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The Cayman Islands

Essay by   •  December 4, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  1,610 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,044 Views

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Part I - The Question

When I was 18, my family took a trip to Cancun for Spring Break. I absolutely loved the beaches and palm trees, the white sand, hot sun and blue waves. Ever since then I have had a real passion for tropical islands. My favorite and perhaps the most beautiful Islands I've researched are the Cayman Islands. I've only seen pictures and heard stories but I've already decided that's where I am getting married. I still however, don't know anything about the islands. My love for these islands and my thirst for knowledge on the topic has driven me to do more research and find out the history behind the Cayman Islands. I want to know everything about them, so far the only thing I know is that there are three islands, Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little cayman. I would like to know more. I am hoping to learn about the early development of the islands, the people, growth, tropical climate and environment. I am doing this purely for my own reference and curiosity.

Part II - Research

I began researching for this paper online because it was easy for me to use and a lot faster than looking up information in text books, and it's a lot more accurate and up-to-date. Immediately I found about a hundred web sites worth printing. After scrolling through page after page, site after site I realized I had barely scratched the surface, so I decided to pick the ones with the most promising titles and print them all. Then I began the tedious task of sifting through all those papers until I found the best ones. I think I ended up with about six different sites, all on different things about the islands. One of the best ones was about the history of the Cayman Islands, I found this to be the most factual. Another good one mostly was about the Geography and Geology of the islands. The rest of them were mainly about visiting the islands, the discovery of the islands, touring the islands and comparing and contrasting the three islands.

After this I went to the Jackson Community College Learning Center and read through books and Encyclopedias about Cayman Islands but I found most of these to have the same information as my web sites, but not as good. I found a few pictures and maps that were helpful in my own understanding of the islands, unfortunately they wouldn't be much help with my paper. I then decided I had all the information I needed and it was now time to put it all together.

Part III - The Answer

The Cayman Islands, a British Crown Colony, is a trio of beautiful islands located about 480 miles south of Miami, just an hour by plane. The three islands total an area of about 100 Square miles. Grand Cayman is the largest of the islands, followed by Cayman Brac and the baby, Little Cayman (Area Information,1).

Grand Cayman is a party island compared to it's tiny sisters. Is is the largest and by far most active of the three, attracting about 99 percent of the tourists. "Grand Cayman's sparesly populated East End will refresh you with long stretches of craggy coast. In Savanah, the oldest island structure is a castle rumored to have been built by pirates two centuries ago. Stop by the blowholes for some awesome pictures of watery spires. On the way back, harborside George Town will temp tou with it's many expensive shops" (4). Grand Cayman mostly remains unchanged.

Cayman Brac is the middle-sized island of the three. It's not much bigger than Little Cayman but has the same tranquility with a touch of the big island. "The attractions of the Brac, as locals call it are simple: wind-rustled palm fonds at twilight, hammocks on an untouched beach and the ubiquitous diving and snorkeling" (7). This islands is famous for the caves that dot the bluff wall near Spot Bay, they are said to make fine hurricane havens.

Little Cayman is about the closest thing to a private paradise one could ever hope to find. It houses about 50 residents and has few hotels and no stores. "Little Cayman is a quiet 11-mile stretch of land dotted with mangrove forests and salt ponds. Its beaches are adorned with colorful conch shells and seafans. Little Cayman's powder-soft beaches are so secluded, the only sounds you'll hear are the ripple of the waves" (7). Diver's from all over come to explore the spectacular underwater world of Little Cayman. It is the home of the famous Bloody Bay Wall, which starts at 18 feet and plunges vertically 1,200 feet. Here, divers can explore the unmatched beauty of the islands colorful coral gardens, black coral trees, tropical fish and swaying seaplumes. Since little cayman is so flat, bicycling is a main form of transportation. "Although Little Cayman's growth has increased since becoming wired for electricity, the Island's timeless beauty is well-preserved."

The Cayman Islands were discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1503. "The name Caymans meaning Cayman Islands is recorded since ca.1503. In the 16th and early 17th century the islands were used as stop-overs for merchant sailors and pirates providing fresh turtle meat" (World, 1). Columbus discovered Little Cayman and Cayman Brac and his fourth and last voyage to the New World on May 10, 1503. While sailing from Panama to Hispaniola, severe winds pushed his ships off course (Travel, 1). Since 1661 the Caymans were settled from Jamaica and the first settlements were razed by the Spanish. In 1670, England took over The Caymans from Spain, and the islands came under the administration of the Governor of Jamaica. While remaining a dependency of Jamaica, the Cayman Islands were given an



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