Nov 17

Vacation in Grand Cayman...concluded.

Vacation in Grand Cayman...concluded.

by James D. McMahan, MD

Thursday:  Took a Red Sail tour to snorkel the Kittiwake wreck.  The USS Kittiwake was a US submarine rescue ship that was decommissioned in 1994 after 49 years of service and was sunk off the coast of Grand Cayman to help create an artificial reef in 2011.  It is a big ship, 251 feet in length in 64 feet of water with the top only 15 feet below the surface.  The highlight was a 3.5-foot barracuda that has hanging out watching the snorkelers and divers.  We then went to Boggy Sand Beach for more snorkeling then drove up to the Northwest end of the island to The Cracked Conch/Macabacca restaurant where you can climb down a ladder into the ocean from the back deck of the establishment where patrons are having lunch or dinner.  Climbed down the ladder for our third splash of the day, then dried off, changed clothes and had dinner there, watching a beautiful sunset.  Maybe a beer or two.

Friday:  Had to make the most of our last day on the island.  Took another Red Sail trip; this time just Carrie and I on one Sea-do and our guide, Leon on the other.  Went to shallow Stingray City that is about a mile into the ocean in the North Bay but is only about 3 feet deep.  Got to hold, pet and kiss the stingrays.  This is a must do and is a very popular attraction for the cruise ship passengers.  We then rode our vessels to Coral Reef, only about a quarter of a mile away for an excellent snorkeling adventure.  While viewing a nice assortment of fish in about 10 feet of water, I heard hysterical laughing coming from Carrie and Leon about 15 feet away from me.  They were laughing so hard that they couldn’t speak until they simultaneously pointed below me and said: “Shark”.   Apparently, about a 6 foot shark swam right underneath me, turned abruptly and swam away.  I never saw it. I guess I was not on the menu. 

After lunch, we went on another Dive Tech tour to deep Stingray City where I went scuba diving with the rays while Carrie snorkeled above.   We went for our final snorkel adventure off of an unnamed public beach before heading back to Heritage Kitchen for a dinner of more conch soup and snapper. 

Keys to Grand Cayman:  Rent a car, have your own snorkel equipment, research tours and snorkeling online as we found it very reliable, go to shallow Stingray City, Smith’s cove and Gamma shipwreck and be adventurous. 

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