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Last year, Christopher Columbus Condos was excited to become the first development on Seven Mile Beach to implement turtle-friendly lighting. Today, we are delighted to announce that thanks to this update, 142 baby sea turtles hatched on our beach earlier this week.

A few weeks ago, the Cayman Islands Department of the Environment (DOE) began monitoring a nest that was found next to one of our beach huts. They determined that because of our turtle-friendly lighting, the eggs would not have to be moved to another location. On November 12, the eggs hatched and the tiny turtles made their way to the sea with a little help from the DOE and cheers from onlooking CCC guests.

CCC’s turtle-friendly lighting was installed as part of a partnership with the DOE in an effort to help preserve the sea turtle community. This was the first nest on our beach since the lighting was installed, and we hope for many more in the coming years.


*Photo courtesy of property manager Lisa!

What is turtle-friendly lighting?

Turtle nesting season occurs yearly between May and September, and hatchlings appear between July and November. Momma turtles come up onto the beach to lay their eggs, and then after 50–60 days, the hatchlings emerge and begin their journey back to the ocean.

When baby turtles hatch, they use the light of the moon to help navigate them to the ocean. Bright, blue-spectrum lighting on buildings can mimic the lighting of the moon, disorienting the hatchlings and leading them into dangerous places like further up the beach, nearby properties, or even roads. LED lights sit more on the orange end of the light spectrum, which doesn’t bother or confuse turtle hatchlings.

Due to the endangered status of green, loggerhead, and hawksbill turtles, the DOE is working on an official policy that would require new developments on Seven Mile Beach to implement turtle-friendly lights. These regulations would be based on similar ones enacted along the Florida coastline, which have been incredibly successful and world-renowned in helping preserve the turtle population.


Attractive and environmentally friendly

In addition to helping out our turtle friends, LED lighting is more energy-efficient and aesthetically pleasing. The warm lighting creates a cozy, modern atmosphere outside the condos and around the pool. Enjoy watching the stars without distracting bright lights, and don’t worry, you’ll still be able to see your way back inside after taking in every second of gorgeous Cayman sunsets on the beach.

Owner Keith Holloway who oversaw the lighting installation last year says, Christopher Columbus is “invested in keeping the property current and modern for the enjoyment of our guests.” New lighting is one of many improvements that have been made in recent years, including in-unit wi-fi, enlarged laundry facilities, a roomy oceanside gazebo, and more.

*Photo courtesy of condo owner Marsha O'Daniel. This was taken in 2014 when the DOE came to CCC's section of the beach to assist some turtle hatchlings and allowed lucky viewers a chance to see the baby turtles up close.


Heads up for turtle nests

We would like to thank the DOE for monitoring the nest on our beach and for all the continued work they do preserving the sea turtle population in Grand Cayman. Guests can do their part in helping turtles as well. If you notice any turtle tracks on our segment on the beach, let a CCC staff member know or call the DOE directly as soon as possible. The DOE will properly secure and tag the nest so the hatchlings can have the best possible chances at survival. Remember, disturbing a turtle nest is against Cayman Islands’ law so if you see anyone harming a turtle or a nest, you should notify CCC staff or the Cayman police.

Since the DOE began monitoring nests on Seven Mile Beach in 1998, nest numbers have increased from just 30 a year to over 300. We hope that our new turtle-friendly lighting can help foster a comfortable and safe environment for many more nests to come!

This post was originally published on May 31, 2018 and updated November 14, 2019 to share great results from the original lighting project.


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Christopher Columbus Condos is excited to announce that we’re working to become the first development on Seven Mile Beach to implement turtle-friendly lighting throughout the property.

A combined effort between CCC and the Cayman Islands Department of Environment (DOE), owner Keith Holloway is overseeing installation of the new lighting. “The native turtle population is a true treasure of the Cayman Islands. We have had nesting turtles on our property and have safeguarded the nests and hatchlings through the years.” We’re thrilled to add new lighting to our list of ways to help out the turtles.

What is turtle-friendly lighting?

Turtle nesting season occurs yearly between May and September, and hatchlings appear between July and November. Momma turtles come up onto the beach to lay their eggs, and then after 50–60 days, the hatchlings emerge and begin their journey back to the ocean.

When baby turtles hatch, they use the light of the moon to help navigate them to the ocean. Bright, blue-spectrum lighting on buildings can mimic the lighting of the moon, disorienting the hatchlings into dangerous places like further up the beach, nearby properties, or even roads. LED lights sit more on the orange end of the light spectrum, which doesn’t bother or confuse turtle hatchlings.

Due to the endangered status of green, loggerhead, and hawksbill turtles, the DOE is working on an official policy that would require new developments on Seven Mile Beach to implement turtle-friendly lights. These regulations would be based on similar ones enacted along the Florida coastline, which have been incredibly successful and world renowned in helping preserve turtle populations.

