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As the final traces of Hurricane Gustav recede from Cayman, it is evident that our islands have reason to be thankful. It is also clear that advance national and individual preparations had roles in reducing the effects of what was potentially a devastating threat: 

 

On Grand Cayman, assessment teams ensured that storm debris was tackled promptly and the few areas that had experienced electricity supply disruptions saw the early arrival of CUC repair crews. As Gustav moved on, the island's water supply was also inspected and pronounced safe. For most residents, it was business as usual by early afternoon. 

 

For the Sister Islands the picture is also encouraging. His Excellency Governor Stuart Jack (CVO) and Leader of Government Business, Hon Kurt Tibbetts , JP, left for an inspection tour of both islands this afternoon and two Royal Navy ships Wave Ruler and HMS Iron Duke are on hand to support initial recovery efforts. 

 

For Cayman Brac, things are already positive. Crews quickly cleared debris from main roads on the north coast and south side, although some downed utility posts are still to be tackled. Prompt action also ensured the restoration of electricity to all areas other than the West End. 

 

And on Little Cayman, progress is being made in clearing debris such as downed trees. While power is still out island-wide, a CUC crew from Grand Cayman is headed there tomorrow (Sunday 31 August) to conduct damage assessment and to begin restoration work.


Off the tourist trail, you'll find unexpected treasures. Hire a scooter or open-top jeep for the day and take yourself into the heart of Grand Cayman's districts. In West Bay, as well as visiting Cayman Turtle Farm and Hell, be sure to see the picturesque samples of traditional architecture which still stand, alongside modern mansions, particularly on roads such as Boggy Sand Road. Back in George Town, take North Sound Road to drive past the conch shell house which is built from more than 4,000 conch shells. You might also like to do the walking tour of George Town, devised by The National Trust, which highlights the center's historical buildings such as Fort George which dates back to 1790. 

 

Heading towards East End, take South Sound Road and, at the intersection with Walkers Road, look out for the distinctive former home of intuitive artist, Gladwyn Bush, known to all as Miss Lassie. Regarded as one of the most influential artists in this genre in the region, Miss Lassie covered the exterior walls of her old cottage with her art. 

 

Nearing East End along the coast road, look out for the blowholes where seawater is forced through holes in the ironshore to create natural geyser-like fountains. In East End, you'll also see evidence of old shipwrecks which dot the coastline. Maritime historians will be particularly interested in the Wreck of the Ten Sails Park in East End which marks a wreckage in 1794, the worst maritime calamity in Cayman's history. 

 

North Side is pervaded by a sense of remote, away-from-it-all charm. Geographically cut off from the rest of the island in the early years, North Siders learned a self-sufficiency and resilience that still characterises their district. Look out for some idiosyncratic gift stores and, en route to the charms of Rum Point and Cayman Kat seek out unusual souvenirs at Caribbean Charlie's workshop.


Are you thinking about coming to The Cayman Islands? Perhaps looking to buy a holiday home? Take a look at what these recent visitors had to say about The Cayman Islands. 

A Paradise To Visit Over and Over! 
My family and I have been visiting the Cayman Islands for several years now. We haven't been there in over a year and we all long for it... the white coral sand and gentle tropical breeze in the evening...aaahhh - it is a true paradise. 

We usually stay on the East End and then onto 7 Mile Beach, the Westin (always!). Each side of the island is different from the other. Both have relaxing and docile waves crystal & blue. 

The food is excellent almost every place you go. Our favorite places, but not limited to, the Sunday Brunch at the Westin, The Champion House for local good food, Calypso Grill (yum! toffee pudding), and tons more from the Jerk Chicken stands to the BBQ places off the road to the East End. Or just go to the local grocery store like Hurley's or Fosters and make your own meals (or pick something up there already made). Heaven. 

Anyway, if you haven't been to the Cayman Islands - you owe it yourself. And to top it of, the people of the Cayman Islands are like no other. They stand proud with their family traditions and deep religious principals. I lovely country trying to keep their heritage and gentleness while keeping up with the world in technology, music, finance, etc. 

Truly, God sprinkled extra heavenly dust on these small islands. 

Heather Van Swearingen 
San Rafael, United States 

Fun, thank you 
I really enjoyed the Cayman Islands. Seven mile beach was not as extraordinary as New York's and sting ray city really was a once in a life time experience. Thank you Cayman Islands for helping me have the summer of a life time. 

Frankie Romero 
Bronx, United States Minor Outlying Islands 


wunderful stay 
Seven mile beach was wunderful! Stingray city is a must do experiance. We rented a car and drove easily around the island. A lovely place! 

