What's new at Sunset House
Underwater Photography Competition Announced in the Cayman Islands
Tuesday, September 24, 2013, 12:09
Calling all underwater photographers! It is with great excitement that CITA is once again hosting the Underwater Photography Competition in conjunction with the 9th Annual International Underwater Film Festival . The photography competition will be open to anyone—professional or amateur, local or visitor—who wishes to submit photos to be considered in the contest (photos must be taken in the Cayman Islands).
The contest will be open July 15th and last through October 25th. The esteemed Cathy Church, along with photographers Ellen Cuylaerts and Patrick Weir, will review all entries and determine the winners based on the judging criteria. A full list of rules and regulations can be found on the official entry form below. Photos can be submitted directly through this on-line registration form.
Winners will be announced at the Underwater Film Festival on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 (location TBA). Prizes will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place photos in each of the following five categories:
5. Creative (includes opportunity for advanced photo editing)
Prizes are as follows:
1st place: CI $200 gift certificate to Diver's Supply in Grand Cayman, party keg of White Tip Lager by the Cayman Islands Brewery, winning image printed on canvas (16x20) by Cathy Church's Photo Centre
2nd place: CI $100 gift certificate to Diver's Supply in Grand Cayman, case of White Tip Lager by the Cayman Islands Brewery, winning image printed on canvas (11x14) by Cathy Church's Photo Centre
3rd place: CI $50 gift certificate to Diver's Supply in Grand Cayman, winning image printed on canvas (8x10) by Cathy Church's Photo Centre
Winning photographs will be on display at the International Underwater Film Festival.
In addition, a ‘Best in Show’ award will be given to one of the first place photos as an overall best of the best! This grand prize winner will receive a trip on the Aggressor Fleet to a location of their choice (Cayman, Belize, Turks & Caicos or the Carib Dancer in the Bahamas). Prize valued at US $2,795 and includes deluxe accommodation, diving, air, weights, weight belts, all meals and snacks, non alcoholic beverages, local beer and wine.
International Underwater Film Festival
The International Underwater Film Festival is in its 9th year and is an event that coincides with the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame (ISDHF). The film festival is an evening where we show a variety of underwater films new and old, artistic and scientific. Some of the ISDHF inductees are invited to show a film, which is especially unique for guests as these ‘celebrity’ scuba divers are able to both introduce and answer questions about their film. This year, Divers Alert Network (DAN) is the presenting sponsor for the event and CITA looks forward to working with them on making the Film Festival another wonderful, educational event for the 300 attendees. Proceeds from the Underwater Film Festival go to support CITA's marine conservation efforts, including the Dive 365 project.
Dive Legend helps Cayman spread the Word
Tuesday, September 24, 2013, 07:17
on Watersports Safety and Marine Conservation
Dan Orr stars in “Share Our Seas” Public Service Announcements to be televised in the Cayman Islands
This fall the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) will launch a campaign called “Share Our Seas” featuring a series of televised public service announcements aimed at raising awareness of diver safety and marine conservation among residents and visitors. The on-camera star of the PSAs is dive industry legend Dan Orr who until recently was the driving force behind the Divers Alert Network (DAN) for decades, until forming Dan Orr Consulting. Videotaped on location at Sunset House in early September, the recognized industry ambassador for diver safety will be reminding locals and visitors to the Cayman Islands about basic safety in the ocean.
“The PSA’s are important because you have to continually remind divers about safety,” said Orr. “It’s importance to have a regular physical, especially after 35, or any time there is a health related change in your life.”
In addition to staying physically fit for diving, Orr will be reminding divers to observe other safety measures such as having proper scuba certifications, refreshing their dive skills, getting a proper medical clearance, ensuring their dive gear is in proper condition and doing complete buddy checks.
