We started to learn our way around the island before my mom and Steve’s sisters arrived in Grand Cayman. Dave, Bruce, and Steve looked for the best kiteboarding spots, Paul joined the locals in their races, and we spotted chickens. Lots of them. Everywhere. Grand Cayman, the land of green iguanas and chickens. Lots of them. Everywhere.
We wanted to be able to dive off the moorings, so we left Governor’s Creek. Also, Delphinus was due to arrive from Providencia and we wanted to see them. What a mistake! We went on land to socialize; I think it was cruiser’s night again with free food at Rackam’s. I mean, Delphinus made it in safely and it was great seeing Jayne, Paul and Lily again. However, when we returned to our boats the water was so rolly things were being thrown around and broken in Slow Flight! Being a catamaran, we were in better shape, but it wasn’t great for us either. Poor Jayne was exhausted from their crossing and she was feeling sick on their boat. We considered heading for Governor’s Creek in the dark, but it really is shallow and we didn’t feel confident in that idea. When we learned it was also low tide, we knew we had to suck it up until morning. So Jayne came and spent the night on Livin’ Life. Bright and early, Delphinus, Slow Flight, and Livin’ Life all weighed anchor and sought refuge in the Creek. Aeolis and Blue Moon have tougher skin than we do and stuck it out. I like this picture of Delphinus and Slow Flight following us to the channel.
Governor’s Creek is like a canal system with fingers extending into the water for neighborhoods. These fingers are only wide enough to have a house on each side with a road down the middle for land access. We dinghied up and down these fingers checking out some of the quaint little homes on the waterfront. We were going too fast to notice the iguanas on the lawns, fences, and trees. No chickens here, but lots of iguanas. The video is only one minute long, but gives you a little bit of an idea what the area looked like.
The yacht club hosted sailing races in Governor’s Creek and Paul was invited to crew on one of the local boats. There was not much room on the boat and the boom is low, so they had to duck when tacking.
The boats looked graceful all lined up at the starting line.
This was Paul’s job: hiking, the action of moving the crew’s body weight as far to windward (upwind) as possible, in order to decrease the extent the boat heels. These little boats are super responsive and really heel over. I don’t know if it will capsize, but I do know that over-heeling decreases boat speed. As seen at the top of the page, Paul looked like he thoroughly enjoyed his job.
Dignity looked beautiful as it passed us. Then I suddenly heard a loud crack.
I’m not sure what caused it, but Dignity broke their mast. Race over for them! Tow required.
Next, the kids came out to race on their optis. These kids are young, agile, and talented. And were truly a joy to watch.
Check out the behind the back tiller pass after tacking.
Talk about small boats and not much room to move around. Look how low this little kid had to duck while jibing (tacking is turning with the wind at your bow, jibing is with the wind at your stern). Wish I had known about sailing when our son was little.
The first kiteboarding spot the guys found was at Barker’s Point on the NW side of the island. Grand Cayman is a pretty big island and it takes up to two hours or so to drive across lengthwise. The next spot they tried was on the opposite end on the east. It was an 1 1/2 hour drive each way. Aren’t they devoted? This was Barker’s where Dave showed his moves to Susan and Anne, Steve’s sisters. Steve was still stuck on land to heal up, so he offered kite support.
Paul took these photos, here capturing Dave dropping his board when he knew he wouldn’t make his landing (left). Bruce (Vidorra) wasn’t out there at this point, because when he was teaching his son, Sam (during his visit), Sam was stung by a stingray in his little toe. It left a big hole, a bloody mess, and Sam in excruciating pain. And he was wearing booties! Stingrays are really quite docile and only sting out of self defense (typically), so we think Sam accidentally stepped on it. Fortunately the excruciating pain only lasts a few hours, but his foot was still a swollen mess at the end of his visit about a week later. Scary!
This was an instructor at the local kiteboarding school out there playing around and showing off.
And impressing the girls. Dave and I aren’t ready to try this yet. Thanks for the photos, Paul.
I wanted to check out Coconut Joe’s Restaurant and Bar. It looked touristy but cute. If it had decent food at all, I wanted to bring my mom there when she came. I was surprised to see chickens walking through the restaurant. Last time I saw chickens alive in a restaurant was in the Bahamas.
I figured this one would end up on the grill. Maybe Steve did too, because he did his part to feed and exercise it. By the way, the food was good for bar food and we did go back. Split the nachos; they’re huge!
In case you don’t know how to tell the weather, Coconut Joe’s has got your back.
Oh, and to end on a note of total cuteness, I had the opportunity to babysit Luke while Lauren went out to try kiteboarding with the guys. I said, “Luke, it’s nap time.”
“No, thank you.”
“Sorry, buddy, but it’s time.”
“Okay, pick your toys. I have your blanky.” This was five minutes later. He’s such a sweetie. Can’t I keep him?