Cayman Time

Cayman Blog from The Reef Resort in Grand Cayman

Category: FUN NEWS

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.

Happy Holidays from theReef!

The only way to build a snowman at theReef!

 

Happy Holidays from everyone at theReef!

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

Top Pro to claim the $1000 Reefathlon prize!

peterWe are excited to announce that Peter Stetina has confirmed his entry to the November 22nd Reefathlon event, where he will be gunning for the $1000 prize for breaking the open course record.

Cayman cyclists are reminded that not only are we offering $1000 for breaking the open course record, but if the Cayman course record falls, the local record holder will also receive a special prize. Always seeking to motivate the top local cyclists, and by popular demand, the prize for breaking the local course record will be a) a one night VIP stay at The Reef, along with b) US$250 cash.

Peter will be staying at The Reef for the weekend on his own “beach bike break” and will take part in a relaxed and social group ride around the course at 3pm on Saturday November 21st, all Reefathlon guests and friends of cycling are invited to join in!

Check out www.reefathlon.com for event details, as well as Peter’s bio!

Power snorkeling – a new trend at The Reef Resort

Power snorkeling is all the rage at The Reef Resort. Adults and kids alike can’t get enough of this motorized snorkeling experience. “It fits with today’s tech savvy consumer”, states the folks from White Sands Sports, the onsite professional team that is providing the resort with its new non-motorized sports program. What makes this snorkel activity so popular is you still use traditional snorkel gear with a DVP (dive propulsion vehicle). Using the DVP allows snorkelers to propel through the water at a quicker pace seeing even more than one could on their own.

250px-nurse_sharkThe guys at White Sand make the experience simple and fun. Guests are taken to a secluded beach via bus about ¾ of a mile up the road. Everyone gets powered-up and then heads back down the coast stopping at the best snorkeling spots and fishing holes in the area. Remember, the East End is less disturbed so the clear turquoise waters and plentiful wildlife make it easy to spot nurse sharks, rays, turtles and other cool sea creatures. An hour later everyone is back at The Reef Resort, for a yummy Caribbean cocktail and an exhilarating exchange ensues about the many sea creatures spotted on the journey. The Power Snorkel excursions include transportation, all snorkel equipment, safety vest and a DPV unit. For a mere $40 it is a steal of a deal for this memorable experience.

Even the mama Loggerhead Turtle is on board with the non-motorized sports program as the resort’s new Ms. Green reports that The Reef does indeed have a turtle nest with hatchlings due in August.

No Jet Skies here! Yeah!

Book in advance as Power Snorkeling is hot and often sells out way in advance; conceirge@thereef.com.

It’s time to re-think Grand Cayman

Summer Here and it’s time to re-think Grand Cayman – think East End

kbrderinmotionjpedBooking a trip to Grand Cayman for a family vacation?  Pass on the hustle and bustle of 7-mile beach and head over to the undiscovered East End and vacation with the locals.

The Reef Resort, www.thereef.com, is strategically located on the undiscovered East End of the island. It’s close to Vivine’s Kitchen, a locals favorite, and Rum Point Beach, a family favorite. They offer the largest single stretch of beach on the island, (1,600 ft.), everyone’s favorite.

Just launched in time for summer is the resort’s non-motorized water sports program with crazy cheap rentals at just $20 per person per day. Try kayaking, kite surfing, paddle boarding and power snorkeling. Jamie and Cathy Myles were the first to experience power snorkeling (motorized snorkeling) and they loved it, “it was a blast” adds the Myles. “Power snorkeling” has become the hottest activity at the resort, so much so that the motorized sports crew can’t keep up with all of the requests. To book in advance, contact the on-site concierge at concierge@thereef.com.

