I’m just gonna come right out and say it, I’m a HUGE fan of Grand Cayman. When I say huge, I mean massively gigantic in a way previously incomprehensible. I’m also one of those people who will try to wring as much out of a day-trip as I possibly can. So when I got a chance to visit the Caymans last year I decided to avoid the beach and head “inland.” On this particular trip out of Georgetown, Kris and I boarded a “Best of Grand Cayman” tour bus and set our sites on places on the island we had never visited. Our day would feature a glass-bottom boat ride along a coral reef, a visit to a sea-turtle sanctuary, rum cake factory and “Hell.” Yes, you read that correctly, “Hell.”
Needless to say with all of these stops, we were on and off the tour bus many, many and many times. Fortunately we began our day very early (7am) and did not need to be back in town until the late afternoon, so there was plenty of time to explore at each stop. Our guide for the day was a Jamaican man named Mr. Sinclair. All I can say is not only was he an awesome guide, but he really knows how to have a good time…
We arrived at the Sea-Turtle Sanctuary just as the gates opened. Upon entering there are some pretty cool displays and literature present however the main attraction is around a corner and through the glass doors. After Kris and I messed around with vacant sea-turtle shells and whatnot we ventured outside to check out the “Turtle Pool.” I’ll be totally honest with you here, I love turtles… but only to look at. I do not want to hold them, they are kind of snappy and slimy, not really my thing… Kris however, she was ready to dive into the water and ride one!
Fortunately for me, Mr. Sinclair not only kept Kris from jumping in, but brought us over to a smaller pool where she could hold and play with one of the sea-turtles. I love how Kris’ eyes light up when she gets to have hands on time and interact when we are out on these excursions. Eventually, Mr. Sinclair had to move the group on from the sanctuary and take the turtle back from Kris. Now Kris isn’t normally a violent person, but I thought she was gonna “throw hands” when she found out she couldn’t take her new friend with us. Luckily Mr. Sinclair was able to “talk her down” and get her back on the bus by informing her that the next stop on our tour was the “Rum-Cake Factory.”
So who wouldn’t want to go to Tortuga Rum Factory aka “Big Black Dick’s Rum Cake Factory?” Words cannot adequately express how awesome these Caribbean rum factory/stores are. When you go in all you can smell is sugar and rum. Also as soon as you walk in you are presented with a small tray of rum cake to sample and as many 1/2 shots of rum as you can handle. Somewhere after the fourth or fifth shot of rum, I stumbled outside and took an inebriated selfie with “Big Black Dick” himself.
Next stop, “Hell.” Okay, so “Hell” really isn’t a bad place to be. For the uninitiated, Hell is a small town (or at least zip-code) on Grand Cayman. This day we would visit to send a post card home and to also view the rock formation behind the post office that is the namesake of the zip-code. If I’m not mistaken it is the remnant of a lava formation the island birthed from. Don’t quote me on that, but either way it is pretty badass and certainly looks “lost.”
After our brief foray into Hell, the bus headed back toward the pier where we boarded a glass-bottom boat to tour the coral reefs that are just offshore from the island. Oh my God, amazing! Another disclaimer, I do not know how to swim. Actually, I know how to swim, I just can’t. Not to say that I have never achieved “mobile buoyancy,” I just have never been confident in my ability to sustain said buoyancy. Having said that, I was incredibly pleased to have the opportunity to view the coral reef so intimately as the glass-bottomed boat would provide. I think what amazed me the most was how clearly you could see everything, but also how severe the loss of depth perception was. Either way, it was a really cool experience that I would recommend to anyone who lacks the ability to snorkel or scuba the reefs,
So yeah, I love Grand Cayman and hope that you all get a chance to visit at some point and that if you do, you get to spend time with Mr. Sinclair!