Saturday, August 18, 2012
Reef, Rays, and Rum Point in Grand Cayman
Just catching my breath after our amazing cruise this summer...and the top of my list was our excursion during our day in Grand Cayman. We booked our excursion thru Nativeway, who we found at the top of the list on Tripadvisor for about $60 for adults and $50 for kids. They picked us up from the cruise ship dock and took us and several of our fellow passengers to a nearby marina. They had two boats waiting for us and we were super lucky to be pointed in the direction of the "TrippinOut" ran by Captain Chris and Assistant Andrew. We sat down and got comfy as we rode thru the canals and marveled at the beautiful homes, then we hit the open waters and raced towards Stingray City. We were apprehensive to jump into the water-first because it seems so strange to have 3 foot deep water in the middle of the ocean, but second because the stingray were HUGE! Crazy as it was when Chris got in the water, one of the biggest ones came up to him and "jumped" into his arms! I truly believe this creature recognized him and he even said he affectionately named her big mama. It takes a few minutes to convince yourself that these are truly gentle giants, but after they glide up against your legs a few times-it is evident that they are just curious about you and friendly. We had the opportunity to feed them, to hold them, get our backs massaged by them and I even gave one lucky boy a kiss! We spent almost an hour there and could have stayed forever just watching how graceful they are in the water. We soon motored over to another local called Coral Gardens where we dropped anchor and snorkeled. Chris and Andrew helped all the kids figure out their snorkel gear and in we went. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF MY CHILDREN WERE SNORKELING WITHIN MINUTES! They took to it quickly and couldn't get enough of the underwater adventure. One of the girls said it was just like putting her head in the fish tank! I couldn't have said it any better....millions of different fish, coral, and even a barracuda stopped by to see what we were doing! They had to force us back into the boat after about 2 hours but then we headed to Rum Pointe. On our way there-Andrew called in our lunch orders and the food was waiting for us when we stepped onto the dock. We had Mahi-Mahi, red beans and rice, corn and fried bananas...it hit the spot! We ate on the beach full of palm trees and plenty of shade, clean bathrooms and showers, crystal clear water and white sand, hammocks and beach chairs, and a cash bar. We swam and relaxed some more and thoroughly enjoyed our time here. It was mentioned several times by all how we could easily live HERE! After Chris and Andrew convinced us that we had to return to the cruise ship-we hoped back on TrippinOut for the ride back to the marina. Somewhere in the middle of the ocean, Chris stopped the boat and Andrew just jumped in---we were all a little baffled when he suddenly came to the surface with the biggest starfish I have ever seen. There are no words to describe what a beauty this creature was. He carefully kept it hydrated while we checked it out and took pictures and then jumped back in to take it home. We were sad to leave our boat and our new friends but truly feel that we had the adventure of a lifetime here. The owner of the company, Sharon, picked us up and delivered us straight back to our cruise ship after a interesting conversation about how she got to Cayman and the business and all. I promised her I would tell all...and here I go...I will recommend Nativeway Watersports to anyone who wants to do any excursion in Grand Cayman! They have the system down pat and enjoy what they do.