little cayman

An Insider's Guide: Pirate stories from Little Cayman with David Alberga

HI DAVID! I LOVE A GOOD “GROWIN’ UP STORY.” TELL US ALL ABOUT YOU!

I was born in Toronto, Canada and returned to Jamaica where we lived at the time, 2 weeks later. At around 9/10 months old, we moved to Grand Cayman and have been here ever since (other than for College/University). 

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FROM ONE ROCK TO ANOTHER, WOW! WHAT WERE SOME OF YOUR HOBBIES GROWING UP IN PARADISE?

Growing up here, everyone enjoyed the beach; mainly Seven Mile. Saturdays and Sundays were spent all along that beach. Beach Club Resort was a popular hangout. Lots of cooking, swimming, boating, skiing etc. As we got older in our teens we took to the bicycles, motorbikes and the sea. There were many developments (which had private roads), so we had lots of private land and dirt roads to ride our motorbikes on. We spent most of our time after school on bicycles, playing hide n seek, building forts in the nearby overgrown lots, or snorkeling/spearfishing. Other hobbies were soccer, mainly, bird bush (shooting birds (Seasonal) and the gun range.

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Fishing is obviously a big one, either catching Jacks in the North Sound, or heading to 12 mile bank for a little luck at the tuna and marlin. Little Cayman and Cayman Brac were always looked forward too on long weekends. Those were compiled of going up on the bluff, fishing, diving, snorkeling, and exploring the caves. In Little Cayman, it was about the beach at Owen’s Island or Point of Sand and getting together with family and friends and of course looking for conch, lobster, seafood and fishing, diving etc. Many great memories! Little Cayman always carried the stories of the Pirates that came through this area and so as kids we would naturally go looking for treasure. We often spent some of the day looking but were mainly unsuccessful and lost interest when we saw the Man o’ Wars swooping at the Mahi Mahi just outside the reef or when the fry-jacks appeared in a frenzy at the surface in the lagoon! Night time in Little Cayman was about gathering around the BBQ and listening to ghost stories; I still get goosebumps thinking of them!  Walking the beach looking for lobsters crawling in the Turtle grass or Turtles coming up on the beaches to lay their eggs was also a great treat to find and see.     

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AMAZING STORIES! WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT LIVING IN CAYMAN FOR YOU?

The convenience and safety. A great place for kids to grow up. It’s a 10 min drive to most places. Also geographically, a 1 hr flight and your in the USA to enjoy a weekend away or venture further to other places. No tax is also great, however, we pay that in other ways I suppose.

WHERE ARE YOUR TOP 3 PLACES TO TAKE FRIENDS FOR DRINKS? 

Any local beach bar these days as they are becoming less and less. Calicos, Hemingways (Now Tillie’s), Royal Palms. Rum Point is always great, too!

WHERE WOULD YOU GO FOR THE PERFECT DINNER DATE? 

Wharf or Grand Old House! If it’s just a fun date then Casa 43 or anywhere your allowed to get a little messy with your hands!    

TELL OUR READERS ABOUT THE HIDDEN GEMS THEY DON'T KNOW ABOUT?

East End has many local spots that are right on the beach and are GEMS in my opinion. Smith Cove, Barker’s Beach, Welly’s for some "local" food. Honestly, not much is hidden anymore but you can still find beaches that are isolated and tucked away if you wish. The Sealife and what it holds is truly our gem; I have never heard anyone here complain after a day on the water! 

WHAT ACTIVITIES DO YOU LIKE THAT DOESN'T INCLUDE WATERSPORTS? 

None really! Well, beach volleyball is fun but only for fun, and maybe bar hopping (yes that's an activity). Enjoying one of the many great restaurants is also a great treat. Cayman really does have an awesome array of restaurants and even though I am not a "foodie", as I believe they are referred to, I do enjoy visiting the restaurants for great food and the ambience.  

BEST PLACE TO GO FOR A SUNSET DRINK?

Sunset house, Calicos, Macabuca, Rum Point, Cayman Cabana, Crudo, Rackams… Way too many to list.

