Our month of Thursdays, on Grand Cayman Island provided ample opportunity to “throwback” to our 1982 visit for our honeymoon. Back then the Caymans’ unparalleled scuba diving drew us. Thirty-four years later, Grand Cayman provided a great stepping stone in our passage north through the Caribbean Sea. Our visit provided time to get up close and personal with manta rays, snorkel off pure white beaches, visit with Eulalie’s sister Julie up from Jamaica, and to reflect on the changes that 34 years has worked upon this wonderful island and ourselves (see picture at end of post for recreation of our honeymoon pose).
We were all smiles on our honeymoon in 1982. Eulalie is wearing an Institute for Marine Studies tee shirt. We met at IMS in 1978 where we earned masters degrees in ocean resources management and policy. Thirty-four years later the ocean and its resources still absorb and fascinate us.
The above map shows the Cayman Islands, north of Providencia.
Elizabeth Jean at the customs dock in Georgetown. We arrived at dawn with four large cruise ships, one of which looms at anchor in the background.
A short walk from the waterfront is the town square. This statue of a man using his sextant celebrates the Island’s maritime heritage. The plaque in front of the monument catalogs vessels and crew lost at sea.
Colorful tiles telling the Islands’ history also line the town square. This tile depicts the Wreck of the Ten Sail, the 1793 tragedy involving HMS Convert and the nine vessels it was escorting to the United States. The Convert’s captain, believing he had already cleared Grand Cayman, ordered a change of course bringing the fleet on to the reefs on the Island’s south side. Caymanians came to the aid of the 10 ships and rescued the crews and passengers. Despite their efforts, eight lives were lost as a result of the wreck. Among those lost was the master of the Britannia, who went down with his ship.
The National Museum is a worthwhile stop on the down town tour. “Bending the Jib”, by Robert Farlow captures the Caymanian Seafaring tradition.
Sepia toned photos lined the wall at our marina’s restaurant creating a warm ambiance for sailing and history buffs alike.
We spent a morning at Stingray City, a sandbar that attracts rays in large numbers. Eulalie was so taken by a particular ray, Eric was not sure he would get her to come home.
Although the hotel where we stayed on our honeymoon (along with most of Eric’s hair) has long since disappeared, we were able to find this catamaran on 7-mile beach to recreate the picture from our honeymoon.