The Reef  also just announced a new summer soft adventure vacation package the whole family will enjoy; the new Junior Adventure Package. This five-night package starts at $2,075 (no resort or services fees), and can accommodate a family of four.  Package value adds; snorkeling, mid-size care rental, ½ day paddle boat with canopy, one-hour glass bottom two-person kayak rental x 2, behind the scenes tour at the Blue Iguana sanctuary and a $25 donation to the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme made on the families behalf.  Visit the Blue Iguana website to learn more about the perils of the Blue Iguana: www.blueiguana.ky

A little too relaxed for you? No worries! An off-site trip to the renowned Stingray City, or a snorkel or dive adventure with the resort’s on-site professional dive partners, Ocean Frontiers, will liven-up the day. On-site activities are also plentiful (www.thereef.com/en/thingsToDo/activitySchedule.html). Sign up for stargazing, water aerobics, and yoga, or just get lazy with a read in the shade of a Palapa.  Evenings at the resort are also happening as nightly entertainment, restaurant specials and daily happy hour are also on tap.

Quite simply: The Reef Resort Has it All!

Autumn has come!

Happy Halloween everyone! I would like to share a nice little story one of our owners experienced during this fall season. Thanks for sharing Bill & Laura!

Laura bought a nice pumpkin. It sat proudly on the edge of the deck toward the lake next to a beautiful mum plant. The chipmunks and squirrels had chipped away at the skin a bit but it was doing OK. We just turned the “modified parts” away from our view. One morning I got up and it appeared a racoon decided to bore into it. Poor pumpkin went down hill from there. The squirrels and chippies run in and out of the hole, have widened it and even have their own now. The pumpkin now sits on the end of a retaining wall and is the center of constant attraction.

Nuclear Energy

The following article is taken from today’s Cayman Compass.

A US company has proposed a small nuclear power generator for Cayman now that the electricity industry has been liberalised.
The nuclear reactor is called SSTAR – an acronym for “small, sealed, transportable, autonomous, reactor” is being proposed by a Terre Haute, Indiana–based company called Everglow Power Inc.
The company uses the so–called “pocket nuke” line of reactors that come in sizes that can generate between 10 to 100 megawatts of electricity. Everglow Power Sales and Marketing Manager Gordon Zapya said the company was looking to put a 10–megawatt generator here in Cayman.
“We’ve had several meetings with various government officials and we’ve already done a preliminary survey of possible sites for the generator,” he said. “Because a 10 megawatt generator is 40–feet tall, it would have to be installed partially underground to meet your planning code, we must have a site that is at least 20 feet above sea level.
Although he would not say what his company’s preferred location was for the nuclear generator, Mr. Zapya said it was along the north coast of Grand Cayman in an area of indigenous cliff rock.
Contrary to popular belief, nuclear power is more environmentally friendly than other generating methods using hydro or oil–based methods, Mr. Zapya said.
“People are coming to understand that nuclear is the true “green” power,” he said, adding that technological advances over the past decade have also made nuclear power extremely safe.
Disposal of nuclear waste is not a problem with the company’s SSTAR generators.
“The reactor only has enough Uranium–238 fuel to provide a constant source of power for 30 years,” he said. “After that, the manufacturer will come and take the generator away.”
Mr. Zapya said the Cayman Islands need not worry about the manufacturer fulfilling its obligations to remove the spent nuclear reactor.
“The manufacturer will put a significant amount of the purchase price in an investment escrow account here in the Cayman Islands. Over the 30–year life of the reactor, the escrow account will be worth more than the purchase price.”
The SSTAR has several advanced safety features.
“The reactor is passively safe, which means it does not require operator action or electronic feedback in order to shut down safely in the event of some kind of emergency like overheating or tampering.” he said. “Basically, the reactor is idiot proof. Homer Simpson could operate it.”
Because most of the nuclear reactor will be housed underground, only a small portion will protrude above ground.
“The reactor is housed in a mostly–underground bunker that could withstand a hurricane with 175 mile per hour winds or a Magnitude 8 earthquake,” Mr. Zapya said. “In addition, it’s missile proof.”
The protruding part of housing will be decorated so that it fits in with Cayman’s tropical surroundings.
“We’ll paint it pink or some other colour that fits in with the rest of Cayman’s buildings and then nicely landscape the grounds.”
Although the reactor does not require an operator, Everglow Power does suggest at least one security guard on the site, who could also monitor the operation light.
“On the top of the reactor, there will be two lights, one green and one red. The green light will stay on while the reactor is operational and when all the fuel is spent, the red light will come on. Then it’s time for a new reactor.”
The SSTAR has anti–tampering devices and alarms to prevent any rogue elements from trying to steal the fuel for nuclear weapons.
Everglow Power lead scientist Itza Ruse said anyone who tried to tamper with the SSTAR would be in big trouble.
“The reactor’s alphabet alarms – named that way because there are 26 of them – are directly linked to the US Department of Defense. If someone messes with the reactor, US fighters or drones could be deployed from Guantanamo Bay in less than an hour to zap the bad guys.”
Mr. Ruse acknowledged that a lot of people just don’t believe there can be safe nuclear reactors.
“As sure as it’s April Fool’s day, we can light up Cayman safely,” he said.

