Imagine, if you will, a horrible situation where you don’t actually live here in Cayman Paradise. What to do? Well, of course, as millions over the years have done, visiting is the next best thing. Indeed, paradise can be perfection with the right itinerary which is where long-term shipmates and music bods Barefoot Man and Sunny Jim step in. From 16 to 23 June they are hosting a trip to the beloved isle which takes in Stingray City, snorkel trips, special meals and plenty of music.
“We’re doing a Sunny Jim Island tour, highlighting places and events that were important to us,” Jim tells Weekender.
“We’ve also got a dive/snorkel trip scheduled with Red Sail Sports, a dinner at Royal Palms with Earl LaPierre entertaining us. I’ll be at Margaritaville Cafe on Wednesday night, 20 June (open to the public!) and we’re taking the group to see Barefoot’s show on Thursday night at the Reef.
“The big finale will be a sunset sail to Rum Point with dinner and a concert there with Barefoot and his band and myself. We’ve left plenty of free time for our travellers to explore the island on their own,” he says, which is quite right, too.
And whilst Barefoot is a long-term resident, Jim also can boast a significant period on Cayman shores, he notes.
“We lived in Grand Cayman from 1988 until 2000, so we have a strong connection to the Cayman Islands. Many of my songs are inspired by our life there, so my fans want to come see it all for themselves. I’ve known Barefoot since those early days, he’s well known in the states, and we have a lot of the same fans. It’s a good way to bring them together for a week of music and sun and fun.
“Fans of tropical music love to travel to the tropics. This year alone, we’ve been to Hawaii and Mexico with fan groups, but we always love to come to the Cayman Islands, and my have fans have come to expect it – they’re already asking about next summer! This is our fourth trip back to Cayman with fans since we left in 2000,” says Jim.
It was, he says, the longest he ever lived in one place and he felt his life “really got going” whilst in the Cayman Islands.
“Twelve years brought me a marriage and twin daughters, I made lifelong friends, learned to love the sea and the island lifestyle. I have wonderful memories of Pirates Week, turtle releases, sailing on North Sound, watching storms blow in, one mile ocean swims, early morning scuba dives, late nights on the beach, getting together with other new parents when our kids were small. So many good memories that I will cherish forever.
“I really enjoyed being a member of the Hyatt family, and even now I run into people all over the US who I met during my 11 years as entertainer there. I’m still in touch with a lot of my old Hyatt coworkers.” Jim says he is excited just thinking about the visit which as ever will bring back old memories as well as create new ones. As for the visitors – well, it’s impossible for them not to head back home enriched.
“I’m sure people will take back stories of the beauty of the island and the friendliness of the locals. We have a lot of first time divers coming with us from Colorado, and I can’t wait to see their reaction to our fabulous reefs.”
With a trip to Little Cayman also mooted, it looks like a visit to paradise will hit every button there is to button. Welcome, one and all.
“Cayman Islands Department of Tourism helped sponsor all promotional material for the trip,” says Adele White (Jim’s better half).
“They are sponsoring a welcome reception at Sunshine Suites on Sunday night, 17 June. Cayman Airways offered a discount for group members flying the national carrier. Sunshine Suites and the Reef offered good room rates for our people and Budget Car Rental offered a great discount as well. “Red Sail Sports is a big sponsor and the company has been a part of our family for a very long time. I worked with Red Sail Sports for eight years while in Cayman and they continue to be family. The Rum Point Club and Royal Palms have both also been great to work with. All these sponsors have been fantastic about helping with the event, we couldn’t make it happen without them.”