Cayman Time

Cayman Blog from The Reef Resort in Grand Cayman

Baby Sea Turtles at theReef!

It’s turtle nesting season in the Cayman Islands and theReef Resort is proud to introduce our first hatchlings of the season. Miss Mary’s nest  sprang to life on July 5th with 80 t0 90 baby sea turtles making an appearance late in the afternoon. It’s quite rare that turtles hatch during the day so this was a real treat for all our staff members and guests who had a chance to get an up close and personal look at these amazing creatures.

A large plastic barrier placed over the nest by members of the Department of Environment prevented the babies from wandering away and safe from danger until staff and guests were able to release the little ones into the Caribbean later in the evening.

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theReef prepares for the holiday season

Hello everyone, it’s been a busy time at theReef Resort as we all get ready for Christmas and the New Year.

That means making sure all Reef Staff members are trained to assist guests in an emergency. First Aid Training Courses are being held for team members  and I recently completed my course along with two of our front desk agents and a member of the marketing/reservations team. A special thank you goes out to our instructor Doug from Red Sail who put our skills and knowledge to the test with a series of  reenactments.

Once the life-saving training was over it was time for some side-splitting laugh out loud stories from some of Cayman and the Caribbean’s greatest story tellers! Gimistory- a storytelling festival put on by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation- is a favorite among both young and old, residents and guests.

Gimistory Storyteller

Held every year over a one week period in each of the districts and on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, Gimistory brings together renowned story tellers and singers from the Caribbean and the U.S. who share traditional stories and songs using an array of props, musical instruments, costumes and sometimes members of the crowd. It truly is one of the most relaxing, enjoyable evenings you can spend with friends and family and something well worth checking out.

With Christmas just a few days away be sure to check back soon for a look at another popular Christmas Tradition in Grand Cayman- the Festival of Lights.

So what do you think of my posts? Drop me a line at crichardson@thereef.com  I would love to hear from you!

Happy Holidays Cathy the concierge

crichardson@thereef.com

 

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Happy Thanksgiving from theReef Resort!

Thanksgiving is almost here!

In celebration of the pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock,  millions of Americans will gather with their family and friends and enjoy the traditional feast of turkey, ham and all the trimmings.

Here at theReef Resort we have employees from all over the world that celebrate a variety of holidays. We have Canadians, Jamaicans, English, Filipinos and Caymanians as well as a few employees from Serbia and one from Australia.

For me Thanksgiving is about being grateful, it’s a time that forces us to stop & reflect on what we have & appreciate all the good things in life. I live here in Cayman on a beautiful island with my family. I have a really fun job as a concierge where I get to meet new guests & make friends every week, and every week I go on a catamaran and play with the Stingrays when we take our guests out, who wouldn’t be thankful for that.

So in this holiday season I encourage you to be grateful for what you do have and not dwell on what you don’t have and let us all be thankful for all the wonderful things we get to experience, for sunrises & sunsets, for laughter & for love, for always learning and for the simple joys of life, like hearing your favorite song on the radio or seeing a child smile.

Happy Thanksgiving !

Cathy

 

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The Pirates have Landed!

It’s November at the Reef Resort, the wind is picking up & soon the holidays will be upon us, Christmas Breezes we call it. The forecast says this week we’ll have a high of 82’ & a low of 75’ brrrrr, better get my sweater out.

 It’s also Pirates Week, a festival with fireworks, a parade, street dance & lots of great Heritage Days celebrating the food, culture & traditions that make up our beautiful islands. It’s also a great excuse to dress up like a pirate & say “arrgghh” a lot.

One of the events at Pirates Week that many people miss, is the Cardboard Boat Race, this takes place on the final Saturday of Pirates Week in George Town Harbour. In it’s 6th year, teams make “boats” out of cardboard & race out to a specific spot in the water & then back to shore, teams were judged on design, team spirit & of course finishing. As you can see by the picture, many boats completed the course, but just as many didn’t. The batman team, while especially creative, came in almost dead last, it was blamed on the joker.

Overall it was a great race and the long green boat full of lawyers won bragging rights as the new champions, arrrgghhh!!!

In the next few months I’ll be writing about some great Caymanian traditions, talking about the resort & sharing my own stories about what I do as a concierge & a longtime resident of Grand Cayman. I hope you will follow along and have as much fun reading them as I do writing them.

Take care & Happy Pirates Week.

Cathy the concierge

 

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Don’t tell everyone about the ultimate island vacation, Show them!

