It seems like 8:30 was my automatic wake-up time, because I woke up at the same time again on Sunday. Susan & Sandy were already out in the kayaks and Sharon was still sleeping - as usual. I goofed around, hunted for shells at the edge of the lagoon (tons of shells on Grand Cayman!) and walked down to the pool to take some pictures (never went swimming in it though).
Where we sat & had coffee in the morning and one of our kayaks
These are little hermit crabs about 1/2" long under the water at the edge of the lagoon.
I don't know what little creature made this pile of sand when he dug his hole in the sand.
I saw the creature that did this. A weird whitish animal that looked like a big flea about 1 1/2" long, maybe. It ran out of one of the tunnels and into the water and sank in the sand like he'd been sucked under!
Sandy and Susan paddled up to the shore around 10:00 and Sharon and Sue & I out-voted Sandy to go shopping in George Town again in favor of exploring the East End, and we were so glad we did!! We came to a spot where there was a wide opening to the beach along the road, and a good wide shoulder to park on, so we decided this is where we should stop and check out the snorkeling. This was a beautiful beach, and it was covered with amazing seashells and coral... and trash. I figure this is where all the stuff that's been thrown off boats or trash that gets caught in the currents naturally washes up on shore. If you ever wanted to start a shoe collection or a bottle collection, this would be the beach for it! I'd love to hit this beach after a storm! If I lived there I'd make a point of going there once a week with some trash bags to help clean it up, but maybe it's a futile effort.
Don't step in those green plants, they're full of very nasty little round burrs!
There were hundreds and hundreds of conch shells and pieces of different corals on the beach! Most of them were broken & bleached and eroding into sand, but we found some really neat funky ones and were able to bring them home with no problems from customs. We beach combed and collected shells and coral until our arms couldn't hold any more then we took them back to our spot on the beach and sorted through them and picked out a few we liked best to take home!
I went into the water with my snorkel and mask but it was only about 1 - 2 feet deep and my fins kept hitting the bottom, which was covered with small rocks, plants, grass and conch. Just past the biggest grassy spot it got a little deeper and I met the biggest frickin' barracuda I've ever seen! He had to be at least 5 ft. long and he was just cruising around policing his territory. As I stayed still to get a good look at him (unfortunately I had forgotten the underwater case for my camera), he turned toward me and "smiled" a big toothy grin and started toward me. Thank God for swim fins!! I was SO outta' there!! Since Sandy doesn't swim, we fixed her up with a "floatie ring" we found at the condo and she is now a confirmed snorkeler who has vowed to go out and get some better equipment. She loved it!
When we decided to leave the beach, we headed around the end of the island where we encountered the only funny sign on the entire island, I think. I had to stop and take a picture, of course!
We stopped at Portofino, a really good restaurant right on the water. Not overly expensive and excellent food. It's an Italian restaurant operated by East Indian people, so besides Italian food, you can also get Indian food and, of course, Cayman food. They have a Sunday buffet brunch from 11:00 to 3:00 that looked good for $19.00 CI, all you can eat, however we opted to order from the menu. I had the conch fritters - oh so yummy!!
Sandy had a lobster & shrimp salad, which she loved
Susan had the Mahi sandwich which she said was super!
...and Sharon had a hamburger. The food was all very good, with the exception of the Key Lime pie we ordered for dessert. It wasn't very "limey" and it was thick like cheesecake and it kind of stuck in your throat. It sure was pretty, though! :D
In spite of the pie though, I recommend Portofino for a very good meal and excellent service!
PORTOFINO DINING DECK (there is a covered part as well)
Leaving Portofino, we tried to find the blowholes, and unfortunately drove past them. We could have turned around and gone back I suppose, but we just didn't. We got home about 4:30, and Sharon helped me vacuum the sand out of the car. The rental car people didn't say anything regarding sand, but we had gotten an excessive amount of sand in the trunk and on the floor, so I thought it best to try and clean it up as much as we could.
With the car cleaned out, Susan, Sharon and I decided to take a walk over to Rum Point for one last dip in the ocean. Sandy didn't want to go. The water on Grand Cayman is a little cooler than it is on St. John, but you get used to it real fast, or maybe it's just because it's January. I have to say the water is even more beautiful at Grand Cayman than I've ever seen it anywhere... even on St. John, and the aquas and blues are constantly changing. My pictures can't even begin to do it justice. Rum Point was very busy for so late in the day... usually the cruisers leave fairly early. Then we noticed lots of boats moored out in the water. It must have been a boating club or something and everyone was having a good time! They were all gone by 5:30 or so and it was quiet again. Rum Point is super great, when it's quiet.
While we were basking in the last glow of our last day, Sandy stayed at the condo and packed her stuff for the trip home the next day, and was cooking dinner when we walked through the door. She loves to cook and this was the night she wanted to make dinner. While dinner was cooking, Susan, Sharon and I packed our stuff. We spent the evening after dinner kicking back. Sandy and Susan were reading, Sharon was trying to do something with her camera and I phoned my hubby, Rick. I had called Verizon before I left and they told me my phone wouldn't work in the Cayman Islands, and they advised me to buy a phone card when I got to the island. I got the cheapest one, 12 minutes for $10.00 CI, which I thought was a little pricey, but it's still cheaper than roaming, I suppose (even if my phone worked there) and it was super easy to use.
When we ate dinner at Kaibo, our waitress told us she had gone out on the Rum Point pier at midnight the night before and it was "magic". So Susan, Sharon & I decided we just had to do that. It was only about 9:30, and we yelled upstairs to Sandy to come with us, but she declined. So off we went in the dark. There are streetlights here and there, but lots of dark spots too. A walk I would not undertake alone. The girl at the restaurant was right. Rum Point, and particularly the pier, was magic at night! The stars were so clear and bright! We stayed out on the pier for about 10 - 15 minutes then walked back to the condo and hit the sack. (more on this walk later)
Looking back from the end of the pier, The Wreck bar is lit up on the right.
I took this picture just to remember the drink prices. It's not very good, but I think you can make out the prices ok. The white dots are Christmas lights reflected from the edge of the roof. Remember, these prices are in Cayman Islands dollars, so even though they don't look so bad, it tends to add up. 8)
Next installment: Miami airport hell, and my random observations in general