Our Trip to Grand Cayman

Morritt's Tortuga Club
August 25 - September 1, 2002


Below is a daily journal of our trip. Kristina was the author, and so the journal is in her own words... Click on the links to see the photos from each day...enjoy!

Just Photos

Click on the links below to see the gloriousness!

Sunday Thursday
Monday Friday
Tuesday Saturday (Sorry, No pictures)
Wednesday Sunday

Sunday - August 25, 2002 -

The day began with getting up at 4:30am. For some strange reason, it is not so hard to get up hecka early when you know your headed for a week's vacation in paradise. = ) Well, it took about an hour to get through all of the security checkpoints at RDU, which, for an international flight, is not half bad - so we ended up just sitting there for an additional hour before our flight took off to Miami. We both caught up on our sleep during the 2-hour flight to Miami. We had about an hour layover there - just enough time to walk the mile between concourse E and B and grab a bit of lunch. Needless to say neither of us slept on the flight into Grand Cayman - Gee, I wonder why! We passed over the Florida Keys, and then quickly passed Cuba. We were both surprised that we were flying over Cuba, and not around it. But hey, it's much faster to go that way, so we're not arguing! We saw nothing but the bluest ocean you can ever imagine for about the entire flight - until the last 30 seconds of our flight. We hit the ground pretty hard in that plane, as the runway ends just before the water begins. The airport reminded me of the Polynesian Hotel in Disney World, but not as big. Boy was it humid - and we thought we left that behind - NOT! We lugged our luggage (all 180 pounds worth) over to the rental car place, and picked up our Suzuki Jimny. For a car that small, it's amazing that all of our stuff fit into the back of it. I drove the 40 minutes to the Morritt's Tortuga Club on the other side of the island. Driving on the other side of the road sure takes a lot of getting used to - especially at intersections! = ) We waited around for a couple hours until our check-in time of 4:00pm, and then Chris he-manned all of the luggage up to our place on the second floor. I pretty much unpacked stuff - that must be a "chick" thing… Chris quickly decided that we had to go snorkeling before he ended up taking a siesta. So we donned our snorkeling gear, and walked right out behind our place and straight into the water to go snorkeling. We saw all sorts of fish… some of the highlights of this snorkeling trip were seeing: Live Conch about a foot in length, a 2-foot Porcupine Fish, a Halibut, a Skate, a mini-Stingray, a Tarpon, many different kinds of Wrasse, a Blue Tang, a handful of Needle Fish, Red Snapper, Chris' famous Spotted Drum, and tons of other kinds of fish. We quickly showered, and went out to get dinner. We ate at Portofino's - which was just down the street a ways. It was good, but not really worth the price we paid. We also got to get a few good pictures of them feeding the leftover fish to the Lemon Sharks and Tarpon right of the restaurant's dock. This restaurant is located right in front of the Wreck of the Ten Sails - basically ten ships crashed into the reef there. But we did not get to see it because it was too dark. But eating out on the patio with the incredible ocean breeze made it worth it. We returned to our place, and lounged out on the hammock and beach chairs for a bit before turning in for the night. We are still finding ourselves pinching one another to make sure we know we're really here. It is so beautiful here.

Please click here to see photos from this day.


