We were taking our morning walk back in the wilderness and I found a dime! For those new to the dime stories, many in my family (especially me) consider finding a dime as a “hello” from our parents in Heaven. I have found dimes in some really strange, almost impossible, places over the years- but finding a coin back in the wilderness is the equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack. I do keep my eyes on the road back there because it is rutted and rocky in places and I have been tripped up back there lots of times when not watching my step.
What catches the eye is the perfect circle outlined in the dirt sea of random odd-shaped gravel bits. When I picked it up, I was amazed that it was an American dime, which if you look close at the picture you can see Eisenhower’s head.
Into everyone’s life a little rain must fall. The nice thing about rain on the island is that it rarely lasts all day. Sometimes it can be raining at the condo and we’ll get in the car to go somewhere and it is as sunny as can be only a short distance away. I tried to get some “artsy” shots of the raindrops on the plants next to our balcony.
We went out and about later that day and it crossed my mind to take a picture of what it is like to be the passenger in a right-hand drive car. We drive on the left down here!
We were doing an errand another day and found ourselves close enough to another one of our favorite places here to call a lunch stop. This is My Bar at Sunset House Dive Resort.
Sunset House is one of our favorite shore dive locations so we will be hanging out there several times on this trip.
On Sunday it was “ride to breakfast day” again. For a change of pace, we stopped at the Public Beach instead of Governor’s Beach. We agreed that we prefer the view at Governor’s Beach even though it doesn’t have facilities for beachgoers…although to be fair there’s hardly a bad view anywhere on Seven Mile Beach.
On one of our walks, I had noticed a tree that had a flower on it that reminded me of a hibiscus flower, but the leaves were definitely not right. They are heart shaped leaves, so that got me Googling for information. These trees (they seem more like oversized bushes to me) are called Popnut or Plopnut trees here.
What was interesting to me was learning that this is a tree that was traditionally used in building catboats. Catboats are a huge part of Caymanian heritage. They are basically an open “rowboat” with a sail. They were anywhere from 14 to 28 feet in length and were painted blue to help reduce the glare for fishermen out on the water. The islanders used them to go turtle hunting/fishing -often hundreds of miles offshore- and also to transport goods around the islands. Up until as recently as the 1970’s most roads on the island were more footpaths than roads. Sailing where they needed to go was faster and easier in many cases. After I looked it up, the next time we walked I skeptically inspected one as we walked by. I couldn’t see how this bendy/twisty thin branched tree was used for building a boat. Turns out that the boat builders used the natural curves of the branches and tree trunks for places on the catboats where curves were needed.
Below is a stamp celebrating Cayman’s catboat heritage, which will give you the idea of what they look like.
On one of our bike rides, I noticed this unusual fruit tree. What the heck is that? It looks like a cross between a red pepper and an apple. Research showed me that it is the Ackee Fruit.
The Ackee was originally brought to Jamaica in the 1700s from West Africa aboard a slave ship. There is a story that the famous Captain Bligh (Mutiny on the Bounty) ended up taking it to England at some point in history and now its scientific name is Blighia Sapida. It is the national fruit of Jamaica. It was probably brought to Cayman by Jamaican immigrants.
What I found interesting is that there is a very specific time that it is safe to eat. When it ripens, it splits open to show its seeds and inside bits that are the “fruit” -and that is the only time when it is safe to eat. If eaten before it splits open or after it has ripened and reached the point where it gets soft and is considered “old” …people have been known to get very ill and even die. Google says when it is mostly red, it is almost ripe. Maybe we’ll get a chance to see one of these split open in the next week or so?
Back at the condo – Mike did some snorkeling off our dock one day. I was too lazy, as is often the case.
We have been disappointingly negligent about making it a point to see sunsets this trip, so I announced that it was time to see a sunset – and of course, the best place for that is Macabuca!
The best thing at Macabuca is their made-from-scratch ice cream sandwiches. The problem is that there are only ever two choices on the menu. I think I’ve already said that oreo is always one of the choices. When we go to Macabuca, I am always hoping for an interesting “not oreo” choice (not that I don’t like the oreo one). This night the other choice was espresso. Coffee is a big N.O. for me…so no ice cream sandwich because I wasn’t in the mood for oreo. The good news is that we’ll have to go back in a few days and see if they’ve come up with something more interesting for the “other” flavor.
In the category of “you learn something new every day” I found out that Macabuca has a special children’s menu. This is fantastic news for me because as it turns out, I have the culinary refinement of a 3-year old and sometimes struggle with Macabuca’s menu offerings. I guess I’ve been in my second childhood all my life…I’m not very adventurous when it comes to food. Mike, on the other hand, will try almost anything once. Fortunately there are enough familiar foods on the restaurant menus around here for me and plenty of interesting choices for Mike’s tastes.