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Published: April 7th 2018
Dateline April 6, Georgetown, Grand Cayman
Today is a shore day or to be more precise it is a day of swimming with the Sting Rays and snorkeling a beautiful reef.
We headed out at 8:15 for the theatre where we would meet up with other passengers heading in the same direction. We glanced down at our tickets and notice that they say you must be between the ages of 8 and 70 to go. What the heck! 70? 70? Forget it, we are going. So… fortunately no one asks us anything and after joining our group we head for the tender to take us in to shore. What a crock, 70!
Anyway LOL, ah my, we tender in and walk about a block to the small bus that is waiting for us. Everyone jumps on board and we’re off for a 20-minute ride to the dock on a canal, in the mangroves where our Sundancer boat is waiting for us.
It is a beautiful day, big billowy clouds, lots of sunshine and the water (as all of you know who have been here) is translucent turquoise. We have about a 30-minute ride out to
the sandbar where the rays are. On the way out, we’re told safety instructions, that the water is 84-86 degrees and that we must wear snorkeling vests. There are 44 of us but the boat is not crowded and has plenty of room. The air is soft and warm as we skim over the water.
Up ahead some 5-7 boats come into view and we will be joining them. We anchor just off the sandbar and everyone dons gear of some sort…snorkels, masks, or just sunglasses and hats. Cope and I opt for sunglasses and hats. We’ll save the snorkeling for the reef.
We can see sting rays in the water all around us. There are maybe 100 people already walking on the sandbar and “playing” with the sting rays. We can’t wait. We head down the steps at the back of the boat to the ladder, and into the water. Ahhhh, heavenly to be back in Caribbean waters.
We are told to “shuffle” our feet so that we don’t step on any sting rays that might be buried in the sand, so we do. The water is up to Copes chest and my neck 😉 Between
the vests and salt water we are so buoyant that it is hard to stand with the waves rolling in, so we manage to sorta swim/walk. The sting rays come right up to us and brush against our legs. Our tour guides gently hold some of the rays for us to pet. They feel like the soft underside of a mushroom. Some folks kiss them as they are then guaranteed 7 years of good luck. There are perhaps 50-70 sting rays around us, just swimming and checking us out. Everyone is in a great mood and we hear lots of laughing over the water. We have an hour here and that’s just about perfect.
With everyone back on the boat, we move about 10 minutes away to a reef where we snorkel for a while. There isn’t too much wildlife to see but the coral is pretty. We don’t stay out too long but return to a fresh water shower on the deck.
As we get closer to the dock we see really big Iguanas and their babies. Short ride into town with a crazy driver… haven’t had one of those since Rome in 2007 or so, but
we survived and even managed to do a few minutes shopping for a new charm for my necklace… yep, a pretty stingray 😉.
Next Port: Cozumel, Mexico
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