Monday - August 26, 2002 -

We pretty much slept in this morning… That felt very good. We got dressed, and, by the time we finally headed out, it was early lunchtime. We were going to eat at the Lighthouse Restaurant, but it was closed. So we traversed all the way into downtown Georgetown to eat at the Hard Rock Café there. We did a little shopping before and after lunch - got some souvenirs. At 1:30 we headed over to Atlantis. We then enjoyed a submarine dive for about 2 hours, going to a depth of about 100'. We saw tons of Blue Chromis, Queen Angelfish, a Grey Angelfish, a Trumpet Fish, a Barracuda, Hog Fish, Horse Eye Jack, Bar Jack, Nassau Grouper, Black Durgon, Blue Tang, Yellowtail Snapper, some Tomtate, Various Parrotfish, and a huge male Sea Turtle. We had a wonderful dive, and Chris enjoyed the fact that I could do a 100' dive without getting wet, me too! = ) After the dive, Chris and I figured that it would be a good idea to find the Dive Tech dive shop, since he has to be there first thing in the morning and we have no idea where to go. We also figured that we would find the Hell Post Office and mail a few postcards. Well, after a few wrong turns, we finally got to the Post Office. It's kind of funny seeing a Post Office, that was about 200sqft., with 3 little gift shops around it. But I guess sending a postcard from Hell is the thing to do here! = ) Who knew Hell was in the middle of paradise? Hehe. We then found the dive shop. We made sure our reservations were still good, and Chris chatted with the guy editing the underwater video from that mornings dive in the back room. An instructor from Gypsy Divers up in Raleigh recently moved down here, so that is why we picked this dive shop - 'cuz believe you me, there are tons of dive shops here. He was still at work at the sister dive shop down the road a piece, so we ventured over there to make an introduction. We chitchatted with him on the dives tomorrow, and found out that where we had ended up on one of our "wrong turn" adventures is actually where we need to meet the dive boat tomorrow. I am sure we can make the same "wrong turns" tomorrow morning and get there! = ) He gave us some suggestions on where to eat dinner tonight. We are also planning on getting together with him tomorrow night after a whole day of diving/snorkeling - that should be fun. We ate dinner at the Naked Fish. The food was very good, and about half the cost of our dinner last night! We also saw a bunch of people with 4-month-old little puppies. Needless to say, I had to go say Hi! to a least two! I told the puppy owners that I was having puppy withdrawals, so I had to come say Hi! Chris got a good picture of one of the puppies planting a big wet kiss on me! We also got in a few good sunset photo ops - wallpaper material, as Chris would say. We then figured we'd head home. We hit about four or five different gas stations on the way home just to find a map; and, according to Chris - the island has never been mapped - only via cartoon-style maps! Hehe. After giving up on a finding a good map of the island, we headed home. Along the road home, we saw about six fairly good size crabs crawling across the road. Instead of "Frogger," it was "Crabber." = ) I was a good driver and managed not to hit any of them. We have a long day tomorrow, so we're off to bed now. 'Night!

Please click here to see photos from this day.

Tuesday - August 27, 2002 -

We awoke around 6:00am this morning. We packed, grabbed a bite to eat, and headed towards the West Bay at around 6:45am. We were planning on taking a shortcut to avoid the Georgetown "Morning Commute Traffic" but we made a wrong turn somewhere, and ended up there anyway. We made it out to the dive boat a little early (7:50ish), which was very good considering how far we had to come to get here. Chris unloaded his dive gear from the car. We chatted with Nat a little bit and then I decided to take off. Chris and I parted ways at this point. I figured that since I was already on this side of the island, I would hang out over here. I first came across the Turtle Farm, and being that it was only about 8:15, I hung out until they opened at 8:30. Needless to say, I was the first customer of the day. Yeah! I beat the cruise ship rush! I got to hold two baby turtles. They were both about dinner plate size. I got pictures of me holding both of them. I saw the famous blue iguana, the Cayman parrot, and the gray iguana. I then ventured across the street to see the adult sea turtles. The first tank I came to had turtles that were a couple of years old. Their shells were about 2 ˝' in length. I then found the big guys - the biggest one I saw there was about 6' in length, but the average was about 5' in length. These guys had definitely been around a while! After taking a ton of pictures, and mini-movies, I ventured next door to the Tortuga Rum Company and Bakery. I sampled some of their various flavored rum cakes, and bought some of the Coconut flavored Rum Cakes. I got a picture of some of the ladies in the bakery as well. I guess the Tortuga Rum Cakes are the #1 Caymanian export. They are definitely tasty. I then drove around to some of the places that we had seen before, but never stopped. I even found the red Prowler that Chris and I wanted to rent for a day but couldn't. Now I know why - this guy has it. The car was out in front of the Kiddie Dive Pro Shop on Seven Mile Beach. I pretty much stayed in the car the rest of the morning, just driving to the different ends of the streets on the West Bay end of the island. I found another expensive place to eat dinner - we probably won't be back this far for that much money! I headed back to the dock and laid down under a palm tree for about a half hour. At about 11:45am I changed into my swimsuit, and went into the Calypso Grill where I was meeting all of the divers for lunch. After lunch, we headed out on the boat to go to Stingray City. Everyone on board was scuba diving, while I was snorkeling. The depth was about 12', so I got to see pretty much everything. It was a big Stingray feeding fest. They were everywhere! And the females were about 3 ˝' in diameter, the males were quite small at about 1 ˝' in diameter. Along with the Stingray's came an over-friendly Green Moray Eel, tons of Yellowtail Snapper, Sergeant Majors, and Blue Tang. I pretty much got to pet the Stingray's that the dive master brought up to the surface for me. I got to touch two of them. I pretty much got a Snorkeler's sunburn (just my back). I put on sunblock, but apparently it rubbed off in certain spots! (So I'm coated in Aloe right now!) We ate dinner with Nat at the Lodestar restaurant, it was pretty alright. He gets a discount there because he's a local Dive Master - which we weren't expecting at all. We then drove all the way back to our side of the island, and watched the videos and viewed the pictures that we had both taken throughout the day. Boy did we get some cool shots today! We both are looking forward to our adventures tomorrow! 'Night!

