Saturday, October 5, 2013

October 5, 2013 - Insert Name of Song About Air Travel Here

Today was about the travel. First leg: from Huntsville to Charlotte, NC. Second leg: Charlotte to George Town, Grand Cayman. My first time leaving our good 'ol US of A to land on foreign soil. Passports in hand, we departed.

Behind us in the queue line at CLT

Our flight path took us along the Atlantic coast of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. I correctly identified the location below while in the air as Melbourne.

Melbourne, Florida

Esther wearing her ill-fated sunglasses

To get to Grand Cayman you have to fly over Cuba, which is pretty darn breathtaking from the air. (Fun Fact: At 600 MPH it takes only 12 minutes to pass the entire island of Cuba.)

North coast of Cuba

Waters below the southern edge of Cuba

Finally, my first glimpse of the island of Grand Cayman.

Roughly 100 yards from our condo, this view was waiting for us:

Seven Mile Beach, looking north
All manor of sea life was waiting in the tidal pools of the iron shore and the shallows beyond.

Filter feeder in the tidal pool
With the light fading, we took a quick swim to see what we could find.

Urchins. Why did it have to be urchins.

Hairy man-ape in water
I'll be honest, I'm not the most experienced snorkeler (snorkel-person?) and I've never swam in salt water with any significant amount of swimmy things in it. Urchins were totally new. I struggled with the mask that I couldn't see out of and the snorkel that I couldn't breathe through. Flippers? How do they work? Esther told me to just "kick" so I was swishing my feet up and down like I imagined I had seen divers do but she was speeding past me fast enough to pull skiers and I was just flopping around in fear of urchins and not really getting anywhere. The first time in the water was not super amazing for me. I would get better.

When the light was too dim to see underwater we retired to the pool.

All pictures from the first day are here.

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