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The Big Hit ’98 BOKEEM WOODBINE ANTONIO SABATO JR MARK WAHLBERG

$8

The Big Hit ’98 BOKEEM WOODBINE ANTONIO SABATO JR MARK WAHLBERG

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The Big Hit ’98 BOKEEM WOODBINE ANTONIO SABATO JR MARK WAHLBERG

First off – Happy new year 🙂

So that’s it folks for the Cayman adventure and this blog as you all know it. 10 years and 10 months – now back to Canada.  Yes, you read me right and this is not my traditional April fools post!

353 posts (including this one), numerous posts about running, diving, snorkeling, hurricanes, Spotts Beach, other Caribbean islands and a whole lot more about what I call “Cayman randomness” – stuff we did on the island that we enjoyed.

To be perfectly honest, this blog has always been for me.  What I mean is that its a diary of sort for my time in the Cayman Islands. Some day, when i’ll be an old man, I am sure I will read all of these posts again and remember fondly these pretty and sunny islands. I will probably also take a peek once in a while, maybe when it’s -35 degrees outside.

Whats next : hobby farm life in rural Quebec on a large plot of land just north of the US border of Vermont.  Also spend more time with Julie and less travel. Maybe ill start a new blog and call it “Living on a farm in Quebec”.  On second thought, I probably will not.   I am definitely excited about this new chapter; different for sure! From beach and iguanas we will now see forest, fields, cows and chickens – sounds like a lot of fun to me.  I have never disliked winter in case you are wondering.  I have always felt that people who hate winter are the ones to stay inside and complain about it.  As with many things in life, if you embrace it, you can enjoy it.  Snowshoeing, ice fishing, skating – all great Canadian winter fun.  Not to forget the pleasure of a roaring fire in the fireplace on a chilly night with Julie.

That being said, I am honored and delighted to have had so many readers and comments over the years.  A number of you have been commenting and sending me emails for many years now.  I am flattered that you have found my content interesting and that I did not bore you with what I chose to write about one or two times each month since 2006.

I may still post from time to time, since it is very possible that I am not entirely done with the Caribbean and may have to visit a few islands here & there.   This Website & blog is not going anywhere and will stay online.

If you are just discovering this blog in 2018 or beyond, apparently it takes about over 4h to read this entire blog – I have received a few messages over the years telling me so which is why I know this random fact. I hope that you will find good information here for a vacation or a move to the Cayman Islands.  If you are planning to move, be sure to also read https://caymanresident.com/ which contains 99% of what you need to know.  If you are offered the opportunity to move to the Cayman Islands – do it!  If you wish to reach me, simply click the “Email me” link on the right.

Thank you once again for reading about my Cayman Randomness over the years.  I had an awesome time living through all the events detailed and writing about them.

… And with that, the sun has set on this adventure! Below is a picture of the sun setting from Spotts beach on my last day in Grand Cayman. I also got in a final snorkel which was awesome as always ; turtles, a stingray, a huge Barracuda and even two lobsters 🙂

Micho

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, I finally made it to Cayman Brac (aka : The Brac). It only took me 10 years.  Quite pathetic I know considering its only about 25 minutes away by plane. The main attraction in Cayman Brac, which is one of the two “sister islands” is The Bluff.  The Bluff is essentially about 1/2 of the island that is elevated and at the far end of the island is a 140ft cliff into the ocean.

So arrival in Cayman Brac at the quite small but nice airport.

Upon driving around, I saw right away that this place was different from Grand Cayman.  If you have been to Grand Cayman’s East End, driving around the Brac is a very similar experience.  Here the locals painted their palm trees.

Julie agrees with this sign 🙂

Some of you may remember my posts from November 2008 where Hurricane Paloma appeared out of nowhere, south of the islands.  Well, that Hurricane hit the Brac as a Category-4 and although much has been rebuilt, there are still signs & scars around from that storm.

This odd house likely did quite well in that storm. Quite an odd looking home.  🙂

In the bluff, there are numerous caves to visit.  Although I took pictures, they do not do justice and also are quite dark.  Here is the entrance to one of the most popular caves. What is great is that entrance is free and the areas were all nicely maintained.  These caves have been used in the past as hurricane shelters.  Probably not too comfortable, but definitely safe.  It was also neat to see the bats hanging from the ceiling in many of them.

On to the Bluff.  The picture below is not mine, just one I grabbed on the Internet. What you are looking at is the eastern part of the island where it is a 140ft cliff.  Back towards the other end, you can see on each side, at one point the Bluff retreats inland, which is where the caves can be found.  This is the most eastern part of the Cayman Islands and closest to Jamaica which is only a hundred and fifty miles or so away.

This is Long beach.  If you look at the picture above, this picture below was taken from the beach you see on the right side. Note that large rock/island in both pictures.

Now we went onto the bluff.  Once again, see the overhead picture above. You can see there is a road in the middle. At the end of that road, there is a path that goes towards the right.  The next set of pictures are from that path.  Really spectacular!  The ocean was very choppy but made from great pictures.

The Bluff is also know for the Boobie birds. We were lucky; we saw a lot of them and it was nesting time.

Here is a lovely Boobie couple.  We were able to get within about 1oft or so ; they seem like they were used to seeing humans.

Kissy-Kissy 🙂

A mommy nesting. At one point she stood up and we could see the egg.  Not long enough to get a picture though. Really nice birds, about the size of a “slim chicken”.

