Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Stingray Sandbar Trip

This morning we took a charter with Captain Crosby on his snorkel trimaran.  It was clear but cloudy with a fair breeze but no swell in the sheltered bay behind the reef.  Although the plan was for Wren & Josh to stay home, it turned out that our family of four were the only passengers, and it was not worthwhile to go with just two SO Josh and Wren came along.

Wren was only partly happy - he wanted to be home.  He says "It was fun and I got to see the stingray kind of out of the water and I got to see one school of fish.  I saw another stingray that was very demanding and wanted to take all the food from Mom and Frost and there were lots of seagulls flapping their wings in the wind but they could not move forward at all."
Stingray Sandbar - surrounded by hungry rays after our squid
Frost and I had a ball, we both love snorkeling and both go to hold and feed the stingrays.  They have been trained by years of feeding to congregate and 'feed from hand' fairly gently.  That said, they are big and demanding.  After you feed one a piece of squid, 5 or 6 huge stingrays swim around you and press up against you trying to get in position near the surface to be fed.  If you hold onto the squid too long they slurp your hand into their mouth - this is not sore but very peculiar.  One slurped my hand across his ridged teeth.

Frost was very entertained by them.  We both held them and stroked their skin which is soft and jelly-like underneath but firm and sandpapered on top.  Captain Crosby, who was one of the original feeders and habituaters of the rays, is a local Cayman who was a laid-back and informative Captain.  He showed us how to hold the rays, feed them and also took us to a popular snorkeling location where we were mobbed by sergeant-majors, stop-light parrot fish, tang, squirrelfish, scrawled filefish, needle-fish, wrasse and many others.

On the way home we stopped off for some Popeyes Fried Chicken which Josh said was an East coast 'thing'.  Frost had sides.  I am going to swim out to the reef in front of our house this afternoon.

No comments: