He hath founded it upon the seas

With the now infamous world financial crunch and heat of summer well in swing for 2009, many people are looking to water-sports- and the ocean in general- as a way to cool off.  Locals are no exception and more residents in the Community say they are rediscovering Grand Cayman and taking advantage of what people spend hundreds of dollars daily to enjoy.

In fact, it has always been a whimsically accepted fact that Caymanians rarely go to the beach, hardly ever indulge in water sports and nearly never get certified to dive.

The tide seems to be changing though, and what is currently being viewed as an adverse world economy has also had a bright side, as it is forcing people to begin appreciating what they have.

Some of the things that people can get involved with include sunset catamaran rides, paragliding, wave running, sailing and sting ray city tours.

There are also many deals being offered by businesses promoting what is now referred to in the community as a “staycation state of mind.”

This philosophy has not only become a sheik and trendy way of saving, but in addition, may provide the stimulus our economy needs to stay above the fray of world markets.

Some examples of deals that are being offered are those available at businesses like Red Sail Sports, where residents can enjoy discounts of up to 50% on water sports, as well as diving certifications.

Some more perks for Caymanians and Residents include $40 two-tank dives of the North-wall and $30 two-tank dives of the South-wall.

Other businesses such as Ocean Frontiers also say they have experienced a spike in local participation recently and Reservations and Marketing Manager for the company Lesley Agostinelli gave us a run down of some of the specials being offered by the company: “We are offering Caymanian residents deals on most aspects of our operations and persons can get certified for $350, which includes an on-line course and eventually getting into the water.”

Parties will also be eligible for two full days and five modules, which consist of confined water training in the morning and open water practical application in the afternoon.

Lesley says that diving is not only fun but it also opens up a whole new world to folks.

“There are different seasons underwater and the coral spawning is totally magnificent,” she said.

Ocean Frontiers is located in the Eastern district and affords visitors the opportunity to see another side of Cayman during the scenic drive, as well as a new underwater experience.

There are also less traditional ways of enjoying Cayman’s waters for locals/residents and many of these can be seen while driving around the Island such as the kayaks that take visitors on tours throughout the South Sound mangroves.

Courtney Bryan who conducts tours for Cayman Kayak Safari said he would like to see more locals on the tour but admitted he understands some of the reasons more people are not able to take advantage of their home.

‘This is where we work and everyone is busy hustling to pay bills. That’s why I think we don’t see much of them.”

Mr. Bryan said he felt that when most people got a break, they just wanted to rest. However, he added that what some do not realise is that the mangroves and surrounding water are probably the most relaxing experiences one can have.

Some of the mangrove tour consists of an educational lecture on the state of mangroves in the Cayman Islands, as well as a session of swimming which takes place on a platform in the South Sound lagoon.

Bryan says mangroves are currently being grown in warehouses by the Department of Environment and will be planted in the area to make up for losses sustained during Ivan.

The company has been operating for over 5 years and though he is somewhat new to the operation, Bryan says, “I am a Caymanian and I’m just extremely pleased to have an opportunity to work. Its enjoyable meeting so many new people and I would never go back to what I was doing before this.”

The cost of a mangrove tour is $35 and there are usually two tours per day, and though most persons on the tour are comprised of tourists, Mr. Bryan says he would be happy to take several Caymanians out “for free.”

However, he said if it were a group or more than two or three, the normal rate would “most naturally apply.”

In the end, what then shall we say: Cayman is a land in the middle of the sea but are we making best use of this gift, or is it time to “catch the wave” and make the best of our blessings ?
e would be happy to take several Caymanians out “for free.”However, he said if it were a group or more than two or three, the normal rate would “most naturally apply.”In the end, what then shall we say: Cayman is a land in the middle of the sea but are we making best use of this gift, or is it time to “catch the wave” and make the best of our blessings ?

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