As part of the trip that I won to Grand Cayman. There was an option for an excursion to go swim with stingrays. I was IN for this. After doing a ton of research on the destination it literally is THE thing to do. And we were getting to go.
We boarded the bus for a short five minute ride to the dock to get on the boat. Upon arrival everyone had to sign a quick release form and then we could get on the boat. We had a short safety talk (basically don’t jump overboard, and here’s the toilet). The talk while necessary and informative – I thought of how much fun my favorite airline, Southwest Airlines does their safety spiel. Fun and funny too.
We headed out on the open water for Stingray City. (We sat on the open trampoline nets and then had lunch on the boat provided by Ritz Carlton so it was delicious!) Stingray city is actually a sand bar out in the middle of the ocean. I can’t get over how clear the waters are here. We can literally see through to the bottom. The sand bar leaves the water at only about waist high. We were quickly surrounded by a couple dozen sting rays. They were friendly (or so it seemed – despite my friend talking about that is how Steve Irwin, Crocodile Hunter died). They would swim by and allow us to touch them. They felt a little like a portabella mushroom.
The guide was great telling us all about the rays and he really knew a lot about the rays. He told us about their habits, their food, their personalities. He informed us that the females grow to be about three times the size of the males. When he did find a male he held him up. And the male so disliked being held up out of the water he spit water literally into the unsuspecting mouths of my friends! Ha ha. Glad I wasn’t in direct line of that – although I totally wish I had had a waterproof camera to catch that. It was super funny.
But I was up for fulfilling any kind of lucky superstition. It is a superstition that if you kiss a stingray you get seven years of good luck. Several of us kissed Sophie who was the big gentle one that the guide held for most of the time we were there. Once you were in front of her and supporting her weight a bit – she would curl up her lip like she was expecting it!
We also had about 30 minutes to snorkel at a reef that wasn’t far from where we had hung out with the stingrays. The snorkel was beautiful and fun. Although not long enough.
The swim with the stingrays was certainly one of the highlights of the trip. If I were ever to go again – I would certainly do this part again. It would be fun for all ages and I since the waters were so shallow even kids could do this. We did our trip thanks to Red Sail. I would highly recommend them as they were fun and informative. http://www.redsailcayman.com/stingray-city