Day 3 of 68 — Cayman Islands – To Hell and Back

January 6, 2018 Paul Groves

The Cayman Islands are composed of three islands: Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, and Cayman Brac. They are a sovereign territory of Britain. They have an independent government but still claim Queen Elizabeth II as their Head of State who appoints a Governor as her representative on the Islands. Besides tourism, Banks are big business on the Islands. They have become one of the largest off-shore tax havens in the world.

Today we saw two of the main attractions on the Grand Cayman Island: Hell and the Turtle Center.

Hell isn’t more than about 1 block in size but it does have a Post Office and a very unusual set of rock formations. The unearthly limestone rocks are formed by acid rain and rock eating algae. The name is supposed to have come from a British explorer, who upon seeing them, exclaimed “So This is what Hell looks like”.

Our second site was the Turtle Center. This is a breeding center for the Green Sea Turtle. Since 1979 they have released over 31,000 turtles back into the sea. Once matured, they return back to the Cayman Islands to lay their eggs.
The center has a huge breeding pool of turtles with a sand beach where the turtles can lay their eggs. Workers then collect the eggs and take them to hatching facilities until they’re old enough to return to the sea. Paul was able to hold one of them! He made sure to wash his hands afterwards as the turtles carry Salmonella bacteria, amongst others.