When the Cayman Islands were first sighted by European explorers lead by Christopher Columbus on May 10, 1503 it is said that the waters around the islands were so full of turtles that they “looked like little rocks.” Due to the Cayman’s ample supply of resident turtles the islands were called Las Tortugas.
Eventually the islands were given the Spanish name Lagartos, meaning lizards, but by 1530 the name the islands were most commonly referred to as was Caymanas. Caymanas was derived from the Carib Indian word for marine crocodiles, which at one time were very abundant in the islands. The name stuck and today we use its variant, Caymans or Grand Caymans.
Another thing the islands still retain today is an abundant supply of marine life.
Divers from all over the world flock to the Cayman Islands with the hope of getting up close and personal with the local sea life.
While on our New Year’s cruise, my husband and I were among that group of divers hoping to enjoy the Cayman's magnificent water clarity and sea life.
When we disembarked the ship in Grand Cayman we took a short tender to our meeting spot where we met the small group of divers that would be exploring the waters with us.
Our group was pretty neat and included a former U.S. Marine as well as two marine biologists.
We chatted amongst ourselves until the shuttle for our dive site arrived and transported us to Don Fosters Dive Cayman.
Honestly, Don Fosters Dive Cayman was so close to our meeting point that I have no idea why they sent a shuttle instead of having us walk down the street, but I can’t really complain because after the dive we all took ample time to explore Grand Cayman and walk back to the port.
I’ve been waiting eagerly for our photos from the dive to be processed and they are finally done! Yay!!!
During my wait the former U.S. Marine from our dive, was kind enough to send us all a few of the photos that he took during the dive.
His photos are really great!
I’m posting all of the pics up here but to make sure he gets credit for the photos he took, our photos have a black border, and his photos have no border.
We unfortunately didn’t get to see much in the way of Turtles (or Crocodiles, yikes!) but we did see a lot of amazing fish and had lots of time to explore the beautiful coral reef.
(The reef looks very blue in these photos but it was much more colorful than that.)
I’d really love to go back and dive for longer. Hopefully on my next trip I’ll have a few turtle photos to share upon my return. J
Many thanks to goCayman.ky for the history of the Cayman Islands