Attractive and environmentally friendly

In addition to helping out our turtle friends, LED lighting is also more energy efficient and aesthetically pleasing. The warm lighting creates a cozy, modern atmosphere outside the condos and around the pool. Enjoy watching the stars without distracting bright lights, and don’t worry, you’ll still be able to see to make your way back inside after taking in every second of gorgeous Cayman sunsets on the beach.

As Holloway says, Christopher Columbus is “invested in keeping the property current and modern for the enjoyment of our guests.” New lighting is another improvement that’s been made in recent years, in addition to in-unit wi-fi, enlarged laundry facilities, a roomy oceanside gazebo, and more.

Heads up for turtle nests

If you notice any turtle tracks on our segment on the beach, let a CCC staff member know or call the DOE directly as soon as possible. The DOE will properly secure and tag the nest so the hatchlings can have the best possible chances at survival. Remember, disturbing a turtle nest is against Cayman Islands’ law. If you see anyone harming a turtle or a nest, you should notify CCC staff or the Cayman police.



Since the DOE began monitoring nests on Seven Mile Beach in 1998, nest numbers have increased from just 30 a year to over 300. We hope that our new turtle-friendly lighting can help foster a comfortable and safe environment for many more nests to come!

*Photos courtesy of condo owner Marsha O'Daniel. They were taken in 2014 when the DOE came to CCC's section of the beach to assist some of the turtle hatchlings and allowed lucky viewers a chance to see the baby turtles up close.

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The Search for Sea Glass

Are you looking for a unique souvenir to remember your trip to the Cayman Islands? What about a piece of a rum bottle, sipped on by a great sea captain as he looked out over the waves on a full-moon night?

Take some time to search for sea glass on your next trip to Cayman and you may find just that or at least a piece with equal character. ; )

What is sea glass?

As I was planning my first trip to Grand Cayman, the idea of searching for sea glass immediately caught my eye. Growing up in the land-locked Midwest, I’d never heard of it and was intrigued by its beauty, mystery, and enthusiastic hunter community.

Sea glass forms after pieces of discarded glass tumble, roll, and crash around for years in the waves of water. After anywhere from ten to one hundred years, the sharp edges are worn smooth and the once-shiny surface takes on a more frosted look. Round, rock-like pieces of sea glass make their way to the shoreline and await discovery by people like you and me. 

Sea glass forms specifically from bodies of salt water, while similar “beach glass” comes from freshwater sources. A trained eye can spot the difference between sea and beach glass due to the piece’s luster—salt produces a more opaque surface. This stuff is so popular that it's even produced commercially, but the commercial glass will have a much shinier, cleaner look to it which indicates it's an imitation.

Uses

The uses for sea glass are as myriad as the colors it comes in. Some like to use it in jewelry making, wall art, statement pieces in jars or bowls, votive candle holders, as worry rocks, and more. Use pieces as inspiration for stories about the glass’s origin—is it the perfume bottle of a famous aristocrat from the 1920s, window glass lost during a storm, or a soda shared between a couple on their first date? Let your creativity run wild—the most important thing to keep in mind when searching for sea glass is to have fun.

Types of sea glass

Sea glass comes in a rainbow of colors from a variety of places, from old trash dumps to shipwrecks. Most common sources include beer, liquor, and soda bottles—a high percentage of white, brown, and white/clear sea glass can be sourced to these bottles. More rare colors include glass from medicine bottles, kitchenware, household decorations, and even auto/boat glass. Some rare colors you can keep an eye out for are cobalt blue, lavender, orange, lime green, cornflower blue, jade, and black.

With historical knowledge of commercial dying processes, some sea glass can even be dated to a particular era. For example, lavender glass can be traced to a change in the chemical processing of glass around WWI, and some sea-foam green can be traced to old Coca-Cola bottling practices. The sea glass enthusiast community has lots of great resources online to help you narrow down the origins of your finds.

So the next time you’re on Seven Mile Beach at high or low tide, grab your sun hat, a couple of friends, your imagination, and see what treasures you can find. And don’t forget to share photos of your sea glass finds with us using #loveCCC on Instagram.

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Every once in a while we need a little extra inspiration. A simple trip to the beach is our cure-all here on the island: Sinking our toes in the soft sand, listening to the gentle cadence of the waves, letting the sun kiss our skin. It's a wonderful thing that we never take for granted. Hopefully you will enjoy it soon, too, but in the meantime we've put a few photos from the Christopher Columbus Condos beach together with some amazing quotes that will take all of our landlocked friends down to the islands. We hope you enjoy them!










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I see beautiful sunset after beautiful sunset here on Grand Cayman island, so I thought I'd share some of my favorites with you. Few words are needed for this post. Simply let your eyes feast in the wonder! Thank you to guest, Jason Hawk, for the main photo above. And thank you to my friend Kay Emrick for the last photo with the sailboat. The rest of the photos are photos that I've captured over the last couple of years on my frequent visits to the Cayman Islands. Many were taken at Christopher Columbus Condos and others were taken across the island.

10. Love the sunset trail in this one.


9. The blue-green color of the water is wonderfully perplexing mixed with the light oranges of the sunset and ultimately a mat finish of grey sky.


