Cayman Islands. wowza, Hopefully the pictures speak for themselves but wow what a beautiful place! Jamaica wowed us with the clear waters but the Cayman Islands blew us away with the turquoise waters and friendly people. Morgan and I had absolutely no knowledge about the Cayman Islands when we set off on our week long get away to the Caribbean. Normally, I have throughly researched our destinations, learned the ins and outs and have a pretty good idea of what I am getting into, but not this time. Perhaps coming to the Island with an untainted mind, is what helped us truly fall in love with it. The only thing we had heard was that "the Stingrays" was something we would not regret experiencing. Now, we all know that fish freak me out, I have openly and candidly confessed my irrational fear of fish. As I stepped out into the Cayman sun, the excitement of completely submerging myself in this getaway allowed me to be completely mesmerized by the tranquil waters and white sands, taking in the perfect sun rays while snapping pictures of all the trees, seemed to mask this fear so that may be why I had no reserve on hoping on a bus heading on a boat taking us 30 min out into the ocean to have a one on one sesh with a whole slew of stingrays...
Here we are! on our way to the sandbar ( what is a sandbar anyways?.... I'm about to find out! ) located out in the middle of the ocean, 30 min out from land on a bumpy boat, this was the only time Morgan really had to focus on not tossing his cookies overboard. It really hadn't hit me, what exactly we were about to do, I was just on this Cayman high and ready to experience. On the Boat on the way over to this sandbar, I was preoccupied with fitting my camera, with its new underwater casing I ended up ordering it a week before we left off of amazon and it was instrumental in capturing such raw photos on our trip but especially, in the next few hours.
Turns out, the Sandbar was a spot in the middle of the ocean that is actually pretty shallow, we met up with a group of other boats who had the same intentions. We pulled up, the anchor was dropped and thats when I saw them... the giant black blobs gliding through that beautifully blue cayman water... Uhm... who's idea was this?? Well, I was here and we paid our money so... I did it, I jumped off the boat and exposed myself to the vast ocean and the creatures it holds...
You guys, THEY WERE EVERYWHERE!!!
The two rules we had to follow was to not jump, or grab onto their tail (the stinger). Well what else am I supposed to do when a giant sea creature is streamlining straight towards my heart?! Dramatic I know, but really, they are a little freaky! I quickly came up with the perfect strategy, the second these stingrays got too close I would wrap my arm around Morgan's neck and like a deadweight, lift my legs out of the water and wait for the danger to pass... I'm serious. No shame.
Morgan was brave enough to actually feed them! I was not a fan of clutching onto a nasty giant shrimpy thing so I confidently declined and watched Morgan get mauled as they swarmed looking for food. Once the food came out, there were more and more rays swimming around and both Morgan and I had had our fill so we moved out of the way and stood out on the outskirts while awing at
1. how brave we were and 2. these amazing creatures.
Turns out that if you kiss the a stingray you have 7 years good luck.... oh man talk about sketchy! I was completely panicked but I did it! I am going to feel very cheated if these next 7 years aren't complete bliss! haha
We Did it! We got smashed by waves after waves, swallowed more of the Caymans than we intended, almost lost Morgan's sunglasses, faced a fear and KISSED A STINGRAY!!! what the heck?! That was an experience that I will never forget and would for sure recommend it to everyone!
So off to our next adventure! I honestly could not say how long we were out there playing with the stingrays, all I can tell you was that the adrenaline rush was insane and made it almost a blur. So much of a blur that on our way back to the shore, I realized that I had completely exhausted my already low camera battery by my excessive clicking away for hours and hours... oops! haha no worries though, We had our phones with us for the sole purpose to snap some shots. Off to the next stop... the Sea Turtle farm!!
So this Sea Turtle farm is all about well, more Sea turtles, they had them all separated by age with appropriate sized cages. I was a little hesitant heading over there, worried it would be inhumane with it being called a "farm" but I didn't get that impression at all. After sanitizing our hands, they told us how to hold the turtles and to tickle the top of their heads or under their chins to pamper our little guy. aren't these guys the cutest!? I would be lying if i said i wasn't in heaven!
I was cautiously optomistic that I may actually be able to HOLD a sea turtle so you can imagine my excitement when we headed over to the tanks of "little guys" and we got the green light! We had to sanitize our hands and learned that we had to grab on to either side of their shells like you would hold a sandwich with both hands and pick them up out of the water to hold them. Some of the little guys would pop up and be as chill as could be but then others would flap their little fins all over the place smacking their heads and our hands like they were throwing a tantrum! You'll see in some of the pictures we have our pointer finger under their chins, that is because immediately after you started to scratch their chins they were totally cool with being held it seemed to be magic watching them go to a complete frantic freak out to pure bliss. There was no room for hesitation when going in to pick one up though, Morgan had to call it when he tried to reach in and didn't get a firm grip so when the turtle pushed off to swim away his finger got cut on the guys shell! Good thing was that it happened at the very end so we had both gotten our fair share with the handsome devils.
The only regret we left with was letting time get away from us so we weren't able to take a bottle of sand as a souvenir. We did however find our traditional picture frame which was a higher priority. Since our honeymoon, Morgan and I alway try to purchase a picture frame from our vacations. It has been a fun tradition and is on its way to becoming quite the collection. Even without the sand, The Grand Cayman Islands became an easy favorite. From the beautiful crystal blue water, conquering some major fears and meeting Crush and Squirt in the flesh, we were WIPED out to say the least. You better believe we slept well and dreamed peacefully. If you ever get the chance, go to the Caymans!