Sunday, August 14, 2022

Mosaic Monday #186: Back to the Islands


As I continue my denial that this is the month of August, we might as well go way back to May and our trip to Grand Cayman.  (see previous posts June 5, 2022June 12, 2022 and June 19, 2022)  One day we journeyed around the island, beginning with Smith's Barcadere, one of the most photographed beaches in the Caribbean.  Also known as Smith Cove, this historic stretch of coastline is a favorite with locals and visitors alike.  Calm, clear waters and easy beach access make it ideal for snorkeling.  Dappled shade and picnic tables round out the facilities for those who don't want to go in the water.  I filled my time taking pictures, and bird-watching.  The two videos below are a bananaquit - a member of the tanager family.  They feed on small insects and spiders, as well as fruits and nectar.  The local subspecies, Coereba flaveola sharpei, is endemic - found only in the Cayman Islands.

The other most common bird at this beach? Chickens. 

The flowers and fruit on the trees at the beach fascinated me.  I did some rudimentary investigating on the web, but the identification eluded me.  Anyone know the name of the tree(s)?  (One had pink flowers and the other yellow.  Both flowers were shaped like a hibiscus, and the leaves of the trees were identical, if that helps!)

Our next stop was Spotts Beach, known for turtle sightings.  And sure enough, we saw three different turtles.  This is the smallest.

Check out the video of the small one.  It was completely oblivious to the snorkelers awkwardly hanging above it while it snipped at the sea grass, gently rolling in the current near the shore.

Here's the medium-sized green turtle going up for air.  Isn't it marvelous how the sunlight shines through the ocean onto objects under the surface?  The water here was only about 15 feet deep.

I love the following shot with the reflection.  By the way, all these pictures were taken by Spousal Unit with his hand-held GoPro.

The largest of the three was by far the most skittish, and that's why we have only video.  Notice the two remora clinging to it or swimming nearby.  The larger animal provides protection while getting cleaned.  I can't put into words how fulfilling it was to witness three of these majestic creatures in the space of 30 minutes.

Our next stop was Kaibo Beach Bar and Grill, on the far North Side of the island.  If you look at the red numbering in the picture below, we began at 1 - our condo.  Smith's Barcadere is 2, Spott's Beach is 3 and Kaibo is 4. (You can enlarge the picture by clicking on it.)

You can take a ferry from Camana Bay to Kaibo, but you would miss all the fun of driving around the island!  

After we enjoyed drinks and appetizers at the Grill, we strolled over to Starfish Point, only a quarter mile from the restaurant.  As the name would indicate, you can always find starfish in this area.  The red cushion sea stars that frequent the shallows looking for food provide the perfect photo opportunity, while the soft sands are a great place for beachcombing and exploring.

This day, we also came across a few hermit crabs at the Point, the first we have ever seen on the island.  Caribbean hermit crab adults burrow and hide under the roots of large trees, and can be found a considerable distance inland.  I suppose these creatures, like us, were also on their beach vacation!

Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
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As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
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Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us. 

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  1. That is such a beautiful place! The last time I snorkeled there I ran into a stingray and a baracuda, quite the experience!

  2. ...the tree is Thespesia populnea, commonly known as the portia tree, Pacific rosewood or Indian tulip tree. It can be commonly be found near a beach in Maui.

  3. WOW!
    What a lovely post, thank you :)

    All the best Jan

    PS One of our local shops has started selling Christmas Cards and it's only the middle of August!!!

  4. That was such a fabulous trip. Loved the bananaquit and the turtles -- that GoPro camera is something amazing!

  5. What a wonderful tropical vacation you all had, Angie! Your husband's Go-Pro snorkeling videos of the turtles were interesting and I loved hearing the waves in the background of the beautiful bird videos. I've never vacationed in the Caribbean -- I'm way overdo! It has been so hot here--I am looking forward to fall.

  6. Hello,
    Wonderful videos from your trip. I love the cute Bananaquit and the turtles. The sea star is pretty. Summer is flying by. Take care, enjoy your day and the new week ahead.

  7. Dearest Angie,
    oh, those were wonderful photos and videos! Loved them all!
    I also find it very touching to see all these animals in the wild. The pretty little bird was obviously very willing to be filmed, a little Hollywood star ;-) The turtle with his / her bodyguards and the hermit crabs are also very fascinating. You spent a wonderful vacation in the Caymans! <3
    My current post is also partly Caribbean, because there is a blog parade "tropically exotic". I would like to invite you to it, but I don't know if it will work. Unfortunately, it didn't work at the Wanderlust blog parade - your thumbnail didn't appeared there... I have no idea why...
    In the course of today I will start another posting, which I would then also like to link here with you :-)
    Have a good new week, hugs,
    PS: According to my app, the plant with the apple-like fruits and the hibiscus-like flowers is a thespesia populnea (portia tree or coastal marshmallow, poplar-leaved marshmallow, coastal hibiscus)

  8. How lovely, Angie, especially tonight when it's cold outside and the rain is falling!

  9. Wow! I think someone already said this but I'll say it again! You sure get the most out of your trips with amazing sights. Enjoy your week! Fall means more time on day trips here in Florida!

  10. PS: Thank you for hosting, Angie!

  11. So nice to be able to document these memories with photos and videos. Such a special time together.

  12. Amazing photos - I wished, that I would live nearer - but it is a long way from Austria.
    All the best

  13. What a marvellous adventure. I enjoyed that!

  14. You found interesting critters.

  15. What a wonderful place to have a holiday.

  16. There is a touch so seasonal change here in the air, too, and the school kids are wandering back to their classrooms. It's wonderful to be able to explore and enjoy the tropics--I've never been so it's fun to read about your adventures.

  17. What beautiful islands... the beaches, bays and the clear water is a dream... it's really fun to swim and snorkel. Thank you for your beautiful photos and vidios... the sea turtles - lovely.
    Happy greetings to you.

  18. I'm with you on being in denial that it's August. Where has time gone. And soon it will be fall which makes me sad. Flowers are wanning and soon will be gone. Boooooo. You got some nice shots! Sounds like you had a really good time. I've seen lots of lizards, but never a yellow one, very interesting. Been a good number of years since we've been to the Caribbean (Aruba).

  19. What a great trip you had, snorkeling, beach time, interesting critters, drinks and a meal. Love it all. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  20. Beautiful images Angie, the turtles are love them.

  21. "Dappled shade and picnic tables surrounded by fruit trees on the beach." Now stop it Angie or I'll get my own back in three weeks time.


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