Ulrika Holmkvist 
Stockholm, Sweden 

The Caymans dont leave without trying the rum.. It's the best!! 
The Caymans is the best place to visit. The rum shops are wonderful you will have a buzz. The rum cakes are also and the people are very friendly. I suggest if you have never been be sure to go you would be making a wonderful vacation choice. We are going next year also. 

Leah Cribb 
Columbia South Carolina, United States 

Click here to view more peoples opinions of The Cayman Islands 


Pedro St James, known locally as Pedro's Castle, is a landmark whose story bears all the elements of a Hollywood epic: the wrath of nature (fires, hurricanes and deadly lightning) loom large in the house's history. alongside human dramas which lie behind the old belief that the house was haunted. Built as a family home in 1780 by Englishman William Eden and used as a central meeting place, Pedro St James is where the island's first tentative steps towards democracy were taken at a time when the total population was about 2,000 people, including slaves whose emancipation was on the horizon. 

The pride with which Caymanians view their history is reflected in the meticulous restoration of Pedro St James by the government when it acquired the property in 1991. In Savannah, about 15 minutes' drive along the coast, east from George Town, Pedro St James is built on seven acres of cliff-land and offers visitors an opportunity to experience something of the political and cultural history of these islands, in an intimate, authentic and picturesque setting. Well worth a visit. 

An early morning visit will reward you with colors and views unlike those on offer as the sun sets; in spring, the park is dressed in shades very different from nature's winter palette. As you progress through the various displays, you will also note how the habitats change, depending on the elevation of the land, its soil type and other whims of nature. The woodland trail, a leisurely 35-minute walk, takes in a variety of habitats and showcases about half of Grand Cayman's native plants. (For those unable to walk, the park offers the use of a golf cart.) Be sure, too, to visit the traditional Cayman home with its sand yard featuring conch shells, its medicinal garden and vegetable patch. The park is open daily. 


With around 250 Grand Cayman diving sites to choose from, picking a couple of sites for a one-week vacation can be confusing. With the diverse array of fishes and corals found in every dive site, it 's very difficult to resist viewing the features of each. For fish lovers, a diverse array of fishes and corals await them underwater. The wreck divers, on the other hand, can choose from a variety of wreckages with an eerie atmosphere that will definitely send chills down a person 's spine. 

Stingray City 

Located in the northwest corner of the Grand Cayman 's North Sound is one of the best Grand Cayman scuba diving sites. Inside a natural channel which goes through the barrier reef is Stingray City, a dive site that has been shown in cruise ship commercials and featured in dive magazines. In this world-famous shallow dive, one can kneel on the sand and feed or pet the stingrays. Even better, these graceful creatures swirl around divers, giving them a fantastic show. This is definitely a wonderful place for taking underwater pictures. 

Wreck Diving 

Wrecks can be viewed in some Grand Cayman scuba diving sites. One of the famous wrecks in Grand Cayman is the Oro Verde, an 84-foot steel freighter which was scuttled and sunk by the Caymanian government in May 31, 1980. Since then, this ship has been inhabited by a lot of extraordinary characters like a 300-lb jew fish named George, a six-foot green moray named Kermit and four-foot barracuda named Puff. In this area, some yellow tail snappers and angel fish may also swim by for a bite. 

Big Tunnels 

Another must-see Grand Cayman scuba diving site is the big tunnels. The coral formations in the drop off are quite unique. It looks like Neptune himself scratched the area with his trident. With networks of canyons and crevasses, it is a home to the barrel sponge, the black coral, gray angels and eagle rays. The trinity caves are also located in this area. Here, one can see a system of four coral canyons that converge on the surface of a vertical wall. 


Eagle Ray Pass 

Located in the North Wall, this is another Grand Canyon diving site that one should not miss. Formed by towering coral heads, coral archways and narrow crevices, this pass is a home to a lot of sponges, gorgonian fans and black corals. A lot of Spotted Eagle Rays also swim along the surface of the wall. 

The West Wall 

This is the most popular Grand Cayman diving site. It has a large variety of fish and other marine life. Here, divers can enjoy looking at schools of grunts, snappers and angelfish. Another wonderful feature of this site is that the creatures here are quite friendly. Because most of them are not camera-shy, many divers enjoy taking pictures of the fish in this area. Close to this area, a site called Orange Canyon is a great place to visit. Here, one can see tons of orange elephant ear sponges. 

Being a place with warm and clear waters that have a visibility of 100 feet above, going to these diving sites would definitely be a great experience. 

Take a look below at some divers exeriencing the ship wreck of a Russian Frigate in the Cayman Islands.