Stingray City, Grand Cayman


Stingray City, Grand Cayman

s are found in abundance and visitors can feed, pet, and interact with the animals.

Location

Stingray City is located in the shallow waters of the northwest corner of Grand Cayman's North Sound. It is just inside a natural channel that passes through the barrier reef and consists of a string of sand bars that crosses the North Sound from Morgan Harbor to Rum Point.

Stingray City and a second site near Rum Point Channel called Sandbar are known throughout the world and have been featured on prestigious television documentaries and seen as underwater advertising backdrops for everything from automobiles to batteries.

Kissing the stingrays is believed to bring "seven years of good luck".Fact|date=June 2008

History

Local legend has it that the stingrays began gathering in the area decades ago when fisherman would return from an excursion and navigate behind a reef into the sound and clean the fish in the calm water of the shallows and sand bar area. The fish guts were simply thrown overboard and the stingrays eventually congregated to feast on the discarded guts. Soon the stingrays began to associate the sound of a boat engine with a free meal. As this practice turned into a tradition, local divers realized that the stingrays could be fed by hand. In 1987, Skin Diver Magazine sent a reporter to do an article on this anomaly which fascinated the world.

Getting there

There are three ways to experience the rays, and each involves a short boat ride to the sandbar area at the North Sound.

* The most popular is a snorkeling trip, which has been called the best snorkeling experience in the world. This trip normally occurs in the heart of the sandbar where the water is only 3 to 5 feet deep.
* The second way to experience Stingray City is as a SCUBA diver. Dive groups consist of ten to twenty divers, wearing no fins as they may hurt the congregating stingrays. The divers are over-weighted, which keeps them on the bottom and the dive master swims from diver to diver dispersing diced squid and fish pieces. Stingrays quickly surround the divers.
* The third way to experience Stingray City is via glass bottom boat, which is an alternative if the weather is too windy for snorkeling.

References

* Backstrom , D. (1999, 02, 17). Stingray City . Retrieved August 29, 2006, from The world's greatest 12' dive! Web site: http://www.cayman.org/divesite/stingray.htm/
* Garrison, L. (n.d.). Stingray City on Grand Cayman Island. Retrieved August 29, 2006, from About Web site: http://cruises.about.com/cs/caribbeanports/a/stingray_city.htm/
* Layman , L. (2004). Stingray City, Grand Cayman. Retrieved August 30, 2006, from Be Stingray Friendly Web site: http://www.stingraycity.org/studio/
* Button, M. (2008). Stingray City, Grand Cayman. Retrieved May 1, 2008, from Moby Dick Tours Web site: http://www.mobydicktours.com/Stingray-City/Stingray-City.html

External links

* [http://cruises.about.com/cs/caribbeanports/a/stingray_city.htm/ Caribbean Shore Excursion]
* [http://www.cayman.org/divesite/stingray.htm/ North Sound, Grand Cayman]
* [http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=grand+cayman&ie=UTF8&z=18&ll=19.375729,-81.304815&spn=0.003522,0.006781&t=h&om=1 Stingray City on Google Maps]


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