Final days in Cayman

Trip Start Jul 02, 2012
Trip End Oct 04, 2012

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

On Monday Richard and I went for a drive including going back to Dolphin Cove to see the dolphins perform one more time. They are just so cool!

We picked up Josh and he and Michael played until Alistair arrived with 2 kayaks in the back of the car to take us out to see the Kittiwake.  This was an old ship that was sunk off the coast about 18 months ago and is there for divers and snorkelers to enjoy.  Michael and I rowed out in one kayak and Josh took the other.  Ali and Tameka swam the mile out to the wreck which was an impressive effort with no fins either.

It took us a fair while to row out and when we got there, we looked back and couldn't see the swimmers. We waited and waited and after maybe 10 minutes we heard them talking so waved to them and continued waiting.  It took them another good 5 minutes swimming and when they finally arrived, we discovered that they had swum through 'sea itch’ which is the local term for larvae of the Thimble jellyfish which sting when they touch the skin.  Poor Tameka had been stung from top to toe but had to keep on swimming – they were calling out to us to come back and get them but we though they were just waving to say hi.  Oops!

Luckily the stinging stops once you are out of water so Tameka rested up in the boat while the rest of us snorkelled over the ship which was pretty unbelievable.  I can see how diving could become addictive – imagine diving over the Titanic!  We saw lots of colourful fish and swam up and down the length of the ship.  When I started feeling small stings on my legs and arms (sort of like stinging nettle), it was time to get out of the water!  Rowing back was much easier going in the direction of the waves and the best part was rowing in with the sun setting to our west and the moon rising behind us – glorious.
When we got back to the apartment we let off some more fireworks (just because we could!) but had no police visit us this time.  We met an interesting Australian couple from a 2,500 acre station in Tamworth who were also visiting family.  They knew a lot about Christchurch and the earthquakes and were really interested in our experiences.   Not long ago they had a 3.8 which is unheard of so far inland in Australia and she said she was terrified and had no idea what was happening.

On Tuesday I (finally!) joined Rich for an early morning walk on the beach which was just beautiful.  Nice and cool, not many people, soft sand and warm water to paddle in – perfect!

We went out for a buffet breakfast at a hotel just up the road – it was delicious and Michael particularly enjoyed the chef who cooked you an omelette or waffle made to order.  He was a funny guy who took great pleasure in talking up Chris Gayle’s performances when he discovered we were from NZ.  Unfortunately we’ve had absolutely no bragging rights since we’ve been here as Blackcaps supporters – disappointing!

In the afternoon, we boarded a boat that took us out to Stingray City, a sandbar that has ‘tame’ stingrays you can swim with.  It is pretty amazing to have such big creatures slide past your legs – hard not to think about Steve Irwin though!  We held cut up squid in our fist and the stingrays came up over our hands and sucked them in to their mouths.  It was pretty freaky – it feels like a vacuum cleaner sucking in your hand with a grill on the end.   The other thing was that as soon as the food came out the stingrays came swarming in and so you had them all around your legs, pushing to get to the food – rather unnerving.  The kids ended up jumping in to the adults’ arms for safety!  I put on my brave face – only because there was no one for me to hang on to LOL
After the stingrays we had 3 more snorkelling stops, one over a reef where we saw lots of fish and a HUGE moray eel.  Another at Coral Gardens where there was lots of coral (surprisingly!), and one at Starfish Point which had great big starfish which the kids dived down and picked up for us to look at.  We also got to do boat jumps where we jumped off the side of the boat – just like Bungy Jumping – don’t look down, don’t take time to think about it, just jump!  Great fun!

Arriving back, the kids went for a swim in the pool and Rich and I went to see the sunset I’d seen rowing back from the wreck yesterday – another spectacular one today with a gorgeous full moon rising at the same time.
Wednesday was our final day in Cayman.  We did some final shopping, lots of packing and tidying up as well as a final swim at the beach in the lovely warm water. 

Tameka, Michael and I tried the mudpack that we had brought home from the thermal pools in Panama and all looked crazy!  Josh and his mates were trying to get coconuts down to drink the juice, so Des got up on the ladder with a machete and made short work of the problem.
Although we are so lucky to be carrying on our adventure, it is hard not to feel sad to be leaving.  We have loved every minute of our time.  It has been awesome hanging out with Ali, Des and the kids and our apartment and beach were just perfect.  We could really live the island style – relaxed, laid back, no one rushes anywhere, great weather, awesome beaches and nothing is ever a problem.  Paradise!
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