Please click here to see photos from this day.


Wednesday - August 28, 2002 -

We got up at around 10:00am, which was well needed sleep. We were not sure what we wanted to do today, so we figured that a little R&R was ok. As we were eating breakfast, we found that Red Sail Sports went out to Stingray City Sandbar from Rum Point. So I called and we signed up for the 1:30 boat. We quickly got ready, and went to David's here at the resort for lunch. We drove the 25 minutes to Rum Point, and took some pictures of the "Alpha" Parrot there. I kicked back a little in a hammock - Chris got a picture of that! He also got some cool pictures of the two resident Blue Iguanas there. We made the 1:30 boat out to Stingray City Sandbar via glass-bottom boat. The water at the Sandbar was about 3 ˝' deep. They had squid for us to feed the Stingrays. There were tons of them! I even got to hold a big female one - She was a good 3' in diameter! We were both trying to hold one just for the photo op, but they are very slippery, and we were only there about 15 minutes, so Chris wasn't able to hold one in his arms. But he wrangled quite a few! We also saw some Boxfish, which is really weird in 3' of water with no reef, the bottom was just sand. I guess they wanted in on the squid-fest too! We then got to snorkel at the Coral Garden, famous for it's many different types of coral. We got to see another Green Moray Eel - the snorkel leader was feeding him squid out of a milk jug. We saw many of the fish we have seen already, like Sergeant Majors, Blue Tang, etc. We also got to hold some of the live Conch - more photo ops there. We then headed back to the island. Chris and I then went snorkeling right off the dock there at Rum Point. It is a Conch protection area, so there were tons of them there. We took many pictures there as well. We then drove back to Morritt's, and I took a shower. Chris needed to head over for his night dive around 5:45 or so. I took a couple of pictures as the dive boat left right out behind our patio. I pretty much tallied the souvenir receipts so I have a clue as to what to declare at customs back in the US. I watched a little TV, not too much interesting on the six channels that they actually get - 75% of which come from Miami. Chris returned from his night dive at around 8:30. He quickly took a shower. We viewed some of the video that he shot from his night dive. The highlights that he showed me were seeing two lobsters, a huge crab, a Spotted Moray Eel, and some little Jelly Fish he saw at the surface - which he actually got stung by one (but they put vinegar on it right away, so the burn went away immediately). We grabbed a late-night dinner at David's restaurant. We actually ordered Virgin Pina Coladas, but they definitely were not Virgin! They were still really good, and Chris actually liked it! We have had a pretty exciting day, but we are tired! Off to bed we go! 'Night!

Please click here to see photos from this day.


Thursday - August 29, 2002 -

Today was the day that we took our Timeshare Tour - so we had to wait around at Morritt's until 11:30. We talked to the lady, toured the new Morritt's Grand, and then got all of the pricing information. Boy, the 2-bedroom unit over at the Grand was really nice! Wish we could buy one, but not right now - the economy and my job situation is too volatile. At about 1:30, we headed for Georgetown. We stopped off at the Lighthouse Restaurant for some lunch, and that was very tasty. We got to the docks, and found out that had we been there a half-hour sooner, we could have gotten some awesome pictures of the Voyager of the Seas. That is the Super Ship by Royal Caribbean. Chris did get some pictures via zoom, and it still looks huge. But it would've been nice to see it up close. Oh well. We then ventured over to the Jeweler-Section (right across from the dock of course). Chris bought me an Emerald and Diamond Ring, which I pick up tomorrow. I can't wait - it is absolutely beautiful, and I know I will love it on my hand! = ) After spending a lot of time there, we walked next door, and got Chris a Gold Rope Necklace. He tried on one that matches his bracelet, but he felt that it was just too big. So we got a smaller Rope with the intentions of getting a coin for it. The Rope was 50% off, so it was incredibly inexpensive. Our sales lady there then took us over to the coin shop. The gentleman there was very nice, and really knew his stuff. He asked where we were from, and when we said NC, he showed us to a collection from a shipwreck that directly affects US history. I thought that was pretty neat. Turns out, we bought one of those coins - a Spanish Piece of Eight! The price was right, and I think it looks very good on Chris. Chris has wanted a Rope and Coin ever since he saw my dad with his Rope and Coin. It really does look classy on him, and it does remind me of my dad, which are both very good things. Well after the jewelry places, we grabbed a tide-me-over at the Hard Rock Café - since we ate lunch so late, and it was still too soon for dinner. We then stopped at one of the public beaches along Seven Mile Beach. We saw an incredible sunset (like there is any other kind here), and watched three hurmphy little Ghost Crabs in the sand around our feet. After the sun went down, and after we watched some divers head out for a night dive, we decided it was time to head out. Chris saw a miniature golf place just before we got to the beach, so we headed back there. Chris beat me by 2 points! Ugh, oh well - it was still a lot of fun. We had a family from England, that were two groups up from us, that kept complaining on how they were playing, and the group in front of us was a group from Scotland - 2 dads and four very young sons. They were kind of slow getting through the holes fast enough for just the two of us behind them - but we were really in no hurry to play through anyway. We then headed to Hook's for dinner. It is kind of an interesting setup - they have a Pirate-themed restaurant with a Sushi Bar in it, and then on the other side of the wall is Athena's, which is a Greek restaurant - and the whole time we were there, they were playing US Oldies Music - kinda funny. It was getting late by the time we left, so we headed to our side of the island. Plus there was a storm over South Sound, so we wanted to get through there. Turns out it was pretty stormy off the coast at the East End as well. Chris pulled off the road so we could watch some of the lightning from the clouds off of the coast. Chris also stopped and took a picture of a crab that ran across the road - but by the time Chris got to him, he was already in the grass. We got back to our room, and pretty much have settled in for the night! Looking forward to tomorrow! = ) 'Night!