Cayman is a birdwatcher’s paradise

The following article is from FUN NEWS which is a local paper that is periodically released from Caymans own Barefoot Man who performs exclusively at The Reef Resort. For a complete listing of his performance schedule click here.
The Cayman Islands offer some unique opportunities for the popular hobby of birdwatching, as they are host to a surprisingly wide range of resident birds. They also act as a staging post for many migratory birds and other occasional visitors. Cayman is particularly fascinating for the study of wildlife, as species long resident on one island can evolve slightly differently from their mainland counterparts, and develop characteristics not seen anywhere else.

The first studies of birds found in Cayman were published by C.B.C. Cory in 1886, but were restricted to descriptions of birds found in Grand Cayman at that time. Numerous brief visits by ornithologists then followed. Then in 1982, Patricia Bradley came to live in Grand Cayman and began to put together comparative monthly records of bird sightings on all three islands. Her highly regarded field guide Birds of the Cayman Islands (now in its second edition) describes the biogeography of the area, and gives details of the history of bird settlement and migration. Full bird descriptions are provided, with colour pictures by Yves-Jacques Rey-Millet and the author.
International experts also visit Cayman to study its bird life, some under the auspices of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands’ Visiting Scientists Programme. In 1994, for example, Nedra Klein from the American Museum of Natural History arrived to conduct a study of local Tanagers, Warblers and Bananaquits. In 1997, Betty Ann Schreiber also helped conduct the survey on the Red-footed Booby Pond on Little Cayman.

The National Trust organizes regular birdwatching activities conducted by local ornighologists and avid bird enthusiasts. Weekends often see members gathering at a selected location, usually in the Botanic Park, for a field trip. Check our Calendar of Events for the latest activities.
The Cayman Islands Bird Club has very supportive of the work of the Trust, and has made some substantial contributions to the greater understanding of local avifauna (birds). Members have also assisted with the census conducted on the range and population of Cayman Islands Parrots, and have constructed a comprehensive list of birds sighted at The Governor Michael Gore Bird Sanctuary.

Some of the most important locations for birdwatching in Cayman are held in trust for the people of the islands. These include the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, the Mastic Reserve, the Cayman Brac Parrot Reserve, and the Little Cayman Booby Pond Nature Reserve. Rare and endangered birds also find sanctuary in the Salina Reserve and the Central Mangrove Wetland. Other interesting and protected sites include Meagre Bay Pond in Pease Bay, Colliers Pond in East End, Vulgunners Pond and Palmetto Pond at Barkers in West Bay, and islanders’ own gardens. An astonishing variety of birds can be seen right outside the window of island residences. Several native species have become quite happy to live in built up areas, and can been seen feeding on garden plants and insects. To date, a total of 219 different species (both resident and migrant) have been recorded.

For “would be” birdwatchers, very little skill or equipment is necessary to begin this intriguing pastime. A good pair of binoculars is recommended and a field guide to assist in identifying the birds spotted is helpful. The best time for birdwatching is either early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Just remember that birds depend on their habitat for everything, so on field trips (especially to Reserves and Sanctuaries) take nothing out and leave nothing behind. If you should see a bird you believe has not been previously recorded, make careful notes about when and where you view and at what time. Take a photograph if possible, then contact the Bird Club. Every birdwatcher is a potential discoverer!