By Christopher Tobutt
Tuesday 17 May was the first day, for several weeks that Cayman’s beloved beaches were open, and beach-lovers were celebrating. Thousands of white butterflies seemed to have turned out specially to mark the day, too, making it into the happiest day Cayman has seen in a long time, and letting us catch a welcome glimpse of the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel.
At Spotts beach, at 9am, though, there were just a handful of people; ones and twos scattered over the whole of the big beach. But that didn’t stop the people who had come out from really appreciating it: “It’s amazing; I’m ecstatic that they’ve opened them up,” said, “and we’ll be back as often as we can come,” said Jarrod who had been walking on the beach with his son, Gabriel.
Hardly anyone was in the sea, though, but it might have been because there was a lot of seaweed in the water and the waves were a bit rough.
Another man was just walking and enjoying the view, “Its been a bit crazy, because we came here from Canada to work on the runway, and as soon as we got here we were on lockdown, and this is the first time I have been able to visit Cayman’s beaches.
A few more people were at Smith Barcadere. Several families were splashing in the water, and kids were running up and down, at the waters’ edge. It is so good to feel the sea on your feet and legs and toes.
“I am with my family, my three children,” Ms. Grenade said, “I am so happy to be on the beach once again. We live just across the road from Smith Barcadere, and we have really missed it. We feel so blessed to have the beach so close, and its really magical here. Being able to come back to the beach now is just like Christmas.”
A bit further along, on the big expanse of iron shore, was a group of men fishing. “We haven’t caught any fish,” one of them said, “there are too many rocks here and they keep hiding underneath the rocks.”
At Governor’s Beach (Seven Mile Beach) it was just coming up to midday. Looking up and down the beach, people were few-and-far-between. A mother and her son bathing here, a family enjoying the sea there. Everyone had come to get some sun, sea, sand and exercise. A young couple were just walking out of the cool shadows, into the hot sun of the sandy beach. “I’m just so happy,” said Kelsey, “I have missed it the most. It’s been horrible sitting at home doing nothing, and it’s so nice to be about to get out and do something, once in a while.” Her friend, Tristan, said: “It’s great. Obviously, nobody could avoid what happened, but we live in such a beautiful place and obviously we want to get to the beach again. We’ve all been patient enough, and it worked, so that’s great. We used to come to the beach every day, before. We really do enjoy surfing and snorkeling and swimming.”
Judy Singh-Hurlston and her family where looking forward to a nice cool time swimming and splashing in the waves, too. “We think that doing alphabetically was a good way to control the volume of people. We are going to swim and snorkel,” she said.