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Welcome to Little Cayman Diving at its Best!

Autumn 2004 - Ivan's Aftermath

The Cayman Islands hit by hurricane Ivan!

To all of you who have been wondering about Little Cayman since the storm, our apologies. We have been extremely busy organizing and cleaning up but here it is finally: our report on Ivan the Terrible.

On September 12th, 2004, category 5 hurricane Ivan passed just south of the Cayman Islands, on a path that resulted in a near-direct hit to Grand Cayman and with a better margin from the Sister Islands. The maximum wind gusts recorded by reliable sources in Grand Cayman were 225 mph. There were widespread floods and major surge and wind damage on the main island.

Two weeks later, the country still hasn't reopened its borders to tourism. But reconstruction efforts are well under way and we now have a better idea of what the future holds. It appears that Grand Cayman's recovery will be slow and difficult; everybody there is working very hard but there is a lot to be accomplished. The Sister Islands, on the other hand, have sustained what could be called minimal damage (even though there was some localized impact, a few houses destroyed, docks washed away, etc.)

At this stage, the government has authorized entry of tourists with confirmed bookings to the Sister Islands. Needless to say, we are not yet ready to resume operation but will be soon.

Little Cayman is looking better every day. Most of the work done so far has been cleaning up debris brought in by the seas. A new beach has been created by the storm surge right in front of the Villas. Apart from that and a few cosmetic changes, returning guests probably won't see much difference.

At the peak of the storm, the southern shore was the most exposed to wave action and it suffered more than the north. We are expecting the northern reefs to have resisted pretty well and Bloody Bay has been known to withstand the passage of great storms with ease.

Paradise Villas will probably reopen some time this month to offer relief accommodations for Grand Cayman workers or companies, but we anticipate resuming normal operation around mid-November. For those of you with fond memories of our old pontoon Havana Daydreaming, your wishes should be granted as we will most probably be using her for a few months while doing some work on Banana Wind.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with our friends and fellow citizens in Grand Cayman who have lost a great deal and are still living in very precarious conditions. Heroes are born in critical times and we have seen our share of such heroes already. A lot of dedication and selflessness is getting the Cayman Islands reborn.

We hope to see you all soon in Little Cayman!


The staff at Paradise Divers

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