Welcome to Day 2 of Rode Trip’s afternoon pleasure cruise! We had a calm night at anchor and Brian, Matt, Jessica, and I all felt well rested after our game night of nearly endless rounds of Settlers of Catan. Brian cooked up a tasty breakfast and soon we had hauled up the anchor (thanks Muscle Matt!) and headed toward Stingray City.
Stingray City is located at the northeast end of North Sound. This string of sandbars is home to hundreds of stingrays. Years ago the stingrays would congregate here because fishermen would stop here to clean their catch. These days, the feeding is done by tourists. Despite it being yet another treacherous day…
…it was easy to find Stingray City as Rode Trip neared the sandbar. We found ourselves among the many tourists who’d arrived via cruise ship and weren’t letting the rain to spoil their nine hour stop at Grand Cayman.
We anchored as near the sandbar as our draft would allow and took the dinghy straight into the crowd of tourists and stingrays. The dinghy anchor was down and it was easy for us to jump into the warm water and join the chaos.
The water was waist deep. All around us people were bunched around their respective guides oohing, aahing, and screeching at the stingrays. One of the guides lifted up a stingray clear out of the water and placed it onto someone’s back! They stingrays weren’t paying much attention to us yet, they were happy to be fed by the tourist groups.
So Brian brought out our secret weapon…squid! The stingrays like to eat squid and so we’d purchased a box of frozen squid at the Chandlery. Brian coaxed the stingrays nearer and nearer.
The stingrays were so near that I began scampering about just like a screeching tourist to avoid any possibility of touching the stingrays. Brian firmly reminded me to keep my feed on the ground as I wouldn’t want to land on one of the stingrays. I calmed down just long enough to observe the first feeding. Woah!
Brian said that the stingray felt like a giant vacuum as it sucked the squid out of his hand. I’d had plenty of excitement already and positioned myself on the edge of the dinghy to watch the tourist and stingray show while Brian, Matt, and Jessica continued to swim with these magnificent creatures.