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Blog Home > Archive (December, 2016)

Listen to the full interview with Captain Dexter here or continue reading below.

On our recent trip to Grand Cayman, my family had the incredible pleasure of getting to know Captain Dexter Ebanks. Captain Dexter is a proud, 6th generation Caymanian whose roots originated 90 miles to the northeast, on the smaller island of Cayman Brac.

The ‘Ebanks’ name (along with others such as ‘Tatum’ and ‘Bodden’) is a very prominent one among the islands and its origin can be traced back to 7th century England. In fact, the Ebanks and the Boddens were among the very first settlers of Cayman Brac. Dexter joked that originally the surname was “Eubanks”, and at some point Caymanians became lazy and dropped the “u” in order to make it easier to pronounce. For the Ebanks family, the Caribbean provided a livelihood, and as a young boy, Dexter developed an unbreakable bond and affection for the sea and all of its mysterious beauty. Since the entire island population at that time was only a few hundred, family and community were central to young Dexter’s life. He claims that this strong connection helped shape and build his character and work ethic.

Capt Dexter on his catamaranAt age 16, Captain Dexter moved to Grand Cayman, or in his words “the big city”, and joined the police force. For 14 years he served the community and built many friendships along the way. During this time and because of a longing to return to the sea, he began giving catamaran sailing tours to family and friends as a weekend hobby. As many hobbies do, this one ignited an entrepreneurial spark which helped launch Dexter’s Fantasea Tours into a full time business back in the mid 1980s. Dexter’s business philosophy is very simple: to create a more personalized experience for those wishing to visit The North Sound, Stingray Sandbar, Rum Point, and the Coral Reef. Unlike other excursion companies, Dexter never overcrowds his boat and loves getting to know each passenger by name. He also loves sharing jokes or stories about Cayman culture and history which I quickly took advantage of.

Captain Dexter is a natural “people person” who genuinely longs to share his love for the sea and Cayman with others. He told me that he has never done anything more rewarding, and that became evident during our adventure to the Stingray Sandbar one afternoon. Since there were only 9 of us passengers in total, the journey was both intimate and relaxing with plenty of room to spare on his spacious catamaran. Once we arrived, he introduced us to several of his Stingray friends, which he knew by name, and coached us on how to make the most of our time together (which included some tasty treats of fresh squid). The Stingrays were incredibly friendly, loved being petted and held, and even posed for pictures!

After a wonderful experience with the stingrays, we sailed back to The Cayman Island Yacht Club and enjoyed a beautiful sunset, relaxing conversation, and laughter along the way. Captain Dexter gave us a glimpse into his world that day and helped us appreciate the simpler things of life, which we often don’t take the time to notice. More importantly, he welcomed us warmly into this world and made us feel like friends along the way.

You can learn more about Dexter’s Fantasea Tours by visiting his website at www.dexters-fantaseatours.com.

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Grand Cayman is one of the most relaxing, enjoyable places you can visit, but taking a vacation here doesn’t mean your daily workout routine has to be put on hold.

In fact, part of my travel planning includes scoping out all of the local gym options, so that I can continue to get in energy boosting workouts.

Prior to my first trip to Christopher Columbus Condos in Grand Cayman, I did a quick search for local gyms and weight rooms. I found several options which included an Anytime Fitness, Life Extension Sports and Fitness, and a World Gym.

As a powerlifting hobbyist training for my local gym's 1,250lb. club, I chose to go with the World Gym, a sister gym of the famous Gold’s Gym – a gym known for major strength building. My friend Chris, who was traveling with me, didn’t want to miss a workout either, so he joined me at World Gym.

I knew I made the right choice when I heard the hard rock pounding from the speakers as soon as I walked in. As I bought my day pass, I noticed the music switched to an upbeat techno track, and I decided to stow the earbuds for the day.

This place was rocking, and I couldn’t help but get pumped up.

As I walked into the primary, first-floor weight room, it was apparent: this was a place for serious bodybuilders and CrossFitters alike.

The personal trainers looked as though they lived and breathed fitness every day and everyone in the gym was hard at work. It’s hard to explain, but this gym had a contagious and exciting vibe to it that just makes you want to work out!

I made my way over to the squat rack to start on my routine. The equipment was in great shape, but I could tell that it had seen some hard, heavy days. I wanted to make sure I lived up to the “Gold Standard” so I racked on some heavy weight and went to work while Chris explored the various rooms and levels of the gym.

Later, Chris and I met at the bench press to crank out some reps together. As I laid on the bench, I noticed that the gym seemed to go on for ages in every direction.

There was an outdoor CrossFit arena and an upstairs level as well. Chris and I checked out the CrossFit area, “CrossFit Muscle Beach”, and decided it looked far too serious for us, but if CrossFit is your game, this is the place to be.

Next, we visited the upstairs where we found cardio equipment of all kinds and even more weight machines. While walking on the treadmills, I thought it was really neat that I had a bird’s eye view of the lower level.

If you enjoy people watching or learning new workout techniques, you can see dedicated people doing some pretty challenging workouts from up there. They also had plenty of big screens, so you can watch the news or a TV show while you exercise, too.

After Chris and I finished our cool down on the treadmills, we made our way back to the lobby where we met Herman, the owner of the Barbell Cafe.

The Barbell Cafe is located inside World Gym and offers the most nutritious (and absolutely delicious) juice creations on Grand Cayman. All of the recipes have been personally crafted by Herman himself and are the result of years of research and study.

You can read all about Herman and his wonderful concoctions here.

We decided right then that we had to come back each day of our trip, if not for a lift, definitely for a protein-packed smoothie.

So, whether you've just started a workout routine or have been working out faithfully for years just know that there are plenty of great options on the island to stay healthy while you're visiting. It's also really cool to have the opportunity to do something more "everyday" and local to get a feel for what life is really like on the island. 

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