The Tender Trap

One thing you can be sure of when you visit George Town Grand Cayman – you ain’t tying up to no dock, baby.

Grand Cayman doesn’t want to spoil its sea views with a bunch of cruise ship quays, and besides that they have a nice little industry and lots of employment in tendering passengers to shore.

Tendering is usually ranked about as high as Nor’easters on my cruising agenda , but it’s different in George Town, The ship didn’t bother even lowering its own tender boats and instead hired the local boys.

Here’s a local tender. They are big and hold a ton of passengers so there’s no lineup or bumpy ride to shore.

Sarah, Dave and the Kids decided to go swimming with stingrays but we thought we’d just putter around downtown George Town since the last time we were there it was Ash Wednesday and the only thing open was a rum cake store. It was different this time. Every possible sort of luxury watch and diamond store was open this time. All you needed was money. But we were after T-shirts and oven mitts (don’t ask.)

I couldn’t resist another picture of fabulous Fort George. Hopefully the Spanish aren’t coming back to retake Grand Cayman.

No snow or ice in this parking lot.

More crazed passengers were arriving so we headed to the souvenir shops. As usual, Maria got a good deal – even some Stingray City shirts.

We dropped into a local United Church for some shade and spiritual refreshment before heading back to the pier.

One of the other cruise ships was using its own boats to tender. These babies are crowded and bumpy so I was glad Celebrity was being more sensible.

I suppose it could have been worse. At least we didn’t use this craft to tender.

On to Falmouth!

Starting Over

I am a watch collector of sorts. Mostly I collect the old stuff – pocket watches made before World War I and wind-up wrist watches from the 1930s to the 1950s.

I got started back in the 1950s myself when my grandfather gave me one of his old pocket watches. I still have it; it still runs pretty well.

About 10 years ago I joined an online watch forum. I was later appointed a Moderator for the Vintage and Pocket Watch section. As time went on I gave more time and effort to the forum, which grew to be the most successful and most visited one online. There were about 50 other volunteers like me.

Then the owner sold the site unexpectedly. The buyer was an Internet forum aggregator – a company interested in making money from site advertising and sponsors but not interested in watches. We went from working for an owner we liked and respected to being unpaid labor for a faceless corporation.

That did not sit well with me so I resigned. So did a number of the other Moderators. We’ve decided to start up our own site – for enthusiasts, by enthusiasts. It has been a lot of work so far – especially for the IT guru who’s spearheading the effort. We haven’t even got the forum open as yet, But at least we are working on something for ourselves.


Turning Back the Clock(s)

Well it’s done. Tomorrow we shall be on Eastern Standard Time here in the Valley so tonight we had to adjust about 20 timepieces in the house – not counting a bunch of wrist and pocket watches and self regulating units like cable boxes and computers.

Most of them are easy – clock radios, coffee makers, microwave ovens and small mantel clocks scattered around the place. Some are tricky – like a big mechanical grandfather clock – just stop it and come back an hour later and get the pendulum swinging again. Others are difficult – like an inaccessible quartz wall clock in our utility room or a tiny clock in the laundry room that requires you to climb up on the dryer to reach it.

Then there’s the downright nasty – a big, bulky, quartz powered Bulova Whittington chime wall clock that requires you to take it off the wall, open up the back, fumble behind the pendulum to find the adjustment control, make sure you have the time set accurately for the chime, put the back on again, climb up a ladder and position the blasted clock back on the wall so it hangs properly on its fastener and is level. We leave that one till last.

And the wristwatches and pocket watches? Just wind ’em and set ’em when you want to wear ’em. Easy-peasy. That reminds me – better set the one I have on my wrist right now.

A Timeless Classic

It was nice to get a comment from my old friend Rick Crotty earlier today,  and in his honor I present the following photo:

This is the watch in my collection that’s closest to my age so it’s rather a special one for me. I got it from eBay a few years ago and Shane Ede – a Toronto watchmaker – restored it for me. He was able to replace the generic hands with an actual set of blue steel Elgin hands from his massive parts inventory. It made all the difference in the world to the watch’s appearance. It runs great as well.

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