Please click here to see photos from this day.


Friday - August 30, 2002 -

Today was definitely a full day! We started the day off by getting up at around 9:00. We discussed that today should be the day that we stop at all of the sites that we have been putting off, for whatever reason they were initially put off. We first stopped at the Blowholes. It was really neat to see that the blowholes would push the water straight up about 20 feet or so! One guy ventured into the area where the water gets sprayed, and he got sprayed! He was soaked! We then stopped at The Edge for lunch. Good food, good prices, and a great view. We then stopped at Pedro St. James in Savannah. It is an old house that has lived throughout the history of the Cayman Islands, it is the birthplace of their democracy. It has also housed many generations of the Eden family, the very first family to live here. They had a 24-minute multi-media presentation on the history of the house's inhabitants and the island. We really enjoyed that! At around 3:00, we made it into Georgetown to pick up my Emerald Ring! The ring is absolutely beautiful! I love it! We then rushed all of the way over to Dive Tech in West Bay, and got Chris a couple of dive shirts and a hat, we also said goodbye to Nat while we were there. We then stopped off at the Tortuga Rum Company right next door! We drove back into Georgetown, stopped off at Cathy Church's place to see some of her beautiful and famous underwater photography. We then watched the Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas leave the harbor. Chris got a few good pictures of the loading up of the last passengers, and then lifting the anchors. At 5:30 we boarded a tender for the Jolly Roger ship. We went on a Sunset Dinner Cruise! They gave us a free Rum Punch when we boarded. It was tasty, but we quickly switched to 7UP. = ) We did walk around the deck, and then decided to lounge in the Main Room of the ship. And since we saw his sheets, pillow, and TV, this room also appears to be where the Captain of the ship sleeps when no one is aboard, that was weird! The "Pirate" of the ship climbed the rigging up to the Crowe's Nest, and Chris got a good picture of that! He would also fire off blanks at the passing boats! The last boat was a packed Red Sail Catamaran! We got appetizers, and then a beef dinner during the cruise. Then, at about two-thirds of the way through our cruise, it started to rain. That didn't really bother us too much, since we were already inside! It was only sprinkling when we got off the boat and tendered back to the dock - that was around 8:00. Chris noticed that the Atlantis Submarine had not yet gone out for it's last night dive, so he checked in to us maybe getting in on that! We made the 8:10 Submarine Night Dive! It was still raining, but it didn't matter because we would be underwater. We saw some awesome stuff! We saw a Spotted Moray Eel, three huge Lobsters, a King Crab, a couple French Angel Fish, and we had a small group on Tarpon that followed the Sub and used it's lights to hunt little reflective fish! Smart! And the highlight of the trip was that I spotted a Nurse Shark! I was the first one to see it, and only two other people saw it! That was really neat! Chris did not get it on video though - he was sitting on the other side of the Sub at that time - but he saw it! By the time we reached the surface it was raining quite a bit more than when we left. When we reached shore, he made a b-line for the Jimny. He passed me up the first time by mistake, but swung around again. No worries Mate! I was keeping dry! We then headed back for the East End of the Island. There was a nice lightning show along the drive, but it really wasn't raining that much when we reached our place. We both took a shower, and are headed to bed! 'Night!

Please click here to see photos from this day.



