What's new at Sunset House
CITA Supports Marine Research in Cayman throughthe Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation
Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 11:52
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, 2013 – A vibrant and healthy marine ecosystem is one of the main reasons thousands of tourists visit the Cayman Islands each year. From the interactive experience at Stingray City to diving any of the 365 dive sites available throughout the three Cayman Islands, there is a great deal for these visitors to explore and enjoy. Ensuring that the local marine environment remains healthy is a key goal of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) and its member companies, which is why CITA supports marine research efforts of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF).
CITA presented a check for CI$750 to local marine conservationist and artist, Dr. Guy Harvey for his foundation. The money was part of the proceeds from the International Underwater Film Festival, which took place in November 2012. Dr. Harvey also presented a film at the event, which was a compilation of his adventures and travels. Attendees were able to see new footage that had not been seen by audiences prior to this film’s debut.
The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation is currently running the following projects in Cayman:
• Stingray census (ongoing for 11 years)
• Billfish tagging, blue marlin migration studies
• Shark tagging, assisting the DoE with tracking specifically of tiger sharks and oceanic white tip sharks
• The Grouper Moon documentary
• Lionfish eradication and recruitment rates in Little Cayman (with CCMI)
• Spawning Aggregation (SPAG) site assessment (in conjunction with the Darwin Initiative and the DoE)
‘We are very pleased to be able to offer this donation to the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation,’ stated Jane van der Bol, executive director for CITA. ‘Having a healthy ocean environment is critical for the many tourists who choose Cayman because of the reputation for its abundance of healthy coral reefs and marine life. In order to put sustainable policies in place that balance the needs of the marine environment and the overall needs of the Cayman Islands, we first need to know the current state of the ocean. This is where Dr. Harvey’s research is critical to tourism efforts. ‘
Dr. Harvey said, ‘the GHOF is very appreciative of the fund raising efforts of the CITA to assist with these projects. Other companies that are currently assisting the GHOF include Kirk Freeport, Foster’s Food Fair, Tortuga Rum Co. Ltd, Sunset Divers, The Barcadere Marina and the Cayman Islands Angling Club. We are very grateful for these contributions and encourage more businesses, to participate in scientific research projects taking place here in the Cayman Islands. All funds raised in Cayman go to these local projects.’
New Staff Member at Front Desk
Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 08:16
Sunset House welcomes Mr. Darryle Moore who will assist our guests and can be seen working at the front desk, mainly at night!
Darryle comes from a great customer service background and has previously worked for both Budget and American Airlines here in Grand Cayman.
Mr. Moore also graduated from the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism's P.R.I.D.E. Customer Service Workshop educational programme.
Fall Special (Better than 5th Night Free Packages)!
Tuesday, February 05, 2013, 11:03
During this exciting time of the year, where diving is at it peak, with everything from flat calm seas to coral spawning, Sunset House is offering for travellers booking early 25% off accommodation portion of their package and 20% off the dive portion of their packge.
This special is only for all classes of rooms, based on availibility. 7 nights accommodations in an ocean view room, 6 days of two tank boat diving, unlimited shore diving, daily breakfast, transfers from and to the airport here in Grand Cayman and all tax and service changes come to as little as $1371.00 per person based on double occupancy.
(Regular price would be US$1721.30)
New bookings only, five (5) Night minimum and can be used for group trips, for those who may not have had to
opportunity to book at DEMA. For more information on this specials, email Reservation at firstname.lastname@example.org
My Bar Takes Top Honours in Top 100 Gold List
Friday, January 11, 2013, 16:23
My Bar came in 1st place in the Best Dive Bar Category and 11th out of all categories in Scuba Diving Magazine's Top 100 Gold List of operators, resorts, live-aboards, underwater experiences (i.e., best wall, shore and wreck sites), dive bars and more was determined on a “popularity contest” basis. Rankings are based on the total number of responses, regardless of category.
By far the number one Dive Bar in the list! Thank you for your support!
Year Round, Non Stop Flights out of DFW YAY!!!
Tuesday, December 18, 2012, 09:02
Cayman Airways is proud to announce that as of April 10th, 2013, we will begin non-stop, year-round flights to Dallas, Texas from Grand Cayman!
