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Southern Cross Club’s Fernando Yorke Wins Employee of the Year at 2015 Stingray Awards

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Resort receives Certificate of Excellence; a nomination for General Manager Jennifer Mills

The Southern Cross Club in Little Cayman was well represented at the annual Cayman Stingray Tourism Awards, hosted by the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA). The awards ceremony, held at the Ritz Carlton in June, recognizes excellence in the various sectors of the hospitality industry. Every year CITA takes nominations from member companies and appoints a committee to determine the winners. Fernando Yorke, a 15-year veteran of the Southern Cross Club’s maintenance team, won the “Accommodations Employee of the Year” award and took home the coveted, glass-blown, cobalt blue Stingray Award.

“I was very surprised and also pleased when I found out that I had been nominated for the award. I was, however, really excited when I found out that I had actually won!” said Mr. Yorke. “It was a select group of very distinguished people from the industry and I felt very pleased to be part of it, and very proud to have won and be acknowledged in this way. Being recognized for my service and hard work means a lot to me, it is a very nice boost.”

“We are all very, very pleased for Fernando, and very proud of him,” said General Manager Jennifer Mills, who nominated Yorke. “I’ve worked with him for 12 years − 6 as General Manager of the resort − and there is not a single time when I have heard him complain. Fernando always gives 100% and he loves helping our guests, who in turn, enjoy visiting with him.”

Ms. Mills was nominated for ‘Accommodations Manager of the Year’ and the Southern Cross Club was awarded a Certificate of Excellence at the gala. She says Fernando Yorke’s hard work and commitment are essential to keeping the resort running smoothly. A skilled carpenter, he has built walkways, cabinets, sheds, porches, the pool deck and numerous other projects on the grounds.

“Because they operate quietly behind the scenes, maintenance team members are often the unsung heroes at the resort,” she says, “but without their efforts we would not be able to maintain our high level of efficiency giving our guests the good experience that brings them back.”

Fernando Yorke’s generosity doesn’t end when his workday is over. He helps his community in numerous ways, such as being involved with the island’s two major fundraisers – Mardis Gras and the Little Cayman Cookoff. Fernando pitches in wherever he’s needed: assisting with setup, raking the beach, hanging lights, arranging tables and chairs, filling and arranging coolers, building parade floats and more.

With no pastor or church committee stationed on Little Cayman, Fernando Yorke volunteers to be the church caretaker. He leads church services during the week and on special occasions, and also assists at the occasional wedding and memorials. Mr. Yorke also volunteers at the Little Cayman School each week, setting an example for the entire community.

“I am very happy here on Little Cayman and at the Southern Cross Club, which has been my home-from-home for 15 years. I enjoy the company of people and enjoy visiting with the guests, coworkers and other residents on the island,” he says. “I like the peace and quiet that Little Cayman offers. I do not need many distractions, as long as I am privileged to be able to go to church, then I am content.”

Jennifer Mills credits Fernando Yorke and the rest of the Southern Cross team for the resort’s Certificate of Excellence award. He explains the work ethic that has won him many friends among the resort staff, guests and residents of Little Cayman.

“I have a lot of respect for my place of work and my job so I set myself a high standard so that I make sure that I always give my best and am fully committed. I always say that whatever you do you should do it with your heart and give 100%. I enjoy my job and I feel very satisfied at the end of the day knowing that I have done my best and done a good job. I believe that hard work and good deeds are rewarded.”

About the Southern Cross Club

The casually sophisticated Southern Cross Club Fish & Dive Resort is Little Cayman’s original resort. It features 12 beachfront bungalows complete with a top-rated, professional in-house diving and fishing operation. A unique blend of rusticity and elegance the resort is often described as “Barefoot Luxury”.  Guests can expect friendly and diligent service, delicious food, inviting rooms with breath-taking views and a comfortable dive boat ― a few of the things that bring them back year after year.  Little Cayman is renowned for its breath-taking and pristine coral reefs and spectacular dive adventures. The resort’s beach-based location also provides flats fisherman with access to Bonefish and Permit just minutes away.

For reservations or more information:
Telephone: 1 (800) 899-CLUB (2582)
E-mail info@southerncrossclub.com
Website: www.southerncrossclub.com
Facebook:  www.facebook/SouthernCrossClub

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Diving below the waves of the Western Cape, South Africa – Long Beach at night (Watch Video)

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Head under the waves of False Bay and explore the incredible diversity that is found along the Western Cape. The bay has popular dive spots from diving amongst the biodiverse underwater kelp forests to jumping in with the playful and friendly cape fur sealions (Arctocephalus pusillus). The bay along with the rest of the South Africa coast is known for the range of shark species that are found from the shallow coastal shores out into the open oceans. The coast is also home to numerous endemic shark species such as puffadder shyshark (Haploblepharus edwardsii) and Pyjama shark.