If a picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth a million- just imagine how powerful your message will be when you combine both your favorite vacation photos with video of the ultimate island resort!

theReef Resort has partnered with Bragfire to introduce VideoMaker- an easy to use application that creates a lasting video of the Ultimate Island Vacation you can instantly share with all your friends, family, colleagues, everyone you know.

The best part, VideoMaker does all the work. All you have to do is visit  video.theReef.com  choose your favorite pictures and then click preview and watch VideoMaker combine those pictures with a pre-made video of theReef Resort. You can be as creative or traditional as you want to be there are no rules, just pure fun! Once your video is made you can then instantly share your masterpiece on facebook, twitter, pininterest, or email.

Here’s my video … now it’s your turn to make your own lasting memories of yourvacation at theReef.

Have fun!

 

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Happy Holidays from theReef!

The only way to build a snowman at theReef!

 

Happy Holidays from everyone at theReef!

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Where do you go on vacation?

I am a concierge here at theReef and people always ask me “you live in paradise, so where do you go on vacation?”

My answer, “Walmart”, but that’s just me. Until recently I hadn’t been off this little island called Grand Cayman in four long years and my vacation motto is “when your on vacation you have to do things you can’t do at home” for me that’s shopping as sadly there is no Walmart in Grand Cayman.

I realize that many of our guests live by my vacation motto too. Trying new things like visiting Stingray City, getting out on the water with kayaks or simply relaxing on the beach with a Cayman Lemonade (highly recommended by our guests from big cities!).

 But this year I finally did get off the rock, and besides shopping (lots of shopping!) my family and I went to the Smokey Mountains, to the forests and rivers of North Carolina and Tennessee. I must tell you first hand, that driving down a winding, twisting mountain road at night with nothing but your headlights on, is ten times scarier than any roller coaster ride I have ever been on. We went White Water Rafting and tubeing down a creek. As many of our blog readers know, Grand Cayman is really a small island, so we took advantage of the open American roads and embarked on a few road trips. Something you really can’t do on an island which is less than 100 square miles.

The majority of our staff here at theReef go home to visit family and friends; it can be difficult to be away from loved ones. Others go on road trips like I did, and some explore Cuba and nearby countries throughout the Caribbean & Central America.

We came back to Grand Cayman, our bags filled with bargains and hearts filled with memories. I returned with a renewed energy and enthusiasm ready to make sure you enjoy your vacation as much as we did ours!

At theReef our guests join us from all over the USA, Canada and Europe and many of our staff are from far away places too; that is I think makes Cayman so interesting, a culture combined from many continents, different cuisines and a wonderful history.

Being on vacation gave me insight as to what our guests at theReef need while they are on holiday, for me it was fun family time. So whether you are looking for an action packed family vacation or relaxing romantic vacation, stop by and see me at the concierge desk.

Even though our island is small there is still loads going on! 

- Cathy Richardson, Concierge

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The Reef Recognized as a Top All Inclusive Resort

The Reef is a Top All-Inclusive Resort, and now it’s official on Away.com’s list posted last week. Among 29 resorts listed, The Reef stands out as the only Cayman Islands resort.

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Away.comwriter Lena Katz explains that The Reef’s East End location makes for a laid-back atmosphere, saving guests from the cruise-ship crowds that occasionally flood the west side of the island. She doesn’t forget to mention The Reef’s 1,600-foot stretch of white sand, the largest of any resort beach on the island, and that all 152 condo-style rooms are beachfront, with a patio or balcony just inches away from the sand and sea.

The Reef’s Deluxe All-Inclusive package includes meals, premium drinks, up to an hour rental from the famous White Sand Water Sports team, plus snorkeling gear your entire stay. We also have slimmed-down all-inclusive options now, that you can view here.

The list includes Caribbean, Central America and North America locations. The Reef is among 14 Caribbean resorts that make the cut.

To see the The Reef’s listing as a Top All Inclusive Resorts on Away.com, click here. Don’t forget to give The Reef a “thumbs up” while looking over the full review!

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Electric Cars in Grand Cayman?!

YES, that’s right, the next time you are in Grand Cayman, you may very well be driving an electric car! Yesterday, the first solar panel charging station was unveiled at Governors Square, Grand Cayman, and theReef is please to announce that we have signed up to be one of the charging station locations too!

Image courtesy of Caymanian Compass

Image courtesy of Caymanian Compass

 

 

The man behind the drive for electric vehicles in Cayman (no pun intended!), is Mr. John Felder. Mr. Felder has been working on this project in Cayman for six years and earlier this year he sold the first electric vehicle, a Chevy Volt, to Caribbean Utilities Company (CUC). These charging stations are the first of its kind in the Caribbean and theReef is very proud to support this innovative green movement.

