Grand Cayman Snorkeling Report, Feb. 9 through 19, 2012
by Tom & Jan Turner
Octopus at Half Moon Bay
We were able to make our annual snorkeling trip to Grand Cayman a little early this year. Arrived hungry at 2:30 PM, and went to Sharkbites (Hammerheads) for a fish fry lunch on the water at Hog Stye Bay. After lunch, used their ladder to go for a snorkel out over the wreck of the Calla. Wet within 2 hours of getting there.
For a change this year, we booked a bed and breakfast off of the water in Boddentown for the first 3 days that we were there. It is a working farm that feeds you for breakfast what they grow on the farm, a traditional Cayman breakfast. It's a buffet style, some was very good, some not so good. It was well worth the experience.
Our first full day there, we went to a spot that we have never snorkeled before. It is called Point of Barkers, and it is not known for snorkeling. Bone fisherman use it to try for the wily bonefish. It is very shallow, so we walked out quite a ways. Finally got deep enough to swim, and we had our sights on a small island out about 500 yards. Saw some stuff along the way, but when we got to the island, we were really glad that we made the effort. Great soft and hard coral all around the island. Lots of fish and all kinds of sights to enjoy. What a great way to start.
We made it to several places on our list of spots that we had never been to, and there is only one spot left on our list that we want to snorkel. We have been there numerous times over the years, and it is always too rough to give it a try. Maybe next year.
We had the opportunity to see many things that we have never seen before, or seldom have opportunity to see. We saw 4 moray eels this year, 2 green, one spotted, and one goldentail. We have never seen a moray on our own before, only when we were with a guide. We saw a 7 to 8 foot shark, which is only the second time we have ever seen a shark at Grand Cayman. We are pretty sure that it was a lemon shark. Whereas we have seen octopus before, we never found one out playing around in 3 feet of water, that just hung around and let us watch him do his thing for 20 or 25 minutes. It was fascinating. Saw 2 different scorpion fish at different times. They are hard to see and recognize. Found a late 1700's ship wreck that I had looked for a few times and was not successful until this year. Not much left to a wooden vessel after 225 years or so. We only saw one turtle this year; last year we saw turtles almost every time we went in the water.
In closing, we had a great time being able to spend ten days at Grand Cayman this year. We snorkeled at two different sites each day, and saw all kinds of fish and coral and beautiful sights that are always unique. Snorkeling is the activity that keeps on giving and never gets old. It is never the same, and who knows what you might see the next time that you go in.
P.S. I used Galen and Nicole's camera section to determine that I wanted to purchase my wife the Canon Powershot D10, for Christmas. She used it during the trip and loved it. She was learning how to use it, so sometimes she had the wrong settings, but we now have reef shots like we never had before.