Recently I had the opportunity to visit the Cayman Islands to attend a number of book-signings for the new book Islands from the Sea, Geologic Stories of Cayman.
This involved appearances at no less than 10 functions, and for that I am indebted to a number of agencies and Cayman people that graciously hosted my presence and organized the schedule.
First on the list is the Cayman Free Press, publisher and distributor of this new book. The success of this book-signing is largely due to well timed advertising facilitated by this newspaper in combination with the distribution of it to retail outlets numbering sixteen and growing. Over 1000 copies are now on the shelves of these outlets.
For your information, however, during the signings a great number of questions were raised about the evolution of the islands, and it was fun talking with the variety of interested individuals that raised them.
Thankfully, most answers can be found in the book.
But one of the main messages during all of my appearances is that the Cayman Islands are not volcanic in origin.
Rather they have emerged from the sea by a gradual accumulation of sedimentary deposits of limestone and coral reef assemblages that have a very long history dating to as far back as 30 million years.
Throughout this time the islands have been at the mercy of fluctuating sea levels, primarily as a result of climatic changes that control the growth of glaciers, and, subsequently, their melting on a global scale.
This accounts for at least 600 feet of sea level change, repeatedly, during the overall history of the islands.
I wish to express my appreciation to my hosts at the various book-signings and public presentations.
These include the National Trust, Hobbies and Books, Books by the Bay, the Book Nook, Pirates Point Resort, Southern Cross Resort, Little Cayman Beach Resort, North Side Primary School, the Craft Market and the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman Central.
A gratifying measure of the book’s success is that records were set for the number of books sold during a signing at several locations.
Another solid measure of this was apparent at the conclusion of my presentation to Grades four, five and six at North Side Primary School when I asked who wants to be a geologist and 80 per cent of the class put up its hands!
We definitely need more geoscientists in Cayman and the Caribbean.
It was announced at the Rotary Club meeting on 12 December that all Cayman secondary schools will receive two complimentary copies of the book, and all primary schools one copy.
In addition, 10 copies have already been given to the Central Library, and one each to the Archives and Museum.
On closing, I again express my appreciation to the Cayman authors that contributed voluntarily to the contents of the book. Without their dedicated work and cooperation plus important assistance from other Caymanians, this book would have never been published.
It has been a pleasure to help produce a book about the very essence of the Cayman Islands that is now available to everyone at a reasonable cost.
Murray A. Roed