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Anyone here been to the Caymans?(9 posts)

Anyone here been to the Caymans?js5280
Jan 23, 2003 2:56 PM
It's a tough assignment but I think I can shift my schedule around to accomidate it. I won a trip to the Caymans for the money I raised for the Lance Armstrong Foundation last year. It was a random drawing but you had to raise most of your money on-line which is more economical for the LAF. Thank you all again for your support, it means a lot to me and even more to people the foundation benefits. This trip was a pleasant surprise, and the first time I've ever won anything. Also to let you know, they had the same prize for contributors, so those of you who did support me or or another Ride for the Roses participant, you had a chance to win too. FYI- The Ride for the Roses is going to be in October for 2003.

Anyways, I'm running off to the Caymans for a week. I plan to do a lot of diving and snorkling. Do people have any recommendations for good dive sites, dive companies, etc.? How about restuarants? Other activities? I think Stingray City, the Turtle Farm, and the Mastic Trail are on the agenda already. Any feedback on these? I've got some books and materials already, but first hand knowledge always seems best. Thanks and I promise to post pictures, if only to torture you ;-)
Grand Cayman, don't think I'll make to the other islands (nm)js5280
Jan 23, 2003 2:59 PM
once was a great placeishmael
Jan 23, 2003 5:02 PM
My extended family has lived there for over 35 years(cousins,uncle, aunt)..I used to go there every Christmas when I was a kid. Went twice last year. To be honest, the water's really all dead. It's sad. It's pathetic how people will see a colored fish now and chase it around. The water used to be filled with stuff, no longer. the land is filled with McDonalds and everything else. It's just like everywhere else but hotter and with a beach. I remember spots there that we thought were our own, now they're virtually resorts. I sound bitter, dont mean to spoil your fun, it bums me out. There's traffic jams now and a new road, and everyone there is into clubs. I never did the trail but always wanted to. the turtle farm is just giant tubs of turtles of different sizes. Drive as far away from town as you can. There are trips to stingray city on boats which catch fish and conch and serve it to you when you get to the other side of the island. I did it many a time and it was always fun. The last time I did it they had some of the fish on the boat already, couldn't catch it all anymore, and there weren't enough conch in the water. The last time my family went, I went with them but when I saw the crowd on the boat I decided to not go. If you want to get away go to little cayman. I love the jerked pork, you cant get it done right here, and you'll get it done wrong there also if you go anywhere but the side of the road. Dont be afraid of the locals or their food.
Jan 23, 2003 6:33 PM
Was there for a week. Fantastic scuba. Warm, clear water; great coral formations.

Food is expensive as hell. Oh, and you have to tip for everything, like scuba lessons, etc, and it's mandatory. Even back then, a one person meal at Burger King was $15.

No light life or anything. Rent a scooter or a bike and go around the island on that. Oh, and remember that right turns are hard.

No but most of my money is there :-) nmBruno S
Jan 23, 2003 9:03 PM
Thanks for the feedback!js5280
Jan 24, 2003 11:50 AM
I have heard about the food. Sounds similar to Hawaii prices. Plan to do some grocery shopping there for breakfast and lunch items, and eat out for dinner. Heard that local food is little cheaper at the restuarants and since the conch in Denver isn't all that great with the extremely dry weather we're having, that should help a little. I love seafood. , jerk chicken/pork, etc. Did I hear you correctly, Ishmael, you highly recommend the jerk pork from the street vendors? Don't think I'd ever spend $15 for Whopper Combo meal. Although in Europe, I did finally splurge and bought an occasional $2 Diet Coke but that took about 2 weeks and I can't complain about the great and inexpensive wine I usually drank in leiu of Diet Coke.

I can sympathize Ishmael, Denver is not the place it once was when I first got here almost 14 years ago. However, on an island 22 miles long, 8 mile wide, the change must be hugely amplified. What's your family do on the island? Maybe I can bring them some business? Provided it's not open a bank account, no problems lately exceeding the FDIC limits on my existing accounts here lately. Thanks again for the information!
stingray cityJS Haiku Shop
Jan 24, 2003 2:16 PM
btdt, fall 2000. i was more amazed at the people than the rays. unbelieveable the screaming and crying when the stingrays migrated toward our boat. add to that the panic and violent splahing and flailing of those getting out of the water as fast as possible, and it was a really depressing sight overall--but a good/honest representation of the unwashed masses.

personally i enjoyed the experience and might do it again. my wife didn't like it, however, but also didn't freak out. she spent about 5 minutes in the water with the rays, and the rest of the time taking pics.

100% recommended, if you *think* you'd like that sorta thing.

(the pic is a digital shot of an actual photo--i don't have a scanner. you can see the digital camera flash reflection in the image.)
Do you recommend scuba or snorkle for stingray city?js5280
Jan 25, 2003 10:06 AM
It looks like those people are standing. I've heard some areas are 12ft deep so scuba would make sense there. I might opt for snorkle though if you can check out the rays in 3-4ft of water. What's your recommendation?
Do you recommend scuba or snorkle for stingray city?JS Haiku Shop
Jan 27, 2003 2:11 PM
I don't think anyone on our boat had scuba. i've never done scuba, but have done quite a bit of snorkeling. the depth of water all around the boat was 5-15 feet, but clarity of water was excellent (as you can see), and i didn't wish for more accessibilty/freedom.

btw, this was off Playa del Carmen, Mexico. not sure if that's the same place you're going. a few thousand yards from where we were anchored was one of the deepest dropoffs or trenches or something in the atlantic ocean, or something of great trivial value like that.

it was interesting, either way! :)