The Cayman Islands are of course world-famous for the undersea world and two events are taking place in early November to celebrate.
First off, on Thursday, 8 November, the International Underwater Film Festival takes place up at Westin Casuarina Resort & Spa. Starting, as many good things do, with cocktails at 6.30pm, the main event of the films is at 7.30pm.
Cayman talent is being showcased this year with Frans DeBacker and Michael Maes, whose films will be shown alongside Sea Net 1944 by Leslie Leaney, a World War II era short film that shows some of the museum’s great gear plus some special surprises. Other famous filmmakers include Howard Hall and our own Guy Harvey.
As well as the films, the winners of the Undewater Photo Competition will be announced with the top three in the five categories displayed. Best in Show winner receives a trip on the Aggressor Fleet to a Caribbean destination. Expect also the annual silent auction and Lobster Lotto – every lobster a winner we’re told.
The International Underwater Film Festival is an annual fundraiser for the Cayman Islands Tourism Association and this year funds raised will support marine conservation efforts through the Guy Harvey Research Institute as well as diver safety initiatives that are important to the watersports sector of the tourism association.
The 12th annual International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame gala event will be hosted by Premier McKeeva Bush on Saturday, 7 November, also at the Westin Casuarina Resort and Spa. It will also mark the induction of eight industry pioneers into the Hall of Fame.
Those chosen to join this prestigious establishment in 2012 include Lesley Leaney, Clive Cussler, Kelly Tarlton, Ric and Do Cammick, Ron Kipp and Armand and JoAnn Zigahn.
Founded in 2000 by the Cayman Islands Ministry of Tourism, the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame recognises international and local Cayman pioneers who have made outstanding contributions to the recreational scuba diving industry, in a yearly ceremony held in Grand Cayman.
These popular events really are a celebration of the underwater world and the talented people who have contributed to the success of the sector or documented it on film.