Saturday, January 31, 2015

Sand, Sun, Wind & Rock

Another day on the Brac.  We snorkeled and warmed ourselves in the sun on the white sandy beach.  This was followed by an afternoon of climbing at Dixon's Wall.  To climb at this crag we had to go to the front door of Mr. Dixon, an island native, and ask permission to climb behind his home on his property.  He was very nice and we talked for several minutes and he told us several stories about working on a ship and sailing around the world for twenty eight years.  The climbing was stiff, but excellent on overhanging tufas and flowstone on this limestone crag.  Tomorrow Nick & Emily will be flying in.  We will meet them at the airport (airstrip) and begin our adventures together.

Discovering the Brac

Our first full day on the Brac was good. (Friday the 30th) We slept in as we were still quite fatigued from our all night flight to get here.  After a breakfast in our seaside condo we set out in the car to explore the island.  We drove along 90% of the paved road circumventing the island.  Although there are a few very nice places the majority of the island has small quaint cottages.  Traffic is sparse.  Everyone is friendly.  They always wave as you drive by.  We chose a small sandy road on private property to access a beach to lounge on and do some snorkeling.  The morning was mostly sunny and we had the whole stretch of beach to ourselves.  The seas are fairly rough right now so the snorkeling was a bit challenging even behind the barrier reef.  Back to the condo for lunch.  Then it was off to find some rock climbing.  I chose to try a crag close to our end of the island.  The Orange Cave.  It turned out to be just what we were looking for.  Easier routes on juggy holds.  Once again that end of the island was ours for the day.  We explored some other caves nearby and walked the iron shore before cleaning up and driving down to the Brac Reef Resort for an outside buffet of Jerked Chicken and steak listening to live music from a local "Bob Marley".  I think tomorrow we are going to do the same thing all over again.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Arriving on Cayman Brac

Today we began our week long vacation in the Cayman Islands.  Five years ago we came to these islands with our children (some of them anyway) and stayed on the Grand Cayman. This year we decided to venture onto a smaller island in the group.  Cayman Brac is only 12 miles long and 1 mile wide.  It does, however, have bluffs or cliffs made of limestone that are particularly good for rock climbing. We transitioned from a typical sized airline to a small twin prop plane with about 10 of us on board.  The short flights between islands were beautiful and exciting.  Especially the landings on the short runways and the choppy air.  Deb and I sat right behind the pilots and watched them make their tricky take-offs and landings.  First we touched down for a few minutes on Little Cayman and then finally the Brac.  We rented a small car.  It has been interesting and a little scary to drive on the "wrong" side of the road.  Hopefully I will manage without any major mishaps this week.  The island is small so the speeds are slow.  Tomorrow we venture out into the ocean to snorkel and then find some crags to climb on.