Grand Cayman '99

The Thursday before Labor Day weekend when we still didn't have a ride for the club race to Bimini, staying home seemed to not be an option. So while I was out of the room, Tom was busy on the phone. I had no idea what he was up to, but the next thing I knew, we had flights booked and hotel reservations at the Westin Hotel in Grand Cayman. The flight was to depart the next day at 1pm from Miami. Well, I sure was surprised but was surely not about to turn down the plans! So a bit of fast packing of some shorts and bathing suits and t-shirts and the snorkel bag and we were ready for a 4 day jaunt to the Islands!

What a wonderful place this is! They actually have a place called Stingray City. You go out by boat to a shallow sandbar (about waist deep) and before you even get in the water, dozens of stingrays come to visit! You get in the water and before you even have anything in your hand to feed them, they come and rub against you and swarm all around you. They are silky soft and they seem to love to touch people and be petted by us. I'm sure they are just waiting for the squid handouts and have figured out that if they are friendly to us we will reward them but the tame friendliness of these creatures that people are usually afraid of is amazing! You have to be careful to shuffle your feet in the sand instead of walking to be sure not to accidentally step on one but it seems no one's ever been stung here and people come by the boatful every day!


Stingray City

We learned from the flyers at the check-in desk that the island also has a couple of riding stables so we got on the phone and reserved 2 horses for a sunset ride on the beach. We had to do a fast shopping trip for some long pants and socks though! We had come unprepared for riding with only shorts and bathing suits.

Sunset Beach Ride

Smuggler's Cove had great food as did Benjamin's Roof and the Sunday Brunch at the Westin couldn't be beat! The drive up to Rum Point was scenic and we seemed to have found the Island hot spot for lazing around in hammocks on a Sunday afternoon drinking cold ones.

Snorkeling on the reef right outside our hotel was a treat as the fish there were also quite friendly and accustomed to having people to tag along with. We brought some leftover shrimp and lobster and conch in a ziplock to treat them to.

The barrier reef off North Bay was alive with fish and colorful coral formations and the clarity of the water couldn't be better.

One of the things we've been talking about doing for a long time but never tried, is Parasailing. We figured this was the perfect opportunity!

All in all a simply PERFECT vacation!