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  The Chatter Box : Travel
Grand Cayman by Loretto on 18 February 2012 2:18pm
Hey folks. We are in the Cayman Islands. Grand Cayman to be more specific. There's A LOT of money here in comparison to other Carribbean islands that we have visited before.

We have yet to meet a Caymanian working at this hotel. So far we have met Bulgarians, Romanians, Phillipinos, Jamaicans and Nepalese; No Caymanians though which I find very interesting.

We go on a submarine on Monday. It submerges to a depth of 100 feet. Hopefully I will have some pictures and video to share with you all later. Of course I left my SID card for the camera at home so now I have to go buy a new one. This is an expensive place.

The room maid, Annette from St. Mary's Parish in Ocho Rios in Jamaica, told me yesterday that it would cost her $10,000 to send her child to a public school here, and that does not include uniform and books and lunch. She believes she gets a better education for her children in Jamaica for $1,000. Most others agree as there are very few children on the Island, they all go to school somewhere else we were told.

Sad to talk to the staff here though. Everyone of them have wives and families in their homelands.

Ok. Well that's my update. Doing an article on my lap top in the room and now heading outside for a bit.

Re: Grand Cayman by Loretto on 20 February 2012 9:01pm
I did the submarine activity today. It was fantastic. We dove to 107 feet deep. I took a lot of video and pictures and will post a video of our trip here during the week. We fly back to Miami tomorrow, 1 hour flight. Two hour layover in Miami and then back to NYC. We won't be in the door of our own house until maybe 1am. Long day tomorrow! Bye for now folks. I always say that before I fly because it maybe the last words I write on here....Aghhhhhhh!
Re: Grand Cayman by suzulu on 20 February 2012 11:33pm
Sounds great! Have a good flight back.
Re: Grand Cayman by johnnyBgood! on 21 February 2012 4:25am
Oh to be rich like the clever Irish. :) Sounds like you had a great holiday.
Re: Grand Cayman by Loretto on 22 February 2012 3:48pm
Yes it was a great holiday. Here's the video of the trip...


In case anyone plans to do a flight transfer through Miami airport, don't. It was a nightmare last night. We ended up walking with our bags for 50 minutes across the terminal, because the staff sent people in the wrong direction. It is a huge airport.

Also the Atlantis submarine ride was $89 US. Really well worth it. The Island in general is expensive, but there are great restaurants with decent prices. Also it is a safe island. No one hassling you to buy stuff.
Re: Grand Cayman by johnnyBgood! on 22 February 2012 6:36pm
The submarine trip looked great but there's no way I could convince Meg to do it !
Your son Sean looks so grown up now.
Re: Grand Cayman by Loretto on 22 February 2012 7:48pm
He is very tall for his age. He is 5 foot 11 inches. He will be 14 in October.

He is a huge scuba diver and can't understand why I won't even go snorkeling. I am terrified of fish....even the little ones. But he convinced Kevin to get certified and sure enough Kevin did this trip.

The sub reached a depth of 107 feet and we saw a wall, sudden drop off, which was 6,000 feet deep. Very cool, but I would not scuba dive in it.

The island itself is very small, 8 by 11 miles with a population of 65,000 and almost 100 nationalities. The Caymanians have Irish and Scottish heritage I was told by the Captain of the sub, a Caymanian himself.
Re: Grand Cayman by Spursfan2 on 23 February 2012 9:22am
Glad you had an enjoyable trip, Loretto!

Zak is a qualified (BSAC) Sports scuba diver. He stopped training at 'Sports' (though he also has a qualification as a First Aider (I don't think that's what it is called - can't remember!)) because he wanted to just get on with the diving!!

He has dived various sites in Turkey, Maldives, and Mexico amongst others as well as Scotland and England.

I trained with him but sadly the training coincided with the onset of my illness. As I was taking steroids for the first year or so, the consultant banned me from diving - and I wasn't strong enough anyway. I still completed my Novice and Sports Theory training - and received a prize for getting 100% in both exams!! Shame I couldn't do the Practical - I joked at the time I was the best qualified non-diver in the business!! :D

Zak does hardly any diving now, and so we are going to put all his equipment up for sale, plus my custom-made dry suit which was ordered before I became ill and which has never been worn!

Re: Grand Cayman by Loretto on 23 February 2012 12:50pm
Oh that's too bad Anne. I don't feel like I am missing anything that a sub can't show me. But according to Kevin and Sean I am. We watched The Abyss last night and the rig was being pulled by a falling crane into the Cayman Trough. I guess this is what Sean calls wall diving. We saw the one that was 6,000 feet deep but the other one is over two miles deep.

Sean is the most qualified of all of us. He had done every certifcation that he can do, next level up is when he is 18. He completed all certfications by the age of twelve. When he did the first aid and CPR training for rescue diver cert the instuructor couldn't believe he was so qualified. He has also done an underwater photography course.

He is still growing so we have not bought him any equipment yet. He is counting down the dives until he becomes Master Diver. He says that after our trip to Turks abd Caicos in April he will have only ten dives left.

I have to give it to them both. I would not have the courage to do the scuba diving. Unless I was dressed like an underwater austronaut!
Re: Grand Cayman by Spursfan2 on 23 February 2012 2:36pm
I probably would never have been 'brave' enough to do sea diving. I KNOW I would have panicked if a shark came towards me of any size. Zak has seen sharks (I'm not sure what size) and also manta rays that were beautiful, he said, and we have both snorkelled with manatees.

We were trained in the diving pool (meaning off a board type of diving). I did suffer one panicky moment, on the bottom of the pool (not sure how deep but I think 3 or 4 metres??). I was practising sharing air with my 'buddy' (something you need to learn for safety)which entailed having to take out the regulator, hold it for a few minutes whilst a buddy would have been using it,and then placing it back in my mouth blowing to clear any water, breathing through it and repeating the task. I had done it several times before, and was doing great this time, when suddenly I thought of what I was doing, and panicked!!! I raced for the surface, with no regulator in, and gasped for air at the surface.

Thank goodness I was in relatively shallow water!!

Unfortunately, I didn't get chance to go in again, as my consultant banned me before the next lesson.

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