Thunder Hole, Lunar Eclipse, Skimming Muddy Bottoms, Birthday Scuba, Blue Iguanas, Claire, Alex and Peter
Our passage north from Providencia to Grand Cayman was a 380mile run, and took us around and between several shallow banks including the ominously named Thunder Hole. However we’d picked a good couple of days with favourable weather and were eased on our way by about a knot of current, we averaged 6.6knots for the passage, had calm seas and had the most crystal clear view of a total lunar eclipse. Arriving into Grand Cayman much earlier than expected (a full 12 hours) we navigated in darkness, hesitantly to a mooring off the capital George Town, assisted by the informative and courteous port security on VHF.
After a couple of days we were settling into Cayman and decided to sail around into North Sound a shallow bay fringed by mangroves and so giving good shelter from both wind and seas. This short sail gave a chance to fly the cruising chute and the boys did some spinnaker pole dangling.
And it was whilst anchored in North Sound that our friend Peter came to track us down. And so began a rather wonderful 3 weeks, spending time with Peter, Clare, and baby Alex, enjoying and appreciating their hospitality and local knowledge, and making the most of having Double Waters safely tied to a dock. The first time we had been tied to dry land since October!
Peter joined us to sail Double Waters across North Sound, his local knowledge was essential in pilotage through the shallows, even so we still skimmed the muddy bottom on a couple of occasions, but we safely arrived outside Clare, Peter and Alexs’ house and tied to their dock……sort of in their front garden. Beautiful.
And I guess we indulged a little; showers; electricity; wifi; air-conditioned house; just a little luxury for a while.
Bridgets’ Birthday was a full day that included church at The First Baptist, lunch out with a delicious Birthday pudding, and later a scuba dive at Sunset Reef. The waters around Cayman are spectacularly clear, giving great diving and snorkelling. On one snorkelling trip a largish stingray became quite friendly with Jed. As Jed was swimming away from the dinghy the ray came up under him like a floating blanket, giving him a fright as they swam together……”it felt like slimy velvet”, said Jed.
George and Jack had a varied and active time in Cayman, finding some friends, their social diary soon became busy; helping with Toms kayak trips, including a night-time bio-luminescence trip; jamming in Bretts’ music basement; surfing; and just hanging out.
We invited a few of the youth for a trip aboard DW and with 18 souls we headed out to the reef one evening for a trip, some swimming and supper as the sun set.
Both George and Grum helped Peter with some Red Cross duties and George gave Claire a hand with school beach activity day.
We all did a bit of playing, singing, walking, or baby-sitting with Alex….and that was just a delight as she is such a little treasure. We’ve had island trips; sampled the local cocktail, the mudslide; found blue iguanas in the botanical gardens; done several more dives; heard many of the stories about the devastation left after Hurricane Ivan of 2004; and just got to know all about Cayman life. Its’ been a great time, made all the better in knowing Peter, Claire and Alex…….and we’ll be sad to leave.
But leave we must with our next destination Cuba, 150 miles to the North. Now that has got to be another adventure!