The islands’ logo embodies Caymanian history, culture, and sense of fun
If you’ve ever come to Grand Cayman by air, you’ve no doubt noticed the whimsical turtle in piratical togs whose image graces Cayman Airways planes. His name is Sir Turtle, and 2013 marks his 50th anniversary as the unofficial mascot of the Cayman Islands. Sir Turtle’s history is a typically Caymanian story, one that we at The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa think you will enjoy sharing with your kids.
Sea turtles once were so abundant around the Caymans that, when Columbus happened upon the islands during his fourth voyage in 1503, he named them Las Tortugas, Spanish for “The Turtles.” Over the following centuries, turtles remained an important resource for the islands’ settlers, becoming an integral part of the community culture. By the early 1960s, when the Caymans were emerging as a vacation destination, a turtle was the natural choice for a tourism logo. Local hotel and restaurant entrepreneur Suzy Soto had only just arrived in the Caymans when she took on creating the design; she dressed the turtle in pirate’s garb, thus working the Caymans’ beloved pirate lore into the logo as well. Ms. Soto nicknamed the image “Sir Turtle,” and the name stuck. He began appearing everywhere, including on Cayman Airways planes (with the addition of a flying ace’s scarf). Nowadays, Sir Turtle is likely to make appearances at all sorts of Cayman activities, from the processions of Pirates Week to celebrations for local schoolchildren.
If you and your family would like to find out more about Sir Turtle and his real-life counterparts while you are staying with us at The Westin Grand Cayman, our concierges will be happy to assist. Also make sure to visit the official Sir Turtle Turns 50 page of the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism website for more information – as well as some fun activities for your kids!