Monday, May 24, 2010

Day 4: Grand Cayman Island

I've had an eventful 3 days, and am sorry about not posting but you all should be used to my lack of weekend posting ... I just don't have the energy when I get home from work.) Also, last night's LOST finale - OMG! I couldn't decide last night whether I liked it or not. This morning, after sleeping on it and thinking about it more, I like it a bit better. Still have a sort-of love/hate relationship with the whole show, because I'm a closure person, and there isn't much of that. Ever.

Anyway, onto the fun stuff!

On Tuesday, morning dawned early, and I went up on deck to watch the sunrise. Mornings are my favorite time always, mainly because it's so quiet. Mornings for me are quiet like nights can never be - nighttime is either EXHAUSTION or has a quiet sense of thrill and adventure for me. Mornings are calm. I am centered. It's something about the newness of the day, the potential that day has, how un-crowded mornings tend to be...

Anyway, the sunrise was gorgeous. I took pictures while my hubby was back in our cabin, fast asleep.

After my calm, beautiful morning, I headed back to the cabin, got Mark up and dressed, grabbed breakfast in the Sun and Sea restaurant (the big buffet), and headed down to board our tender. There isn't a big dock in Grand Cayman, so we "docked" in the ocean and took tenders to shore.

Once we got there, we had a while to wait for our snorkeling excursion - we had booked a spot at Stingray City, and were planning to swim and snorkel for about 3 hours that day.

Hanging out in the shade, waiting (we got into a mini-argument about dental work and doctors.)

So, we went to the Captain Marvin ticket booth, and much to our dismay, our excursion had been canceled due to rough waters. So sad! We ended up booking a bus tour instead, and a snorkeling excursion that was right off shore, where the water wasn't so rough.

Our first stop on the bus tour - a really pretty dock off what I think was part of the 7-mile beach - ladies were selling jewelry, and it was a gorgeous place to take pictures :)

If I thought the water was blue in Jamaica, this was PERFECT. I have never been to a place more beautiful in my life. It was amazing.

So then we went to Hell, the tourist trap on the island. Basically it's a limestone rock formation (pretty cool, I thought) where they built a post office where you can send postcards "From Hell" and buy all sorts of expensive souvenirs (less cool, I thought.) It was pretty corny and hokey, and we weren't as excited about it as the rest of the places we went.

Next on our stop was a shop selling Tortuga rum cakes and rum. We went in and fought the mob to get samples. I had a taste of pineapple rum cake (yummy!) and mango rum, which about knocked me over. I'm not one to take my alcohol straight, and it was some STRONG stuff.

Out back was another really beautiful rock formation where everybody was climbing and playing and taking pictures.

Honestly, the pictures do not do this place justice. It's one of those things you have to see for yourself - it just can't translate as well on film (or digital, in our case)

Our last stop on the bus tour was what I was most excited about: the Turtle Farm! It was basically a place where they brought sea turtles from the wild, bred them, and let them back out to sea. They were AMAZING.

My favorite part: getting to hold a 6-month-old baby sea turtle. They had the itty bitty ones swimming around too, but we didn't get to hold them.


They're so funny - when you hold them, their little flippers go CRAZY, and to get them to calm down, you rub their necks. When you stop rubbing, they start flapping. It's hilarious.

Seriously, is that not the cutest thing you've ever seen?

So after our bus tour was over, we headed back to Captain Marvin's for our snorkeling adventure. I was starting to get nervous.
Now, keep in mind that I am not a strong swimmer. I don't like to have my face in the water. I get freaked out when I have to hold my breath. I don't like water in my ears, or nose, or any other orifice for that matter. But, I figured, how many times am I going to get to snorkel in the Caribbean? Not many. So I sucked it up and told Mark that I did want to go snorkeling (plus, I knew he'd be a bit disappointed if we didn't get to go.)

So we got on the boat, and my heart starts racing. What if we don't get life vests? What if the current is strong? What if I hate it? What if I DROWN???

Shaking, I put on my flippers and try to figure out my mask and snorkel, and thank God they did have life jackets if you wanted one, so I got all my gear together and slipped into the water. After getting a mouthful of salt water and figuring out how to breathe through the thing (and that breathing through your nose does NOT work out), I put my face in - and nearly died of happiness.

Me, snorkeling...

I felt like I was in another world. I felt like something out of the Little Mermaid. I could move through the water really well with my flippers, and other than the few times when I tried to turn my head to look at Mark and my snorkel went underwater, I could BREATHE! And I could see, and open my eyes, and it was beautiful. I LOVED IT.

Mark, in his snorkel gear. The mask is totally squishing his face. He was SO great, and the first time we went in, he wore a life vest too (even though he's a really strong swimmer), to make me feel better :)

The underwater paradise

If you look in the middle of the picture, that dark blue blob is a school of fish. They really do swim around in schools together!

The underwater camera was a lot better than I was expecting, but it didn't quite register color as well as I had hoped. There was so much COLOR on this little piece of reef :)

Me in my snorkel gear, looking dorky, but feeling amazing.

I'm so glad I got to experience this for the first time with Mark :)

Our snorkel tour actually had two stops - the first at the coral reef, and the second at a shipwreck right off the coast. Whether it was an actual shipwreck or not, I don't know, but it looked awfully cool - I felt like I was on the set of Pirates of the Caribbean!

The little stripe-y fish were so friendly! They would swim right up to you, and try to nibble on you

This second stop, Mark didn't use his life jacket. I really wish I had taken mine off too, at some point, because the salt water was so buoyant, and with my flippers I could actually swim better than normal. (Plus, the snorkel helped with the breathing part...)

There were some people snuba diving where we were as well

I'm not sure why this one is sideways, but Mark took it from the boat that we were on.

That day was so busy, we didn't even have time to eat lunch! Right after our snorkel session, we headed straight back to get in line for the tenders.

Headed back to our ship :)

The Carnival Destiny, from our tender

The first thing I wanted to do was take a shower - salt water is so sticky!! So we got all pretty, took a nap, and then went to dinner :)

Our waiters danced to Apple Bottom Jeans that night - it was hilarious :)

We went to a comedy show that night with our friends from dinner (it was alright - left a lot of laughter to be desired, unfortunately) and then headed back to our room, for bed.

our obligatory towel animal picture!

This was probably my favorite day of our vacation. We had SO much fun - I would love to go to one of the resorts on Grand Cayman and stay there for a whole week sometime :)


  1. Sounds like heaven!! Oh, rum got my mouth watering on that one! Love the sunrise picture, beautiful! :D

  2. I have been both scuba diving and snorkeling and I have to say snorkeling was my favorite. The colors of the fish are amazing (when scuba diving it seems everything gray's out a little) Really glad you tried it, as I was reading that I was thinking, oh she will LOVE IT! Everyone needs to do that at least once in their lives, and then again and again :)