Grand Cayman Part 2

Remember when I freaked out about a Stingray 25 feet away from me?  They have this place in the Cayman called Stingray City and a ton of people go out there daily to feed the Stingrays, and have them swim around you.  Everyone recommended that is one thing you HAVE to do while you are in the Cayman Islands.

If you haven’t got it by now, I’m a scaredy cat of most things.  Heights.  Water. Bridges. Aquatic creatures. Social Situations. Commitment.
I was seriously having anxiety attacks when I was just thinking about going to Stingray City.  I did not want to go.  I figured that I would regret it if I didn’t, and the only reason I contemplated going was because everyone said I should.  No part of me wanted to surround myself with 60 plus Stingrays, rubbing by me, wanting food, and the unknown.  I think that’s what scared me most, was the unknown.

I know most people think of Steve Irwin’s Death  from a Stingray, but that’s because he was acting like an idiot, got stabbed in the heart and immediately pulled out the barb.  If anything stabs you in the heart and you pull it out, it’s pretty common that you will bleed out and die.  Who is to know that if he had kept the barb in there, if he would still be alive today?

Anyway, I finally decided I would go to Stingray City and Kaylee, who had been 4 previous times, went with me.  This is us at Rum Point before we left for the 2 1/2 hour excursion.
 The catamaran (one of my new favorite words) we took to Stingray City:
Me and Kaylee on the catamaran:The net we were laying on the way there.  Soooo relaxing. Please disregard my janky second toe, I’ve got ocean feet.
 We went snorkeling by the reef, which was actually uneventful, despite the fact I couldn’t see or breathe.  By the time I finally fixed my mask and snorkel, they called us into the boat to head over to Stingray City.  There were a bunch of boats over there at first, but they cleared out around the time we got over there.
Once you get into the water, the stingrays surround you, rubbing their soft bodies along you and waiting for food.  I was pretty nervous at first.
One of the guides, Joel, from Australia, explained the Stingray’s tail and where exactly the barb is.  Please notice the girl’s face in the background, that was probably what I looked like the first ten minutes in the water. Some of them are huge, the females are the bigger ones, and they have very long tails.
I decided to get closer to one, touch it, and take a picture with it. Another one of our guides, James from England, was holding one and was great about my apprehensiveness toward the whole thing.  Here is a progression of pictures as I get closer to “Bertha”, I’m super relaxed. <— Lie.

Not even close.
“Seriously. Get closer.”  Notice the stress in my face.

In this one I appear to be more relaxed, however my neck gives away my actual feelings.By the end of the trip, I chilled out and held a Stingray on my own.  I really wanted to take one home with me to keep in the bathtub.  They are like ocean puppies, too cute.

After we got back, we went to Starfish Point and saw some little starfish.  I have a picture of all of us holding the starfish, but it looks like I’m wearing a weird dress leotard.  It is not flattering.  So instead you get cute baby E and her floppy white hat.

Later that night, we went on a Sunset Sail which was absolutely beautiful and relaxing.  Kaylee, Jeremy, and Baby E didn’t go because E wasn’t feeling that good and they wanted to stay close to “home”.

I’m not a super big fan of this picture because the way the wind is blowing my dress, it makes me look like I’m pelvic thrusting Lindsey.  We were standing on the “Sugar Scoop” of the boat.
Obligatory self taken picture. Before my poor glasses betrayed me and broke.James, who was the same guide for Stingray city, was our captain.  He let me “drive the boat”.  It’s obvious by the look on my face, I really know what I’m doing.  James doesn’t look he regrets his decision on letting me “drive” either.

He was kind enough to let us take a picture with him.  We loved his English accent!What a beautiful and amazing sunset!

When we got back we ate at the Rum Point restaurant, and I decided to eat some Lionfish.  They are poisonous if touched and they are actually taking over in Cayman, which is a bad thing considering they have no predator in the waters of Cayman.

After dinner we went to the Rum Point barrels to take a group picture (minus Becky, she’s more of a Nazi photographer than I am.)  Lindsey and I were being rebels and standing on the forbidden barrels.  I’m standing super lady like, but it was either that or falling to my death.  I can be a little dramatic at times.
That was our last night there and although I had a blast, I was ready to be on US soil.  Lindsey and I took a separate flight from the rest of the group so we ended up going from Cayman –> Miami —> Chicago –> OKC.
It was 15 hours of traveling, being close to a ton of strangers on planes, and running around like a chicken with our heads cut off.  We finally made it back to OKC at midnight, where my sweet boy graciously picked us up.  I had never been so glad to be in Oklahoma.  I’m vacationed out… for a little while at least.


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