You feel like you are on a very small island when you are travelling round Grand Cayman. That is until you take the short flight to Little Cayman, which is literally a tropical speck on the map. I can’t quite believe explorers managed to find this slice of paradise when they were navigating these seas all those years ago. There are plenty of London boroughs with a bigger footprint than this tiny island. Genuinely.
The flight from Grand Cayman to Little Cayman is an adventure in itself. Katie was convinced that we would get a drink and perhaps a small snack on board the plane but instinct told me otherwise. Instinct was right on this occasion. A Twin Otter from yesteryear, there were fewer than thirty seats on the plane. No restrooms, no real cockpit doors and, surprisingly, no other passengers except the one local sat at the back of the plane. We were simply told to buckle up and then we took off; admiring the rising sun on the horizon. All very quaint.
Landing on Grand Cayman was even more special. A dirt runway welcomed us in and the short taxi to the “terminal” took seconds rather than minutes. Even more incredible was the fact that the only other passenger on the plane then proceeded to start unloading the baggage. Turns out he was on his way to work at the airport after all! With the hour hand still well before 8AM, we made the short ten-minute drive to our accommodation for the night at the Southern Cross Club.
Located opposite the beautiful Owen Island, Southern Cross Club is a haven both above and below the ocean. Mostly famed for it’s accessibility to some of the world’s greatest dive sites, we also found plenty to do above the water as non-divers. On land, the coloured traditional housing and perfectly planted palm trees provided the ideal backdrop for a few outfit shoots. On the sea, we hired a kayak to make the short journey to Owen Island; an uninhabited outpost straddled by crystal clear waters. It was well worth the short power paddle; it was arguably some of the best waters we have ever been in.
After a quick break for lunch, we then made our way across the island to Point of Sand. Literally a point of sand, this white back stretched out into the aqua and emerald waters towards the reef. It may have been a little windier and rougher than Owen Island, but the colours were still jawdropping. Just enough time for a snorkel and drone flight before heading back to the Southern Cross Club for the sunset cruise.
Loading onto the floating pontoon via the bar, we made our way around Owen Island in a very relaxed fashion under the setting sun. Before long, the sky filled with the most brilliant reds and oranges as we sipped on our freshly prepared mojitos. Katie had been chasing the fabled green flash for years and years and this proved to be the perfect viewing conditions’ a straight sea horizon with not a cloud in sight. Then, as the sun dipped below the curvature of the earth, the slightest green flash. It does exist indeed.
Back on land, we were treated to a buffet style dinner under the stars. The night sky here is arguably one of the best in the world; with almost no light pollution to speak of, every constellation in the black sky above us was clearly visible. On a par with a planetarium, just with a warm breeze and sound of crashing waves in the darkness beyond the beach.
Next morning we had enough time to grab a bite to eat before the short flight back to Grand Cayman. We then picked up the car and headed into George Town for lunch with Zac from the Cayman Tourism Board at Guy Harvey’s. Our flight back to UK wasn’t until 7pm, so we had just enough time to squeeze in one final activity; a voyage under the sea with Atlantis Submarine. As non-divers this was the only way we could see under the ocean waves and the experience did not disappoint. Turtles, mermaids and all species of fish providing a fitting farewell to our week-long stay on the Cayman Islands. The perfect goodbye.