Sunday, May 26, 2024

Island Travel

 We're in Grand Cayman for a week, making sure the fish are still here. They are.

I did a wall dive followed by a shallow reef dive yesterday and the reef dive had some fun swim-throughs. The tunnels were single-file affairs and I ended up behind a young lady who was wearing a bikini. That made it awkward for filming as I felt like I was working for Larry Flint's Hustler magazine. No thanks.

After the guided portion was through, I was able to swim around and get some decent, moonless footage.

Island Noms Epiphany

I've done island trips in Hawaii and the Caribbean probably 20-30 times now and I finally figured out the obvious.

Every time I come to one of these places, I get the feeling I'm being skinned when we go shopping for groceries. I always wonder what the locals do. I keep thinking that I'm trying to cook like I do at home when I should be trying to do what the island residents do. My worries were unjustified.

For all intents and purposes, the islands make nothing. Everything is shipped in by boat. Everyone, local and tourist alike, is buying food made elsewhere. Here on Grand Cayman, there are tiny spots in the grocery stores that sell local produce, but it looks like something that came out of my garden. It's amateur hour farming.

No, the locals are eating frozen pizzas and canned tuna brought in on freighters, just like the tourists. That means I might as well just cook like I do at home, albeit using low-budget ingredients like chicken and pork.

There is a local dish I'm going to try - callaloo. It's a cross between spinach and collards and looks like a ditch weed, which it probably is. They also grow scotch bonnet peppers and okra, but that's about it. On Maui, it's all about the pineapples, here, it's callaloo and peppers. Everything else is the same as what I would buy in San Diego, only with a 50% shipping-related markup.

I actually feel a ton better now that I figured out that little secret. We can shop and cook, relaxing the in the knowledge that all of us are getting skinned in just the same way.

Meanwhile, there are some great roadside jerk chicken places.

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