Arrival in Grand Cayman
Phil & Nikki Hoskins
Fri 8 Mar 2013 19:41
In position 19:18.20N, 081:23.20W
'Go where the wind blows' they say, and the wind finally blew us to Gran Cayman, a well known British protectorate in the middle of the Caribbean famous for its offshore banking facilities as most people know. There's so much wealth here along with posh English Caribbean accents that after Cuba it's quite intimidating. Discarded $C notes just float past us in the water but we really can't be bothered to fish them out and dry them off. (We wish).
With the forecast for another cold front, but with less strong northerly winds this time, we decided to head southwards. We left Bahia de San Pedro at the south west corner of the Isla de Juvantad, Cuba at midday last Wednesday having to battle a strong northerly wind setting into the bay which bade well for our sail southwards but was inconvenient for clearing the bay. Unfortunately once round the corner the wind died completely and so our possible destination changed to Cayo Largo 80 miles further east along the south coast of Cuba where we may have been able to finally clear with the Cuba authorities (and ogle the alleged nudists on the nearby beaches).
At around 0200 last Wednesday morning the northerly wind with just a little east in it arrived with some 'gusto' ahead of the front and off we sailed like an express train at up to 8 knots into quite uncomfortable building seas - now heading towards Grand Cayman. Sense prevailed at first light with 2 reefs quickly tucked into the main and a reefed genoa we sailed at a speed so as to arrive in Georgetown early Friday morning. With the wind as it now was this could be our only destination.
So here we are moored in rolly West Bay with the yellow clearance flag still fluttering at the cross trees. Looking forward to a walk as we haven't been off the boat for 10 days!! Probably won't be eating out much though as this is the most expensive place for miles around. And it certainly has Cuba beat by a mile for it's electricity bill - in a moonless sky we could clearly see the loom of Gran Cayman from over 50 miles away. So you can't miss it despite being low lying and just 20 miles by 8 miles at the extremes.
We are now in 'the queue' for clearance which could be a while as both Carnival Glory (is that the recent pooey one by chance) and Carnival Legend are moored right behind us. So it might be a while yet. Meanwhile the 'Admiral' is watching a film about dolphins through the binoculars which is being shown on the top deck of Carnival Glory presumably for those tourists not wishing to pay $10 for a hamburger ashore - maybe they'll turn up the sound if we ask them nicely.
Pics to follow when we have wifi, which amazingly we just can't seem to access at the moment!