At the moment 14 solar panel chargers are planned for Grand Cayman, including the station at theReef. The chargers have wind-resistant solar panels which will form a canopy over the car (bonus your car is kept shaded too). Surplus energy will also be fed back into Cayman’s national grid.

You can read more about Mr. John Felder’s plans for electric cars in Cayman here.

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Last Minute Deals to Cayman

cayman_airways_logoCayman Airways is offering round-trip airfare from Miami or Tampa to Grand Cayman for just $214. This sale will expire on June 30, 2011, so hurry to book! You must travel before July 21, 2011 with this offer.

As always, Cayman Airlines tickets include two free checked bags and complimentary rum punch! It’s just a hop-skip-and-a-jump from Miami International Airport, an easy 70 minute flight.

To book your Miami/Tampa airfare contact your travel professional or visit www.caymaniarways.com.

ReefCay-beachComplete your trip by booking an escape to theReef! Offering three all-inclusive options, dive packages and romantic getaways, there is a deal for everyone. Why not book a beachfront studio starting at just $99 a night!

With the most unique guarantees on the island, theReef will make sure you’re taken care of during your stay.

Check out www.thereef.com for accommodation options and www.caymandivingresort.com for more info on diving at theReef.

To book your perfect package, contact your travel agent. Book direct by emailing reservations@theReef.com or calling toll free on 1-888-232-0541.

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Get a Taste of the Caribbean this weekend…

The Reef resort is proud to be participating in Montreal’s 12th annual Taste of the Caribbean festival tomorrow, June 18. The festival attracts tens of thousands of people to experience the eats, sights, smells and sounds of the Caribbean. 

An auction will be held to raise funds for culinary scholarships for underprivileged youth through the “Triumph Through Adversity” program. In the auction, The Reef will be donating a five-night stay in a one bedroom executive suite. image0031

“Triumph Through Adversity” helps disenfranchised youth develop culinary skills that will empower them to learn, help them build productive lives and integrate them into Montreal’s community. We have our fingers crossed at The Reef that this will be a high-bidding item and raise significant funds for this wonderful program.

The event features high quality cuisine from many Caribbean chefs and destinations. After you eat, enjoy live music, island dance lessons, art, mini golf and even a casino for charity. And don’t forget to make it to the live auction to bid for a trip to The Reef!

If you are in the Montreal area, join the Taste of the Caribbean in the heart of Old Montreal from 3 to 12 a.m. for general admissions, 1:30 to 12 a.m. for VIP.

Tickets are available for general admission, $50, children tickets are $17, and $125 for VIP.

Visit http://www.atasteofthecaribbean.ca/festival.html or http://www.totc-festival.com for more information on this event.

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Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show

Toronto WinnerThe Reef Resort travelled to Toronto recently to participate in the Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show. Suzy Marfleet our dive concierge left sunny Grand Cayman for snowy Canada. At the show Suzy told people all about our wonderful dive offerings at the Reef.

The Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show provided visitors with information on adventure destinations. Guest visited canoe and kayak experts in the Whitewater Demo Pool, Scuba Demos in the dive tank, climbing wall or visited some exhibitors which ignited passions for biking, hiking and or running.

The Reef Resort offered visitors a chance to win a five night all inclusive stay at the Reef Resort in Grand Cayman. Our lucky winner was Mr. Drew Baker and here he is being presented with his prize from Tammy Van Zyl, from the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism. Upon receiving his prize Mr. Baker said ,” We are sure looking forward to this trip. We are so lucky!”

We look forward to welcoming Mr. Baker to the Reef soon.

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A Courageous Dolphin Visits Grand Cayman

A few of us at The Reef recently noticed a small production crew filming a movie on the island.  The crew has been working with local dive shops to capture gorgeous underwater footage unique to Grand Cayman.

So, what movie are they filming? Dolphin Tale – an inspirational film crew about the friendship between an 11 year-old boy and a dolphin named Winter, whose tail was lost in a crab trap.  Based on a true story, the family film highlights Winter’s struggle, as the boy rallies friends and family to save her life with the creation of a prosthetic attachment used to restore her ability to swim.

Staring Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman, recording artist and actor Harry Connick Jr., award-winning actress Ashley Judd, and music and movie legend Kris Kristofferson, Dolphin Tale is set to release in 3-D this fall!

Click here for more information about the film.

For your own wildlife fix on Grand Cayman, The Reef offers power snorkeling and sail snorkel adventure tours through White Sands Water Sports.

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Winter Wish List: The Reef Resort

The Reef Resort is in the news again.  The exclusive publication, Caribbean Travel + Life, added The Reef to their Winter Wish List.  Cayman Islands.  Check.  Sparkling sand.  Check.  Largest beaches. Check.  Great non-motorized sports program.  Check.  Complimentary concierge.  Check.  Economical Getaway.  Check.

