We pulled up to the sandbar known as Stingray City where the water is about 3 feet deep and there are about 200 people wading around with a huge number of stingrays from 1 foot across to 3+ feet across. The crazy thing about the experience is that the stingrays are not afraid of you at all and will swim into you and even over you like one did to me!
It was a very odd experience and the constant waves were freaking Sandra out because we didn’t want to step on the stingrays. Our guide Mark was showing us how to hold the stingrays and pet them without upsetting them. Slowly we became more comfortable with them, and even tried feeding them but I was very unsuccessful in my attempt. (My squid was nearly grabbed by a gull and eventually eaten by a large gar)
Sandra ended up holding a really large stingray for a while, but I was just happy with petting them as they passed.
After about an hour at Stingray City we pulled over to the barrier reef nearby. The water was perfectly clear and there was quite a bit to see in the coral maze. My problem is that I’m not very good at getting photos of the fish with our underwater camera.
We stayed at the reef for almost a full hour before climbing back on the catamaran and sailing back in. We were sitting up on the trampoline when Chip walked to the front of one of the pontoons and said, “Don’t mind the splash.” and jumped overboard! It’s not every day you have your captain dive off of the moving boat! Then he popped back up the ladder at the rear of the boat with a huge starfish that he had just retrieved from the bottom! This guy was awesome!
While we were checking out the starfish he came up the ladder again with a sea biscuit. He must be part fish or something. We all took photos with the starfish before he dove over again to put it back on the bottom. It was a non-stop tour for sure, then we got to see the photos that Mark had taken at Stingray City. We bought a CD with our photos for a few bucks and he threw in some of his own stock photos as well.
Out of all of the tours we have taken this one is definitely one of our top two, right up there with the helicopter tour of the Juno ice fields. The best part is that you can take this tour even without being on a cruise. So if you are headed to Georgetown, Grand Cayman look up StingraySailing.com.