My heart was filled to bursting when Kenny and Jenna arrived at Grand Cayman. Missing our children is the single most challenging aspect of this lifestyle of cruising. I have to remind myself that they are all loving, growing, learning, and creating their own journeys independently now. Some days I’m relaxed with this concept of distance, while at other times I just want to fly home and move in to their homes.
When my babies were small, I quit my engineering career to be with them every moment. Two days after my last day on the job, I opened my day care. This allowed me to be with them while they learned to navigate a complex world filled with others. Ok, I admit it; I manipulated their world to bring in kids who would enhance their development. Wonderful kids their age, including two cousins, filled their days with continuous opportunities to grow as healthy, cooperative, curious, and adventurous people. Every day I marveled at their progress and couldn’t imagine missing one moment. So every chance I get to again be side by side is a gift.
Less than 3 days after our arrival at Grand Cayman, we were ready to show Kenny and Jenna “our island”. Visitors may think we’re ready to be tour guides when they visit us, but rarely do we actually have a clue about these new places we visit! Eager to get started, and disregarding their travel fatigue, we brought them from the airport back to Alembic to dump their small bags, went to the marina restaurant for a quick bite, chatted with the fish tournament participants as they showed off their gigantic catch, untied Alembic, and headed out into the sound.
On our way into Governor’s Creek, we rescued a Pirate ship. Yes, no typo. Earlier this morning, when we sailed toward the airport, Bill and I noticed that this ship was aground. Figuring that they knew how to kedge off or that someone would help them, we hurried along to meet Kenny and Jenna. Finding them still aground surprised us. No one had offered assistance? So many power boats in the area pass this spot regularly. Rarely can a sailboat offer assistance to such a large vessel, but we had to try. They tossed us a gigantic rope which I secured to a cleat and put all 100 horses to work. Most Whitbys have 75 hp or less, Alembic’s 100 was appreciated today. After a few different angles of pull, they slowly pivoted and floated free.
Early the next morning, we sailed out of the North Sound to snorkel at the deeper Stingray City location (there are two Stingray City spots nearby). Here we saw a few stingrays and assorted other fish, but with the strong winds and rolly anchorage, we didn’t stay long, and headed back into the tranquility of the sound. Taking the dinghy ashore and exploring by land seemed like a better idea, so we headed to Cadillac Jacks, a fun beach bar in the sand of 7 mile beach on the Western coast of the island. Here we met some Brits who were cooling off by swimming while wearing their elegant clothing and trying not to spill their drinks!
Cost U Less doesn’t seem like a fun touristy place to visit, but we needed food, and Kenny and Jenna helped choose our week’s menu here. After storing our purchases, we ventured out of the sound again, this time making it around the northwest corner to sail south to an anchorage off the city. We swam from the boat, snorkeled in the clear beautiful water, and came ashore to appreciate terra firma, a welcome stability after a few hours of trying to master sea legs. Seeing the Green Flash at a sweet little bar where the waitress kept calling me Mum, capped off our day.
By morning, we knew we had to get back into the sound. All of the boats on the western side of Grand Cayman were perfectly safe, but rolling around all night and day was not a great plan for us. So we let Kenny and Jenna off on land to explore the town more, while Bill and I sailed Alembic up around the corner again, back into the sound. Alembic was thoroughly soaked with salt spray by the time we arrived back in the harbor. The bus ride north was much more pleasant for Kenny and Jenna. And the sail across the sound to Kaibo was even more tranquil!
Kaibo is an excellent anchorage to access the beauty of Grand Cayman. We dinghied around the corner to Starfish beach, then enjoyed fabulous snorkeling at Coral Gardens and a daiquiri at Rum Point. Dinghying after dark to luminescent Bay was interesting too, with swirls of magical light when you drag your hand through the warm water.
A rental car was our mode of transportation the next day so we could cruise the entire island. Snorkeling at Barefoot on the eastern shore, lunch at Eagle Rays, and more snorkeling on the south coast at Spotts Beach to frolic with the carefree huge turtles made for a full day. Dropping off the car near Camana Bay gave us a great spot to appreciate Happy Hour while we waited for the water taxi to arrive to bring us back across the sound to Alembic.
Even with oodles of tourists pouring off the charter boats, we had a blast swimming among the sting rays. Used to being fed daily by humans, these creatures came up to and onto anyone, especially if you had a bit of squid in your hand. They seemed aggressive, but never hurt anyone. Ready to move away from the increasing crowds, we dinghied a bit farther north and snorkeled around the dramatic reefs which enclose the North Sound.
A gentle sail back across the sound brought us back into Camana Bay. Here, we tied to a dock for the night. No dinghy was needed to step off, have a beer or enjoy another Gelato!
Each of us was a bit subdued the next morning, knowing that our blissful week was over. Worries about travel swirled for each of us. The younger set faced taxis, multiple plane rides, and a long drive home, while the older folks were facing a rough ocean passage to Belize to meet Erica and Wes in 7 days. But my heartache was the realization that Kenny and Jenna had to return to Maine. Grateful as I was for their wonderful visit, sadness prevailed that day as they departed.
I have been reflecting since their visit how magical Kenny and Jenna are together and as individuals. They flow seamlessly from adventurous activities to total relaxation which is a gift in our hectic world. And their love for each other is an inspiration to all. Endlessly kind and playful, they bring Joy to every day. Our next time to be together will be in Colorado for Erica’s graduation, so I am buoyed with more wonderful thoughts of togetherness.