand Cayman. It combines sunshine, water, drinks, great food, relaxation, and beautiful sunsets all into one amazing visit.

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W: Watersports--Take a walk down 7 Mile Beach and visit any of the Watersports stands. Jetski. Parasail. Kayak. Banana Boat Rides. They have it all for you or your family to enjoy.

X: XoXo: Weddings. Honeymoons. Anniversaries. There is no more romantic place than Grand Cayman in the world.

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Y: Year-round: Grand Cayman is a year-round destination. There is never a bad time to visit Cayman. Whether in the hot summer months, or the warm winter months, the Cayman Islands are always comfortable and the water is always warm.

Z: Zoo: The Grand Cayman waters offer your very own under-water zoo full of animals and fish.

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So there you have it--a quick A to Z guide of the Cayman Islands. Enjoy your next visit!

This blog posting was brought to you by Cayman Condos. For information on any of our blog postings or to inquire about booking a condo, please contact our office at 800-999-1388. Something you love about the blog? Something you hate? Something you want me to wrtie about? Let me know: joe@cicondos.com.

 

08/21/2011

Cayman Islands Water Takes Crystal Clear to New Level

I vividly remember the conversation. I was about 10 years old and we were snorkeling in Grand Cayman. My Dad says to his buddy, "How deep do you think it is here?" His buddy looks down and responds "I don't know? 8-10 feet?" My dad points to a shell on the ocean floor and says, "I'll give you 50 bucks if you can dive down and pick up that shell." Thinking he just made a quick 50 dollars, his friend dove down and kicked (and kicked and kicked). It was a good 30 feet down. Needless to say, the guy didn't get his money.

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One of the most identifiable traits with the Cayman Islands is the crystal clear waters, which make it ideal for snorkeling or diving. So many snorkel spots around the world are ruined by muddy waters that make it hard to see or identify any of the fish or sea life around you. That's not the case in the Cayman Islands. The beautiful fish and colorful coral are easily distinguishable because of the high level of water clarity.

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In addition to water clarity, the Cayman Islands also have limited waves, no current, and warm waters. This combination makes it an ideal place to lounge in the water either on shore or even out by the snorkel reef. In the summer months, the water temperature can hover around 80-85 degrees, which makes it feel like bath water. You can stay in literally all day without getting cold. Even in the winter months, when the water temperature dips down into the low to mid 70s it is still warm enough to swim or snorkel all day (but you better have on a lot of sun screen!!).

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All this talk about the Cayman Islands waters is making me want to grab a mask and snorkel and check out what creatures are out there today. Take a friend or family member snorkeling sometime and they'll be amazed at the clarity of the water. And  you might just win a bet.

This blog posting was brought to you by Cayman Condos. For information on any of our blog postings or to inquire about booking a condo, please contact our office at 800-999-1388. Something you love about the blog? Something you hate? Something you want me to wrtie about? Let me know: joe@cicondos.com.

07/31/2011

Looking for a Dive Spot? Try Eden Rock

The Cayman Islands are known for some of the best snorkeling and diving in the world. The colorful coral and beautiful fish that the Cayman Islands contain are breathtaking. There are many spots you can explore the Caribbean Sea on the Island, but one of the best dive spots is Eden Rock. Located just minutes from downtown Georgetown, Eden Rock is one of the top-rated shore dives in the world. Instructors are available for you to explore the tunnels and caves deep in the sea. Are you worried if you've never been scuba diving before? Not a problem. You can get certified right on the island and it only takes a few hours. Not interested in diving? Not a problem. You can see a lot of what Eden Rock has to offer by snorkeling on the surface. Each trip into the water is different because you never know what you will see. It is possible to see barracuda, stingrays, flounders, lobsters, eels, and many other exciting sea creatures. While there are a lot of different attractions in Grand Cayman, I'd recommend spending a half day at Eden Rock taking a look at some of the best scuba diving in the world.

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For more information on Eden Rock, visit their website

01/23/2011

What exactly is Marinated Conch?

For years, people in the Cayman Islands have been eating marinated conch. You see it on virtually every menu as an appetizer. But what exactly is this sea creature? How is it prepared? Where do you find it? 

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The Queen Conch is a large marine-living mollusk. It is a soft-body animal with a hard shell as protection. They achieve full size at about 3-5 years old, with a maximum size being about 12 inches long. They live in the sandy region near reef habitats. They start in shallow water, but then move to deeper water until it is time to lay eggs at what time they return to shallow water. They are able to move around by use of their foot, which ends in a pointed shape. This allows them to move in a leaping motion along the sea floor.

How does this relate to your trip to the Cayman Islands? When you head out on a snorkel trip, they almost all involve a stop to dive for conch. These beautiful shells are often hard to find because the bright pink side is face down and the top is often the same color as the sand and covered in algae. Once your group finds about 5 of them, the captain begins the process of marinating them for a tasty appetizer. Yes--I said marinating. Not cooking. Did I forget to mention that marinated conch is not cooked. It is perfectly healthy to eat the firm conch meat raw.

Click here for great video: Captain Gleason cleans conch meat

At this point, the captain takes a screw driver to disconnect the conch from its' shell. After disconnecting it, then it slides right out of the shell and is ready to be cleaned. (see video above). The best piece of meat to eat is the firm white meat that gets sliced into fine pieces and marinated. They say the conch is marinated in a "secret-recipe", but it seems to be a little lime juice and pick-a-peppa sauce. It is served with saltines for a real Caribbean Treat.

The only thing to keep in mind is that there is now a conch season because it is on the endangered species list. They are only able to catch and serve conch from November 1st to April 30th. So if you want to experience the marinated conch experience when you are on your snorkel trip, make sure you go down during the right time of year. It is truly a delicacy that everyone should try.