Our Summer Vacation on Grand Cayman, July 2002

The Cayman Islands are three islands just South-West of Florida, about an hour flight from Miami. We stayed on the biggest of the islands, the Grand Caymans.
If you want more details on the location, here is a map:

One of the most unique experiences of the Grand Caymans is 'Stingray City and Sandbar'. Those are two locations with shallow sandbars in open water, where you can touch, hold, and feed stingrays.

History tells that the fishermen used to stop on these shallow sandbars to order their catch and throw away everything, which is to small or not useful. That's what attracted the stingrays, and they started feedingof these left-overs. After a while men and stingrays got used to each other, stingrays got more confident, and men started feeding them by hand.

Then the tourist industry heard about the place....
Today you have a lot tours going out there every day, giving squids to the tourists and showing them how to feed the stingrays.
And the stingrays got really fat and lazy...

But it was still a great experience to see these beautiful animals so close.

Another part of our trip included snorkeling at one of the many coral reefs. The Cayma Islands have the advantage that all tornados get blocked of by Jamaica, which is just a couple of miles East. So, the bad weather never really makes it to the Caymans and has the opportunity to destroy something. That's why their coral reefs and everything else is in such a good shape and continuously growing. In fact, the Grand Caymans have the second biggest coral reef in the world (after Australian's great barrier reef) and a lot of other scuba diving sites.

I remember reading something that the name Cayman Islands is sort of derived from 'rocks of turtles'. And apparantly when the two little sister islands 'Cayman Brac' and 'Little Caymen' were discovered, they really were covered with turtles.

Today turtles are endangered species. Only on the turtle farm, there are thousands of them. Several thousand of turtles bred on the farm are freed every year, and almost as many are sold to local restaurants and manufacturers.

Don't forget the beaches. It still is a Carribean island, 88 degree Fahrenheit every day, almost 24 hours. Crystal clear, warm and quite water and the seven-mile beach.

And yes, there are sunsets...

I guess the summary is: 'We had a lot of fun!'