Last night the dour Norwegian captain got on the PA and fretted about the high winds and consequent waves that lay ahead. Grand Cayman the next port, has no dock facilities and all ships that visit drop anchors and send their passengers to shore in smaller boats. This is called tendering and can take forever. And if the waves are high enough, it will not happen at all.
Our latest experience in Grand Cayman told us that we would probably be able to visit the island, but our snorkeling excursion would be cancelled. We were sorry we were right. The most amazing thing tourists do in Cayman is visit Sting Ray City and stand in the shallows and hand feed sting rays. This trip was cancelled as well. There are some interesting things to do on shore. You can drive to Hell and postmark a card there and buy a T-shirt that says “I’ve been to Hell and back.” There is also a turtle farm where successful efforts are being made to protect these endangered creatures. We’ve done these activities and did not need to do them again.
The last time we were here and snorkeling was cancelled, I went around trying to take photos of some of the 365 banks that are located in the Cayman Islands. They are probably the primary reason Cayman is in the news. But most of these banks are banks in name only and there really weren’t that many to see. What is impressive is all the huge jewelry stores selling high end goods. Although there were four large ships visiting today, it’s hard to imagine the people we saw today buying the sort of finery we usually see Hollywood stars wearing on the red carpet.
After a lengthy but not unexpected wait as people tendered to shore 200 at a time, we took the ride to town, enjoying the views of the Voyager from the sea. On shore we wandered around and people watched and had a long, productive visit to a cafe that had a decent internet connection. We were the only people with gray hair present that weren’t just there to drink coffee. Many young crew members were having Skype visits with their families at home. At least two more blocks of tourist oriented shops have been added since our last visit here. Many of them were familiar names like Margaritaville and Hard Rock Cafe that could be found anywhere. Too bad.
It would have been nice to see some of the wildlife beneath those waves, but the warmth and sunshine made this an enjoyable stop even if we didn’t do much.