Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cayman Brac Days 1 and 2

Cayman Brac: Day 1.  Sunday/Monday November 27, 2011.
Four flights, a 4 am start, 20 deg.  We both slept some on our domestic connections.  COS to DFW and then to Miami.  Noway around it Miami's airport sucks.  We had to leave the secure area to get from terminal D to terminal F.. Hey they've had 10 years to get this right.  Flew over Cuba, a first.  Appears 50 years of workers paradise hasn't produced much that looks like signs of modern world.  Got to stay on the plane in Grand Cayman, which looks zooy.   Sun set before we takeoff to Brac about 80 miles east.
Thank you American Airlines...no luggage.  Oh well, that's why I pack a pair of skivvy's and toothbrush.
Patty (prop. mgr) meets us at airport, we sign up for our rental car and are off to our home on the island.  The rental car is right hand drive, another first.  I keep turning on the windshield wipers when I really want a turn signal.
The tail of a cold front is sweeping across the Caribbean has changed the "normal" wind direction from east to north east causing lots of waves here, making it very noisy our first night.
Our place "Winta Cottage" is great, 729 Sq. Ft. on the main level, concrete counter tops, 360 deg wrap around raised deck.

 So dark when we arrived couldn't tell how far the ocean is...about 50, 60 ft.  Colors, lavender, peach and lime, very soothing to the eye.  Out for Pizza as the other stores are closed at this time of night, about 8:30 pm.  The Pizza was good, a veggie, with only a little of that artery clogging cheese.  Off to sleep, lots of wind and surf sound, almost too much.
Monday morning, enough leftover from previous guests for coffee and ate the rest of our Pizza.  Sun salutes on the deck get the kinks out of our long travel day.  A frigate soars in the stiff 20 knot wind.  A dive boat sits in the dark water 200 yards offshore about a 1/2 mile west.
Constance is calling into work now, nice office she has today, just off azul waters and warm temps.
Good news my bag is on the island, Constance's is not, but there is hope.  An email from the airlines has it, but isn't sure what to do with it, it's on Grand Cayman....hey, fly it over here..pronto.
Off to get supplies.  We'll have to dig deep as the US dollar is only worth 80 cents here and prices are island style...expensive.  We spend $300 us for maybe 6 bags of Groceries...but cheaper than eating out.  The stores are very well stocked thou, even Almond milk!  Example of costs, Kashi Golean cereal, $3.85 CD, about $4.60 USD.  I read that there is a 20% import tax...and everything is imported.
We check out one of the dive shops, Reef Divers.  One owner is a Chicago transplant.
Mojito is ready to get wet, so off to Buccaneer Slip.  It's a old boat slip and a protected entry for divers and snorkelers.  Even a ladder for easy in and out. The winds have died down a bit too. The water is warm even warmer out the cut.  Plenty of fish, a parrot fish is getting his evening cleaning.  A large Angle glides on by too.  Mojito wanders off into the deep, but returns after seeing some jellies, not surprising with the wind blowing in now.  Coming in we see a Rock fish, perfectly disguised, also sometimes called scorpion fish for the nasty venomous spines on it's back.  Mojito's spots a cool eel, grey with white spots, like we've seen before in Bonaire.  I see another on the way back to the ladder.   Home to a dinner of refried beens and veggies with chips. A perfect day.

Tuesday morning Mojito works, taking calls and emailing fellow workers.  Lots of planning for next trip.  She's also scans the news of the day...American Airlines (who we flew down on) files chapter 11.  The wind has shifted even more, now right out of the north.  Blows open our screen door last night.  We are off to snorkel the south side, now the calm side of island.  Nice time, see a very large Grouper, a big Ocean Triggerfish, and lots of others,  including a peacock flounder on my way in.  A french lady was diving with a guide out just beyond where we were.  Yep, very calm on this side today.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Flash from the past...a couple of pics from our May Europe stay.  The Jungfrau area of Switzerland. 

Does Venice smell? I've smelled more piss on a typical streets than here.   Now, maybe in the heat of summer it may get more fragrant...but no, no stink other than the ocean.  It's a little fishy by the fish market...like in Seattle or San Fran.   Did see a rat last night, and we are told there are lots of them, as many of the lower floors are only used for storage...the flooding thing, so the rats live down there and the people live upstairs.  Mosquitoes have been the bane of this trip, no screens on the windows and with all the standing water from the rains.  
With no wheeled transport at all....no bikes even, it's a walkers dream.  It's a challenge when it rains, with all the umbrella's...you can get poked, watch out!
No everyone should put Venice on their "bucket list".  

Another square, another church, another dead end....oh, my we're lost...again.  It's OK, we have a map, just don't know which way to go.

Venice 11-2011

I'll keep this short.  Nice day, no rain, even sun!

Enjoy the pictures.