Archive for June 29th, 2012

Diplomats enjoy short visit to Cayman

| 29/06/2012 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Deputy Governor’s office said recent diplomatic visits were to facilitate the development of good working relationships between the countries. Over the past month, Cayman hosted visits by the newly-appointed United States Ambassador to Jamaica, Her Excellency Pamela Bridgewater; as well as a visit by Cuban Ambassador Mr. Yuri Gala-Lopez.Both of these officials are based in Jamaica and have regional consular jurisdiction for their respective countries.  These familiarisation trips are commonly made by new appointees (as Ambassador Bridgewater is), and routinely, to bolster relations generally, officials said. 

“These meetings are especially important if there are pressing issues involving nationals of the respective countries, and have led to the development of treaties and memoranda of understanding in the past,” said Franz Manderson.

Whilst in Grand Cayman the American ambassador and local U.S. Honorary Consul, Gary Montemayor were treated to a luncheon by Governor Duncan Taylor, and made courtesy calls on Premier McKeeva Bush, the deputy governor. The visitors also met with the Cayman Islands Tourism Association, immigration officials; and held a town hall meeting with American citizens resident in here.

On his visit, the Cuban ambassador was accompanied by Minister Counsellor of the Cuban Embassy in Jamaica, Micaela Ramirez. They too met with local officials, including the Acting Governor, Franz Manderson, and other officials. Bernie Bush of the Pirates Week Office hosted a luncheon for the ambassador. 

The ambassador attended meetings with officials from the Department of Immigration, Passport & Corporate Services Office, the Customs Department, Cayman Airways and the Office of the Deputy Governor. Gala-Lopez was also guest of honour at a luncheon hosted by Bush.

 “Visits of this nature help to maintain the excellent relationships we enjoy with our neighbours,” said Taylor. “To increase the visiting officials’ understanding of why some of their nationals choose to live here; and, more generally, to promote the Cayman Islands as a destination for tourism, business and investment.”

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Marathon swimmer to tempt sharks again

| 29/06/2012 | 11 Comments

Penny+Palfrey.JPG(CNS): The international open water swimmer Penny Palfrey has her eyes set on another dangerous shark infested open ocean swim, this time across the Straits of Florida. Palfrey caused controversy in the Cayman Islands last year when sharks were reportedly killed to keep them from attacking her on a record breaking open ocean swim from Little Cayman to Grand Cayman. Palfrey has said she now wants to become the first woman to complete the unassisted 103 mile swim without the aid of a shark cage between Cuba and Florida.

The 49-year-old British-Australian mother and grandmother told the international media this week that she was inspired to take on this marathon swim when she flew from the Cayman Islands to Miami after the record breaking Cayman Islands event.

“I looked down, I could see this beautiful stretch of water, and wow!” she said. Palfrey got home and immediately began researching currents in the strait and its water temperatures, which are similar to those in the Cayman Islands.

As with her Cayman swim, Palfrey will cross the ocean without a wetsuit or a cage and rely on battery-powered shark shields attached to the boat and an accompanying kayak to keep the sharp-toothed predators at bay. During her Cayman swim, however, the sharks still came very close and the swimmer said that local white tips were cruising below her during most of the nighttime leg of her swim.

Although Palfrey's team denied that any sharks were harmed, eye witnesses reported that at least two were killed to prevent an attack on the swimmer

The swim will take around 40-50 hours and currents will dictate where she lands. A 44-foot (13-meter) catamaran will shadow her, carrying a support crew of navigators, kayakers, handlers, medical personnel and observers on hand to verify what would be a record swim. Every half-hour she’ll sip a carbohydrate drink for nourishment.

Palfrey traversed the English Channel twice and also has completed a continuous swim from Gibraltar to Morocco and back.

Last year’s 67-mile Cayman crossing is her personal best, but Palfrey said she’s in good shape and 20 years of marathon swimming has her well-prepared for the 103 miles of the Florida Straits.

“It’s further than I’ve ever swum before,” she said. “I expect it to be very challenging, but I’m very excited about it."

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