Insider guides : Underwater Photographer Irene Corti Insider guide to Cayman

WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO MOVE HERE?

I am originally from Milan, Italy. But for the past ten years I’ve been living in few different countries like Jamaica, Australia and Thailand. I moved here for the pristine water of Cayman… a paradise for an underwater photographer like me.

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WHAT GOT YOU INTO PHOTOGRAPHY? ADVICE FOR PEOPLE LOOKING TO VISIT CAYMAN?

Coming from Italy, I grow up surrounded by amazing art and artists, there you get inspired from everything that is around you and from all the art exhibits we have. I think a big impact on me was made from the book “The Decisive Moment” by Cartier-Bresson, it opened my eyes on photography and on the way I look at the world. I always had the need to create and to express myself, before was with painting but when I started traveling around I discovered that photography was the perfect fit for me. A good thing about Cayman is that its a small country, really easy to get around or to fly to the sister islands from Grand Cayman. It’s also a safe island, perfect for “Solo Travelers” or for a “Girl Only” vacation type.

FAVE BEACH?

My favorite beach is Spotts Beach, it never feel’s busy and snorkeling is phenomenal … perfect spot for swimming with the green sea turtles.

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FAVE HIDDEN SPOT?

My hidden spot is underwater, I love the Gamma Wreck on the south part of Seven Mile Beach. Really shallow wreck, perfect for underwater photography or for a fun afternoon of snorkeling.

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WHAT'S THE BEST LOCAL HANGOUT?

I really like to hang out at Macabuca on the North West point of the island, it’s a fantastic cozy oceanfront tiki bar with amazing food and drinks.

FAVOURITE SUNSET SPOT? I love watching the sunset on Seven Mile beach near Boggy Sand road, it’s really quite never crowded and picture perfect.

YOU SHOOT A LOT OF WEDDINGS, WHAT'S YOUR ADVICE FOR PEOPLE GETTING MARRIED IN CAYMAN?

Cayman is perfect for destination weddings for the easy flights we have from the USA daily. Plus you can’t beat the turquoise water and white sand of the world famous Seven Mile Beach for a dream wedding setting. Just be prepared for the hot weather when you pick up your wedding attire, especially for the groom, standing on the beach with a full suit can get hard.

WHAT MAKES CAYMAN SO UNIQUE?

I fell in love with Cayman for the underwater world, with the 100+ feet of visibility underwater and this is one of the reasons Cayman is one of the best diving destinations in the world.

WHAT SHOULD BE ON OUR CAYMAN BUCKET LIST?

A must is taking a boat tour out to Stingray City sandbar, where you can interact with the southern stingray. A really amazing experience.

WHAT'S NEW WITH YOU, ANY EXCITING TRAVEL PLANS WITH YOUR CAMERA?

I just spent the past 11 months traveling in North America in a Van, from the Florida Key all the way to Arctic Ocean in Canada to Alaska and back to Florida touching all the 50 states… it was a journey of 36 thousand miles and thousands of photographs! Next, before settling down in Cayman again, I am planning a European road trip with another Van. It seems like at the moment I can’t stop seeking beauty all around the world but Cayman has a special place in my heart.

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How to spend a weekend in Little Cayman

How to spend a weekend in Little Cayman

Once arriving the paradise that is Little Cayman, prepare to take in all of what this beautiful little Island has to offer. You’re going to want to get around the Island by bicycle - because the island is only about ten miles long and let’s face it, bikes are much more fun. The first attraction you have to check out has to be Owen Island. It’s an even smaller Island off the south-west coast; basically if you walk along the beach you’ll see it eventually.

Top dive sites in Cayman

Top dive sites in Cayman

Having long been a world-famous destination for diving, the Cayman Islands offers a tantalising array of distinct and breathtaking dive sites. Warm seas, excellent underwater visibility, vibrant coral reefs and unique wrecks are just a few of the enticing offers that makes Cayman a must-see for beginner and experienced divers alike. 

Photo by Oliver Sjöström from https://ollivves.com