Sting Ray City ~ Grand Cayman
The tour started by taking a tender to the pier, a bus to a parking lot where we boarded a boat and then took a 45 minute ride. It seemed for a while that the only thing we were going to do on this 3hr tour was try to get there!
After the 40 minutes on the boat, we found ourselves out in the middle of the sea being told that we are going to stand on sand dunes that are 4 feet deep. Skeptical ~ yes I was, but as you can see, we truly were in the middle of no where with folks standing around.
They told us we needed to wear our inflatable life preservers ~ mine was strapped around my leg! Quite fashionable no?
Climbing into the water with these guys was a bit freakier than I thought. Prior to getting into the water, we received an anatomy lesson about the sting rays and learned that the majority of the ones here are females, and that they will not sting as they have been fed here for over 20 years. Why bite the hand that feeds ~ or at least that is their philosophy. We were instructed to take off our shoes, as this can damage the skin on the sting rays causing sores and infections if we accidentally stepped on them. We were also told that if we did step on on, that hey, it will be ok, they will wait for us to move our foot or squirm out from under us.
I don't really like things in my water while I'm swimming ~ seaweed freaks me out, so I'm not sure what made me thing that swimming with these creatures would be a good idea. I spent the first 15 minutes of the 40 minutes we were there, floating on the surface each time one came nearby trying to avoid touching them. The squishy slimy coating I heard they had didn't make me want to rush over and pet them any time soon.
I did however manage to snuggle up to one ~ although it was slimy and my arms were rigid like boards, I did hold one, and they even got me to kiss it. The other part that I didn't minds as much was the 'massage' where they rub them on your back ~ as you can see below...
Antoan took to it much better than I did and loved holding the 'little guys'. Unfortunately the only photos of me with them were on the $55 DVD ~ maybe I'll be able to negotiate with them for just the photos! We'll see.
Overall ~ a pretty cool day!