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Stingray City – Cayman’s only, and best, city

8 May 2016

I lived in London for more than a dozen years and really enjoyed the place, but I’m really not a city boy.  London is a great place, more an organic sprawl of conjoined towns and villages than a metropolis. Cayman certainly doesn’t boast a metropolis, but is famous for one city – “Stingray City”. At a sand bar in the North Sound (a stretch of water enclosed by the Island on three sides and the reef on the fourth) you can stand in waist deep water, surrounded by Stingrays. Fisherman gutted their catch there for years, attracting stingrays which now gather to be fed squid by the tourists. It’s a surreal experience, but an amazing one. It’s a bit of a misnomer actually, the “real” Stingray City” is a dive site, the sandbar that most people visit is Stingray Sandbar, sort of in the suburbs of the city. It’s clear why the Stingrays commute, they stand to gain a lot at the sandbar.  The tourist boats arrive regularly and the Stingrays have become used to the presence of humans. The Stingrays have clearly grown reliant on this for regular feeding as in the days following rough weather, the Stingrays are certainly more frisky and eager to be fed.

There are a number of ways this can be done, plenty of tour providers on the island.  We always recommend Captain Marvins which encompasses two good snorkelling spots – one by the reef and another in some coral gardens where the fish are plentiful and we have often seen a lone Stingray or Eagle Ray.

However, if you really want to push the boat out (no pun intended) and the weather is right, you can do a jetski safari with Fat Fish Adventures. This trip takes in a snorkelling spot where we have seen turtles and rays, but also stops off at either Starfish Point (named for the abundant Starfish that gather on the beach there) or at Kaibo where you can try their famous mudslide. We’ve been out with Fat Fish a few times with different guests.  The best was my brother’s birthday when the weather was calm and the North Sound was like glass.  We hit full speed on the jetskis and the water was so flat and clear that it felt like we were flying over the bed of the Sound. Either way you do it, it’s a must have experience in Cayman.

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