Cayman Time

Cayman Blog from The Reef Resort in Grand Cayman

Category: Uncategorized

Crowing about Cayman

I’m not about to divulge the secret as to how Odd Blog got a ticket to the Ritz Carlton Grand Opening on Saturday night, but I will tell you that I did The Reef proud by getting a couple of blurred close-ups of Sheryl Crow as she sang to the fizz-filled party-goers.

While you may think it’s nothing to write home about, rest assured, I wrote anyway.

But you know, something I couldn’t work out… if all Sheryl wants to do is have some fun,.. she kept singing something about that over and over and I kept asking myself, what was she doing hanging out at the Ritz? Shez and her Crow Crew should have been at the Reef Resort beach bar for Happy Hour with Linda, the friendliest bar tender in the world. (Linda’s latest happy hour sunset photos will be available for viewing soon – watch this space.)

Love is in the air…

This is Sara & Jamie’s story and it started almost two years ago with a romantic dinner at a Barefoot Man night (click here for the pictures). Jamie proposed to Sara that night and of course – she said YES!
The romance continues and they reported a new arrival to this planet – little ‘Cayman Rose’ was born in November 2005.
All the staff of The Reef congratulates and looks forward to seeing you three in March at The Reef!

A mate for Castro ?


The Grand Cayman Marriott has followed in the footsteps of The Reef and they now have their own feathered friend, a young lady by the name of Ruby… hmm.. a friend for Castro perhaps ? :)

A Lad in Cave

…..

Yes it’s a groaner, but I couldn’t resist.

Superdave is demonstrating the wonders of the Ecoventures Cave and Woodland Treck:
1) You can explore something that you will not find anywhere else in Cayman
2) you can get the person in front of you to take a picture that makes you look like you’re crawling out of a dragon(who has been eating peanut butter)’s mouth.

The Treck takes you from a secret location, into the inner-forests of the island where the landscape is ‘untouched’ in the truest sense of the word and nature is abundant.

So unique is this tour that the week before the Holiday, a reporter and photographer from Sport Diver Magazine came to encounter the unexplored with the Ecoventures team – look out in future editions of ‘Sport Diver’ for the feature.

So if one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to be more adventurous – look no further than your next vacation.

We’ve got a few more Reef Resolutions on our home page

Tenjewberrymuds

This excerpt was sent to us by a Friend of The Reef. It’s good fun. To get the full effect, this should be read aloud. You will understand what ‘tenjewberrymuds’ means by the end of the conversation. (And by the way, the Caymanian accent is much easier to understand!)

The following is a telephone exchange between a hotel guest and room-service, at a hotel in Asia, which was recorded and published in the Far East Economic Review:

Room Service (RS): “Morrin. ; Roon sirbees.”

Guest (G): “Sorry, I thought I dialed room-service.”

RS: “Rye..Roon sirbees..morrin! Jewish to oddor sunteen??”

G: “Uh..yes..I’d like some bacon and eggs.”

RS: “Ow July den?”

G: “What??”

RS: “Ow July den?…pryed, boyud, poochd?”

G : “Oh, the eggs! How do I like them? Sorry, scrambled please.”

RS: “Ow July dee baykem? Crease?”

G: “Crisp will be fine.”

RS : “Hokay. An Sahn toes?”

G: “What?”

RS:”An toes. July Sahn toes?”

G: “I don’t think so.”

RS: “No? Judo wan sahn toes??”

G: “I feel really bad about this, but I don’t know what ‘judo wan sahn toes’ means.”

RS: “Toes! toes!…Why jew don juan toes? Ow bow Anglish moppin we bodder?”

G: “English muffin!! I’ve got it! You were saying ‘Toast.’ Fine. Yes, an English muffin will be fine.”

RS: “We bodder?”

G: “No…just put the bodder on the side.”

RS: “Wad! ?”

G: “I mean butter…just put it on the side.”

RS: “Copy?”

G: “Excuse me?”

RS: “Copy..tea…meel?”

G: “Yes. Coffee, please, and that’s all.”

RS: “One Minnie. Scramah egg, crease baykem, Anglish moppin we bodder on sigh and copy….rye??”

G: “Whatever you say.”

RS: “Tenjewberrymuds.”

G : “You’re very welcome.”

