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Welcome to the family Spirit of the Islands!

Date : 15 March 2016
Red Sail Sports

5th Luxury Catamaran added to fleet to enhance Your Cayman Family Dive Vacation; Swimmin’, Chillin’ & Grillin’ Snorkel Adventure Announced

 

 

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, (March 14, 2016) – Red Sail Sports Grand Cayman announces the addition of the Spirit of the Islands, a luxury 65-foot Catamaran equipped with an onboard grill and water slide that will add to its family fun tours on the water. As the on-site dive and watersports operator at most of Grand Cayman’s top hotels, Red Sail Sports aims to be family friendly. All company dive packages include a free sunset sail, so the luxury Catamaran experience is already a part of all customer vacations. The new Swimmin’, Chillin’ & Grillin’ tour on the Spirit of the Islands is the perfect way for the whole family to enjoy Cayman’s crystal clear water and marine environment.

 

“Many of our guests spend the morning on the dive boat and they then want spend time with family members that don’t dive, and this is a brand new and exciting way to get them out on the water together to have fun,” said Dive Operations Manager Rod McDowall. “We expect it to be a big hit with guests who can now enjoy a fresh grilled lunch after working up a good appetite snorkeling, swimming and using the slide.”

 

The Spirit of the Islands was built in St. Croix by Gold Coast Yachts, the same outfit that built the other four vessels for Red Sail Sports. It was designed with the same attention to detail − spacious, comfortable and stable – but the grill and water slide were added. A crew of five, including Red Sail Sports Captain Dan Bond, sailed the catamaran on a five-day journey from St. Croix to Grand Cayman, cruising by Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Jamaica. While the catamaran was going through the licensing and inspection process in Grand Cayman, Red Sail Sports employees held a contest to name the new tour. There were over 30 entries from staff but Michael Lawday of the Sales Department came up with the winning entry and the new tour was named “Swimmin’, Chillin’ & Grillin”.

 

The Swimmin’, Chillin’ & Grillin adventure offers a new Catamaran experience for the whole family. Guests take in the sights of one of the world’s most beautiful beaches while sailing to snorkel sites on shallow reefs. While customers are snorkeling, swimming or sliding down the slide, the Chef is grillin' a delicious late lunch. Grilled items include spare ribs, local fish tacos or beef burgers, accompanied by the usual sides, green salad, potato salad or pasta salad. A cookie or brownie tops off the meal.

 

          

 

SWIMMIN’, CHILLIN, & GRILLIN

Trip Duration: 3 hours
Time: 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday & Friday

 

The Spirit of the Islands departs from the beach at The Westin Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa and then The Grand Cayman Beach Suites, both located along Seven Mile Beach.  The new tour can booked online at www.redsailcayman.com.

 

Red Sail Sports also offers a number of other adventures for the whole family―glass-bottom boat trips to the Stingray Sandbar, Catamaran snorkel trips, sunset sails and dinner sails, scuba diving, windsurfing, kayaking and more.  At East End call the watersports shop at Morritt’s Tortuga Club at 947-2097 and it offers dive and catamaran services. To reach the Red Sail Sports shop at Rum Point Club on the North Side call 947-9203. For more information, call the Red Sail Sports main office at (345) 623-5965, e-mail: info@redsailcayman.com or visit www.redsailcayman.com.

Local School Children Receive School Supplies from a Generous Visitors

Date : 14 March 2016
Red Sail Sports

Two vans full of backpacks, notebooks, pencils, crayons and more delivered to two primary schools by Red Sail Sports on behalf of the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA)

 

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, (March 14, 2016) - Students at John A. Cumber Primary School in West Bay and Red Bay Primary School are enjoying new notebooks, pencils, crayons and other supplies thanks to the generosity of visitors they’ve never met. Members of the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) held their annual winter conference on Grand Cayman last month, and in a gesture to give back to the local community, attendees brought school supplies to donate to schoolchildren. More than 500 visitors with the TCIA were asked by the association to “pack with a purpose” and the overwhelming response resulted in piles and piles of supplies.

 

Kristin Burak of Red Sail Sports’ Destination Management Services Division, working with the group to make sure all their needs are met on the island, received the donations and helped determine where they would go. With help from Webster’s Tours, she delivered two vans full of school supplies and presented the donations on behalf of Ms. Diane Morgan, Director of Meetings for TCIA, during special school assemblies.

The donations also included school backpacks and a handcrafted wooden Marimba, a musical instrument similar to a xylophone, for the school’s music program.

 

Acting principal at Sir John A Cumber Primary school Ms. Lorna Lumsden, thanked Red Sail Sports and Tree Care Industry Association for their generosity.

 

“You reaching out to us is an example of that business - community and school (aka public/private) partnership that we hear about in education. Thank you for partnering with us. Please convey our sincere thanks to the visiting group and be assured that the supplies will be used as intended.”

 

 “It was unbelievably rewarding to see the excitement of the children. They were all so inquisitive and appreciative each wanting to know who had given them such wonderful things and volunteering their favorite subjects and hobbies,” said Kristin Burak, who was also given a tour of the school’s Project Grow plot, where they children are growing fruits and vegetables to learn about sustainable farming.

 

 

“It was fantastic to see the children learning to plant and grow their own healthy fruits and vegetables,” said Ms. Burak. “We hope to continue working with the schools in cooperation with corporate groups coming to the island.”

“Red Sail Sports is committed to being involved with the Caymanian community and helping in any way we can, especially with our schools,” said Operations Manager Rod McDowall. “We have these connections with international corporations and companies coming to the island to reward their employees. This is just an example of how we can tap into that source to benefit our children.”

 

Red Sail Sports is a full-service Destination Management Company, offering guests a wide variety of leisure activities as well as transportation, restaurant dining and special events. Grand Cayman is a prime choice for incentive travel planners, and as a DMC, Red Sail Sports assigns an experienced and professional employee to each corporate group to assist with booking and coordinating island activities. Red Sail Sports is also the largest watersports operator in Grand Cayman, with the resources to provide groups of any size with first class facilities, including five deluxe 65' catamarans, custom-built dive boats, and an impressive selection of watersports equipment.

 

Red Sail Sports offers a number of adventures for the whole family―glass-bottom boat trips to the Stingray Sandbar, Catamaran snorkel trips, sunset sails and dinner sails, scuba diving, windsurfing, kayaking and more.  At East End call the watersports shop at Morritt’s Tortuga Club at 947-2097 and it offers dive and catamaran services. To reach the Red Sail Sports shop at Rum Point Club on the North Side call 947-9203. For more information, call the Red Sail Sports main office at (345) 623-5965, e-mail: info@redsailcayman.com or visit www.redsailcayman.com

Cayman is Celebrating Two Iconic Shipwrecks in 2016

Date : 3 February 2016
Red Sail Sports

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Feb 3, 2016 - Since her sinking five years ago, a great number of divers have explored the Kittiwake Wreck, one of Grand Cayman’s hottest dive sites, but none with the personal connection of Kelly Stuart who dove the wreck in December. Stuart served as a salvage diver on the USS Kittiwake when she was in active service during the ‘70’s. The former serviceman made a dive on his old ship on his 60th birthday.

 

“When I first entered the water I could not see her. As we descended, this dark mass started to take shape, and once I made out the ship, I felt a great sense of nostalgia,” said Stuart, who was hosted by Joanna Mikutowicz owner of Divetech.

 

“The first thing I did was reach out and touch the gunnel rail, and thought, ‘what a Birthday gift!" he said. Going through the wreck Stuart swam down memory lane - seeing his reflection again on a familiar bathroom mirror; touching the recompression chamber and dive bell that were once his domain; and being in the wheelhouse again.

 

“It was a bit ghostly, but I felt a real sense of accomplishment and pride having been a diver on board her,” he said.

 

“Shipwrecks are monuments to the sailors who served on them in their glory days, now silent reminders of our seafaring heritage, and of Mother Nature and her occasional wrath,” says Nancy Easterbrook, of Divetech.

 

This year Cayman is celebrating the 5th anniversary of the Kittiwake and the 20th anniversary of another iconic shipwreck, the MV Captain Keith Tibbetts in Cayman Brac, acknowledging their special places in the exemplary dive product of the Cayman Islands.

 

“The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism (CIDOT) is honoured to celebrate this significant milestone with our partners in the dive community,” said Mrs. Rosa Harris, Director of Tourism. “The continued health of our marine environment at these unique wreck dive sites are a top priority in order to deliver a quality underwater experience.”

Stuart Kelly - image taken from Cayman Bottom Times

 

Both wrecks attract divers from across the world. The Capt. Keith Tibbetts is a 330-foot-long Russian frigate once used in Cuba, and now a coral-encrusted shipwreck covered with sponges, and home to all kinds of marine creatures. With depths that range from 30 feet near surface to100 feet at the seafloor, this multi level wreck challenges divers of all skill levels.

 

Five years after it was intentionally sunk off Seven Mile Beach, the Kittiwake is one of Grand Cayman’s most popular dive sites. The wreck dive has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award from the travel website for great customer reviews. 64 feet deep at the bottom and 15 feet from the surface and now teeming with life, travelers say the Kittiwake dive is easy for beginners, but also challenging for experienced divers who choose to explore the ship’s many levels.

 

Kelly Stuart spent an hour diving his old ship, and as an experienced Navy diver, he’s impressed with the wreck.