Longbeach is a shallow shore dive close to the coastal town of Simonstown on the Western Cape. The dive is mainly made up of diving across the sand with a few wreckages, rocks and outcrops where there’s algae growing. A pipeline can be found at the site which provides locations for species such as Pyjama Sharks (Poroderma africanum) and octopus (Octopus vulgaris) to shelter. Diving at night at the site provides the opportunity to see species that are more often hidden during the day such as cape Squid (Loligo reynaudii) and Biscuit Skate (Raja straeleni). Other shark species such as the small Puff Adder Shyshark (Haploblepharus edwardsii) are also occasionally seen at the site.

Diving with the local dive club – Cape Town Dive Centre.


Follow Jake aka JD Scuba on the YouTube channel @Don’t Think Just Blog.

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Miscellaneous Blogs

Book Review – The Final Dive: The Life and Death of ‘Buster’ Crabbe (2007)

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It was the height of the Cold War. The Soviet Cruiser Ordzhonikidz, supported by two destroyers, had brought Soviet leaders Khruschev and Bulganin to Britain for sensitive meetings with the British Government. The ships were moored in Portsmouth harbour and the Prime Minister, Sir Anthony Eden, had expressly forbidden any clandestine inspection of them. However, on the morning of 19th April 1956 Commander Lionel ‘Buster’ Crabbe, an experienced naval diver, slipped into the cold waters of Portsmouth harbour. His top secret mission was to photograph the hull, propellers and rudder of the Ordzhonikidze. He was never seen alive again.

A badly decomposed body, with head and hands missing, was discovered by fishermen in Chichester harbour months later. It was claimed to be the missing body of Buster Crabbe – but many had doubts. The incident marked the start of a controversy that claimed the posts of several high ranking naval, government and intelligence service personnel. The author of The Final Dive, Don Hale, claims it is one that still rages and which may not be resolved even when secret government files are released in 2057.

Don Hale, an acknowledged campaigning journalist and former Journalist of the Year brings all his experience and skill to unravelling this longstanding scandal. He has drawn upon official reports and private letters, statements from government representatives, fellow officers and friends to piece together Buster’s life and events leading to his disappearance and subsequent investigation. He speaks of “inquiries blocked by intrigue, constant cover-ups and government bureaucracy coupled with threats relating to the Official Secrets Act” (p. xi). If you like reading about subterfuge on a grand scale you will enjoy The Final Dive.

Don Hale’s meticulous account of the life of Buster Crabbe is supported by dozens of black and white photos and extracts from numerous official documents. It reveals how an amazing series of civilian jobs, wartime activities and friendships with high ranking government officials, British intelligence officers, American CIA operatives. . . and now known spies, prepared him for his final dive and perhaps his fate. One of Crabbe’s acquaintances was the author Ian Fleming – of James Bond fame. Indeed, it is suggested that Fleming based the character of 007 on Buster Crabbe. After reading of his exploits, both before WWII, his bomb disposal work during the war, and afterwards it is easy to see why. Certainly, those who worked with Buster Crabbe “all agree he was fearless.” (p.59). After reading of his exploits one wonders if he was too fearless.

In the later stage of Buster’s life, prior to his disappearance, Don Hall recounts “a constant merry-go-round of overseas assignments” (p. 118) for Crabbe and how he “began to receive increasingly hazardous commissions” (p. 136). It culminated in the morning dive in Portsmouth harbour. Hale’s forsensic-like account of the events surrounding the final dive and aftermath reveals absolute panic and bungling behind the scenes as official answers conflict with known facts. He describes how “The whole incident still seems bathed in secrecy, with the true facts deliberately buried in bureaucracy, and supported at the highest level by an incredible cover-up operation”.(p. 205).

A final comment by Don Hale adds to the intrigue. He states “The only part of the Crabbe puzzle about which I am not certain is not who sent him – we know the answer to that – but why on earth he was he sent, possibly at considerable risk?” (p. 248). After reading The Final Dive: The Life and Death of ‘Buster’ Crabbe you will no doubt have your own ideas.


The Final Dive: The Life and Death of ‘Buster’ Crabbe (2007)

  • By Don Hale
  • Stroud: Sutton Publishing
  • ISBN 978 0 7509 4574 5
  • 260 pp

Don Hale was a professional footballer before becoming editor of several regional newspapers. He has received numerous national and international awards for investigative journalism including Journalist of the Year. In 2002 he was awarded an OBE for his campaigning journalism in the Stephen Downing miscarriage of justice case. He has championed several others who have been wrongly convicted.

His other books include Town without Pity (2002), Murder in the Graveyard (2019) and Mallard: How the ‘Blue Steak’ Broke the World Speed Record (2019).


Find out more about Professor Fred Lockwood, who is also a published author, at www.fredlockwood.co.uk.

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Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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