ON BEHALF OF ALL THE STAFF OF THE REEF RESORT WE WISH YOU MERRIMENT IN YOUR NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS AND WE’LL BE BACK WITH MORE FUN AND BLOGGING IN 2006.

ALL THE VERY BEST TO YOU!!!

Giant Iguanas Spotted in East End!

Alright so this guy is looking a bit bloated after his Christmas dinner…

But Giant Iguanas of another kind have been discovered all over Grand Cayman, that culture vultures and nature lovers alike, can appreciate.

The National Trust, National Gallery, and Department of Tourism have organised an extraordinary outdoor art event – never before seen or tried on this island! The Blue Dragon Trail mixes together arts and entertainment in an attempt to conserve the Grand Cayman Blue Iguana.

15 larger-than-life-size sculptures were commissioned and local artists were let loose on them, painting the dragons in all kinds of colours and themes. The diverse and durable works were then ‘released’ throughout Grand Cayman. Visitors can follow a special trail map from the Department of Tourism or the National Trust. (Note: The closest one to The Reef is in the village of East End and there is another at Rum Point).

(I found this photo amongst a group of anonymous ones that I’ve gathered from willing victims – if this is you, thank you for the photo – and please stake your claim to fame so I can give you due credit!)

The Grand Cayman Blue Iguana is the most endangered Iguana in the world; It’s estimated that there are as few as 25 of these special blue dragons left living in the wild. A recovery programme has been running here for several years but conservationists are still concerned.

The Blue Iguana Recovery Programme is based at the Queen Elizabeth ll Botanic Park (speak to our concierge for details, email concierge@thereef.com.ky

If you want to help there are several ways of donating: Adopt a blue iguana or help build the new boundary fence that is much needed. There is a website dedicated to the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme. Click here to visit; you can even see an aerial view photo of the park and see the progress that is being made with the fence – at present time they need a lot more help with this project.

Fish Feeding on the Dock

Feeding the fish is a fun, new activity here at The Reef. This project was started by John Peart (one of the gardeners), Michel (one of our F & B servers), and John Eden (one of our concierges). It usually draws quite a crowd!! The photos do not give the proper visual, but the fish swarm in to the food, whether it is squid, bread or lettuce. Fun to watch!! We get tarpon, as well as a variety of smaller fish enjoying the leftover goodies….
So, whenever you get here, and you hear a whistle blowing in the afternoon, fear not, as that would be the call for anyone interested in watching/feeding the fish, to head out to the dock!! Make sure you find yourself there at least one afternoon!! It’s a show NOT to be missed.

Happy Holiday!! :o )

Castro’s Christmas Speech

As I look back over these past 12 months, actually, it feels more like a year, I know that it has been about as full a time as I can remember.

The year started off looking like it was going to be an Annus Horribilis, to quote the Queen, and I don’t mean Elton John. I began the year away from my beloved home, The Reef Resort, as the staff here kept their noses to the grindstone, their shoulders to the wheel and their ears to the ground – the chiropractors made a fortune – and everyone rallied together toward the common goal of re-opening the resort post-Ivan
I have said this many a time with guests – and many of you know only too well from your own experience — that team work and human support in times of need is a powerful thing. As my grandfather said, birds of a feather stick together, just like nose-hairs, not that I’ve got any. That reminds me, it’s about time for my shower.

The speed of recovery and being among the first to re-open was a real achievement, but it also seemed to evoke something more lasting and profound – a new hurricane proof beach bar for me to look at…oh, and a sense of belonging and pride in our resort.

Fortified by far more nuts and crackers than is good for my physique, and the support you have given me throughout the last 12 months, which has meant so much to me, I look forward to the New Year. I look forward to facing the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, and to continuing to serve you to the best of my ability each and every day. And on a more personal level, I look forward to finally finding love and commitment, but only for one night.

I’ve always said that if you can fake sincerity you’ve got it made, so – Have a Great Year. No, I really mean it…Honestly…Trust me…
A Happy Christmas to you all.

* * * * * * * *

The Staff at The Reef send you festive wishes and tidings of joy at this wonderful time of year.
If you’re already here at The Reef – we wish you a very happy holiday with us.

PS/ If you missed our Holiday Edition of Ripples from The Reef you can read it here
And if you enjoyed the read, sign up for future newsletters here

Vacation Chill Pills!!



