(CMR) The Cayman Islands National Museum (CINM) continued its contribution to Platinum Jubilee celebrations by hosting a tour of the newly-upgraded Wreck of the Ten Sail Park in East End Wednesday, 16 February.
The event, live-streamed on CINM's Facebook page, coincided with both the 28th anniversary of the opening of the Wreck of the Ten Sail Park by Queen Elizabeth II (27 February 1994) and the 228th anniversary of the actual wreck, which happened 8 February 1794.
CINM's Director, Dr. Peggy Leshikar-Denton, who did a doctoral dissertation and wrote a book on the wreck, led a tour of the site. The tour was taken by Parliamentary Secretary for Culture & Heritage, Isaac Rankine; Ministry for Youth, Sport, Culture & Heritage's Chief Officer, Teresa Echenique; accompanied by CINM's Deputy Chairperson of the Museum Board Susan Arch-Parsons and CINM board member Sharon Hinds.
On taking the guided tour East End MP, Mr. Rankine said: “The tour was a very informative and educational experience. What I previously knew about the Wreck of the Ten Sail was more folklore than anything else. The site is a wonderful resource for teaching people and especially school children more about Caymanian history.”
“As one of the Cayman Islands oldest and most famous attractions, the Wreck of the Ten Sail and its park are important parts of our heritage. The site is a unique part of both our maritime legacy and tourism product, which continues to attract locals and international visitors,” he added.
The naturally landscaped coastal park is fitted with an accessible walkway and now includes new signage, a cabana, and a gift shop at the entrance, which will open later in the year where district artwork will be sold. In addition to taking in the site's recent enhancements, the group was given a detailed history of the wreck by the museum's Director, which included the assistance given by East End locals to the shipwreck survivors.
Following the guided tour, Dr. Leshikar-Denton said: “The Wreck of the Ten Sail is the foremost of Cayman's many wrecking tales. HMS Convert and nine merchant ships sailing in a convoy of 58 vessels were bound from Jamaica to Great Britain when they were lost on the jagged East End reefs of Grand Cayman. Caymanians came out in their canoes and heroically saved many lives.”
Copies of Dr. Peggy's book “Cayman's 1794 Wreck of the Ten Sail: Peace, War and Peril in the Caribbean” are available at the CINM gift shop.