“The Kittiwake is the perfect size ship to dive on because it has lots of escape areas so it is very safe for anyone. Even more exciting was to see how the fish and other animals were already using her as a living reef,” he said.

 

Dive industry leaders who worked hard to bring the Kittiwake to Cayman are proud to see that five years after her sinking, the wreck is living up to expectations.

 

“The Kittiwake is well known as a new wreck dive in the Caribbean and it draws people to Cayman,” says Red Sail Sports Operations Manager Rod McDowall. “The wreck adds so much to our diving − it offers diversity and rounds out the whole Cayman diving experience. It’s a big, spectacular wreck in clear, shallow water, and the Kittiwake’s got a lot of marine life now living in it. The process of creating an artificial reef has s

tarted, there are corals and sponges growing there.”

 

Cayman has10 named shipwrecks; some wrecked by natural causes and others, like the Kittiwake and the Capt. Tibbetts, sunk intentionally to create artificial reefs. All contribute to Cayman’s maritime history and marine environment, bringing with them the mysteries and history this is compelling to divers worldwide.

 

“I dove many sunken ships during my Navy diving career and each time I entered a ship I thought about the sailors who walked the passages and decks,” says Kelly Stuart. “I know first hand what its like to live and work on a ship, so I could almost feel a ghostly presence of the people who served on her. I think that's the compelling force that excites divers to dive shipwrecks. It’s not a scary feeling, but you get a keen sense of history and nostalgia every time you do it.”

 

“Undoubtedly, diving in the Cayman Islands is recognised year over year as being the best in the Caribbean, and the wrecks add to the diverse dive offerings our destination provides.  As a pioneer, the importance of diving to the Cayman Islands is paramount to the visitor experience and the CIDOT will continue to promote the sport of scuba diving as an integral part of our strategic marketing focus for the destination,” said Mrs. Harris. 

Kelly Stuart plans to return soon to make another dive on the Kittiwake. “It should be on top of the list for any experienced diver. It's a dive you will not forget!”  

 

Visit the Kittiwake during her anniversary year with the Wreck Anniversary Package.

 

 

 

Cayman Showcases it’s World Class Diving at DEMA in Orlando

Date : 30 November 2015
Red Sail Sports

Local dive industry optimistic about 2016 with more flights and rooms added to Cayman market; Dock remains a concern for customers 

 
Cayman Islands, November 18, 2015 - As it does every year, the Cayman Islands had a good presence at the annual Dive Equipment & Marketing Association (DEMA) convention, this year held in Orlando, FL November 4 - 7, 2015.  The recognized birthplace of recreational diving in the Caribbean is home to a progressive dive industry that prides itself in helping set the standard for the dive industry world-wide. The three islands, with crystal clear water, spectacular reefs and abundant marine life, feature some of best diving in the world − each island offering different experiences to divers of all skill levels. Cayman dive leaders aggressively work together to keep the Cayman dive product fresh, and their efforts pay off with numerous awards for Best Overall Dive Destination in the Caribbean and Atlantic. 
 
DEMA is the place to introduce new products and book business for the new year, and the dive travel industry is set to scoop up deals and special offers from world-wide destinations.
 
“It was an exciting DEMA for Divetech, with our new dive and room package offerings, we were very interested to see how the trade received the options and were very pleasantly surprised!” said Joanna Mikutowicz, Divetech Managing Partner. “It was great to meet new dive shops, plus reconnect with manufactures training agencies, and connect with old friends. We are looking forward to an exciting year ahead, the new sea pool at Lighthouse Point is already being discovered by many.” 
 
Red Sail Sports introduced a new Kittiwake Wreck Anniversary Dive Package for 2016 that sparked a lot of interest and generated bookings on the spot. 
 
“We had a great DEMA this year and even took bookings at the show with the help of our new reservation system,” said Sarah-Jane Harlan, Red Sail Sports Sales and Marketing Manager. “We are in the middle of completing the biggest upgrade of our reservations system we have ever undertaken and will be rolling out to our online booking engine in the next few weeks.”
 
The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism (CIDOT) was also there during the four-day event to share special news and promotions, and release details of next year’s International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame inductees. The ISDHOF has been recognizing dive industry pioneers since its inception in Grand Cayman 2000 fifteen years ago.
The Cayman Islands Pavilion, located in a prime spot near the main entrance and registration area, was the site for a number of events. Also on display at the pavilion were historical dive artifacts from the Cayman Islands. 
 
The Department of Tourism also marked the anniversaries of two famous Cayman dive sites and artificial reefs; the ex-USS Kittiwake in Grand Cayman and the MV Captain Keith Tibbetts in Cayman Brac. Kittiwake, a former submarine rescue ship will celebrate its fifth anniversary in January of 2016 and the MV Keith Captain Tibbetts, the only diveable Russian warship in the Western Hemisphere, will celebrate its 20th anniversary in September of 2016.
 