Everyone is in the Christmas Spirit!! Here is Annette, who works at the Front Desk, displaying her “Chill Pills”!! These were a great hit with the guests (and the staff as well). The bowl was full, and was emptied within an hour or so!!! Most of you know these “Chill Pills” as Christmas Coloured M & M’s!! Great way to decorate the desk, and satisfy chocolate cravings at the same time!! Happy Holidays Everyone!!

Keith is currently out of the office…..

What a drag, having to slip on a pair of shorts, pick up your laptop and walk straight out of your Ocean Front Condo, across the beach and onto the dock to catch up on the latest slew of emails.

Reef guest Keith Orchard wasn’t complaining yesterday morning when he was spotted doing just this – emailing those back home has never been so picturesque!

As you can see, Wireless service at The Reef is not only available in our lobby, but also at The Beach Bar, on the dock, and many parts of the beach.

The service is currently free as it doesn’t cover the whole resort and as with any new baby, there have been some teething problems. (i.e. If you’ve got important work to bring with you please don’t rely solely on the wireless service to help you complete your mission, it is wise to have a plan B for communications. Bring vital work on a disc so that you can use the high-speed service at the Thirsty Surfer, our on-site liquor-store and internet cafe.)

HEALTH BENEFIT WARNING: The Reef Resort may harm your ability to concentrate on anything other than Pure Beach Relaxation.

Enjoy the Scenery!


Driving along Breakers around 6pm has been an even more enjoyable ride in the past few weeks. For once the roads are nice and smooth, but also you can see some of the most beautiful sunsets.

Have you thought about hiring a car to explore the island yourself? If you would like some assistance with your car rental arrangments make sure you let our concierge team know. There are many beautiful hidden spots you may not know about yet :)

Cayman Gets a Smooth Ride

The Government Minister of Works has declared a ‘pothole blitz’ on Grand Cayman.
National Roads Authority crews are working to patch all the potholes they can before Christmas. The crews are also clearing bushes from the sides of the roads.

A noticeable improvement for guests of The Reef (and their bottoms) can be experienced on the stretch between Pease Bay and Breakers (near the Lighthouse Restaurant).

Only a couple of weeks ago this road could have been a contender for being the worst on the island in terms of missing content! Not any more.. and now we can all enjoy the beautiful coastal views without having to dodge the holes.

Christmas Recipe

In preparation for Christmas gorging, here is a recipe for the healthy, refreshing and nutricious Sorrel Drink that is popular in the Caribbean at this time of year. Sorrel is said to contain large amounts of vitamins, antioxidants and can help in weight loss (which is unusual for Holiday food!)

Sorrel is native to Jamaica and is also grown here in Grand Cayman. This dark red drink can be found at the fresh juice counters in our supermarkets; why not have a try at making your own. (A great addition to a party for the designated drivers to sup on).

Recipe: (taken from RecipeCottage.com)

1/4 pound sorrel sepals
strip of dried orange peel
cinnamon stick
a few whole cloves
1 gill of rum (1/2 cup American or 1/4 pint Imperial)
1 gallon boiling water
2-3 pounds sugar
1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon powdered cloves

Put the dried sorrel, orange peel, cinnamon stick and whole cloves in a gallon jar, pouring the water over. When cool, cover and leave the mixture to steep for 2 days. Then strain off the liquid, add sugar to taste rather sweet, add rum, powdered or ground spices and let it stand for another 2 days before serving chilled or with crushed ice.

If you don’t have time to make this before Christmas, try it for a New Year’s party. It is an ‘acquired taste’ but full of vitamin C and calcium and could give you just the healthy boost you need to set you on the right foot for your New Year Resolutions.

Out Of Space

Peter Ponzo, one of our dedicated owners, did some research on the web before coming back to The Reef tomorrow to enjoy his Holidays with us.

Have a look at these great satellite pictures of Grand Cayman and The Reef.

Thank you Peter, it is nice to know that our owners and guests remember The Reef even when not on island :) We are looking forward to seeing you tomorrow.

Safe Trip!

Christmas Postcard from Paradise

This water-colour painting by Leona Baker, Activities Director at The Reef, is now available as a free electronic postcard on our website. It’s simple, click here and fill in the details.

It only takes a minute of your time but can warm someone’s entire day!

