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Monday, July 12, 2010

Little Cayman 2010

Last year, Todd and I got married in Little Cayman, in the Cayman Islands.  The resort where we stay (Southern  Cross Club) was running a special where we would receive a discount if we booked another trip.  How could we possibly resist another trip for our first anniversary?  So, away we went!

Our building. Our room was on the top floor.

We left on Thursday, July 1, later than usual (so, we got up at 6:00am instead of 4:00am).  The plan was to take Southwest to Tampa and then Cayman Airways from Tampa to Grand Cayman.  This saved us a lot of money - about $200-300 - just because we didn't pay baggage fees on either of those airlines.  However, since we had to claim and then recheck our bags in Tampa, this process took longer than our usual US Airways trip would have taken.  It worked out really well, though, and we arrived in Grand Cayman in plenty of time to catch the turboprop for Little Cayman.  At Grand Cayman airport, we bumped into friends Lang & Suzanne, and they were on the turboprop with us.  We arrived in Little Cayman in time to freshen up before happy hour and dinner, and had dinner with our friends...  Matt & Ellen, Adele & Ed, Lang & Suzanne, and Don & Bethany.

It was great to be back with our friends.  Visiting at the same time were four other couples, all of whom we'd met in Little Cayman at some point in the last few times we've been there.  We had a great time together!

Todd prepares his camera

July 2 was our first anniversary. When we got back from the afternoon dive, we were surprised to find that we'd been left a bottle of champagne! And flower petals were spread all over our bed... quite romantic! Todd had requested a private romantic dinner on the beach, so we had a private table all to ourselves under the same palapa where we enjoyed dinner on our wedding night. It was lovely, and a perfect way to celebrate our anniversary.

Before Dinner

Our private table

At the start of the week, the weather was less than ideal.  On Friday morning, it started pouring just as we headed out for our morning (2-tank) dives.  There was lightning and thunder, so it wasn't really the safest situation.  However, we jumped in anyway, being sure to get under the water right away since being underwater is safer than being on the boat or the surface.  It had stopped by the end of the first dive and the sun came out.  It cleared up the rest of the day and I was thankfully able to get some hammock time in.

Saturday, the weather started out fine.  We went on our morning dives, had lunch, and went on our afternoon dive and then settled in for hammock time.  Then, I swear the wind went from a light breeze to something like 40 mph winds in a matter of minutes.  We had to run inside, although before it started raining, we had some hijinks on the beach.

Lang and Suzanne in the big storm on the 3rd

Ellen and I show our reactions to the wind:

Sunday was the fourth of July!!  The storm from the night before had blown away somewhat, but it stayed kind of overcast and weird all day.  Then, we were on the boat and ready to head out for the afternoon dive and it really kicked up - high winds, lightning, and pouring rain.  The dive was canceled. :(  A good decision, but it was sad to not dive.  We spent the afternoon napping in the room, and once the storm was over, we went down and had drinks with Lang and Suzanne, who were staying in the room below us (which was our room from last year).

After that, while I was getting ready for dinner, Todd did a photo shoot with Lang and Suzanne, and Adele and Ed on the beach.

Lang and Suzanne on the beach

Adele and Ed

We had a fun party on the fourth.  Drinks, pictures, dinner and fireworks.  Sadly, the fireworks were marred by more rain, but they were still pretty. It was a great time.

Ellen and Todd on the Fourth

All of the ladies at the Fourth of July party

Everyone at our big long table

After the storms and rain on the fourth of July, the front finally moved out!  We had nice, sunny weather for the rest of the time that we were down.  Yay!

Then...  It was just diving.  We did our three dives a day, had our three meals a day, and enjoyed cocktails at the bar before dinner and on the dock after dinner.  The stars were beautiful.  There are few places where I have ever seen as many stars in the sky as we see in Little Cayman.

The diving was awesome!  This is something great about scuba diving - topside weather doesn't have too big of an affect on how great the dives are (well, most of the time - a hurricane changes things, for example).  We saw many turtles, barracudas, sharks, groupers, and much much more.

Scorpion Fish

Cleaning Gobies were cleaning my hand

Puffer

Seahorse

Leopard Flatworm

Turtle

Me and a Turtle

Along Bloody Bay Wall

Schooling Jacks (that's me down there in the corner, with another diver)

The real highlight of the trip was the Sailfish!  We were on our way back to the resort on the Fourth of July (the morning dives) and suddenly the boat stopped and divemaster Mike called out "SAILFISH!"  Along the side of the boat, you could see the fin and tail breaking the surface.  Within seconds, Mike was down the steps putting on his fins and mask.  Todd and I looked at each other, and came to sudden mutual agreement that we needed to put on our fins and mask, too.  I had the chance to swim with a Sailfish!  That's on my bucket list of things to see underwater, so that was awesome!  (No photos, though, since Todd was set up for macro and there was no time to get his camera together before the Sailfish swam off)

The only bad part was that as the week went on, each couple headed out to go home.  That left us all alone, just the two of us on our last day.  It was nice though, since we were able to spend some time together.

Todd on the dive boat

Both of us on the dive boat

On our last day, we took kayaks out to Owen Island (where we were married last year).  The exact spot where we said our vows is now underwater.  The tide shifts and changes the island every day, especially when big storms come up.  Beaches are ever changing.  So, we took some photos and explored.  Todd kayaked around the island, but I headed back to get some hammock time in.

Me, at Owen Island

Todd Kayaks

We headed home Thursday the 8th.  We were delayed in Grand Cayman, and then again in Tampa.  It took forever to get home - almost 15 hours.  Blah.  So, we were pretty tired when we got home and discovered that it had apparently been really hot while we were gone.  It was 94 degrees in our bedroom!  We didn't leave the air conditioning on.  It was all better in a couple hours, though.

Our last night on the island

So, it was such a nice trip and we had such a nice time.  At this point, Little Cayman is really starting to feel like home.

Sunrise

A couple more underwater photos...

Juvenile Spotted Drum

File Fish


View the whole album:

8 comments:

Marlene said...

It looks like a beautiful vacation! Happy Anniversary!

marathonmaiden said...

happy anniversary! what a stunning place to be :)

Jen Archer said...

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onelittletrigirl said...

Happy Anniversary! That looks like an amazing trip- I love your photos, especially the ones underwater!

misszippy said...

Looks beautiful! I'm married to a Todd too--I hope you have as many years of happiness as we have had. Thanks for the info on mile to k conversions!

Middle Name Marie said...

Congrats on your first anniversary! Looks like you had a great time!

Denise said...

GREAT pictures!!! we got married in jamaica and keep going back every year. no place will ever beat where you got married!!

that's great that you're running philly RnR. i have a feeling there are a bunch of us out there. we should set something up to meet up afterwards.

Evolving Through Running said...

Great pictures, and happy anniversary. My wife and I visited the Caymans many years ago, and although we had a fair amount of rain, when the sun came out it was pretty breathtaking. Hopefully we'll get back again sometime.

Very cool that you got to see the sailfish. I've been marlin fishing a few times but have yet to see a sailfish (or catch a marlin, unfortunately). Must have been amazing to watch one in the water.

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