The Taste of Cayman Food and Wine Festival in Grand Cayman gets bigger and better and tastier every year! 2011 marked the 23rd year for this annual event with more than 30 restaurants and chefs presenting their finest dishes to thousands of guests. Jerk pork, Cayman conch chowder and sticky toffee cake were just some of the offerings at hand as visitors sampled and savoured and cast their votes for Cayman’s favourite restaurant. With over 50 different wines to taste, the famous mojito bar and the refreshing mudslides from the Rum Point Club, thirst was quenched and taste buds tingled. At the end of the day, the votes were cast and “Deckers” was selected Cayman’s favourite restaurant, be sure to check them out when you visit the island!
While the focus of the festival is food (of course!), guests were also treated to entertainment throughout the day. Live music, fireworks, games and contests, including the Dolphin Discovery ring toss game. Kids lined up to try their hand at tossing a ring over a (toy) dolphin’s nose, winning smiles and prizes.
Dolphin Discovery Grand Cayman was delighted to participate in this great community event. We’d like to congratulate the “Taste of Cayman” organization for a wonderful day, may we have many more together in the years to come!
It’s that time of the year again, the season to join with family and friends and celebrate the holidays, think about what we did on the past year and look forward to what the new year will bring to us. 2010 was a busy year for Dolphin Discovery, new adventures, new friends and a whole lot of smiling faces. Let’s have a look at some of the highlights of 2010…
Cozumel Welcomes Sea Lions!
Dolphin Discovery Cozumel was thrilled to welcome sea lions into the family this year, with their feisty characters and silly antics, the sea lion program is a delightful addition to Chankanaab Park. Pingo and Karla makes us laugh every day, and little baby Taco has a huge personality!
Miss Caribbean World Pageant Tortola
Dolphin Discovery Tortola is a truly beautiful place, but the participants in the Miss Caribbean World Pageant made it gorgeous! These lovely ladies from all over the Caribbean took time out of their busy schedule to join us for a swim with dolphins in Tortola, we thank them for their visit and offer congratulations once again to winner Marcia Baptiste from Dominica!
“Por la Libre” Open Water Race
Dolphin Discovery was pleased to be a sponsor of the 10 km open water swim race from Cancun to Isla Mujeres. More than 500 international athletes hit the water in Cancun and made the ocean crossing to the finish line at Garrafon Park. Seventeen year old Fernando Betanzos finished first, with an incredible time of 1 hour and 33 minutes! Televisa Verde made this event extra special by donating 6000 mangrove plants to revitalize the Nichupte Lagoon.
Manatee Madness in Riviera Maya
Our little family of manatees in Puerto Aventuras had a fantastic 2010. In June we had a big first birthday celebration for our rescued manatee “Robert”, with a fruit and vegetable birthday cake and a visit from local school children. In September we welcomed the newest member of the manatee family as Julieta gave birth to a bouncing baby boy, another success for our reproduction program!
Merlin the iPad Dolphin
One of the biggest news stories of the year was the release of the iPad and our smart-as-a-whip dolphin Merlin was one of the first to give the tablet a whirl and make his own headlines. Researchers from “Speak Dolphin” introduced the touch-screen device to Merlin in an effort to bridge communications with our dolphin friends and learn more about these incredible creatures. The fame has not gone to Merlin’s head, he is as down to earth (down to sea?) as he has always been, a vital part of our Riviera Maya crew.
“Dive with Dolphins Cozumel”
Dolphin Discovery Cozumel introduced a unique new program this year, “Dive with Dolphins” invites our guests to join dolphins under the sea and discover a whole new way to play. Chankanaab Park and Cozumel are paradise to scuba divers all over the world, what better way to explore the underwater home of the dolphins? This was one of my personal highlights of the year, donning the mask and tank and playing with Titan near the ocean floor was a truly phenomenal experience.
Cruisers Delight, Dolphin Discovery Costa Maya
November 2010 we celebrated the grand opening of our newest dolphinarium in the cruise ship port of Costa Maya near the town of Mahahual. Located about 400 kms south of Cancun, Costa Maya is a HOT destination for cruise ships! Dolphin Discovery is excited about our new venture and we look forward to welcoming new friends from the cruising community in 2011 and the years to come.
This is just a taste of some of the great experiences we’ve had at Dolphin Discovery this year, I could write all day about new births and visiting celebrities and the numerous charity and community events that we were honored to be a part of. I would like to thank every member of the Dolphin Discovery team for all their hard work and smiles, let’s do it again next year!
To all of you, our guests, we thank you for making 2010 a special year and we wish you a happy and safe holiday season and a new year full of love, life, happiness and success. Dolphin hugs and kisses to everyone, see you in 2011!
Cruise ship travel is one of today’s hottest tickets, with millions of lucky people sailing the high seas every year. Visiting tropical ports of call, sampling the culture, food and natural delights of paradise and discovering new experiences along the way, cruising opens up a world of adventure in the lap of luxury.
Dolphin Discovery has had the pleasure of welcoming thousands of cruisers to our Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Tortola dolphinariums and we’re thrilled to announce the opening of our newest location in the Mexican Caribbean port of Costa Maya. Less than ten years ago, the tiny town of Mahahual was a simple fishing village, now it’s a thriving port of call with a world class pier and tourism complex. The town has kept its charm and its beautiful beaches and views, working diligently towards sustainable tourism to allow people to enjoy the beauty of this remote village for years to come. Dolphin Discovery is excited to be a part of the Costa Maya community and we look forward to meeting cruisers and travellers from around the world and introducing them to their new dolphin friends.
