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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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The calming sound of steady waves. The refreshing feeling of the ocean breeze. The warm sun reflecting off of the clear blue water. Sitting on the white, sandy beaches of Seven Mile Beach is one of my favorite things to do when I'm on the island—it's so relaxing!

But because I spend most of my time working around the clock, it can be somewhat difficult to switch off. Even when I'm in vacation mode, it's hard for me to stop on a dime because I'm used to going 90 miles per hour.

So, as relaxing as the beach is, I need something to help occupy my mind while I'm taking in the sights and sounds of the Caribbean. Last time I visited Christopher Columbus Condos, I brought along several book options and learned a few things about beach reading that I wanted to share for your next trip to the island.

1. Bring Sunglasses

This may seem obvious, but when you settle into your favorite spot on the beach, spread out your belongings, and open up your book, you'll soon realize that you need some shades.

Even if you're under a cool, shady cabana, the sun will find a way into your eyes—the ocean is known for reflecting that glistening sunshine. After I broke my only pair of sunglasses, my beach reading experience was all but over.

If you're in need of a new pair of sunglasses, I found a good selection at Cost U Less, which is only a few minutes down Esterley Tibbets Highway from the condos. I bought two pairs to be safe and raced back to the beach.

2. Apply Sunscreen, Then Read

If you're under a cabana, the sun may not be an issue, but if you plan on reading on the beach for more than 20 minutes, be sure to apply sunscreen BEFORE you settle in.

There's nothing worse than getting sunscreen all over your book—except maybe a severe sunburn.

3. Bring More Than One Book

When I'm at home, I tend to read for 20-30 minutes a few times per week, so it takes me a long time to finish a book. This is not the case when you’re beach reading!

I flew through my first book and didn't have a backup.

My wife, on the other hand, brought three books along and read over 1,000 pages. Unlike me, she knew what she was doing. But if you do find yourself in need of a good book, the next two tips have you covered.

4. Visit a Local Bookstore

If you came to the island without a book or cruised right through the only book you had on hand, you could always visit a local bookstore. My favorite was the Book Loft at the local Humane Society.

Not only will you find a great selection of used books for your beach reading adventure, but you’ll also be supporting precious animals in need on the island. Buy some great books AND support cute animals? Yes, please!

5. Try Audiobooks Instead

Remember how I raced through my book and didn't have anything left to read? Well, one of my vacation buddies told me to try an Audiobook instead.

My first reaction was, "But I won't be able to hear the ocean."

His response was awesome, "Yeah, but you'll be able to see it instead."

While you're reading your book, you can only see your pages, and you can see those at home, right? You came to an island for the breathtaking views and audiobooks allow you to take it all in while you listen to an excellent book.

Best of all, if you have a problem concentrating on your book when other people are around you, an audiobook will cover up those sounds as well.

Even better than that, if you've never used Audible, you can get a free trial here and download two free audiobooks. If you have a local library, download Overdrive and check out ebooks and audiobooks for free before you leave for vacation.

6. Bring Earbuds or Earplugs

If you're an early riser and get out to the beach early, you're going to find peace and quiet. You'll be able to relax while you listen to the gentle waves and chirping birds.

But as the day moves on, more people will make their way out onto the sand.

Some people can tune out the chit chat of other beach goers, but I'm not one of those people. Luckily I had earbuds, Spotify, and WiFi access courtesy of Christopher Columbus Condos.

7. Waterproof Everything

Whether it's a hardback book, e-reader, or a smartphone, it's always a good idea to waterproof everything that you can.

You never know when you might drop your book or spill your favorite cocktail, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry. You can make DIY book covers or buy waterproof cases for your phone or e-reader on Amazon.

Soak It In and Enjoy!

So, there you have it—a few lessons I learned the hard way. If you're planning to do some serious beach reading on your next trip, following these tips is going to make an amazing experience even better.

Did I miss any tips you've picked up in your travels? Drop them in the comments below. I'd love to hear them.

Enjoy!

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This post was written with traditional honeymooners in mind, but we'd like to think that we all need a little "honeymooning" in our life. Yea, we just made that a verb! So whether you're planning your first vacation as a married couple, you've been married 25 years or you're enjoying the single life this post has a little something for anyone looking to enjoy the romance that is life. Now let's set the stage!

It’s just the two of you now, ready to start your life of new adventures together and the first adventure is a big one. That’s right, the honeymoon. Before you get in the car and drive or board an airplane, you have to decide where your honeymoon destination will be.

You could choose big city, small country or even Disney, but we sincerely believe your best option is grand beach. Specifically, Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman island.

With stunning beachfront views, crystal clear water and some of the best scuba diving spots in the world, Grand Cayman is the perfect backdrop for a romantic and adventurous honeymoon.

The Cozy Stay

Christopher Columbus Condos on Seven Mile Beach has 30 intimate units to choose from including 16 Ocean View and 4 Ocean View Penthouse units. Each unit includes a fully equipped kitchen for those who like to stay in and cook (for those who prefer to go out to eat, keep reading) and an open concept living room. The entire property also offers free WiFi and provides beach towels so you don’t have to worry about packing your own. To make your stay even homier our beloved Christopher Columbus staff is on site Monday-Saturday to accommodate all of your needs including daily housekeeping services.