What’s on your winter wish list?

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Caybrew Beer Wins Bronze CAB Award

The results of the 2010 Caribbean Alcohol Beverage (CAB) Awards are in!  After a “blind” taste test at the Caribbean Rum and Beer Festival in Barbados, two locally brewed favorites won!

Manufactured at the Cayman Islands Brewery, Caylight received a Gold CAB Award.  Caybrew, the original brand launched by the Cayman Islands Brewery, won the Bronze.  In an impressive battle, both brands beat out larger competitors such as Red Stripe, Piton, Banks, Carib and many others.

A six-member panel judged the CAB awards.  International industry experts from the US, Germany, Belgium and the UK, and two members of the general public evaluated the beer against four criteria – appearance, aroma, taste and overall Impression.

Come dangle your toes in the sand and sip a cold award-winning Caybrew at our beachside bar, the Rusty Pelican.

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The Reef Resort is Back in the News

Two exclusive magazines, Westcehster Magazine and Hudson Valley Magazine in New York have included The Reef Resort.  We welcome the readers of both publications, and look forward to introducing them to the East End of the Island!


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Westchester Nov.

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The Pelican’s Reef takes flight in Delta’s inflight magazine: Sky


Pelican’s Reef
restaurant is the center of nightlife and entertainment at The Reef Resort, so states the editor of Delta’s in-flight magazine, Sky.

We agree, as locals from around the island come to the Pelican’s Reef to hear the country-infused Caribbean crooner, The Barefoot Man. Often compared to Jimmy Buffet, Barefoot is an island favorite, and is exclusive to The Reef Resort.

Pelican’s Reef serves up fresh local fish, lobster, and tender steaks, all with a Caribbean infused flair.  Sip, sniff and swirl away as the resort offers an impressive wine list to compliment any meal.  The gorgeous beach views and soft Caribbean sands are the perfect backdrop for an evening of food and fun.

Delta Sky Magazine agrees, this East End hot spot is the perfect place to get the party started!

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Reef Staff Honored at Stingray Awards 2010

Every year, the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) hosts the Stingray Tourism awards to honor all the outstanding employees in the Cayman Islands Tourism industry. “These are individuals who both service guest’s daily on the front line and behind the scenes. They are the crème de la crème of Cayman’s Tourism Industry” said Trina Christian Executive Director of CITA.

 TheReef is proud to announce that 5 of our very own have been nominated for these prestigious awards! And theReef’s nominees are…

  • Linera Grant - Accommodations Employee of the YearStingray Awards
  • Eadaoin Douglas – Restaurant Manager of  the Year
  • Constantiono “Tony” Vailoces – Restaurant Employee of the Year
  • Sarah-Jane Whitehill – Rising Star in Tourism Award
  • Michelle Hayes – Long Service/Special Contribution Award

On Tuesday 9th November, the nominees will attend an awards dinner held at the Marriott Beach Resort on Seven Mile Beach.

 We wish them all the best of luck! Check back here to find out if our Reef Stars are winners.

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Shop Till You Drop: Beachside

If you like shopping as much as I do, it’s going to be hard to break away from the mall on the biggest shopping day of the year – Black Friday.  I know. I know.  With all of the great sales, how can you be anywhere else?

Imagine this…  You’re lounging beachside on one of the largest stretches of white sandy beach in the tranquil East End of the Cayman Islands, cocktail in one hand, and a laptop in the other.  You’re taking advantage of the online sales and adding the perfect holiday gifts to your shopping cart, while soaking in the sun and the gorgeous Caribbean Sea.

Are you in dreamland yet?  No need to be.  The Reef is offering the perfect Black Friday package.  Check-in Thanksgiving. Enjoy the sun, the sand, a trip to Stingray City, shop your heart out with The Reef’s beachside WIFI, and check-out on Monday.  Not quite good enough?  Add a day and shop Cyber Monday too.  If you absolutely must get to a mall, Kirk Freeport Plaza, Galleria Plaza, and the new Camana Bay are just a few of the many shopping destinations on Grand Cayman.  Now, that sounds better…

Spend the Thanksgiving holiday shopping in paradise. This is your chance!

Visit The Reef for price and package details.

Camnabay

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All the Way from New York, WPIX-TV Visits The Reef

Hats off to Sarah-Jane Whitehill, marketing coordinator of The Reef, who starred in WPIX-TV’s Cayman Island segments.  Diving In The Cayman Islands and Sights and Sounds Of The Cayman Islands aired today on WPIX Channel 11 in New York and are available online.  A special thanks to Sarah-Jane and the rest of The Reef staff for making WPIX’s visit to The Reef and Grand Cayman Island such a success!


