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Curse of the Black Pearl 2: a grand Cayman vacation.

GRAND CAYMAN ISLAND AGAIN? Fuck yeah Maan! We were invited to the official opening of the Black Pearl Skatepark--the previous trip was just a teaser of lines to come. 60,000-square-feet of concrete--the week we were there wasn't even enough time to skate that bitch! It just so happened that Tony Hawk was also there for the opening The Birdman in the Caymans? He must have come for the same reasons as Childress. Navarrette. Dove and deposit some loot in their offshore accounts! I really don't think so: the only depositing our crew was doing was the gallons of free beer down our throats.

Mike Bell (owner of the Black Pearl. hooked up the tickets and treated us like the Kings we aren't: five-star resort right on the beach, a bar in the swimming pool, Iggy Pop lurking around and lots of hot chicks. Also on the agenda was a chartered boat ride with a bartender out to Sting Ray City to feed the rays and get lap dances from them for the cheap price of some squid, and a buzzed-up snorkel session at the giant reef near by.

WHILE WE WERE DOWN THERE we met Mrs Appleyard (yes, Mark Appleyard's mother), and she talked about bringing me, Nays, and Dove to Little Cayman after the park opening. Not knowing that I was a few beers deep, she wanted to take us the next morning, and I gave her my word that I'd get everyone ready to hop on a small plane at 9:00am. Somehow, after more beers into the early hours, I managed to get everyone together to be picked up by AppleMom. She's one of the nicest people ever. None of us had really met her before and here she is offering to charter a plane for us to Little Cayman, a 45-minute flight to an Island populated by 100 people. How's that for hospitality?

Darren sat shotgun on the flight, and the pilot let him fly the plane for awhile until he got comfortable enough to head off course. We landed on a soccer field and pulled up to the airport--which is also the general store, post office, and fire station. The only two rental cars on the entire Island were broken, so some dude rented his SUV to AppleMom for the day.

Seeing that there are only 100 people on the island, one restaurant, and nothing to do but swim and relax, I knew she had something up her sleeve. AppleMom mentioned that she had found a wooden quarterpipe built on one of the very few tarred roads, and she wanted to take us there. How's that? AppleMom spot check. Mark hasn't even been here yet. As we're driving we see a few wild, four- to five-foot-long iguanas coming out of the wood. Matt Dove, the snake/reptile breeder, starts chasing these creatures and catches a few of them. We look down the road and there's the ramp, on an abandoned dead end. Four-feet-wide, five-feet-high with haggard plywood and PVC coping. It looked like the one my friend James had in his driveway circa 1980. The kid who built it showed up with his parents and got to skate with Nays and Dove, and they signed some autographs and hooked him up with some product. There are lazy kids all over the US with skateparks near their houses who bitch about having nowhere to skate. This kid definitely has the right to bitch about it, and he chose not to. After driving us around the whole island she also showed us an empty pool that was shaped like a turtle, though it didn't have any skateable trannies. But still, good looking out! Thanks again and shouts out to AppleMom for hooking us up with the day trip and the spot check.

BACK TO THE SKATEPARK. I believe it's the largest skatepark in the world to date (don't quote me, but it's fucking huge). Designed by Site Design and re-designed by the Concrete Pirates who built it; the blueprints were swept away by the hurricanes, so the pirates came up with their own. Tons of round walls, nooks and crannies, a random set of shallow-end stairs, a cradle, round and pointed over-vert extensions, snakeruns, sea shells and coral for coping, lots of vert, and a 3/4-pipe section. Pool coping everywhere. There's a backyard type of pool in the middle of the park with tiles, a death box, and a love seat. One of the best I've skated! The whole park is smooth as butter and there are endless lines and different terrain that will keep whatever time you spend there occupied. You deserve yourself a vacation in the Caribbean--a skate vacation, that is!
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Date:Oct 1, 2005
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