Grand Cayman
This was my 20th visit to the Cayman Islands, and the first time I've had my underwater camera with me. Grand Cayman is the largest of the 3 Cayman islands with a total area of just over 70 square miles. There is very little scenery on the island; no hills, no rivers or streams, and the highest point is only 50 feet above sea level. There are spectacular beaches all around the island, particularly seven mile beach on the west side, where most of the tourist hotels are located. Prices on the island are staggeringly expensive; everything from gas ("petrol" there) to hamburgers will cost at least 3 times what it would cost at a resort in Florida. Rent cars are surprisingly cheap, running around $30/day.
The primary reason I keep visiting the Cayman Islands is the world class scuba diving. No less an authority than Jacque Cousteau rated Little Cayman as the 3rd best dive in the world, after the Great Barrier Reef and the Red Sea. The water is amazingly clear with visibilities routinely over 200 feet. The island is surrounded by a wall which starts at 60 feet on Grand Cayman (4 feet on Little Cayman) and plunges thousands of feet into the Cayman Trench. Truly spectacular diving! There are also many dives into huge coral formations that are riddled with tunnels and hidden rooms, illuminated from above by holes in the coral "ceiling" of the room. Very similiar to cave are hovering motionless in the middle of a "room" the size of your living room, with 2 or 3 dark tunnels leading off to other hidden rooms. Breathtaking! The names of these dives, Cinderella's Castle, the maze, and Devil's Grotto gives you an idea of the type and size of the structure.
Tom on vacation!
Colorful tropical sunset....
While snorkeling, two waterspouts came down out of a nearby thunderstorm. A VERY surreal experience to be alone, far from shore, black cloud overhead, constant rumble of thunder, black ocean, and then to see the funnel come down and hit the water. I think the most unique water experience I've ever had.
The first funnel touches down
The first funnel starts to break up, and a second funnel starts to come down to the left.
Two waterspouts, one coming down, one going up.
It gets larger,
touches the water
and dissapates
A secret room, 60 feet below the surface.
Following a tarpon through a tunnel
The entrance
VERY narrow tunnel...I got stuck for a few seconds in here
Passageway ends in secret room
Another secret room, 60 feet down.
Some kind of curious fish
Sting rays are everywhere
Tom and the mermaid
Sunken vessel
Coral, sponges and fish on the deck