The Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands is full of big encounters and little escapes, both below the surface and beyond the waves. Beneath the waves lie underwater walls and accessible shipwrecks. Most of the 2.5M visitors are cruise ship passengers so to be here without them is quite special. We picked a time without cruise ships, so it was just the all-inclusive resort goers and a handful of divers.
Upon arrival, I met up with Adam at our hotel, the Westin Seven Mile Beach. The hotel was located right on Seven Mile beach. Though it’s really only 5.5 miles long, it’s a gorgeous sandy beach with flawless white sand and crystal clear waters. The entire strip is lined with resorts and vacation properties.
As usual, we love to activity stack. So despite it only being a long weekend, it managed to fit quite a lot in.
We quickly got ready and made our way to Captain Marvin’s for an afternoon boat trip. The trip started with a snorkeling tour in Coral Gardens. Following the snorkeling, we continued to Stringray City. Stringray City is an usual attraction in that the stringrays live on a sandbar and stay there because they are used to getting fed. Therefore, you walk into the shallow water and the stringrays literally come right up to you! It’s a pretty amazing experience to be hold and feed a stingray!
The last stop was Starfish point. Starfish point is located on the north side of Grand Cayman near Rum Point and Kaibo, secluded beach that has shallow water and then drops very deep. It’s famous for the starfish in the water, hence the name. It’s not a very exciting stop and a bit anticlimactic after the stringrays, but overall, the tour itself was great.
Following that, we made our way back to the Westin for a leisurely evening, watching the sunset and then heading out for dinner at Luca.
Saturday morning was our chill out morning, and we just enjoyed a bit of time at the hotel beach. We then spent the afternoon diving at Barracuda and Ova Verde and following diving, went out with Red Sail Sports for an evening catamaran sunset sail. The catamaran was a pretty relaxed evening, basically a big boat out sailing with a bunch of couples on it – a fun time to socialize and enjoy the sunset.
Sunday was an early start as we decided to do some morning diving. Following diving, we stopped for lunch at Tillie’s but they were having an Easter Sunday brunch, so we just opted for drinks at the hotel bar, and then eventually made our way back to the Westin for some beachfront lunching and relaxing and beaching. Later in the evening, we did a bioluminescent tour in the bay.
The bioluminescent bay in Grand Cayman is a man-made bay on the other side of the island, closer to Rum Point. The bay is filled with bioluminescent phytoplankton, which is basically millions single-celled plankton called dinoflagellates that give off light when disturbed in the water at night. Given our location, we joined the Six Senses tour on their pontoon boat that crosses over to Rum Point. Once there, we put on dive skins, and then went into the warm bay, which was only about 4-5 feet deep. Once in, you can see the glow when you move your arms and feet around, and with a snorkel mask, you can see the sparkles under the water. It was a fun experience, although I did get stung by a jellyfish, which apparently isn’t that common with a dive skin on, but it can happen!
We then made our way back and spent the evening with a late dinner on our balcony.
And Monday was departure day for me. Adam spent the day diving whereas I got one last swim in before heading to the airport.