(Sunday, February 22, 2015)
We woke Sunday morning to another beautiful day and were anchored at Grand Cayman Island. We went to the buffet on the 9th deck to enjoy a quick breakfast before meeting our tour. Mom and Rebecca had chosen to go to a combination tour of dolphin encounter and stingrays. They were happy to sit in the boat and watch from there and unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of their excursion but they said they really enjoyed it.
The rest of us chose to swim and snorkel with the stingrays and it was AMAZING!!!
(In the picture above you can also see Hannah’s brown Jasmine sticker. Each person in our tour group was given one of these stickers and we followed the Jasmine sign to our tour. It makes it very easy to find your group as many different tours arrive at the port at the same time.)
In quick order we were on the boat and skimming our way to the sandbar where the stingrays are located. Dad and I have remarked a few times about how far we travelled on this boat (probably 15 – 20 minutes) only to arrive at a sandbar where we were walking in the ocean in water only up to our thighs!
As we arrived at the sandbar we saw many different tour groups there and seeing all the boats, people and the stingrays swimming amongst them was pretty cool…and a little unnerving! Seeing stingrays from the boat is one thing but knowing we would soon be walking and swimming amongst them was another!
Our tour company was MarineLand Tours and we can’t say enough good about them! Very knowledgeable, friendly, helpful and more! They took great care of us from start to finish! Some of the added bonuses that we appreciated were a boat with a restroom and also a very handy staircase that lowered into the water which made entering and exiting the water easier which we appreciated on the wavy, wavy day that we were there! Isn’t this amazing??!!!
As we spent time in the water our confidence grew. (Well, others might have been confident from the start but it took me a few minutes.) On top of that the rougher waters made it more of a challenge holding Hannah. She enjoyed seeing the stingrays from above and was brave enough once to quickly touch one but that was enough for her thank you very much! I can’t blame her either as when I put her down a couple of times not only were the stingrays close to her but the occasional wave would go right over her head but she was a trooper through it all! She just chose to catch a ride when she could!
By this point Hannah was content to watch from the boat so I took her back there. Next we had the opportunity to feed the stingrays. By this time I was feeling more confident so decided to give it a try. They gave us these little octopi to feed them.
Dad did great! Me? Well…just watch!
I can honestly say it didn’t hurt, just surprised me!