With only 30 units the property is quiet, peaceful, and there's plenty of room on our large beach.

Speaking of beaches...

The Private Beach

One of our favorite spots to hang out on the entire property is of course our beach backyard! While on the beach you and your new spouse can relax under one of our 13 thatched huts and read a book, take a nap or:

  • Go snorkeling
  • Swim in the pool or ocean
  • Stand Up Paddleboard
  • Swing under a hut
  • Play bocce ball and so much more

The Food

Food is a basic necessity for survival. Amazing food is found in Cayman. In addition to traditional Caymanian cuisine, restaurants on the island offer Caribbean, European, Farm-to-Table and Mexican to name a few varieties. Check out this list of some of our favorite lunch spots to get your culinary adventure started.

The Memories to Make

After hearing about our private beach we wouldn’t judge you one bit if you and your new spouse relaxed on the beach or poolside everyday of your stay. However, if you do feel like seeing more of what our beautiful island has to offer we have a few suggestions for where to begin.

The Photo Opps

Honeymooning at Christopher Columbus is sure to leave you and your special someone with some amazing memories that you will cherish forever. If you’re wondering how it can get any better let’s talk about photo opportunities and the FOMO your family and friends are sure to have after seeing all your pictures.

Lover’s Wall

Lover’s Wall is a brick wall located along the East End on Sea View Road on the way to the Blowholes. It's red heart sign is the perfect spot for newlyweds to snap a keeper to frame later.

Sunsets

Picking a favorite Cayman sunset is just as wrong as picking a favorite child. The good news for honeymooners like yourselves, is a gorgeous sunset fills the sky every night creating a breathtaking backdrop for honeymoon photos. The unique lighting can also create a romantic silhouette shot.

CaymanKind

Finally, something we are 100% certain no other honeymoon destination will have. The kind, warm and inviting charisma from Cayman residents. They are delighted to share their love of the island and you'll be delighted you chose to honeymoon in Cayman.

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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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If you’re like me, the only drawback to your trip to Grand Cayman is leaving furry family members at home. I’m not ashamed to admit that saying goodbye to my cats is cause for tears and daily requests for photos from the catsitter. Four-legged or not, my pets are important members of my household. If you have a big heart for animals like I do, you can show love to dogs and cats in need on the island through the Cayman Islands Humane Society.

The Cayman Islands Humane Society (CIHS) provides food, shelter, and care to homeless or abused dogs and cats, and also works to pair animals with loving and responsible owners. The shelter has a staff of 11, but can always use a helping hand from volunteers and support from donations. The current facility houses 37 dog kennels and a cat adoption room, which are kept very full due to the large number of animals in need.

How to help if you don’t live on island

  1. Volunteer to be a dog walker when you’re visiting
Dog walkers can come from 8 am to 5 pm on weekdays, though it’s best to walk in the early morning when it’s not too hot—paws and hot pavement don't mix. If you’ve got the time, staff will help pair you with a dog who likes to go for longer walks and socialize. Camana Bay and the beach are great places to get in a little exercise with your furry pal for the day!  
    2. Be a patron of the Thrift Shop and Book Loft
Proceeds from these shops support the shelter. Grab some beach reading or a unique souvenir and help feed a dog or cat in the process!
    3. Become an Associated Member for CI $40 a year
Memberships are a great way to not only support the work of CIHS but also keep updated with what’s happening at the shelter. Members receive a monthly newsletter with photos and updates. 
    4. Sponsor a cage for a puppy, kitten, dog, or cat for one year
These sponsorships are a great way to make a direct impact for an animal in need.
    5. Donate funds or supplies to the shelter
Monetary donations of any amount are always greatly appreciated and can be put to immediate use. Other donations such as food, treats, cat litter, etc., are also welcome—but you should give the shelter a call to see what they’re in the most need of before taking a trip to the store.
    6. Adopt a pet
The shelter does offer a service to fly a pet from the island, so if you fall in love with a particular fuzzy fellow you see on Facebook or meet while visiting, it is possible to bring them home. Dogs and cats are duty free when coming into the United States.
    7. Tell your friends! 
If you know any animal lovers who feel like Cayman is a home away from home, encourage them to support the Humane Society’s efforts as well. Share one of CIHS's Facebook posts or create your own. 
     

The Humane Society office is located at 153 North Sound Road in Georgetown near the airport, so it’s only a short ten minute drive from the condos. If you’re looking to brighten a sunny Cayman day even more by taking a dog for a walk or making a donation, get in touch with the Humane Society and volunteer!

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Most likely your favorite mementos from vacations are your photos and the memories that go with them. Photos are incredible memory joggers, and can put you right back in those blissful moments away from the every day grind. Photos you take in Grand Cayman can put you right back on the magnificent, wide-stretching, sandy beaches of the Caribbean. Follow the tips below to get your best beach photos yet - all with people you love in one of the most beautiful places in the world.