By expanding service to this key destination, CAL opens the door to a whole new world of travel opportunities with twice weekly service offered on Wednesday's and Saturday's. Flights are scheduled to offer easy connections to and from the Southwest and West coast of the United States. The new schedule also facilitates immediate connections to Cayman Brac from Grand Cayman.
Bi-weekly flights will be scheduled Wednesdays and Saturdays for the following times:
Flight # Departs Time Arrives Time
KX320 Grand Cayman 8:30am Dallas-Fort Worth 12:30pm
1:50pm Grand Cayman 5:50pm
Cayman Airways offers more non-stop flights between the
Cayman Islands and the US than any other airline.
2 FREE checked bags up to 55lbs each
Complimentary meals and beverages in Economy Class
Business Class available on all flights
WIN A PORSCHE CAYMAN WITH THE ISLANDS’ NEW DIVE REWARDS PROGRAM “T’ANKS A LOT"
Wednesday, November 21, 2012, 14:29
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, NOVEMBER 20, 2012 – The Cayman Islands showed its appreciation for Dive Centre operators at the Dive Equipment and Marketing Association’s annual trade show by launching a new dive rewards program, ‘T’anks A Lot,’ recognizing operators that show outstanding support for Cayman’s dive industry. Renowned as the birthplace of recreational diving, the Cayman Islands is home to 365 diverse dive experiences and is lauded as the Caribbean’s premier dive destination. Rewarding top-booking dive centre operators for sending clients to Cayman, the ‘T’anks A Lot’ program will offer monthly cash prizes and a chance to win the ultimate grand prize: use of a new 2014 Porsche Cayman for one year.
Dive centre operators pre-registered for the rewards program at DEMA, as well as on www.DiveRewardsCayman.com, leading up to the commencement of the program on Dec. 1, 2012. To enter, operators can submit their bookings to the website. The operator who sends the most divers to Cayman each month will receive $365, reflecting the availabilities around Cayman as part of the Dive 365 initiative. Second place will receive $250 and a third place winner will be selected randomly from all participating dive centres to receive $100.
Additionally, the operator with the most bookings to Cayman between Dec. 1, 2012 and Nov. 5, 2013 will receive a trip for two to the Cayman Islands with air transportation on Cayman Airways and seven nights’ accommodation. The Grand Prize winner, randomly selected from all entries, will drive away with a new 2014 Porsche Cayman. For each person a dive centre sends to Cayman between Dec. 1, 2012 and Nov. 5, 2012, they will receive one entry in the Grand Prize drawing, giving dive centres with less volume the chance to drive the Porsche Cayman for a year.
““We’re thanking the dive centre operators who drive dive business to Cayman by giving them a chance to drive a Porsche Cayman,” Cayman Islands Director of Tourism Shomari Scott says. “We hope this inaugural year will prove successful and boosts operators’ enthusiasm for all the Cayman Islands has to offer.”
For rules and regulations on T’anks A Lot, accommodation, dining, technical diving, Dive 365 and more, visit www.DiveRewardsCayman.com. For more information on Cayman’s dive destinations and dive-oriented vacations, visit www.caymanislands.ky.
Sunset House Welcomes New Management Team
Saturday, November 10, 2012, 07:58
Sunset House is proud to announce that Karin Sahm has joined her husband Keith as “on-property” Co-General Managers as of October 30th. The couple will be at the Sunset House booth 2930 at DEMA in the Cayman Islands Pavilion, in Las Vegas November 14 – 17, 2012
Karin heads up the management of Staff, Housekeeping, Finances and Group Travel / Reservations for the famed dive resort. She has a wide range of responsibilities with a focus on working with dive retailers and dive wholesalers.
Karin has worked for PADI and PADI Travel Network for over 18 plus years. Prior to that, her experience includes wholesale and airline staff management with a focus on customer service. She is well traveled, an avid diver and loves to problem solve. She commits thoroughly to oversee all challenges that the resort and industry have.
“She was a shoe-in to work with staff and bring the most out in Customer Service”, says her husband Keith. “Karin loves being a problem-solver and working with not only our staff, but the dive retailer and vendors from the U.S. , Canada and Europe. “It is so rewarding to see the results of a satisfied customer first-hand and know you’ve met their expectations,” Karin stated.