Dolphin Discovery Costa Maya is located directly to the left of the cruise ship docks, our frolicking dolphins will be your first sight as you disembark. We invite you to pull up a hammock or lounge chair, enjoy a cold drink and enjoy watching the dolphins play while you await your turn for the experience of a lifetime. Our friendly staff will guide you through a short orientation before joining the dolphins in the water. Get ready to fall in love! In the Dolphin Swim Adventure, you’ll shake hands, sing a song, stroke the dolphin and go for an exciting belly ride! The Dolphin Encounter is the ideal Costa Maya tour for the whole family, with a hug, handshake, a sing-along with dolphins and a great big kiss, it’s something the kids (and grandma and you) will remember forever. After your swim with dolphins experience, you can enjoy all that the Costa Maya port has to offer, great restaurants, shopping and some glorious pools under the palm trees.
Big congratulations to our team on the grand opening, thanks for all your hard work in creating Dolphin Discovery Mahahual. To cruisers and adventurists everywhere, we hope you’ll join us and make Dolphin Discovery your number one choice for your Costa Maya tour!
For more pictures, check out our Dolphin Discovery Costa Maya photos set on Flickr.
World Cup Soccer may be making headlines these days, but for folks on Grand Cayman Island the 18th annual Flowers Sea Swim was the focus last Saturday, June 19th, 2010. The one mile open water swim race had it’s most successful year ever, with a record setting 777 participants hitting the ocean and racing to the finish. Swimmers from around the world took to the waters of the famous Seven Mile Beach, vying for almost $100 000 in prizes, including swim with dolphins packages from Dolphin Discovery. The event attracted some of the world’s top athletes, including Olympians Shaune Fraser and Ian Crocker. As in past years, proceeds from the event went to charity, this year supporting the Sunrise Adult Training Center.
The overall winner of the 2010 race was Alex Meyer, a tremendous young athlete from Harvard University clocking in a spectacular time of 17.18 minutes, with 16 year old Eva Fabian coming in a very close second place at 17.47 minutes, both athletes setting records with their performances. Dolphin Discovery Grand Cayman would like to congratulate all the participants on their remarkable achievements and we thank organizer and founder Frank Flowers and his daughter Dara Flowers-Burke for their incredible efforts in creating a world-class event for our island community. We look forward the future of the Flowers Sea Swim!
Grand Cayman Island is famous for many things, the beautiful stretch of Seven Mile beach, great scuba diving, snorkeling at Stingray City, swimming with dolphins at Dolphin Discovery (of course!), rum cakes and Boatswain’s Turtle Farm. The history of the Cayman Islands is closely tied to turtles, the turtle appears on the flag, seal and currency of the islands. The relationship with the Caymans and turtles goes back to the 1600’s when Caribbean ships would stop at the island for provisions and to stock up on the abundance of turtle meat. The 17th century saw the beginnings of settlements in the Cayman Islands and turtling became a a main source of income and food for the new islanders. By the 1800’s, the population of turtles was in serious jeopardy and by the 1960’s they were all but extinct. In 1968 the Cayman Turtle Farm was established to raise turtles commercially and to research and preserve the sea turtles of the wild. While many of the turtles are still raised for food, thousands of sea turtles born at Boatswain’s are released to the sea, replenishing the wild population of these beautiful creatures.
Dolphin Discovery Grand Cayman is pleased to have such a wonderful neighbours in West Bay and we invite you to visit them before or after you swim with dolphins. The entrance fee to Boatswain’s Turtle Farm have a $25 USD cost allowing you to enjoy the turtle enclosures, the education center, the breeding pond, the touch tanks and all animal exhibits including the predator tank with sharks! If you wish to snorkel or enjoy the pools, these “wet” activities are available at a small extra charge. Boutiques and restaurants will satisfy your shopping and dining needs, purchase souvenirs for loved ones back home or simply sip an ice cold rum drink in paradise while nibbbling a Caribbean delicacy. Dolphin Discovery and Boatswain’s Turtle Farm are the ideal combination for a perfect day on Grand Cayman, a unique shore excursion for Caribbean cruisers, book now and make it an unforgettable part of your Caribbean vacation!
Stingrays are fascinating creatures, as they float and fly through the oceans they appear almost bird-like in their motions. We at Dolphin Discovery love all marine animals and would like to share a few fun stingray facts with you…..
– Stingrays are found in shallow waters in warm climates
– There are about 70 species of stingrays in the world
– There is no evidence of evolution in stingrays, ancient fossilized remains appear to be identical to the stingray of today
– Stingrays can live in salt water or brackish waters (where salt water and fresh water meet)
– Stingrays are related to sharks (some folks call them “flattened sharks”), unfortunately while sharks may be family, they are also the biggest predators of stingrays
-Stingrays often take on the colour of their environment for defense
– Stingrays spend a lot of time motionless, partially buried under sand
– Stingrays are usually docile and harmless, though they will use their barbed tails in defense (usually if they are stepped on)
– Stingray venom was used as an anaesthetic in ancient Greece
– Stingrays may be as small as a few inches or up to 5 to 7 feet long
– Stingrays have no bones, they are primarily made of cartilage
– Stingrays are carnivores, hunting their prey (small fish, crabs, shrimp) at night
– Stingrays use their sense of smell and special electro-receptors to hunt their prey
– Stingray mamas give birth to two to ten stingray “pups” per year
– Stingrays have a lifespan of 15 to 25 years
Dolphin Discovery is thrilled to offer our guests the opportunity to interact with these beautiful marine creatures. Participants in the Grand Cayman Royal Swim receive a bonus swim with stingray experience, where you’ll be invited to stroke and hold the stingrays and our trainers will teach you everything you want to know about them. Guests in our Cancun-Isla Mujeres dolphinarium have the chance to snorkel in the sea with stingrays, a phenomenal experience! We hope you learn to love stingrays as much as we do, join us at Dolphin Discovery!
–Stingray photo courtesy Barry Peters