“There’s no one even close that walks the walk that Dan does on diver safety,” said Sunset House General Manager Keith Sahm who has been Orr’s dive buddy and knows first-hand how safety conscious he is. “Dan looked at me eye to eye, and we did a complete check list – he’s a true, true buddy.”
After his departure from Divers Alert Network was announced, Sahm and his wife Karin invited Dan Orr and his wife Betty to enjoy a week of complimentary accommodations and diving at Sunset House.
“This is our way to say ‘thank-you’ to the pioneer of diver safety,” he said. “Diver’s Alert Network and DAN Insurance are vital to resorts like Sunset House. If there are any questions about whether someone is at risk diving, we can call DAN and talk to their team of medical professionals who give us good advice and take away the guess work.”
CITA’s watersports members have long wanted to be more proactive in raising awareness of ocean safety and marine conservation among visitors and the decision was made earlier this summer to produce public service announcements. With Orr on the island for his dive vacation, Sahm, a CITA board member, saw the perfect opportunity to get the PSA’s shot. He enlisted the services of in-house videographer Tony Mark of the Cathy Church Photo Centre and asked Dan Orr to help out.
Through the PSA’s resident and visitors will also be reminded to respect the marine environment, not litter and clean up trash when they come across it. Divers will be asked to be responsible when culling lionfish and dispose of the fish properly. People will be reminded to stay within the 200-yard marker when swimming, use a flag when diving and snorkeling and remind those on powered watercraft to be respectful of dive flags and buoys.
CITA plans to launch the public service announcements at the Underwater Film Festival on November 13, 2013. The association hopes to have them aired in theaters, on local TV and radio, plus in-house TV channels at all major hotels. CITA will also promote the PSAs through social media.
As he reflects on a career that spanned 50 years, Dan Orr is proud of his body of work and hopes it’s had an everlasting impact on diver safety. Doing these PSA’s for the Cayman Islands, which he first visited in 1960, allows him to keep getting the word out in a destination that prides itself on diver safety.
“I love the Cayman Islands!” he said. “Easy access, fantastic diving – as good as you are going to find any where else in the world.”
Adrien Honoured with Life Time Achievement Award
Tuesday, July 02, 2013, 07:14
Sunset House owner Adrien Briggs was honoured for a lifetime contribution to the tourism industry at the 10th annual Stingray Awards last week.
Mr. Briggs, who has been at the helm of the hotel and dive shop since the early 1970s, was the big winner on a night where the unsung heroes of the Cayman Islands’ tourism industry had their moment in the spotlight.
Room cleaners, divemasters and wedding planners were among those recognised in a glitzy event at the Ritz Carlton Hotel on Tuesday.
More than 250 people from all sections of the industry attended the gala dinner, hosted by the Cayman Islands Tourism Association, with 48 people nominated for awards.
Dive Operations Manager, Peter Foster-Smith was also nominated in the Watersports Category for a Stingray Award.
The final and most prestigious award of the night, the Lifetime Achievement Award, went to Mr. Briggs for more than 40 years dedication to the industry.
Jay Ehrhart, who compered the event, hailed the Sunset House owner as a true master of all trades who had always been prepared to do any job - from unclogging toilets and cleaning rooms to helping build the bar and fix boat engines.
“Adrien was also Sunset Diver’s dive master in the early days. He would cook the guests breakfast and then take them diving, come back after the dive and tend bar,” he added.
Mr. Briggs is still deeply involved with the management of several business including Sunset House, Harbour House Marina, CMS cruise tenders and Red Sail Sports.
Vivid-Pix Provides Simple Solution for Amazing Underwater Photos
Thursday, May 23, 2013, 15:17
Photographers get first-hand preview during recent Grand Cayman event
Participants at last week’s Cathy Church’s Underwater Photo Fest on Grand Cayman were treated to an unexpected surprise – an opportunity to experience the new VIVID-PIX underwater digital photo tool. Designed for beginning to intermediate underwater digital photographers, VIVID-PIX delivers a simple and effective digital solution to capture amazing underwater photos.