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Great Fall Rates: The Reef Partners with Cayman Airlines

Are you a friend of The Reef Resort? If you said yes, this is the deal for you! If not, there’s no better time to become our friend. The Reef teamed-up with Cayman Airways to offer exceptional airfare options to anyone staying at the resort now through November 17. Check out these deals: fly from Miami to Grand Cayman for just $178 round trip, from Tampa to Grand Cayman for a mere $198 round trip, and from New York to Grand Cayman for as low as $238 round trip.

To sweeten the deal, take advantage of our Fall Sale. Beachfront Studios are available for $99 per night. Just remember, you must stay at The Reef to take advantage of these exclusive Cayman Airways fares.

To book airfares, log onto Cayman Airways or call 1-800-GCAYMAN (1-800-422-9626) and use the promo code REE10. Click here to learn more about The Reef or call 866.714.2309.

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The Reef Resort: Double Upgrade a Sweet Deal

Think dead of winter, gray skies, snow and slush everywhere, and scraping the proverbial windshield. Now think sunny skies, sitting beachside on one of the largest stretches of beach in Cayman Island with a cool lemonade in one hand and a book in another? Even better why not a tall refreshing gin and tonic, or go for the gusto and think top-shelf Caribbean cocktail that’s hand-blended and delivered to you before you even ask.

Ok, most people want to get the heck out of dodge in the middle of winter, and will opt for the hand-blended magically appearing cocktail, unless of course you despise, fruity drinks, and well that’s a whole other topic. The Reef Resort is offering a magical winter escape entitled Double Upgrade. What’s in it for you?
Book this package by October 15, and move from a beachfront Studio Suite (450 sq.-ft.) to a one bedroom beachfront Executive Suite (900 – sq-ft). Oh aren’t we cleaver with the name. Not! But hey the name is OK if you save, and you do, plus if you book early you save an additional 20% on top of the upgrade. Visit The Reef for price and package details.

Does that hand-blended cocktail have your name all over it? I’m one of those folks who don’t dig the fruity cocktails, but I can honestly say, The Reef’s mudslides are epic!

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New York Post features The Reef’s $99 deal

The New York Post, one of my all time favorite newspapers, has picked up on the Reef’s $99 deal.

September is a wonderful season on Grand Cayman. All of the summer travelers have long gone, while all of the Reef’s activities are in full swing, and the temperatures are a balmy 80° while water temperatures range from 78°F to 82°F in the fall and beyond. With so many direct flights from New York, Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, and Houston and the Reef’s $99 rate, this might be the perfect time of year to come, see, and experience the magic of Grand Cayman!

A big thank-you to the New York Post!

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Celebrate Cayman Night in Texas!

Cayman Night Port Arthur 2010For the past 5 years in Port Arthur, TX., Caymanians and Cayman Wanna-be’s celebrate their love for the Cayman Islands, with great food and family entertainment – including a performance by theReef’s very own Barefoot Man.

This year, Cayman Night will be held on Saturday, September 25th at the Carl Parker Multipurpose Center from 5.30 to 11.30pm.

Barefoot Man, Chuck and Barrie Quappe, and Andy Martin, “The Cayman Cowboy,” will be heading the festivities. The pre-show will feature, the OutRigger Band, featuring Bob Brammer and K.O. Harlow!
Island Cuisine and Cayman Rum Punch will also be available for purchase, as well as soft drinks and other beverages. There will be children’s activities, limbo contests, door prize give-a-ways, and photos among the festivities for the night. Tickets are US$20 per adult and kids under 12 are free!

For tickets and further information please visit www.caymannight.com. Special hotel rates are also available.

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The Reef Resort is a sea-turtle hotspot this year

Exciting news at The Reef as seventy-five turtle hatchlings are making their way to the sea. The Reef has three more nests so they are expecting many more hatchlings over the next few days. What a great memory for the many guests and their families to share as they watch Mother Nature in action and the amazing journey these tiny little sea creatures make to get back home.

Many are familiar with the local Cayman Turtle Farm on Grand Cayman Island, a major tourist attraction in George Town, and the only one of it’s kind in the world. The farm offers great teaching opportunities for children, but for me, it doesn’t get any better than stepping outside of your guestroom to witness one of life’s great miracles!

I’m sure these tiny hatchlings will be the talk of the day, week and more! A big thank you to Katelios Group for providing us with this fabulous image as we wouldn’t want to disturb the newborns here at The Reef.

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