Keith has been put back in his previous position and will continue the marketing, PR, advertising as well as overseeing the property and all other operations as General Manager. A former board of director of DEMA, Keith possesses dynamic interpersonal skills and a focused work ethic, vital assets in the tourism industry. Throughout his 16 years at Sunset House, Sahm was consistently identified as a leader. He is on the Dive Marketing Committee of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) and honored working with other industry leaders and with such a great team at Sunset House.
“I look forward to being back on property and talking with our customers and applying Karin’s and my personal touch and commitment to the resort and diving industry of the Cayman Islands,” says recent director of marketing.
Boasting a proven ability to thrive in stressful and competitive environments,” Keith has the skills to produce successful and lasting strategies. His communication skills, leadership qualities, and overall drive will serve as a major advantage to Sunset House’s clients, said Karin.
The Cayman Islands at DEMA 2012
Thursday, November 01, 2012, 14:00
As avid divers from around the world congregate this November in Las Vegas for the annual Diving Equipment and Marketing Association’s (DEMA) 2012 Show, the Cayman Islands are preparing a showcase of Caymankind – dive style!
Throughout the Cayman Islands Pavilion (Booth #3031) visitors will be able to take part in an Interactive Zone focusing on educating divers about the memorable options available for diving in the crystal clear waters of the three island nation. Some highlights of the booth this year will be: presentations on Dive 365; Re-Breathers; Kittiwake – Two Years Later; Tech Diving Cayman’s Walls; Coral Spawning; UV Glow Diving; the Sister Islands – Cayman Brac and Little Cayman; and Family Adventures.
Attendees will also get to meet members of the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame and have their picture taken with them. These Hall of Famers will be at the Cayman Islands booth at various times throughout each day of the show, so monitor the booth schedule for times and dates to meet these remarkable contributors to diving history.
In addition to the Interactive Zone presentations, the Cayman Islands will also host a number of exciting seminars in various meeting rooms. Sharing tips of the trade and updates on a variety of topics, Cayman’s dive industry professionals will discuss everything from effective lionfish population management to a new, exciting incentive program for divers to look out for.
Along with Sunset House (Booth 2930), others participating are Ocean Frontiers, Divetech Ltd., Red Sail Sports, Little Cayman Beach Resort, Indepth Watersports, Cayman Islands Tourism Association, Sister Islands Tourism Association, Cayman Airways, the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, the National Watersports Association, and the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism.
After experiencing the plethora of presentations and seminars, join the Cayman Islands at their booth for Happy Hour taking place each night and discover rum distilled underwater in the Cayman Islands, Seven Fathoms Rum. What better way to end a day at DEMA?
Turtle Nesting Looks Set for Record Year! SSH and Miller Lite Thank Volunteers
Thursday, September 13, 2012, 12:44
So far this year, volunteers who patrol Grand Cayman’s beaches looking for turtle nests have found 230 nests, putting 2012 on track for being one of the highest years on record for turtle nesting.
Janice Blumenthal, research officer at the Cayman Islands Department of Environment, said nesting would continue through September, so more nests will likely be added to that number.
Photo Mark Orr
Last month, Miller Lite and Sunset House hosted a party in appreciation of the dedicated volunteers who give up their time week after week to patrol the beaches.
“Without their hard work, the programme could not function,” Ms Blumenthal said. “With limited a budget at the DOE, it’s fantastic that companies such as Miller Lite can help us thank all the volunteers who give up their time to protect turtle nesting populations.”
During the party, which was attended by more than 25 volunteers, Miller Lite presented the DOE with a cheque for $4,500, which was raised through fundraising events, including island-wide beach clean-ups and donations from Miller Lite purchases! The DOE has already been able to use some of these funds to purchase supplies, such as PVC pipe for marking nests and shades for lights.
Lights along the beaches can have an impact on the survival of baby turtles, who instinctively go toward the light. When there are no artificial lights, the turtles move toward the sea, but if there are lights nearby, they go toward those lights, moving inland where they are often attacked by crabs or birds.
