Cruising the Caribbean in November 2004 we happened upon the opportunity to snorkel the shipwreck of The Cali, an ill-fated freighter that sank in Georgetown (Cayman Islands) harbor sometime during the 1940’s. Still researching the history on this and will write more on that later. For now let’s discuss our journey to the wreck what we found.
We arrive in Grand Cayman early in the morning, and find showery conditions but are not worried. Here in the tropics these things usually pass quickly. Georgetown is not a deep-water port so we anchor offshore and take a tender to the dock. As we are waiting to board the snorkel boat that will take us to the wreck, the sky opens up again and we find ourselves in a heavy downpour. Being from Oregon where it rains all the time we are not bothered too much by this, and step under cover for a few minutes while the storm passes. Not so for many others who are milling around – there are several somewhat panicked folks trying to get refunds or schedule for an excursion later in the day. As I watch this I’m trying to figure out why there would be concern about rain when you are swimming anyway. As we expected, the storm quickly passes and by the time we are ready to board the snorkel boat the sun is shining again.
The boat makes its way into the harbor and soon we are at the wreck. The guides tell us approximately where the ship is positioned under the water, and tell us about the history of the wreck. Soon we are in the water, which is spectacular just because of the wildlife and a crystal blue water, and are able to view the wreck of The Cali in all of its glory. We’ve hunted for a number of old things in our travels, but this shipwreck is a first. As we move about over the wreck we are able to see a number of artifacts including rope cleats, winches, and the enormous framework of the ship that covers the bottom of the harbor. Fortunately, we are able to buy an underwater camera from one of the guides to get some great pictures.
Copyright 2004, 2005 Garrett J. Keeton.
All rights reserved.