Swimming with Stingrays
If there is water anywhere close by, I feel like I'm supposed to be in it. I am such a water baby. I'm not a strong swimmer. I only took swimming lessons about 2 years ago. Actually, my parents put me in swimming lessons when I was a child. But I refused to swim without using one hand to cover my nose. I figured that covering my nostrils with one hand was hampering my whole badass persona. So I enrolled myself into adult swimming lessons. Best decision of my life! I'm no Michael Phelps or anything, but at least I can tread water and get from point A to point B.
When I travel, I always look for activities that involve water. I'm thinking swimming with stingrays is as badass as you're gonna get. When I asked around in Cayman Islands, everyone told me that Stingray City is a must see when visiting. Hmmmmmmm... Stingrays are deadly no? Yes, yes they are. But I didn't graduate from the Badass Academy of Badassery with Honours for being scared to take risks.
I went on this beautiful yacht (well it was probably more like a boat, but I feel fancy saying yacht) and set sail for Stingray City. What I love about travelling solo is that people automatically want to talk to me. I'm not sure if they think I'm lonely, but hey I'm always up for a chat. When we docked at Stingray City, a lady from Michigan stopped me and asked me my name and where I was from. From the outside looking in, she was being friendly. But I secretly think that she was trying to get info in case I just didn't make it with the stingrays! You know, at least she'd be able to tell my mom about my final words. Ha!
The strangest thing was, when I finally got into the water I wasn't scared. Wait...let me rephrase. I wasn't as scared as I thought that I would be. I'm not gonna lie, I did jump a few times. You know when something unexpectedly grazes past your foot. Well I jumped whenever one of the stingrays did that. Like can a girl get a little personal space?
Even though we were way out in the water, it wasn't deep. It kinda reminded me of the Nylon Pool in Tobago. You're in the middle of the sea, and when you get out the boat the water is about thigh high.
Another great spot for an amazing water experience is Luminous Lagoon in Falmouth Jamaica.
This body of water is where fresh water meets salt water, and the combination of the two gives a luminous almost fluorescent colour. Apparently this only happens four places in the whole world.
Let me first give you a back story about how I ended up there. I was in Jamaica solo dolo. This time around I was staying at an all inclusive hotel. Listen, sometimes your girl just enjoys luxury and not having the responsibility of finding meals; It's all there waiting for me. My brother just happened to be in Jamaica as well at another hotel. We decided to meet up and go to KFC. (Please see my previous post about KFC in Jamaica.) So I hired a taxi driver to pick me up, then pick up my brother at his hotel. The taxi driver had a little crush on me and told me he wanted to show me somewhere special. He goes on to tell me that where he wants to take me, we have to go at night when it's dark. Now I may not be a genius, but I definitely didn't fall off of a turnip truck either! There's no way I'm going with a complete stranger somewhere "in the dark"...but alas, my curiosity was killing me. So I accepted his invitation only if my brother could tag along with me.
When we got there it was pitch black as you looked out at the water. The guides there told us we had to go out on a boat to see the full view. Maybe about 5 minutes into the boat ride, all the water that the boat splashed became fluorescent. It was amazing. If there were fish in the water, you could see them clearly as they were lit up. After about 10 minutes they stopped the boat and told us that we can jump in and swim... Who? Me? Listen, it is pitch black out and I wasn't a strong swimmer.
After I was reassured by the guides that it was safe, given a life jacket, and trying my best not to look like a punk in front of my taxi driver date, I went in! I might have been in a whole 2 minutes, but the point is I went in and it was magnificent.
Here's a video that my brother created, because my camera was complete garbage at night.
Things to know:
-Apparently there are 2 kinds of stingrays in Caymans. These stingrays are not the same stingrays that killed Steve Irwin. I would not be in that water if it was. My badassery has limits.
-I was on a booze cruise when I went to see the Nylon Pool in Tobago. The only problem was my friend and I were the only ones on the boat!!! The tour guide neglected to tell us that no one else booked. While we were chilling on No Man's Land (literally...no men were there!) A dude swooped by in a speed boat and picked us up. We peaced out to our tour guide real quick. He brought us to another booze cruise that was hype. The only problem was we needed to get from one boat to the other. We looked like we were just out of a James Bond movie! While both boats were moving we jumped from one boat to the next then slid through a narrow window to get inside! Honestly, you would have thought I was a stunt double in a Jackie Chan movie! Please do not try this at home. Man, I didn't choose to be gangsta, it's like gangsta just chose me!
-I absolutely sent someone in first at the Luminous Lagoon. Are you crazy? I've seen this in many movies, and it never ends well. The cute cuddly girl always dies first! So I had to make sure everything was good in there before I even put my big toe in! Don't judge me!!!!