DEMA serves as a good launching point for the 2016 tourism season, and all indications point to a good year for Cayman’s dive industry.  Keith Sahm, General Manager of Sunset House says they booked good business for next year, but much of it from long-time customers who say 2016 might be their last year in Grand Cayman.
 
“They love Cayman, but with the government’s decision to go ahead with the cruise ship dock that will destroy reefs in George Town, they will support other dive destinations in the future,” says Sahm. “They told me that the mindset of the people in charge is something they can’t abide. That’s going to cost us a lot in the future.”
 
Rosa Harris, Director, Cayman Islands Department of Tourism (CIDOT) says they are optimistic for 2016 because the number of stay-over visitors to the Cayman Islands is up from last year. With increased airlift from key US cities and 226 additional rooms because of the reopening of a Cayman Brac resort and the addition of a new resort on Grand Cayman, Cayman is poised for growth.
 
“The Department of Tourism continues to work with our on-island partners through various marketing and promotion efforts to aid in the increase of stay-over arrivals, which is the mandate for the department,” says Harris.  “Additionally, we launched new dive focused social media and digital media programs in 2015 to support traditional dive marketing channels.”
 
The Sister Islands, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, have their own booth in the Cayman pavilion. “DEMA was great this year - it provided an opportunity to reconnect with clients and past Sister Islands dive shop personnel. New business contacts were made and at least two business operators who had not been to DEMA in a few years participated this year,” says Chevala Burke, CIDOT Marketing and Promotions Manager for the Sister Islands. “The Sister Islands Tourism Association debuted its much-anticipated Cayman Brac Shore Diving Booklet, which is now available for sale on island.  I love sharing information on our islands with people who have never been to the Caribbean or Cayman Islands before. We look forward to seeing them when they arrive on island and making their vacation an unforgettable one.”
 

Introducing Kittiwake Anniversary Package 2015

Date : 18 November 2015
Red Sail Sports

Special package is its participation in a year-long celebration honoring the premier wreck dives sites of the Cayman Islands

 
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, (Nov 17, 2015) - Grand Cayman is celebrating the 5th anniversary of the USS Kittiwake wreck in January, easily one of Grand Cayman’s most popular dive sites, and Red Sail Sports is extending the festivities to customers with a $200 savings on a special anniversary dive package.  The wreck sits upright and intact in the sand and clear water off Seven Mile Beach at a depth easily accessible to both recreational divers and snorkelers. Visitors enjoy safe swim-throughs and the marine creatures that have moved in − making it a fascinating experience for divers of all skill levels. 
 
Red Sail Sports’ Wreck Anniversary Package invites customers to experience the Kittiwake with great discounts and extras that only the island’s premier resort operator can offer. For only US $565 a guest can enjoy 5 days of diving, and additional two-tank dives for only $102 a day. 
 
Available from Jan 3 – June 30, 2016 the Anniversary Package includes:
Daily 2-tank dives, including one on the Kittiwake
Kittiwake “5th Anniversary” Medallion
Wreck Night Dive (operating on Tuesday, which can be substituted for a reef night dive on Thursdays)
50% off 1-tank afternoon dive
FREE Sunset Sail
FREE 12L Aqualung Defense Dry Bag
 
The Kittiwake is on the West Side of Grand Cayman and transportation is not provided, so customers staying in the East End of Grand Cayman will have a 50-60 minute drive to the departure point for the Kittiwake dive. In order to take advantage of this package, divers must pre-booked and pre-paid prior to arrival on island. 
 
“We launched this package at the Dive Equipment Manufacturers Association (DEMA) convention in Orlando earlier this month and got great response from the dive travel industry,” says Operations Manager Rod McDowall. “The Kittiwake has earned a reputation as an outstanding wreck dive, and rightly so, because it offers an incredible experience for divers of all levels and ability. Even snorkelers can enjoy the parts in shallow water. We want everyone to come celebrate and they can book directly with us!”
 
The booking process is about to become easier too as Red Sail Sports has recently undertaken a massive upgrade to its reservation management system.  The custom-built system called ResQwest, will move into its next phase in the coming months by rolling out a new user interface which will make the online booking process even easier.
 
“Our guests were having problems making reservations online, especially with larger and more complicated reservations such as booking multiple activities or a multi-day dive package,” says Sarah-Jane Harlan, Sales and Marketing. “We have upgraded our internal booking engine, and now it is time to roll it out a simplified reservation process to the public.  We hope our guests enjoy a faster online booking experience in the coming months.”  
 
To book the Kittiwake Anniversary Dive Package call toll free 1-877-506-6368, e-mail info@redsailcayman.com or visit www.diveredsailcayman.com.