8. The palm tree silhouette really adds to this one.



7. The deep, dark purple and glowing center wow me here.



6. This is real, I promise, and there's not one ounce of editing!



5. The sun looks enormous here!



4. This wondrous sunset looks like a dream.



3. The mood here is so unique. Quiet. Contemplative. Gorgeous!



2. Miraculous rays!



1. And thank you Kay for this beauty. Isn't it stunning?

Which sunset is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below!
Comments 3 Rating: Rated 5 star by 2 people.

There are a plethora of amazing activities to enjoy on Grand Cayman island, and while we recommend you get out and experience the island, we also highly suggest that you take at least one peaceful day to just stay at the condo. After all, you are on vacation, and in order to truly unwind you need a restful day at "home". Here are 15 things to do at Christopher Columbus Condos on your day in.


  15. Cook a Family Dinner

There's something special about making a meal with our own hands and eating that meal with our family and friends around a dinner table. Add the view of our beach to the mix and life's delectable.

Tip: For the perfect ambiance, leave your patio door open to add the sounds and smells of the fresh sea to your evening.


   
  14. Make a Splash in the Kiddie Pool

The Kiddie Pool is an absolute favorite among the youngsters that stay at Christopher Columbus Condos. It's a zero entry pool of water with a small, mosaic water fountain in the center that kids love to splash in.

     

  13. Play Bocce Ball and Other Games

Get in some friendly competition by playing bocce ball on our beach. Pepper a volleyball back and forth. Or go old school and play tic tac toe in the sand.

Tip: Bring your own game gear or purchase from local dive stores or supermarkets on the island.

     

  12. Go Snorkeling

Our guests are always tickled with the amazing snorkeling available right from our beach. The water is crystal clear and there is a lot of exciting marine life to see.

Tip: Check the chest by the pool for snorkeling gear. Many guests leave accessories behind for others to enjoy. You can also pick gear up at local dive shops.

     

  11. Enjoy Lunch Under a Cabana

Set up shop beneath one of our many thatched huts for lunch or any meal. They're also perfect for enjoying homemade cocktails under. Buy fresh coconut or lime from a local produce stand or farmers market to add a little island zest to your dish or drink.

     

  10. Look for Sea Glass, Rocks & Shells

Take an afternoon walk and keep your eyes peeled for beautiful sea glass, rocks and shells. Sea glass, which is simply glass that has been broken and sanded down by waves, is used by many artisans to create unique jewelry pieces.

     

  9. Read or Write by the Pool

Sink into a good book, thumb the pages of a magazine or get out your notebook and start writing. Being surrounded by Caribbean beauty provides inspiration, so it's a great time to write about your dreams and goals.

Tip: Not a writer? Try list making first. It will help you literally piece off your ideas one by one, and before you know it you'll have a page of valuable notes!

     

  8. Sip Coffee on Your Patio or Balcony

Ah, yes! The simple joy of sipping on a cup of Joe while outside in your pajamas can't be missed. Add a family member or friend to the equation and enjoy great conversation while soaking up the morning sun.

     
  7. Order Authentic Italian Pizza and Eat In

The pizza on Grand Cayman Island is ahhh-mazing! Order a pizza and enjoy it together at the family table or take it out onto the beach and eat under one of our thatched huts.

     
  6. Watch a Sunset on the Beach (with Wine!)

Grand Cayman Sunsets are marvelous, and arguably the most beautiful in the world. Spend at least one evening appreciating every second of a sunset on our beach, and for added tranquility add a bottle of wine!

     
  5. Get on a Paddleboard

Stand up Paddleboarding is so much fun! Glide over the top of the Caribbean Sea while getting in a little workout, and keep your eyes peeled for exciting marine life below. Companies like Cayman Stand Up Paddle Co have boards for rent and will even deliver them to our condos for your use! 

     
  4. Go Crab Hunting

Alright, alright we know this one isn't for everyone, but we have seen plenty of kids and those young at heart have a blast looking for crabs on the beach. It's best to look with a flashlight at night as they're more active then. And NO WORRIES these little guys won't bother you if you don't bother them. In fact, you probably won't even see them unless you're looking for them. :)

     

  3. Take Family Photos on the Beach

During your day in, save some time to take photos with the family! You'll cherish these forever, and there are so many beautiful options on our beachfront.

     
  2. Take a Walk at Twilight

Walks on the beach may sound a little cliche, but it's one cliche we'll never give up. There's nothing as wonderful and peaceful as listening to the tide, step by sandy step while looking out over the expansive Caribbean Sea. Breathe it in on a solo journey, or take it stride by stride with a loved one.

     

  1. Pull Chairs up to the Shoreline

After your walk grab one of our smaller lounge chairs (they're easy to carry) and set yourself up by the shoreline. Simply sit and give thanks for the surrounding beauty while letting the tide wash over your feet.

Comments 0 Rating: Rated 3.75 star by 2 people.
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