27th March 2023
Georgetown, Grand Cayman – Georgetown, Grand Cayman via Kittiwake, Grand Cayman
Grand Cayman is known for the snorkelling, diving, cruise ships and basically being a sunnier and gawdier version of Fort Lauderdale (if that’s possible). Its not known for its hiking, protected flat anchorages or historic landmarks. Already experiencing what Grand Cayman is known for, we thought we’d go rogue and experience those things that it isn’t known for.
After days of snorkelling where the water was clear, the fish were inquisitive and the coral otherworldly we felt we needed to venture inland and seek out some hiking. After identifying what looked like a series of shady interesting footpaths in the northern extremes of the island, we hailed a bus and started a magical mystery tour. After dropping people at their houses, delivering take out meals and dropping off laundry the bus driver took us to the far corner of the island and quizzically told us that we’d arrived at our destination and out we got in the middle of nowhere.
The reason for the driver’s confusion quickly became apparent as the sun beat down on us while at the same time reflecting up from the blinding road. Why anyone would want to get out where we did was a mystery? Car after car stopped offering assistance and asking if we needed water or were lost (or simply mad). Those shady interesting paths we’d identified were neither shady or interesting. We can confirm that Grand Cayman shouldn’t be famed for its extensive hiking trails.
While Grand Cayman is known for its diving, within the diving world it’s also known for a wreck called the ‘Kittiwake’ and we hoped this activity would be more successful than our hiking one. With Ruffian bobbing safely on the surface Horst from Lady Blue and Iain descended to the wreck.
Just were we expected it to be the Kittiwake appeared, lying on the seabed at a jaunty angle where doors had become skylights, windows escape routes and its chimney had been turned into a portal to another world. Swimming down this portal we ventured into the deepest and darkest holds of the ship and were completely discombobulated by all the strange angles. Our bubbles pointed to the way up and the occasional ray of light showed us our way out. The Kittiwake was huge, the swim‑throughs went on forever and there is good reason why this is ‘the dive’ to do in Grand Cayman.
The roadstead anchorage in Goeorgetown was starting to live up to its reputation for not being flat, not being protected and rocking and rolling its occupants to distraction. We tried everything to make Ruffian a comfortable place to be, with Ruffian being tied up in the most bizarre way her beam to the wind trying to keep her bow to the waves. We finally decided the only way to maintain comfort was to abandon her, make for the air conditioning (and super-fast free internet) of the library and wait out the conditions. We longed for a flat anchorage where bottles didn’t clink, standing wasn’t a real chore and where we didn’t have to engage the muscles of our core by simply sitting.
Still needing to escape the rock and roll world of Ruffian we felt that if Grand Cayman wasn’t offering hiking attractions, then surely, we could find historical points of interest, high scenic viewpoints and inshore natural wonders. All those things which Grand Cayman, errrrrr, really isn’t known for.
As we circumnavigated the island the high point was an astounding 40 meters above sea level, the oldest historic building we found was a mere 120 years old (and closed) and the natural wonders consisted of blowholes that were mere yards inshore.
Finishing our exploration, we now know why Grand Cayman is famous for its sea-based activities; they’re amazing, while it’s not renowned for other sights; as they are non-existent.
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