TIP: If you don’t have time to buy, write and post Christmas cards amidst all the other chaos – use Leona’s original e-postcard as an alternative. You can send as many of these as you like, in a fraction of the time.

Little Reefians

Kids have a great time at The Reef Resort – pure, clean fun that is healthy too (UV protection required!)

Here are some great shots sent in by the Hagstroms. Gunner enjoying himself on our dock and below, writing a message home (photo taken from their third floor suite).

And if this festive cuteness doesn’t bring a smile to your face I don’t know what will. Kathy Baumann sent this photo, of her Grandaughter Jalynn.

Kathy says, “Jalynn’s expression says how much we all loved being in the Caymans”.

Smoke-free followers

Word is that Grand Cayman’s Westin Casuarina Resort is turning smoke-free in February 2006.

Yet again we have a case of The Reef being the Pied Piper and other resorts being the rats – in a metaphorical sense of course ;)

An article in the Caymanian Compass on this ‘new’ development quotes our Director Tom McCallum (blogger TomCayman):

“I believe that the great majority of of tourist customers do not smoke, in fact research done on this shows that about 90 percent of the market is non-smoking”.

Our restaurant and all suites are non-smoking but we remain smoker friendly with the provision of ashtrays on the patios of the suites and the restaurant has a smoking/cigar terrace overlooking the ocean.

All imitators…Put that in your pipe and smoke it!!

Cuban Refugees Discovered at The Reef

Yesterday posed an emotional and challenging time for many of the staff and guests at The Reef Resort.

As the sun rose yesterday morning, people could see from our beach that a boat carrying 12 men was marooned on the reef that protects the resort. Urgent help was summoned, especially as two men had fallen off the boat, into the ocean and were in distress.

Captain Joey from Ecoventures was one of the first on the scene – he reacted very quickly and took it upon himself to single-handedly rescue the two men that were in danger of drowning. Joey headed out through the East End Channel in his boat and pulled the two men to safety.

Meanwhile other staff at the resort realised what was happening and began preparing food and drink for the men, understanding that whatever the nature of this event, the men would need food and water upon rescue.

It soon became apparent that the men were Cuban Nationals. A member of our Ground Staff, Papi, a Cuban ex-pat who has lived in Grand Cayman for ten years, served as translator and relayed the message that the men were would-be refugees, not intending to land on Cayman but in fact heading for Honduras.

In her article in the Miami Herald earlier this year, Nancy San Martin described the dangerous escape route that Cubans are now taking in their search for asylum in the US. The men could have taken the shorter and safer trip from Cuba’s northwestern coast to South Florida but would then risk being intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard who returned some 1500 Cubans to the communist-ruled country in 2004.

The new route is much longer – 700 miles by sea to Honduras (passing Grand Cayman) and then 3,000 more by land to El Norte.

The journey towards Honduras usually begins somewhere along the southern coast of Cuba’s eastern province of Camaguey. A source says that if a stop is made in the Cayman Islands, authorities may encourage Cubans to keep going, but only in the vessel in which they arrived or another of Cuban origin.

Unfortunately the landing on the reef for these men meant that their boat was damaged and the shaft was broken, letting water inside the vessel. Officials at the scene waited to see what could be done for the men as East End locals rushed off to get boat parts and other supplies. Simon Boxall and camera crew from Cayman27 News were at the scene and interviewed Morritt’s guest Jackie Wilcox about what he had seen.

Eventually the decision was made to take the Cuban men into custody rather than let them continue the dangerous journey in a faulty vessel – attempts of local help in fixing the boat appeared to be disallowed at this stage.

Joey and Mr.Claire spent the rest of the day bailing and pumping water out of the empty boat as the water flooded in. It was taken away by instruction of the Department of Environment later that day with assistance from Mo at Ocean Frontiers driving Nauticat.

It was reported in the news this morning that the men will be sent back to Cuba and repatriated.

This was a situation where we were ultimately helpless – but not for want of trying.

On behalf of the resort, special recognition for effort is given to Joey, Papi, Mr. Claire, John Eden, Monica Wilson, Carol, Glendon and Clive who all worked extremely hard as individuals and as a team.

Grocery Store and so much more!!