And of course, the Bluff from the South side. (Right hand side on the overhead picture above)

Lastly, here is some video footage from the top of the Bluff.   As you will see, it was REALLY windy. I dont know what speeds they were, but I can easily imagine they were close to tropical storm force.  What was amazing is that it was constant.  As you will see, I had trouble holding the camera still.   If you feel for some of the footage I was a bit close to the edge, I had a long selfie stick so was not all that close. 🙂  Note the nesting Boobie bird in early part of the video.

In closing, if you are in Cayman and have an extra day or so, Cayman Brac is well worth the trip. I was there for one day only (+-12h in all) and got to see a good amount of the island.  However, if you want to snorkle and/or dive, one day is definitely not enough.

 

I am having trouble believing that I have ran this race (the half-marathon) 7 times now.  It seems like just yesterday when I was the newbie running the first time, all the way back in 2011.

Same course and always at 5am which I love since I get to run in the darkness (minus street lights) for the first 80 minutes or so. I even have my little routine.  I get up at 3am (yes i’m nuts) and immediately jump into my car and drive to my office (of course my gear is ready and in a bag) and get there around 3:20.  Then I have a coffee, surf the Internet and take it easy till around 4:40.  Then I walk towards the start line and get there about 10 minutes before 5am.

The race bib this year changed – for the better with a lovely picture of Stingray City.  Note the “beer ticket”.  For runners who need a drink after the race (on an early Sunday morning …), local brewery Caybrew provided everyone with a cold beer.

At the start/finish line, the same MC we have had every year for as long as I can remember did as always an awesome job.  Its always a nice feeling to have your name called out when dashing towards the finish line.

At the finisher area ; all chatting and in good spirits (some surely on a runner’s high!) while having water, fruit and a Caybrew.

On my way back to my office for a quick shower, I saw the Cayman Compass photo booth.  Of course I stopped in for a funny picture 🙂

Back from the office & shower, I went to the Intertrust VIP booth – not sure how I got on their list, but I am not complaining. Coffee, awesome breakfast, mimosa’s & the likes. Putting back all those calories I guess.

The course! We were lucky it was cool-ish and not humid. As for results: I finished the half marathon in 1h42min – I am very pleased.  That places me 32nd in a field of 613 half marathon runners.  Not bad for an old guy 🙂

One last item of interest. On November 29th,  the population of Grand Cayman went from +-55,000 to 75,000. Around 20,000 people came ashore on 6 cruise ships. Glad I did not need to go to the harbor area that day.  Great for tourism in Cayman though!

 

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This morning I needed (and wanted) to run +-15km in preparation for the 1/2 Marathon in 2-weeks time.

Instead of doing my regular run, I drove to the East End, while it was still dark, to see the sunrise and then my run.  It was a bit cloudy (and quite windy) but still managed to get some nice shots.

Pink Floyd signed the Wall album poster Roger Waters Nick Mason

I also tried my hand a doing a time capture.  Not bad!  Its a bit shaky but with the wind it was difficult to keep my phone standing up.  Decent result for a first try.  As you can see, quite a bit of cloud cover and the wind was moving them along swiftly.

And then the run, mostly along the Queens Highway – the end and the northern side of Grand Cayman and past the Reef Resort & Morritts. Only saw a few cars, 1 cyclist and one other runner.   Nice & quiet run.

 

Well, this summer & fall, the Caribbean sure has been getting it! In the Cayman Islands, we have been very fortunate not to have a hurricane come too close to us.

That being said, Tropical Storm Philippe came quite close to us this week-end. In fact, we got something like 50mm (around 2 inches) of rain on Saturday alone.  The ocean was also very rough as you can see in the video below, which I took near the Burger King in George Town.

On the road on Sunday morning, blue skies, but BIG puddles everywhere.

Definitely no boating or snorkeling today!

But, in an amazing 180 change, Sunday, less than 24 later was blue skies and fabulous weather.

So this week-end was the annual 10-10-10 relay race in the East-End. I really like this event since running in the East is peaceful and always different from running in town.  I usually opt for the last leg since its the most scenic, even though by the time I get to run the sun is up and it is quite hot.  But, nothing a white hat & shirt cant help manage.

So I started at the Green spot and ran till the … Red.  My two team mates also had 10k each to complete the loop which started at the Red spot and went counter-clockwise.

My colleague Dan and I at the finish (the 3rd runner had to go home)  We did get a bit of a chuckle today. Although we won 2nd Corporate team (yay!) and did quite good, Dan had a small incident.  He arrived at +-6:45 at the location to start leg-2 and realized he forgot his running shoes.  So he ran 10k in socks & flip flops.  Amazingly, he ran the 10k in around 53 minutes which in my opinion is nothing short of spectacular all things considered.

Canada - Sep 10, 1902 Sackville, NB Domestic Cover

On the way back I took a few pictures.  Here is by far my favorite house in Grand Cayman.  Its on the North Side and is currently for sale for a cool 4.2M$US.  It is on a “bluff” and there are stairs down to the ocean where you can go snorkeling in a reef protected area behind the house.  Pretty neat.

This Spanish style house is being built near Bodden Town.  The picture does not do it justice, but its massive.  No idea who is building this house which I would guess will cost north of 5M$US.  Still a few months to go before it is finished.

One more month till Hurricane season is over.  Lets hope that is the end of it now.  Looking forward to going diving soon 🙂

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