Departing memories – a gallery

We visited the small fish market at the harbor in Georgetown, where fishermen come to sell each day. As they clean their catch, brown pelicans arrive, ready to catch fish heads tossed their way. A few steps away, amazingly large tarpon hover in the shallows, ready to devour whatever bits find their way into the ocean. A teenager hooks some meat on a line, throws it toward the school of tarpon and immediately one of them bites, surges into the air and in moments snaps his line.

Arriving for a delicious meal of fish heads.
Arriving for a delicious meal of fish heads.

Geckos and iguanas are almost as plentiful as the chickens. Given the amount of bug spray I had to use, I was grateful for the little geckos. Especially this guy, who lives inside a wall ornament on the balcony of the condo we rented. One afternoon, an iguana draped himself over the patio door frame of another condo – it was amusing to see about 2 1/2 feet of lizard dangling over someone’s door.

Living the good lizard life in Cayman
Living the good lizard life in Cayman

Who says signs have to be serious? I wish I could have spent more time taking pictures of signs that tickled my funnybone, such as one tacked to the front of a harborside fish café that proclaimed, “Any fresher and you’d have to slap us!”

A whimsical sign at the harbor in Georgetown
A whimsical sign at the harbor in Georgetown
I wonder what the punishment would be...
I wonder what the punishment would be…

A dolphin encounter enterprise left me with mixed feelings. Families came to get in the pools with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, who chirpily perform tricks and connect with kids and adults in return for fish treats. What better way for people, especially children, to gain a lifetime appreciation for these incredible creatures, than to interact with them? But the confines of their captivity bothered me, even though they have a lively life enriched by socialization with humans.

Dolphins in the air, trainers focused on cellphones. Hmmm.
Dolphins in the air, trainers focused on cell phones. Hmmm.

Across the street from the dolphins is a turtle farm that breeds green sea turtles, native to these seas. Somehow, this operation manages to pull off breeding turtles for consumption plus breeding for release and charging a large sum to allow visitors to walk around tanks of them. Visitors can even sponsor a turtle for release (not to a plate – to the ocean). I have always been fascinated by turtles and when I saw them while snorkeling in Hawaii, would follow them around in the water. Eating them is not an option for me, though they are said to be tasty. Their shells are a work of art – each one different – and their eyes are expressive. Hanging around all over the farm are iguanas. My sister and I do not remember ever seeing an iguana when we were on the island all those years ago so we are fascinated with them now. The blue iguana, native to Cayman, is highly endangered and threatened by other species that have arrived more recently.

See what I mean about the eyes?
See what I mean about the eyes?
A handsome fellow hangs out at the turtle farm

Sunrises are as beautiful as sunsets here. Not being a morning person, I was delighted to discover the sun does not fully rise until 7 a.m. The sun sets, far more quickly than in the northern hemisphere, at 6 p.m.

Sunset at Bonnie's Arch condos
Sunset at Bonnie’s Arch condos
Sunrise over Georgetown
Sunrise over Georgetown

A favorite memory … dinner at the Cracked Conch (pronounced Konk) restaurant, which has outside decks built right up to the shore. As night fell, we watched divers come and go, their lamps glimmering in the sea like underwater fireflies. This was our best meal out with excellent service, but pricey. If you go, assume $75 – $90 per person, U.S. for an entrée, a shared appetizer and one drink.

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