Saturday - August 31, 2002 -

Today is our last full day here. We wanted to stay local and relax, and that is exactly what we did. Chris started out the day with a funny! He was sitting in the reclining wicker chair looking out at the view from our patio. Well, as he reclined, he just kept reclining, all the way to the floor. It was like he tipped over, it was just like he just kept reclining! It was funny - you had to be there I guess! Well, once we got going around 11:00, we hit David's for lunch. We then went over to the watersports shop to see if we could rent some waverunners. There was a big storm heading our way, so we said we'd be back after the rain had passed. So while it was raining, we went back to our room and I updated our customs list, and packed a bit. We then headed over to rent the waverunners. We rented them for a half-hour. It was a lot of fun! There were a lot of waves and wind to make it pretty cool. It was so windy, we just had to watch out for the windsurfers! We each had our own, so Chris was more daring than I. We then returned to shore, donned our snorkeling gear and snorkeled around the dock. We pretty much did a drift snorkel, the wind and waves were too much work to try to go against, so we just went with them! We saw the most interesting fish around the dock. We swam through a school of anchovie-like fish, or something, and that was really cool! We saw some huge Parrot Fish on the other side of the dock, I could hear them chomping on the coral (that sizzling sound)! When we reached shore, we were way past our room, so Chris dumped our gear with me, and then walked all the way back to get our bag and shoes. After looking at the snails and baby Sergeant Majors in the tidepools, we headed back to our room and took a shower. After showering, we packed up some more. It was getting to be dinner time, so we headed up to Rum Point. The first place we came to was closed, the second was too fancy and expensive. So we ended up at the Rum Point Restaurant - still a bit pricey, but more of a good selection. We enjoyed the view of the lit-up dock, where we had snorkeled days earlier. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner with our Pina Coladas. = ) Virgin, of course. After dinner we went and lounged in the hammocks, that was nice and peaceful. We then took a stroll out onto the dock, and watched the big fish eat the little fish, or at least try to. We then headed back to our place. Chris was driving, and weaving to avoid all the huge crabs. They were much bigger than the ones on the other side of the island for sure - and probably a different kind too. We stopped to take a look at a few of them who were climbing a coral wall. They were big, and kinda mean looking, but really neat. We made it back to our place, and finished packing, while watching Bull Durham - guess it's time to head home. = ) Well, tomorrow's the last morning here… we really enjoyed our time here. But we have a lot of good memories of paradise to take home! 'Night!

(Sorry, we took a camera day off today, and just took it all in!)

Sunday - September 1, 2002 -

Today is our last partial day here. We had to check out by 11:00am, but since we packed the night before, we decided not to get up until 9:00. We were packed, out of our place, and heading to breakfast by about 10:30. We ate breakfast at a little deli on Seven Mile Beach, since that is just about all that is open on a Sunday there! We got to the airport around 12:30 or so. We made it through security, and got checked into our flight while Chris was returning our car to the rental place. So we were pretty much ready to go home in about 20 minutes or so. We ended up waiting around until our flight boarded at about 2:20 or so. We bought some more stuff at the airport, and watched several flights leave Grand Cayman - like flights to Toronto, Montego Bay, JFK Airport, and Charlotte. Once I made it through pre-boarding security, we were on our way. We got to see more of Cuba, the Keys, and the Everglades. We made really good time into Miami, we were about a half-hour early. But when we landed, there were no gates open, so we actually ended up being 15 minutes late into our gate. Sitting on the plane for 45 minutes is no fun. We got off the plane, passed through immigration, claimed our bags (Chris' stuff got sniffed by a drug-sniffing dog) and then we got stopped at customs because we had a little bit of taxes to pay on all of the stuff we bought during our trip. It wasn't much really, just a slow cashier lady that was being dumb. After rechecking our bags, we hurried over to our gate on Concourse A (we landed in D). There was another security check at the entrance to the concourse - I got picked to take my shoes off and stuff. We finally made it to the gate, and thank goodness it was being held up by the local weather because we would not have had time to grab dinner. We grabbed hockey pucks - 'er hamburgers - and Chris quickly went over and told them our hamburgers were nasty, so they made new greasy ones that we took on the plane to eat. We made up some time in the flight home. We left Miami an hour late, but landed in Raleigh only 20 minutes late - not too shabby. We got all of our luggage thankfully. Chris went out to lot 4, at the other end of the airport, and came to pick me and all of our luggage up from Baggage Claim. We got home around 11:30 or so. We both checked our emails, and are heading to bed. We had a wonderful trip, and have many neat photos to show for it!

Please click here to see photos from this day.



(Last Updated: 03-Sep-2008 )