This time of year is so lovely in our neck of the woods. The cherry trees are blooming, the daffodils are everywhere, the tulips are getting ready to bloom… it’s just a great time of year. We’ve been planting some new bulbs, and weeding out the winter sludge. The grape hyacinths have really come along, and they fill the border all along our garden with a profusion of purple!
Max and I took Pam to her appointment and we went for a short walk through Green Timbers Park. It’s about $4.50 to park at the hospital, so that’s why we head over to a park for a short walk while she gets radiated. Today, I managed to get him to sit still and I snapped a few pictures of him sitting among the daffodils. Nice picture I think.
I’ve included a short movie taken the other day at the Serpentine dog off leash park. A lot of the grey Hydro boxes have been painted with a mural on them, with scenes of flowers, woods, and trees. I think they are terrific really. So lo and behold, they’ve painted the garbage bin outside the dog park! We both thought it was cute enough to take a movie of it so you can see it in the full 360 degrees.
Lots and lots of fishes! This is a feeding frenzy folks! Pam brought some fish food into the water and they went crazy for it! Not sure it’s the best thing to be doing, feeding fish? Might attract some big nasty fish, who knows?
We chose a site right at the cruise ship harbor in downtown Georgetown called Eden Rock for our last dive, and man, are we glad we got in here. The entry to the water was easy, with stairs cut into the rock. As soon as you hit the water, you see these HUGE fish called Tarpons.
The next couple of pictures are more of the same feeding frenzy. It’s kind of amazing to be totally surrounded by all these feeding fish, with HUGE tarpons just looking on.
Check out the last couple of pictures on this page for the tarpons – they are about 5-7 feet long and about 200+ pounds – quite intimidating! The waiter at the restaurant right beside Eden Rock, cleans his fish, then throws the debris in the ocean. The TARPONS jump right out of the water to grab the pieces! Unreal!
We saw some other great fish, too. Tim spotted this blue peacock flounder. It was so cool to see him move. He kinda glides along like a flying carpet.
Here is a movie of the dive with the tarpons, off Eden Rock. Some fairly large fish here!
We have snorkeled every single day, and most days twice – unless shopping got in the way! I’ve said it before, and it certainly bears repeating, the clarity of the water is truly astonishing. Sometimes it seems we can see as far as we can on land. It is just that clear.
This blue-lipped fish is really bright. Called a rock beauty, it lives up to that name, that’s for sure!
I never dreamed there was such a world under the water! Everywhere we look, there are fish, and lots of them, not a bunch here, a few there, none there. There are fish everywhere we look, everywhere we turn.
Of course we had another great sunset. Going to miss those a lot. Vancouver can get some good sunsets, but a lot are just ho hum. Every night has been a great picture here on Grand Cayman.
We’re nearing the end of our vacation, and today we headed out to see the famous Stingray City. We took a large catamaran about a mile off land, and then hopped into the ocean. It was FILLED with stingrays. The Stingrays having been coming to these waters for years to collect the scraps the fisherman toss over the edge, as they clean their catch. The stingrays are quite docile, and don’t mind being handled and touched. They feel sort of like a big portabella mushroom!
It was really quite an experience.
Then they took us to the Coral Gardens. That was easily the most amazing experience we’ve had in the water! I was so distracted, I did not hear the blasts to return to the ship and almost got left out there! Honestly, I simply did not hear it, it had nothing to do with not wanting to leave!
But the fish were amazing. We saw a very cool Nassau grouper, Pam’s been waiting for one of those. Big faces and lips on them. The colors of the coral were something to see as well. We thought we’d seen coral, but wow, this was so much different. There were long golden stalks of what looked like feathers waving in the sea. There were elkhorn coral, brain coral… coral I can’t name. But seeing it all together like that, in this huge teeming world, it was amazing. Just remarkable.
Today we mostly just swam in the ocean, since Sundays are pretty closed up around here. No shops or markets are open on Sundays, so it’s just a quiet day of relaxation.The weather was nice – about 28 or 29 C – the ocean was about 27 or 28 C – so it was nice swimming out to the reefs to see all the fish.
The queen triggerfish is really amazing. He was quite large, about 2.5 feet high. The way they move is so graceful and elegant. They don’t really seem to be doing anything, yet they are moving along at quite a fast clip. the coloring on his eye – it is amazing, wow. Really cool to have seen this fish today.
The coral is really cool. Very colorful, and lots of fish like to hide out among the spikes and growths. These yellow guys are called yellowtail snapper, or maybe a French grunt?
We have seen a couple different kinds of these flat-bottomed fish. They look like little ships floating in the ocean. They have the tiniest little wings to move them along. Cute! I find myself drawn to them!
No sharks today tho!
Sunset was really terrific again today. Sure have had great sunsets here.
We rented a car and took off to explore the island. Note Tim’s driving position! Driving on the right side was kinda different… the strangest part for me was to be working the gear shift with the left hand – and I was constantly looking over my right shoulder, instead of the left, while backing up or changing lanes!
We drove to the East side of the island, explored the Pirate’s Cave, Queen Elizabeth Botanical Park, and Rum Point. And as you can see from the picture, you never know who’s grave you will find.
We stopped off at the Lighthouse, on the Bodden Town Road. It’s a great spot for a nice lunch, and dinner is supposed to be amazing. We bought the cutest “Nutcracker” Christmas ornament, except this one is of a pirate with a peg leg!
The water was not great for snorkeling; there was too much wind at Rum Point which made the water cloudy. Rum Point is a wonderful place though, and certainly worth the drive, all by itself. It’s a really beautiful part of the island.
But we did see a big lobster! It was in a protected area, so he seemed kinda brave!
Today we went to Cemetery Beach. It’s called that because the cemetery actually backs onto the beach. There are parking spots just off the “highway.” The path to reach the beach runs along the side of the tombstones and cenotaphs.
Stingrays are all over these waters, but these are the first ones we have seen so far. He’s not all that big, perhaps 2.5 feet in total, including the stinger. It’s neat to see them scoot along the bottom, just wiggling the edges of their body.
One of the stingrays we saw had a little fish that hung on his shoulder the whole time. Kinda cool.
We also saw a nurse shark, about 12 feet long laying on the bottom. We didn’t really hang around. But later we talked to the guy at the dive shop where we bought our snorkel stuff, and he said not to worry about the nurse shark. Mostly shy, a bottom feeder. No real accounts of attacking humans.
We’ve seen a lot of Blue Tangs and they are really a colorful, graceful fish. But today was really special, with this large school of them cruising around.
So without further ado, here is another movie of the tangs.
This is a movie of a stingray moving along the ocean floor. It’s in quite shallow water, less than 3 feet of water. He’s fairly small, only about 2 feet long in total, including his tail.