It’s spring break, and to make up for a vacation that I had to cancel last summer, my wife and I are in the Cayman Islands with the kids. We’re staying at a dive resort on the north coast of Grand Cayman.
My son and I got in three good dives today. The first was on Cayman’s North Wall, which is only 100 yards from shore but drops straight down 4,000 feet. My son had never done a wall dive before, and he didn’t know how easy it is to get too deep without realizing it when there’s no bottom in sight. He started swimming down the wall without keeping an eye on his depth gauge. By the time I realized what he was doing, I had to kick like a madman to catch him. I finally caught up with him at 115 feet and dragged him back into shallower water. I was like NO NO NO! He was like WOW THAT WAS COOL!
My 11-year-old daughter got her scuba certification last summer. This is the first opportunity she’s had to dive in the ocean. To break her in gently, I took her to Turtle Reef, one of my favorite dives on Grand Cayman. It’s a shore dive whose main features are a mini-wall that drops off to 50 feet and lots of fish. She had a blast and is looking forward to more tomorrow.
My 7-year-old daughter is pretty much living underwater, too. She’s not a diver (yet), but she’s a terror with a snorkel. A few more years and we’ll get her in scuba classes. Then the Prosise diving family will be complete.
Grand Cayman was hit hard last fall by Hurricane Ivan. Evidence of the hurricane’s destructive force is everywhere. Many of the trees on the island were knocked down, and those still standing lean to the west. Many hotels and businesses are still closed, and some roads remain closed for repair. Turtle Reef used to be home to a large school of tarpon that would hang out in an underwater grotto and part like a curtain when you swam through them. Alas, the tarpon left with the hurricane, but Turtle Reef still has more than its share of Parrotfish and other colorful Caribbean denizens. Today we saw a barracuda and a stingray.
I’ve visited a lot of places where they drive on the left side of the road, but this is the first time I’ve ever rented a car and driven in one of those places. So far, so good, but I have to think about every turn, and the left-handed roundabouts are nothing short of scary. I can survive the diving, but the driving may kill me. 🙂