Photographers came from all over the country to participate in the event, hosted by award-winning Cayman-based Cathy Church. The comments not only were highly positive, but also reflected the goal of the product – to provide a simple and effective enhancement tool for underwater photographers who don’t want to spend a lot of time working with software to correct their images. “For the amateur underwater photographer, Vivid-Pix is a wonderful idea! I highly recommend this easy-to-use software for a simple, great tool to correct your pictures!” - Cathy Church.
According to Rick Voight of Vivid-Pix, “The response was overwhelmingly positive. The participants in Cathy’s program appreciated how simple and easy it was to take a ‘bad’ or ‘good’ photo and convert it into a ‘great’ one.”
Vivid-Pix engineers used the latest in digital enhancement technology, added some of their own, and created a product that is designed exclusively for underwater images – taking out distracting colors, shadows and improving the natural lighting.
“We found that many beginning and intermediate underwater photographers are sometimes intimidated or simply don’t want to use post-production software, even though virtually every photo taken underwater needs some form of enhancement,” Voight points out. “The Vivid-Pix PICTURE-FIX feature automatically improves underwater photos.”
Among the comments made by Photo Fest participants were:
● Vivid-Pix allowed me to make the colors in my photos very close to what I actually saw underwater
● It was simple and easy to use. With Vivid-Pix, it’s almost impossible to make a mistake
● Simpler to use than other programs that I haven’t mastered
● We took some shark pictures that were all blue – couldn’t see the shark – Vivid-Pix brought it in so that I could see the sharks
Vivid-Pix is available now through a growing list of local retailer and dive destination outlets. In addition, Vivid-Pix is providing underwater photographers with an opportunity to try the software, which can quickly and simply be downloaded online, for FREE at www.vivid-pix.com.
SUNSET HOUSE EARNS 2013 TRIPADVISOR CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE
Tuesday, May 21, 2013, 08:50
Honoured as a Top Performing Hotel as Reviewed by Travelers on the
World’s Largest Travel Site
George Town, Grand Cayman – Sunset House, Grand Cayman’s Hotel for Divers, by Divers today announced that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10 percent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.
To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor, and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.
“Sunset House is pleased to receive a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence,” said Karin Sahm, Co-General Manager at Sunset House, along with her husband Keith. “We strive to offer our customers a memorable experience, and this accolade is evidence that our hard work is translating into positive reviews on TripAdvisor.”
“TripAdvisor is delighted to celebrate the success of businesses around the globe, from Sydney to Chicago, Sao Paulo to Rome, which are consistently offering TripAdvisor travelers a great customer experience,” said Alison Copus, Vice President of Marketing for TripAdvisor for Business. “The Certificate of Excellence award provides top performing establishments around the world the recognition they deserve, based on feedback from those who matter most – their customers.”
CITA Supports Marine Research in Cayman throughthe Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation
Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 11:52
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, 2013 – A vibrant and healthy marine ecosystem is one of the main reasons thousands of tourists visit the Cayman Islands each year. From the interactive experience at Stingray City to diving any of the 365 dive sites available throughout the three Cayman Islands, there is a great deal for these visitors to explore and enjoy. Ensuring that the local marine environment remains healthy is a key goal of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) and its member companies, which is why CITA supports marine research efforts of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF).
CITA presented a check for CI$750 to local marine conservationist and artist, Dr. Guy Harvey for his foundation. The money was part of the proceeds from the International Underwater Film Festival, which took place in November 2012. Dr. Harvey also presented a film at the event, which was a compilation of his adventures and travels. Attendees were able to see new footage that had not been seen by audiences prior to this film’s debut.
