Friday, 22 March 2013

No 11/13 Grand Cayman

Hi from Clare,                                                             Wednesday 20th March 2013


We spent a few quiet days on the deserted island of Cayo Rosario in Cuba waiting for the wind to drop. We explored the beaches and did some snorkelling and caught two large lobsters. We concluded that spear fishing ruins a snorkelling event. Instead of looking at all the beautiful fish; our focus is “too large, too small, too fast, there’s one – shoot”. However we do enjoy the fruits of our labour.

We left Cuba Friday morning with 20 knots behind us and a 2 metre swell on our beam and rolled to Grand Cayman. We averaged 6 knots but we saw 9 knots of boat speed and 30 knots of wind. By the time we got cleared into Grand Cayman around lunchtime Saturday we were pretty exhausted and slept for most of the afternoon.

The hunter & Grand Cayman sunrise

Sunday we explored the capital city of George Town with its numerous international banks and duty free shops. The place was dead as the shops were closed with shutters down on all the jewellery stores. It was one of their days off from all the cruise ships that arrive during the weekdays.

We met up with new English friends Phil and Nicky on “Ajaya” and spent a few hours on their catamaran in the morning and then drinks on Eye Candy that evening. Phil is an ex Bavaria agent in England and we had actually contacted him in 2004 before buying Eye Candy. Apart from their Bavaria background, Phil and Nicky have just sailed up from the Panama, uncharted territory for us, so there was much to talk about.

The following morning we were rolling badly as a SE swell was coming into George Town harbour. So now we are around the corner and anchored in Governors Harbour inside North Sound. North Sound is protected by a reef and Governors Harbour is entered by a channel through the mangroves. We are enjoying peaceful nights in flat calm conditions. Fortunately Grand Cayman sprays for mosquitos and so the mangroves are not a problem.

Governors Harbour anchorage


Grand Cayman is quite a contrast from Cuba some 180 miles away. In fact Governors Harbour is very much like Lake Sylvia in Fort Lauderdale with beautiful houses and manicured gardens. We are enjoying large well stocked supermarkets, shopping malls, made footpaths and traffic lights – back into the western twenty first century.

We have met up with English cruising buddies Patrick and Amanda on “Egret”. We have sailed with Patrick and Amanda on and off for a few years. You may recall in a previous newsletter I mentioned that they lost their rubber when they crossed the Atlantic. Well we are safely anchored together and enjoying Governors Harbour.

Yesterday we took “Egret” and our two dinghies out to Stingray City. This is a shallow sand bank inside the reef where the local tripper boats bring hundreds of tourists daily to see the stingrays. We anchored “Egret” close by and took the dinghies over. The water is chest deep and the tripper boat handlers hold on to the stingrays so we can pat them and feed squid to them. The top of the stingray is rough to touch but the underside is very soft and slippery. They suck the squid up like a vacuum cleaner.

Stingray City & Clare & Amanda feeding the rays

After that we went snorkelling on a very pretty reef with colourful coral and tropical fish. Spear fishing is forbidden in the Caymans and our spear has been confiscated until we check out; that’s fine with us we can enjoy snorkelling without hunting.


We will stay here for a few weeks and explore the island. We have internet access in town which is just a short dinghy drive away. This afternoon we will post this newsletter and upload photos to Nos 9 and 10.

love Candy