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Welcome to Little Cayman Diving at its Best!

The Chronicles of Vinnick - Spring 2005
Farewell to the Rock



Once upon a couple of times, I decided to go live on an island for a while. I figured I'd last a few months, maybe a year or two, and then move on. That was six and a half years ago. I moved down to Little Cayman and instantly grew roots the size of tree trunks. The island has a way of trapping you within itself, charming you, hypnotizing you, addicting you and casting on you its powerful spell. I relaxed, lost the shoes and any notion of passing time, and settled into a lazy, worriless way of life. The sun was warm, the waters pristine, the people friendly. Time stood still for months, for years.

And then one morning I woke up. Or maybe it was an afternoon. The downside had overpowered the upside. White was slowly turning to black. Dreams began to sweep me away from my island and towards faraway lands of mountains and flyable skies. It was time to leave. And so I finally decided to go on with the Journey.

Come the beginning of April 2005, I'll hit the road again, bound for a still unknown destination. But these were six quite amazing years. Seventy-eight months of my life that will always be with me, having changed me and oriented my path towards whatever lies ahead.

Here follows a very brief account of those years, a humorous ride from one highlight to another and from a catastrophe to the next...

 

August 1998 - Arrival on Little Cayman. At the time Marc has been handling all the diving by himself for three months and is exhausted. Phillip drives the old pontoon boat. Within a few months, I meet Ben the Grouper, Jeanette our cool iguana and the other 50 residents of the rock. I quickly turn into a marine creature.

 

Fall 1998 - Nancy walks into my life and I become a hippie.

 

Winter 1998 - The most extraordinary man I ever knew, my dad, passes away in France. End of an era. I owe him my passion for the sea. He used to take me down free diving to 20 feet on his back, before I could even swim. The signal to go up was pinching an ear ;-)

 

Spring 1999 - Havana Daydreaming, our new 46 Ft. pontoon, arrives from Florida. It is immediately nicknamed the Picnic Table by the other operators.

 

Fall 1999 - Spot the dolphin shows up in the Brac and starts paying us regular happy visits. Everybody else is worried about the Millennium bug.

 

Autumn 2000 - The new Paradise-Divers.com web site is born from a nightmare I had one night.

 

Some year - Tiny red crabs invade the roads. Is it an omen?

 

Most years - The islands regularly gets flooded and hurricanes take their toll on it every year.

 

Christmas 2001 - Arrival of Banana Wind. We get our revenge for enduring to be passed by all the boats for years; the other operators quickly rename her Passing Wind.

 

Spring 2002 - On a memorable February day, we get to swim with Sperm Whales. I give up on my thoughts of some day becoming a Giant Squid.

 

Summer 2002 - Farewell to Ben who never comes back from the grouper's spawning aggregation. He was probably served sauteed with garlic and butter :-(

 

Summer 2003 - Jerry takes over Ben's job. Life goes on.

New Year 2004 - Grouper fishing is banned on the spawning sites for eight years! Great political victory. The grouper population applauds and promises thousands of votes in the next election.

Spring 2004 - Paradise-Divers.com gets today's new look. This time it was a good dream.

Fall 2004 - Hurricane Ivan hits the Cayman Islands. They walk out with a serious black eye.

 

And the story goes on... I've passed on the controls of PD.com to Rod. As for me, I now have a personal web site, to keep everybody posted on my whereabouts. It's a fun way to display a few of my favorite photos; there's a blog section for real time updates and a guestbook for those of you who might wish to say hi or give me news of your trips to Little Cayman. So please come and visit me there!

 

Thank you all for having been part of the adventure! Wish me Godspeed! And happy diving to you!

 


Vince - Vee - Vinny - Snoop Doggy Dog

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