Date: 23 May 97 15:44:25 EDT
From: Gene Gruender <104675.2134@CompuServe.COM>
Subject: Bye to Cayman

It's Friday afternoon, we're getting ready to leave Cayman tomorrow.

Here's a little summery of our discoveries here.

It's great, if you have the chance to pass this way, don't pass it up. Even though it's not known as a cruiser's destination, we think it should be. It has the best concentrated diving and snorkeling of anyplace we've been or heard about. Zach and I went snorkeling this morning right here in the anchorage and saw a large turtle, a tarpon that would go 50 lbs and schools and schools of different types of fish. There's a shipwreck here in the harbor, too, but we didn't find it yet. There are a dozen or more around the island you could visit.

Don't forget Stingray City if you can come. Don't pay the $30+, take your own boat. It's a no-brainer.

The people have been very friendly and helpful. Their economy is based on tourism (and banking) and they know it. They treat you as if you bring their livelihood and they're grateful.

It's also known as a high priced place. It is a bit higher than the States, some things more than others. But, if you look around, you can restock for the same as a US supermarket. I say that seriously, but an explanation is needed. In the US, depending on the market, you can pay 200% more for the same items over what you can find it for in the best discount place. You will not find the most discounted prices, but you can certainly do much better than if you shopped in an upscale market in the US.

We paid 2/3 the price for long life milk, compared to what we could find it at in the US. Cokes, about $2.50 a 6 pack. paper towels, under $1. Canned goods, around 60 cent or so, if you're watching close. Maybe 90 cents if you're not.

The secret is, there are several large markets here. They have weekly specials, just like in the States. They run Wednesday to Tuesday, then a new set of sale items comes out. If you showed up on Tuesday, hit the specials, wednesday, new ones, the next Wednesday, hit it again, you could do a pretty good job of stocking, saving over the wholesale prices in the warehouse we looked at. Even ignoring the specials, you can do ok. Much, much better than the Bahamas or Jamaica. Oh, by the way, Whoppers at Burger King are $1 on the day and evening of a full moon!

You can change your money anywhere at $1 Cayman = .80 US. If you go to the bank, you can get about .82 US, not a lot of difference, but if you're changing $500, it's $10 more in your pocket.

There are teller machines everywhere, they can give US money, there is no fee.

We'd stay longer, but really need to head on back to Texas. We'll hit a happy hour tonight with free chili, tomorrow we'll check out. (before noon - avoiding the $50 fee!)

We'll be bound for Isla Mujeres, (Picture) about 275 miles and 3 days away.

Isla Mujeres Information Page

Isla Mujeres Photo Link

Gene Gruender
Aboard Rainbow Chaser