Today for Travel Tuesday I want to take you on a Stingray Adventure. Dive, Snorkel & Swimming with Stingray's. It's an incredibly fun activity to do if your visiting a island or place seaside community that allows.
I actually went diving with Stingray's in the Bahama's on Blackbeard's Cay, which is an island just north of Nassau.
The one I signed up for was a do it yourself swim. Meaning, you started on shore and you could swim out as far as you'd like to explore and swim with the Stingrays. However, as you'll notice in my dorky pictures below. They did make us wear a life jacket (of sorts),
One thing about life jackets, they make it a little hard to dive down into the water. Fortunately the ones they had us wear, had a little tube on the side and I could easily deflate it as I wanted when I got out into the water and wanted to swim deeper down. Oh and I did, thankfully it wasn't regulated so I could get away with that.
They also make you go in teams of two. For safety reasons. However, my friend discovered she was afraid to put her head under the water so I went on my own and left her at shore. I just kept my eyes on where others were, and if something happened at least she was there to know I should make it back.
I'll tell you a funny story about when we went swimming with the Stingray's. When we first signed up they made us sign a waiver. Neither my friend or I had any idea what danger their was with Stingrays. Believe it or not (yes I am going to admit my stupidity) but I actually thought that if their tales hit you then they stung you, like an electric sting of sorts.
Yes, I know laugh if you will. But looking back at it, I am glad that I didn't know they had barbs that shoot out at you from their tale if you get to close to their personal space. Because if I did know that, I probably wouldn't of dove in and swam down to try to catch them and catch a ride on them.
Fortunately, we were okay. After all, even though these Stingrays were in the open ocean of the Atlantic. They were however familiar with tourists in their waters swimming with them. They also know that tourists swimming means they bring food. So that is probably the reason you don't have to worry too much about getting a barb thrown at you. Because of Never Harm The Hand That Feeds You:)
(However, I should mention some places in family tourist area's where they have kids and families dive with Stingrays. They have it in enclosed area's where they remove the barbs. So if you want to go with full safety, that is probably one you'll want to consider, instead of an open water dive.
|One of these days I'm going to actually show pictures where I am|
wearing make-up with my hair done, LOL Until then, messy natural is what you get:)
Where I did this at, they had a time where you could swim back to the shallow shores. They handed out squid (as you can see me holding in some of the pictures. And you would actually get to feed the Stingrays yourself.
It's really fun, they don't really have teeth so there is no risk of getting bit. You just hold the squid down and they swim over your hand and suck up the squid. It feels funny, but it's a lot of fun.
(Remember above I embarrassingly mentioned how I mistakenly thought if their tales touched you, you got stung? Well after having them all around you and tales hitting you. I figured I was immune to their sting, LOL so I quit worry about it after that.)
Another thing this place did was allowed you to catch one and hold it long enough for one of the people there to snap your picture, and later sale it to you a little over priced:)
Well, I couldn't resist, I mean it's kind of a fun picture, don't you think!
Although I really wish they would have let me take the life jacket off first, LOL. It looks like we were in a pool, but we weren't its just Bahama's clear water:)
I mentioned above that I would dive down to try to grab a hold of the front of the Stingray and swim with them. I did do this, an I did catch a few short rides. However, I am going to go with the I don't recommend doing this, unless you go somewhere that they remove the barbs. Like I said, it was a good thing I was clueless. But people have actually gotten themselves killed by Stingray Barbs, so although it's rare, they can be dangerous if provoked. I don't think you're actually supposed to try to ride them...
So next time you are in a place where this is an option to do, I highly recommend giving it a try. Even if only done once, it's a lot of fun and really worth it. I had a great time! If you go, make sure to bring a waterproof camera so you can grab a few shots yourself of your dive.
Have you ever dive, snorkeled or swam with Stingrays? Did you enjoy it? If you haven't, is it something you'd like to try someday?