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  • Day5

    Amen to the Cayman

    May 30 in Cayman Islands ⋅ 🌧 86 °F

    We arrived in Grand Cayman around 9:45, about 15 minutes ahead of schedule. Since we were up and all together, Dave, me, and the girls headed into port to take a look around before meeting up for our dive. We walked along Harbour Street, which reminded me of my visit long ago to Turks and Caicos. The whitewashed buildings are individualized with colorful shudders, setting each apart from the other. As we walked through the short-bladed grass of an apartment building, the peat under our sandals gave way with each step. It was like walking on an air mattress that depressed with our alternating weight. The girls giggled, as their feet squished down. It was cheap entertainment, only topped by the roaming herd of lizards. Dave saw one on the tree and, suddenly, they seemed to be everywhere in the bushes. Some were so small, they even traversed the length of the plants’ leaves. Nikki and Zoe pulled out their cameras to capture the wonder of reptiles.

    We joined the dive crew back on the pier. A few faces were familiar from yesterday’s dive, but there were several newcomers. Our numbers were again manageable, with 20 divers and 3 guides; although, our group (the A team) included eight divers. We were led by a spunky Brit, named Lauren. She was seemingly excited to take us down and show off the beauty of Cayman. We were told that the dive sites are all first come first serve, so we mothered along looking for a site with open mooring. Our first dive was “Giant Slide,” but the crew couldn’t clarify if it was named after a “big” slide or if it was a slide that only a giant might use. Regardless, the water was stunning when we dropped in. Visibility was at least 80 feet and the water was warm and clear. The coral is in terrific shape here and some of the tube sponges seemed to be four feet tall and a brilliant yellow. Without the current that w experienced yesterday, Zoe and Nikki were able to obtain buoyancy and enjoy the dive without much struggle.

    Our second dive provided more practice for the kids’ skills. We dove the wreck of the Oro Verde, which was a banana transport in the seventies. it was confiscated by the government in the eighties, after the crew killed the captain, ran aground, and scattered to avoid prosecution for running drugs. Apparently, bananas weren’t paying the bills. The government eventually sunk the boat to create an artificial reef; however, the boat has been tossed and turned through som many storms that it is a pile of steel, with only a small portion still intact.. The boat sits in the cure of a hotshot shaped reef called “Paradise.”I buddied with Nikki on this one. Her eyes got big in her mask, when she saw the wreck. She explored each hole and cranny, looking for fish and various marine life. I got her attention and pointed to a Christmas tree.. I made sure I had her attention and drew my finger near the tip of the tree and
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