Cayman Islands Photo Gallery
 


The Cayman Islands are a British Overseas Territory located in the western Caribbean Sea. The territory comprises the three islands of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, located south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica. Tourism and banking are the mainstays of Cayman. The islands have never levied income tax, capital gains tax, or any wealth tax, making them a popular tax haven. However, most government revenue is generated by import duties making everything on the island very expensive.



Grand Cayman is not a typical Caribbean island. Nancy and I always referred to it as "Little Miami". It is much more developed and "Amercanized" than most other islands. The picture to the left shows the waterfront street in Georgetown. It is upscale and well delevloped.

The main road along Seven Mile Beach is called West Bay Road. It has a heavy concentration of hotels, condos and fast food restaurants. The road is extremely busy. The local radio station even has traffic reports during rush hour - definitely not your typical Caribbean island!

However, by contrast, the east and north coasts are much more rugged and less developed.


I (Gary) have been an avid scuba diver since the mid 1970s. It had always been my dream to live on a Caribbean island and take tourists on scuba diving tours. Although Nancy is not a scuba diver, she is an excellent snorkeler and loves beaches and warm water. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to retire early in 1995. Nancy and I decided to act on our dreams, retire and move to Grand Cayman.


I began working as a dive instructor at a resort called The Beach Club. I took this job sight unseen from Canada. Unfortunately, it turned out to be one of the worst dive operations on the island. Their equipment was old and in a poor state of repair. The owner seemed only to want to extract as much profit out of the operation as possible. He was unwilling to spend the necessary money to provide a reasonable level of customer service.

Given that I was retired from my "real job", I had the flexibility to quit. I worked the duration of my three month temporary work permit and happily resigned.



Nancy also started to work in an office job at a dive operation called Bob Soto's Diving. (They are no longer in operation.) Both Nancy and I soon discovered that many of the "resort" businesses do not have the same professional work environment that we experienced before retiring. Therefore, Nancy also resigned after a few months.

Nancy spent the remainder of her time on Cayman looking after home and hearth. Gary was very happy with this arrangement.



After living on the island for a few months, it became obvious that Red Sail Sports was the most professional dive operation on Cayman. It was fortunate that the Westin Hotel chain was almost finished building a new hotel called The Westin Casuarina and they had contracted Red Sail Sports to run their diving operation.

I applied for a job and was lucky enough to be accepted. I spent the rest of our time on Cayman guiding dives, teaching scuba, operating dive boats and working in the dive shop.

Before retiring, I always said "I don't care if I only get a job sweeping the dive shop floor, I just want to work in the Caribbean". Ironically, this indeed was one of the jobs that I occasionally did.


While in Cayman, we lived in four different locations. We were fortunate that three of them were located directly on the magnificent Seven Mile Beach. This made our time in Cayman seem like one long great vacation!

However, to butcher a phrase, "every silver lining has a cloud". As much as we thoroughly enjoyed Cayman, it is ridiculously expensive. This was fine for a couple of years but we ultimately had to look for a more reasonable alternative. As a result, we left Cayman in 1997.

After a short stay back in Canada, we moved to Tortola in the British West Indies. See this part of our adventure at British Virgin Islands





Share our experience in the following pictures:
We apologize for the quality of the photos and videos. They were taken in the 1995-1997 period. That means that the photos are film based and subsequently scanned. The videos were taken with Standard Definition analogue camcorders. All this means that they are not the best quality. Nonetheless, they still tell our story.

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