I recently took a trip to Stingray City with my mom while she was visiting in Grand Cayman. This is a common tourist attraction here on the island and during high season I’ve heard that nearly 3,000 people will make their way to Stingray City daily! We were fortunate to not have those kinds of crowds, but it wasn’t low season for the stingrays; there were plenty in attendance.
Mom and I boarded The Spirit of Poseidon, a 65 foot Red Sail catamaran at the Safe Haven location where we were greeted by friendly crew, James, Jake, Jeffrey, and the other guy… sorry, his name didn’t start with a “J” so I can’t remember it. We got a short, witty briefing from Jeffrey, who would later be our bartender, before setting out across the sound toward the sand bar that the stingrays call home.
This 40 minute journey across the water is beautiful! The water is every kind of blue you can imagine and the reggae tunes on board rounded out the perfect Caribbean scene. We didn’t have a very large group so there was plenty of space on the boat for however one chose to ride. There were sun bathers on the trampoline nets, those avoiding the sun by staying in the cabin , and some sitting along the sides with the wind in their hair.
Upon arriving at the sandbar we got another briefing, from the captain this time. James told us about the sting rays and how to act with them, where their eyes, and mouths and stingers are, then he told us how to distinguish between the males and females. After that, we all trickled down the swim steps and into the chest high water of the sand bar.
Standing in the water we could see the shadowy dark circles approaching us. It’s an odd feeling seeing these creatures close in on us. Mom was a bit more squirmy than she thought she would be, clinging to me to get her feet off the sand.
We interacted with the rays for a while, petting them, kissing them – for 7 years good luck, and watching other people squirm – which is quite entertaining! Then we got a visit from another famous islander…Stinky! Stinky is the lone dolphin that lives around Grand Cayman. You may remember I wrote about him in a previous post. This was a treat because he came swimming through the group of us in the water and started playing with the anchor of our boat. He isn’t the nicest to the poor stingrays though, he chases them and nips at them in a playful, yet bullying way. Everyone was really careful to keep enough distance and definitely not touch Stinky. He may be comfortable with humans, but he’s still over 400 lbs. and that is something you don’t want to mess with!
After an absolutely perfect day at stingray city we boarded the boat again, the crew drew up the sails and we mad our way back across the sound and back to Safe Haven. I have to say that Red Sail Cayman has very professional and experienced people who make these kinds of tours a really great experience. When you have your next trip to Cayman take the stingray city tour with Reds Sail and maybe you’ll have the pleasure of being on James’ boat, and Jeff can make you his famous rum punch!!
Thanks Red Sail and Thanks Jeffrey!