The Southern Cross Club in June hosted a group of “Troprock” music fans from across the U.S. and treated them to the ultimate Little Cayman island experience. The first-timers to Little Cayman included divers, anglers, nature-lovers and sunbathers. They came from as far away as Honolulu, Hawaii; Seattle, Washington; San Diego, California; Chicago, Illinois, and from several places in Florida. The trip was planned by James “Sunny Jim” White, a singer/songwriter based in Florida, and the travelers are fans and friends who love the island lifestyle.
“Troprock is short for tropical rock, and the music embraces the tropical lifestyle and what better island for them to experience than Little Cayman?” asked White, a Cayman expat who offers a personal connection. “Much of my original music was inspired by my time in the Cayman Islands, and my fans want to see the places I’ve written about and meet the people and places in my songs, so they enjoy traveling with us.”
The week was filled with activities designed to show the visitors what makes Little Cayman and the Southern Cross Club so special – world-class diving and fishing; top-notch customer service and cuisine.
“Little Cayman is definitely on my top 3 all-time places to dive,” said avid diver Dave Monahan. “The reef structure is incredible, and the drop-off was breathtaking, the dive crew was awesome. The whole Southern Cross Club package was fantastic – the resort itself, the staff – I’m already planning to go back next year.”
Also planning a return trip to Cayman is Tish Disston, who tried scuba for the first time with a resort course and now plans to become a certified diver.
“Our instructor Mike Shouten was kind and extremely patient with me, and I couldn’t have had a better instructor to made me feel perfectly calm and at ease,” she said. “I was very apprehensive at first but after just a short while there was so much to see I forgot about everything and enjoyed the new world I was seeing. I fear I have been spoiled with my first diving experience because I snorkeled in Hawaii and the Grenadines, but never have I seen such vibrant beautiful coral reefs!”
A group of anglers went out on an exciting fishing charter with Captain Patrick one afternoon, and they came back with a good catch. Adding a personal touch to the group’s itinerary, Southern Cross Club owner Peter Hillenbrand hosted hilarious hermit crab races by the pool deck before dinner one night. Other fun events include a pirate cruise and costume contest, topped off with a concert by The Barefoot Man, George Nowak, who made the trip from Grand Cayman to perform for the group. They also enjoyed an excursion to Cayman Brac to experience the sister island. The Southern Cross Club shuttled everyone to the Brac by boat where a local tour operator picked them up for a 3-hour tour of the island.
Conservation was an important theme for the week. The group conducted a beach cleanup on Owen Island and collected several large bags of plastic trash, witnessing up close how much of a problem plastic waste is to our oceans. They heard about conservation efforts for Little Cayman’s Rock Iguanas, and they toured the Central Caribbean Marine Institute to learn about coral conservation and research efforts being done there. Timing of the trip was great too because the years first sea turtle nest on Little Cayman hatched, and a few of them experienced the rescue of four hatchlings from the nest. The baby turtles were sent on their way with high hopes.
“I held the fragile new life in the palm of my hand and gazing out to the vast expanse of sea, I tried to imagine what it would be like to be so tiny and plunge into the sea all alone, and how much I would love to be at the same place years from now to welcome it back to continue life’s cycle,” said an emotional Karen Johnson. “As I put it down, I silently wished it good luck and Godspeed and felt that I had truly connected with the pulse of the earth.”
“It was an absolutely perfect week for our group because everyone had an outstanding time and the weather was spectacular,” said James White. “Everyone at the Southern Cross Club was so accommodating – Peter Hillenbrand was there to greet our guests each night and make them feel welcomed; Capt. Ron Thompson made sure our diving, snorkeling, and boat charters went smoothly; Chef Anu, prepared amazing meals and personally greeted us at meal times. Chef Anu even filled as a tour guide to show our group around Little Cayman!”
“James White and I have been friends for almost 30 years, and I was happy to personally welcome his fans to the Southern Cross Club,” said resort owner Peter Hillenbrand. “He has long known Little Cayman is special, and now his fans know it too! Together, Sunny Jim and Little Cayman are like the Sun, Sand and Sea. The brands just melt together.”
“We pride ourselves in being able to satisfy the needs of all our guests and ensure that they have a wonderful time here,” said General Manager Jennifer Mills. “This group certainly enjoyed all that the Southern Cross Club have to offer, and we hope to see them back again very soon!”