Friday, February 13, 2009
Day 6 Grand Turk and swimming with rays
You tube video swimming with rays
Our last port day on the cruise, Grand Turk was a surprise. We didn't have enough time to explore the island since again, we signed up for an excursion. This one was by default, since it was the only snorkel trip still available, and included petting sting rays. Hmmm. We weren't too sure of that one, but really wanted to see more fish, so thought that maybe an excursion was the way to do that. After all, we even brought our own shiny new snorkel gear for this trip!
As we boarded the excursion boat, it began to dawn on me that we were going to actually snorkel in deep water, no walking in slowly from the beach, this was going to be a jump off the boat kind of thing. Gibbs Cay is just a spit of sand in view of the island, but we weren't any where near either one when the cool snorkel dudes stopped the boat and showed us how to jump down the ladders.
At first it was a bit daunting, but with the inflatable snorkel vests and the warm water it was just fine. I loved it. The reef was lovely, and there were some fish, but still nothing like we saw in Hawaii. It was hard sometimes to keep track of locations, and once I felt trapped in an area with reef all around me and no way over it, but I found my way back eventually. A great experience.
We all got back in the boat and headed for the beach on Gibbs Cay. Our guide warned us to stay calm when the rays swam around our legs, told us they liked people and were extremely friendly. It was an experience, to say the least. We would all be looking at him holding this huge thing, when suddenly more would sidle up behind us and suddenly you would feel them around your legs. Strange, and yes, difficult to stay calm and not get a bit freaky. All in all, a great experience though, even after he did admit that yes, these were the same sting rays that had killed the croc hunter. Hmmm. I watched that stinger whip around a few times and wondered if this was really where I wanted to be, but now that it's over, I'm really glad we did it. it.