Ms Blumenthal thanked the hotel and condo managers, beach front property owners and Caribbean Utilities Company for turning off lights on the beaches to protect these nests.
“Together, we have already protected over 5,500 hatchlings, and the work of protecting the years’ hatchlings is just beginning,” she said.
However, she said that while there had been an encouraging increase in nesting numbers, turtles are facing increasing threats, the worst of which are poaching and light pollution.
“We are excited about using some of the funds from Miller Lite to implement turtle ‘friendly lighting’ solutions in key areas. The DoE is committed to finding lighting solutions that work for turtles and people and there is great potential to improve nesting habitat in this way,” she said.
Among the hatchlings found this year were two live albino baby turtles – a loggerhead in Grand Cayman and a green sea turtle on Cayman Brac.
“After the nests hatch, we count the number of egg shells, or hatched eggs, left behind and examine all unhatched eggs to determine hatch success and fertility. We also carefully track observations of albino and deformed hatchlings, as this could indicate an increase in genetic mutations due to small population size,” Ms Blumenthal said.
“Decreased fertility would be another key indicator that population size had dropped too low, but results from the past 15 seasons of DoE turtle monitoring are encouraging: while our turtle populations are still critically small, more than 80 per cent of eggs are fertile. This indicates that with sufficient protection our wild turtle nesting populations can recover, and indeed an overall upward trend has been observed in recent years,” she added.
As more turtles return to Cayman’s shores to nest on local beaches, interest from visitors to the Islands is also increasing.
“Many have said that they will plan their next vacation to the Cayman Islands during the nesting season, or that they plan to come back to see nests hatch,” Ms Blumenthal said.
Each morning at dawn, volunteers scour the beaches looking for telltale signs of turtle tracks that can lead them to nests. Once they locate a nest, they mark it and contact the Department of Environment to let staff known where the nest is. Then Ms Blumenthal and other volunteers or staff come to the nest and check if there are eggs in it. The coordinates of the nests are logged and then, once the eggs are ready to hatch, the DoE staff and volunteers keep an eye on it to try to ensure the babies make it safely into the water.
The Department of Environment has been carrying out a survey of beaches in the Cayman Islands and between May to November, its staff and volunteers patrol the beaches.
The collected data is used to assess the quantity, frequency and distribution of nesting and to aid conservation efforts.
By the end of each nesting season, the patrollers have covered more than 800 miles of beach.
Turtles can lay between 100 and 130 eggs three to six times each season.
The public is encouraged to call the DOE Turtle Hotline 938-NEST (938-6378) if they see turtle nests, nesting turtles, or hatchlings or e-mail DoE@gov.ky for more information
Special thanks to Norma Connolly for writing this story from Cayman Free Press!
Jet Blue to Start Flying to Cayman from JFK and BOS!
Friday, July 13, 2012, 12:39
JetBlue Airways yesterday announced its intent to serve Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands, the largest destination in the British Overseas Territory's archipelago. Beginning Nov. 15, 2012, the airline will serve Owen Roberts International Airport (GCM) with three times weekly service on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Saturday service from Boston's Logan International Airport (BOS) beginning on Nov. 17, 2012. Flights are expected to go on sale later this month at www.jetblue.com
JetBlue's schedule between New York and Grand Cayman:
JFK to GCM:
GCM to JFK:
Depart – Arrive
Depart – Arrive
7:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
12:00 p.m. – 3:50 p.m.
- Flights operate three times weekly on Mon., Thurs., Sat.
beginning Thurs., Nov. 15 , 2012 –
- All times local -
JetBlue's schedule between Boston and Grand Cayman:
BOS to GCM:
GCM to BOS:
Depart – Arrive
Depart – Arrive
10:25 a.m. – 2:35 p.m.
3:30 p.m. – 7:25 p.m.
- Flights operate on Saturdays beginning Sat. Nov. 17, 2012 –
- All times local -
JetBlue's flights to Grand Cayman from Boston and New York will be operated with its comfortable Airbus A320 fleet and award-winning service featuring convenient, assigned seating; a first-checked bag free; complimentary and unlimited name brand snacks and drinks; comfy leather seats; and more legroom than any other carrier in coach.
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