Little Cayman

2 May

My family went to Little Cayman to celebrate my 30th birthday.  We spent most of the time fishing, cleaning, prepping and cooking. Followed by eating and eating and eating and drinking.  A quick snack.  Repeat.  This is what passes for relaxation in my family.  When I pause to consider the backdrop to all these activities, the impossible quiet and solitude of Little Cayman. The tangle of sea grape trees, the carpet of turtle grass, coconuts and conch shells.  Iguanas and solider crabs.  The layer of salt in your hair and on your skin and the shower under the bright blue sky to temporarily remove it.  And the sea.  Everywhere the sea.  When I stop and think of all this, I am overcome with gratitude.  Gratitude to my family who organized and traveled and celebrated.  Gratitude for the soul and salt and beauty of my tiny country.  Gratitude and joy.

My sisters and I went fishing with my father, my uncle and a gentleman named Castro.  A small boat, a few rods, a couple of hand lines, and rough seas.  We brought in more than enough to feed us for the trip – no small thanks goes to my father and my sister, Jessica.  We moved the boat to another spot and dove up conch.  And it was like I was 9 years old again.  Conch so plentiful that we could be choosy.

We went to Owen Island – a tiny little speck of sand and trees, to clean the fish and conch.  And to marvel.

There were stories and laughter.  Dots were connected.  Family trees climbed.

The catch of the day was brought in by my sister, Jessica.  A pompous jack, a permit, a pompano.  Everyone had a different name for the fish.  It was heavy and beautiful and delicious.

Back at the house we dragged a table into the sand and my father and uncle cleaned the fish and conch, with a little help from my sisters and I.  We prepped

and cleaned,

and prepped some more.

Snappers and jacks were cleaned and cut in half to fry, with fritters,  for breakfast the next morning

Conch was cleaned and finely diced.

Some of was mixed with onions, lime, vinegar, sweet peppers, seasoning peppers and scotch bonnet.

  Some with pickapeppa sauce, ketchup, scotch bonnet and lime.

I failed to remember to take pictures of all of the meals.  The mutton snapper steamed with tomatoes, onions and scotch bonnets, the roasted vegetables tossed with tender greens.  The pompano that was grilled over a low fire, basted with butter and lime.  Jacks and snapper and turbot fried in oil seasoned with scotch bonnets eaten alongside fritters fried in the oil that the fish was cooked in.  Barbecued chicken.   I was too busy eating it all and drinking and laughing.  And being grateful.

On Monday afternoon we went back to the airport,

boarded the airplane,

and said goodbye to Little Cayman.


8 Responses to “Little Cayman”

  1. Ben May 2, 2012 at 9:58 am #

    What beautiful pictures! How wonderful to get such fresh fish. Great memories.

    • heavycake May 2, 2012 at 10:05 am #

      Thanks Ben! It was a great trip. We have to make an effort to all go down together.

  2. Blair May 2, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    Amazing ….I want nothing more than to do all that right now!!!…I think I need to Plan an LC trip ASAP!!

    • heavycake May 2, 2012 at 11:08 am #

      Do it! Take a little vacation before the little one arrives, such an easy weekend get away.

  3. B May 2, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

    WOW! I am dying over all of that conch! Great pictures it looks like it was the perfect weekend.

  4. Carole Gair May 2, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

    Awesome trip and know the birthday was memorable. I remember that trip to Cayman I was in the cockpit. with the pilots….first time on a smaller plane….like the one in these photos.

  5. Stacy Foster May 3, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    what a wonderful way to celebrate a birthday….thanks for sharing it in pictures..xoxox.

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