Slipping on my life jacket I feel like an old hand at swimming with stingrays. Gone are the fears of the first time. I descend the narrow metal ladder into the warm waters of the Caribbean and swim away out to the sandbank where the stingrays are gathered. We get to touch and play with them and of course the inevitable photograph and video too.
So confident am I that I take to feeding them with prawns from the bucket held aloft by one young Caribbean. I hear him say something about keeping the prawn vertical but do not hear the second part:" keep your thumb hidden".
A stingray grabs my thumb with its mini saw-like teeth. I squeal. And pull. My thumb is released instantly.
On return to the shore we are given a generous drink of rum. So woozy do I become that I leave my swimsuit in the changing room. Everyone is very merry on the return to the ship. Some, I hear later, take to their beds to sober up.