Two large inquisitive eyes study me in a very strange and somewhat alien terrain. The gelatinous body changes into a quick shade of red and quickly shoots away out of sight into the deep blue. My first encounter with one of the many denizens of reef in the Cayman Islands was a very curious squid.
When I had first heard of the school trip to the Cayman Islands for scuba diving it was during parent-teacher conferences in the middle of a harsh Minnesota February. The very idea of being in a tropical paradise at the time was more than enough to catch my interest in he Cayman. Since the trip was sponsored by the school there were many fundraising opportunities available to help me pay for the $3,000 trip. After a number of trip meets and getting able to know the other 15 teens our trip to the Grand Cayman finally arrived.
The change from a snow covered wasteland to a hot and humid tropical paradise was more than a little shocking. For our trip we had stayed in a house on the north side beach front which is open for rental year round. Even after our 10 hour plane trip the first thing we had done was jump into the deep blue waters of the Caribbean. We donned our sunscreen and our goggles to see all the creatures that resided near our temporary home. At the first step the warm waters soothed our weary souls and we knew were in paradise.
Everything about the Caymans was magnificent, the reefs were by far the highlight. The citizens of the reef were incredibly spectacular having every color, shape, and size. My favorite of all the creatures was the Caribbean reef squid, not only for welcoming me to the warm waters of the Grand Cayman, but also for its almost human inquisitiveness. But the sea wasn’t the only great thing about the Cayman.
During my trip to Cayman my group and I had ventured into the tourist and local parts of the island. The tourist part of the island was mainly a few large hotels also many familiar and unfamiliar restaurants. The local areas were by far my favorite, because of their uniqueness and the cultural differences from my own.
My trip to the Grand Cayman was by far the most incredible experience of my lifetime. The people, the animals, and the entire island were all breath taking by their beauty and distinctiveness. The sights, the sounds, and the smells are always lingering in my thoughts, making me want to return the Grand Caymans.
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