We are all excited here at The Reef, as the hopes and dreams of having a supermarket out on this end again is fast becoming a reality. The Morrits plans on having the structure completed within the next 3 months, but we are all hoping that Fosters Food Fair will at least come out sooner. It is also rumored that there will be a Pizza Place, a Car Rental agency, as well as a souvenir shop, amongst other stores. This strip mall is a great addition to the district!! Will keep you updated as the names of the stores are confirmed.

Have a great day!!

It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere

Happy Hour at the (yes hurricane proof!) Beach Bar is ever popular. (Every day 5 ’til 7pm)

Linda Locke (pictured here receiving star staff member award from Castro’s Hideaway Manager Phil Maguire) is your Friday Happy Hour Hostess/Photographer – not only does she make a mean mudslide, she takes a mean mugshot too.

Our photo gallery now has all the Friday Happy Hour snapshots from October and November on display. Visit the gallery here

Linda is already gathering up the next round – available for viewing soon.

PS/ If you have any photos taken here at The Reef or in Cayman in general that you’d like to share with the world, send them in (you can email me by clicking on my ‘profile’) and we’ll display them in our Guest Gallery.

It’s not bragging if it’s true, is it?

You can’t see it, but we’re blushing.

A very kind Reef Guest has written a glowing review of their stay during Thanksgiving (on the ‘tripadvisor’ website).

There’s an old Arabian proverb that says, ‘Insults should be written in sand and praises carved in stone’.

The Reef has 1600 feet of sand and well… less stone than that – so it is only fair that we get our moment of glory somehow and where better to do it than our trusty blog?

If you’re interested in someone blowing our own trumpet, visit tripadvisor

A Spongeface Encounter

Jeff and Lisa emailed me from their site ‘Life on Conch Pointe’, a blog they created during their time living in Grand Cayman.

It turns out that in April 2004, Jeff and Lisa encountered the real SpongeBob (Ref. yesterday’s blog post – see below) for themselves on their ‘East End Adventure’.

Follow this link to read their colourful account: (Seasoned East-Enders will see some familiar sights here – enjoy!)

http://jeffandlisa.net/comments.php?id=P170_0_1_0_C

Spongebob JazzHands

Cayman’s own Jazz Festival starts this evening.
Despite this being only the second year of the event, international ticket sales for this year’s jazz fest are said to be already double those of last year.

The opening night event is a small, intimate concert at the Westin, with more on Friday night at various locations and then a cultural family day on Saturday with arts, crafts, cassava cake and food, thatch making and a visit from SpongeBob SquarePants.

What is it with Bob? The yellow Spongey one certainly seems to be making an impression in Cayman at the moment as he has been painted onto one of the Cayman Airways airplanes and the Department of Tourism even held a ‘Cayman Islands Sea School’ with Spongebob this summer where kids attended a weekly presentation on marine life, the environment, Cayman’s seafaring past and the legendary shipwrecks just off our shores; and of course they also got to create SquarePants arts and crafts.

Sorry Bob, we know the original spongeman of East End and you’re not a patch on a real life encounter with this fella! (Photo courtesy of Ocean Frontiers).

Payment for blogging ?

Cha, I wish :) !

Seriously though, lots of blogs and websites are now chock full of google ads and other banners etc.

Don’t think we will ever go that route with this blog, but today I had the very pleasant experience of receiving a special delivery of Enstrom’s toffee from the Bulls, some welcome visitors from Colorado and fans of the Blog.

Some of it was quickly devoured by the “Blog squad”, with Sandrita being particulary ravenous in her lust for toffee ! The rest goes home to SWMBO to score me some brownie points !

Payment by toffee seems to be a successful form of motivation for blogging… and I think it all came from this blog post back in June.

Hmm…. now, what shall I blog about next ? Hmm… I really love the Porsche 911 Carrera RSR, you know, the lightweight limited edition version from about 1973…. well, I can dare to dream, can’t I !

Meanwhile, I think we’ll do some more targetted marketing to Colorado… that toffee sure went down well.

Castro, The Muse’s Muse

Walking through the lobby this lunchtime I spotted 10 year old guest of The Reef, Noah Cameron, practicing his photography skills with some smart looking gear.

Castro was flattered to be the subject of more paparazzi attention and now thinks he has mastered the art of looking nonchalant (no Castro, that is not a synonym for ignorant).