Updated: Feb 12
Filled With Waves of Emotions.
Stingray City is located off the coast of Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. My family and I had the opportunity to take a visit while on an excursion during our Disney Cruise back in 2019. The stingrays will not sting (unless you seriously injure them) because they are comfortable with humans for their home is a popular tourist attraction.
Before we could take the trip out to Stingray City, we had to take a one hour ride on the tour boat. While we were on the boat we were uncertain of how long we would be able to stay because it was projected to storm all afternoon. The skies were gray and there were some small waves which led me to think that the tour wouldn't last long. The ride was great and the tour guide was very passionate about his job. The boat we used to travel to stingray city included two small bathrooms, a gift shop, a snack bar, and a drink bar. The atmosphere was great and felt like a big party.
Once we arrived I felt a jumble of emotions. Honestly, I was a little nervous about being in the water with wild stingrays. I was shocked when we pulled up to our destination and I saw at least 50 stingrays. I was also slightly worried about the possibility of storms. I knew there was no chance of the sky staying clear, and being on a metal boat in the middle of a storm didn't settle well with me. I decided to fight through my fears and to tell myself that I may never this get this opportunity again. I jumped into the water and it was deeper than I thought it would be. I did not have a problem with deep water, but I did have a problem with the waves and not being able to reach the ground to jump them. Stingrays were everywhere and when the waves would crash down I tried to quickly pull my legs up so that I wouldn't land on a stingray.
After 15 minutes in the water, I began to feel exhausted from keeping my head above the waves, treading water, and stress. Finally, I decided I was going to sit on the ledge of the boat. I had to figure out how to get myself through the crowd of people and stingrays without landing on a stinging creature. I was so close to the ladder of the boat when suddenly a big wave hit my back and knocked me to the sea floor and caused me to land right on the fin of a medium sized stingray. I was terrified it was going to lash out at me and flip its tail up to sting me, but thankfully it just swam away. I was able to climb up onto the boat and just enjoy the view of the turquoise sea. I was on the edge of the boat for about 5 minutes when my mother told me to get back in the water to get a picture. I was not ready to go back and start all the chaos again but thought that it would be nice to have a picture with a wild stingray so I climbed back in and tried to hide my fear.
After taking this picture I wanted to be in the moment and enjoy my time. I went around and swam with some stingrays and even reached out to pet some while swimming. Once I stopped letting fear take control, I started to have a great time. When I felt like getting back on the boat I swam over and grabbed a towel to dry off. After about 2 minutes of being back on the boat it started to thunder. All the quests gathered back together and prepared for the journey back to Grand Cayman.
Right before we took off, I realized I hadn't gotten many pictures! I went to the edge of the boat and snapped some pictures of stingrays and the horizon. I then sat back and enjoyed the salty air and tropical music.
When we got back to shore, we walked a few minutes until we reached some local shops. They sold ankle bracelets, t-shirts, bags, sun glasses, key chains, all things beachy. It was great being out in the water, but it did feel nice to be back on land. We got back to the island just in time! The sky grew darker and darker, and the water towards the end of our ride was getting choppy.
Overall I'm so glad we chose to do this excursion. Even though it was a little chaotic at times, it was an amazing experience. I believe that the trip would have been better if the water was calmer and the skies were clear. If you ever get a chance to visit Grand Cayman, I highly recommend you give this a try.
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