  1. Swing on the beach.

Take advantage of the oversized swing on our beach. It's perfect for family photos, and it's really fun to get photos while in motion, so don't be afraid to actually swing in it!


   

  2. Try a tilted angle.

Tilt your camera for a fresh view that will add an artsy touch to your photo.

     

  3. Create romantic silhouettes.

Place your subject(s) in front of a setting sun and voila your subject(s) will become a silhouette. If you're using a phone camera tap on the sun while in shooting mode to make sure the lens focuses on the light of the sun and not your subject.

     

  4. Capture footprints.

Trail one of your loved ones on the beach and take a photo of their footprints. If you are on a couples trip ask someone to take a photo of the two of you walking together. Little ones have precious footprints, too!

     

  5. Play on the shoreline.

Get a photo of small kids as the tide crashes into them. You'll get lots of giggles, squeals and funny expressions.

     

  6. Throw on a floppy hat.

Bring a couple of beach hats along. They can be used to create a wistful moment like this photo or sophisticated photos and fun ones, too. I especially love to see photos where the wind is catching someone's floppy hat.

     

  7. Bring fun sunglasses.

Pack a couple pairs of fun, funky, goofy and stylish sunglasses to take photos in. They add to the care-free vibe of the beach. If you have a little one don't forget to get sunglasses for them, too.

     
heart in sand
  8. Write something in the sand.

Draw something simple, or write something sweet like "I Love You" or get nostalgic and write your names and the year in the sand. The options are limitless!

     
underwater photo of girls with sand dollars
  9. Bring an underwater camera.

So much happens underwater in Cayman. You can go snorkeling directly from our beach! There's a lot to see and document, so don't forget to bring a waterproof camera.


More Photo Tips

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While the beachfront at Christopher Columbus Condos is private, the immediate shoreline is a public corridor for anyone who wishes to take a stroll along Seven Mile Beach. Since Christopher Columbus Condos is on the northern (quieter) side of Seven Mile Beach there is less pedestrian traffic. During a typical day you may see a handful of pedestrians walk by the beach every couple of hours, and they're usually guests of surrounding condo properties.

the fishermanHowever, during a previous stay, I along with the other guests on the beach had the pleasure of a brief encounter with an enchanting fisherman.

As I saw the man approaching from the north, I could see he was carrying a net and looking out into the ocean. He was barefoot and had a weathered look about him. I remember thinking there was no way this man was going to catch any fish with his bare hands and a simple net. I was fixated on his movement though as he slowly worked his way down the beach and closer to the beachfront that we were relaxing on. I could feel the others begin to pay attention too.

sardinesRight as he reached the CCC beach he whipped out his net and pulled it back in with one swift movement. I perked up in my lounge chair and gasped with glee as I saw him pull in a net full of fish. A couple of the other guests hopped up with excitement and ran to check out the fisherman's catch, so I followed suit with my camera in hand.

fisherman and his sardinesWhen we reached him, we could see that he'd caught a slew of sardines - with one simple toss - I couldn't believe it. He had emptied them from his net onto the sand, and I asked him if I could help him pick them up. He didn't say much, just smiled as he picked them up, and I did too as I started to try to pick them up. I squealed and laughed every time I picked one up and felt it flip and flop, but he let me continue to "help". Some of the other guests were talking with him as I worked on picking up the tiny fish, and I heard them say he had been following the school of fish down the shoreline for a while before he cast his net.

Once he gathered his fish he picked up his net, gazed out on the sea and went on his way. He left as mystically and quickly as he'd come. Amid all the excitement I didn't get a chance to get his name or his story, but I have a feeling he enjoys being a man of mystery. I'll always remember him and the enchanting aura of this brief encounter.

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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.

They should call the pool at Christopher Columbus Condos, The Pool of Tranquility. After a morning of island outings I decided to pay it a visit. I loaded up my tote with the usual: sunscreen, reading materials, water and snacks and headed for their gorgeous, recently remodeled pool. I settled in on one of many available lounge chairs and let the relaxing commence.

As I lay there the light breeze, soothing sounds from the water fountain and beautiful view of the Caribbean Ocean welcomed me to a wonderful place of peacefulness. I pulled out my InStyle magazine, but quickly decided to rest my eyes on the skyline of George Town buzzing just a couple miles away. The perfect Cayman sun beat on my face, and I closed my eyes for several minutes filled with feelings of gratitude and joy.

I took a dip in the pool and swam several laps in the refreshing water. The deep end had an underwater seating bench along the side of the pool that was really nice for resting. 30 minutes later I climbed out of the pool and returned to my chair for round two of relaxation. There's something to be said for taking the time to let the island sun dry droplets of water from your skin. It's that awesome feeling of knowing you have all the time in the world - no rush, no worry - and it's something you'll want to repeat time and time again. The relaxing environment and location on Seven Mile Beach poises the pool at Christopher Columbus Condos as one of the best pools in the Cayman Islands.

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