Photo by Teresa Hattaway
Travel March 23–April 27
From $1,595 per diver*
This month we officially opened a larger, modern dining facility at Little Cayman Beach Resort, which includes a bar specifically for dinner guests, an expanded indoor dining area, and larger outdoor dining area in a new screened pavilion. We will now be able to seat large groups, small groups, and individuals all at the same time.
Late last year we also opened a new reception and lobby out in front of the resort, which freed up the space for this dining room expansion. And during grand reopening ceremonies on February 20, our company’s CEO and Chairman of the Board, Michael Tibbetts, announced future plans to build more oceanfront rooms at both Little Cayman Beach Resort and Cayman Brac Beach Resort. No timeline has been set.
Chef Karen Making Waves with Her Cuisine
Finally, the dining room and buffet serving area will match the quality of the cuisine Chef Karen and her staff deliver to guests. She is from St. Catherine, Jamaica, where she studied culinary arts in high school and at a specialty school after graduation. She’s always loved cooking and made most of the meals for her family while growing up.
Chef has been at Little Cayman Beach Resort for many years, but has only been in charge for the past year. She takes special delight in satisfying the needs of guests with dietary restrictions and wants all guests to be happy and enjoy their meals so they come back for more than just Little Cayman’s outstanding diving.
One of Chef Karen’s specialties is her Spicy Pumpkin Chowder that is always a crowd pleaser. She’s been kind enough to share her recipe so you can make it at home and be reminded of your Little Cayman vacation. Preparation time to table should be 1 to 1-1/2 hours depending on whether you can get fresh pumpkin or need to use canned. Find the recipe here.
If you live in one of these areas or plan to visit, stop by our booth at these dive shows to talk about Cayman Islands’ diving and pick up our show specials:
Look for these friendly faces to help you feel at home on your next visit to one of our resorts.
Charlize is from Pretoria, South Africa, and has been with us here almost 8 months after completing the 500-mile, 36-day pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago that stretches between France and Spain. She was previously the Dive Coordinator at Reef Divers on Cayman Brac.
“My role is to ensure that guests have wonderful experiences throughout the resort,” according to Charlize who helps manage front- and back-of-house operations. She thrives on interacting with guests and seeing smiles on their faces during their visits. “But I also hope they feel at least a little sad when leaving because they’ve had such wonderful vacations and can’t wait to come back.”
Charlize considers herself fortunate to work and live on Little Cayman and tries to spend as much free time as she can diving.
Brett is a Canadian who started out snorkeling on a family vacation to Maui in 2002. When he saw divers below, he knew he’d discovered a better way to explore the marine world. Brett loves showing guests the beautiful reefs around the Sister Islands and recently had an experience about which most divers only dream and it became a story picked up by Cayman news media.
“I heard there was a whale shark out front of the resort and knew I had to see it. In my almost eight years on the Brac, this was only the second sighting,” said Brett.
“I was surprised at how big it was—so incredible to share space with an animal that size! Even with 20 of us in the water nearby, the whale shark ignored us, happily circling around us feeding. But then I guess when you’re 20’ long, it’s only we much smaller humans who are impressed.”
If you’re traveling to one of the Sister Islands, you will be arriving on a Cayman Airways flight. They operate Boeing 737 jet services from Miami to Cayman Brac on Saturdays and have multiple daily flights on one of their Saabs (34 seats) from Grand Cayman or a de Havilland Twin Otter (19 seats) when the flight is continuing to or coming from Little Cayman. The Twin Otter is the only way to get to Little Cayman, and many think it’s among the highlights of their journey. But understanding the luggage anomalies of the smaller planes is important to getting your dive vacation off to a great start.
Although it’s always a good idea to put medicines and irreplaceable items in your carry-on luggage, you may want to consider also adding in your mask and swimsuit.
All planes are subject to weight restrictions. And small aircraft like the Twin Otter may not be able to accommodate a plane full of people AND all their luggage—especially in warmer temperatures like we experience year round. In this case, people generally fly before bags which can be put on the next flight—often very early the next morning when they have fewer passengers aboard.
If this happens to you, just let our Front Desk know upon arrival so we can be on the lookout for your luggage. Also alert Reef Divers, and we will supply you with rental dive gear at no charge. With your own mask and swimsuit—you’ll not miss a dive. In most cases, your bags with your own dive gear will be in your room when you return from morning dives.
So the next time your dive travels take you to Little Cayman or Cayman Brac, check your aircraft type so you can be prepared for a potential luggage delay.
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Oli, Instructor and Staff with Reef Divers at Cobalt Coast Resort, is from Dunedin, New Zealand. She fell in love with the marine world when she worked as a beach lifeguard back home, got certified, and now even spends her free days diving and perfecting her underwater photography. She’s been with us since shortly after we purchased the resort and set up our own dive operation.
La Mesa is one of Oli’s favorite dive sites off Grand Cayman because of the vivid colors, interesting topography, healthy coral, and abundance of marine life. The name means “table top” which perfectly describes the large, coral plateau. It’s a small site as far as area, but big on divers’ favorites lists after they’ve been here. You may get greeted by the resident green moray and can find many hamlet species plus macro creatures like gaudy clown crabs and purple-lined sea goddesses. Most of the site is at 20-45 feet.
Photo by Olivia Marshall
The Caribbean Reef Squid (Sepioteuthis sepioidea) is the most common species of squid across the Cayman Islands. Divers and snorkelers can often see them traveling together in groups of 2 or more, usually in shallower areas of the reef less than 30 feet. Here are some “squidy” fun facts:
Learn more about our marine environment and creatures from Katie Correia, Science Programme Coordinator at Central Caribbean Marine Institute, Little Cayman Research Center. For more info on the CCMI, visit www.reefresearch.org.