The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation is currently running the following projects in Cayman:
• Stingray census (ongoing for 11 years)
• Billfish tagging, blue marlin migration studies
• Shark tagging, assisting the DoE with tracking specifically of tiger sharks and oceanic white tip sharks
• The Grouper Moon documentary
• Lionfish eradication and recruitment rates in Little Cayman (with CCMI)
• Spawning Aggregation (SPAG) site assessment (in conjunction with the Darwin Initiative and the DoE)
‘We are very pleased to be able to offer this donation to the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation,’ stated Jane van der Bol, executive director for CITA. ‘Having a healthy ocean environment is critical for the many tourists who choose Cayman because of the reputation for its abundance of healthy coral reefs and marine life. In order to put sustainable policies in place that balance the needs of the marine environment and the overall needs of the Cayman Islands, we first need to know the current state of the ocean. This is where Dr. Harvey’s research is critical to tourism efforts. ‘
Dr. Harvey said, ‘the GHOF is very appreciative of the fund raising efforts of the CITA to assist with these projects. Other companies that are currently assisting the GHOF include Kirk Freeport, Foster’s Food Fair, Tortuga Rum Co. Ltd, Sunset Divers, The Barcadere Marina and the Cayman Islands Angling Club. We are very grateful for these contributions and encourage more businesses, to participate in scientific research projects taking place here in the Cayman Islands. All funds raised in Cayman go to these local projects.’
New Staff Member at Front Desk
Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 08:16
Sunset House welcomes Mr. Darryle Moore who will assist our guests and can be seen working at the front desk, mainly at night!
Darryle comes from a great customer service background and has previously worked for both Budget and American Airlines here in Grand Cayman.
Mr. Moore also graduated from the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism's P.R.I.D.E. Customer Service Workshop educational programme.
Fall Special (Better than 5th Night Free Packages)!
Tuesday, February 05, 2013, 11:03
During this exciting time of the year, where diving is at it peak, with everything from flat calm seas to coral spawning, Sunset House is offering for travellers booking early 25% off accommodation portion of their package and 20% off the dive portion of their packge.
This special is only for all classes of rooms, based on availibility. 7 nights accommodations in an ocean view room, 6 days of two tank boat diving, unlimited shore diving, daily breakfast, transfers from and to the airport here in Grand Cayman and all tax and service changes come to as little as $1371.00 per person based on double occupancy.
(Regular price would be US$1721.30)
New bookings only, five (5) Night minimum and can be used for group trips, for those who may not have had to
opportunity to book at DEMA. For more information on this specials, email Reservation at firstname.lastname@example.org
My Bar Takes Top Honours in Top 100 Gold List
Friday, January 11, 2013, 16:23
My Bar came in 1st place in the Best Dive Bar Category and 11th out of all categories in Scuba Diving Magazine's Top 100 Gold List of operators, resorts, live-aboards, underwater experiences (i.e., best wall, shore and wreck sites), dive bars and more was determined on a “popularity contest” basis. Rankings are based on the total number of responses, regardless of category.
By far the number one Dive Bar in the list! Thank you for your support!
Year Round, Non Stop Flights out of DFW YAY!!!
Tuesday, December 18, 2012, 09:02
Cayman Airways is proud to announce that as of April 10th, 2013, we will begin non-stop, year-round flights to Dallas, Texas from Grand Cayman!
By expanding service to this key destination, CAL opens the door to a whole new world of travel opportunities with twice weekly service offered on Wednesday's and Saturday's. Flights are scheduled to offer easy connections to and from the Southwest and West coast of the United States. The new schedule also facilitates immediate connections to Cayman Brac from Grand Cayman.
Bi-weekly flights will be scheduled Wednesdays and Saturdays for the following times:
Flight # Departs Time Arrives Time
KX320 Grand Cayman 8:30am Dallas-Fort Worth 12:30pm
1:50pm Grand Cayman 5:50pm
Cayman Airways offers more non-stop flights between the
Cayman Islands and the US than any other airline.
2 FREE checked bags up to 55lbs each
Complimentary meals and beverages in Economy Class
Business Class available on all flights
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