I’ve always been one for the water. I don’t know if it’s because of the fact that I have been on an island surrounded by water all my life, or if in some other alternate universe or past life, I was a fish. Perhaps a mermaid. I always wondered what I’d do with a tail, but I quite like my legs, and wouldn’t trade them for a tail. What if both my legs were tails? Okay… let me pull myself out of this one, before I fall into some sort of drug induced dream. Not the drugs you’d think, by the way, I’ve recently experienced a horrible bout of the flu, and so you see, in my drug induced stupor (did I say that already?) I find myself having dreams of being completely submerged in a body of water.
The sea is known for its healing properties, and there’s nary a grandmother, or mother, or auntie out there who, after wrapping up a child in sour-sop leaves and a warm bath, or boiling garlic and ginger, wouldn’t at least once entertain the thought of taking that child to the beach, and dunking them head first in the water. After which, they’d put their mouths to their tiny little noses, and for want of a better phrase, “suck the snot out”. These are fond childhood memories which flood me now. Feeling the warmth of my grandmother swaddling me when sick, and that yearning for the type of care and love, now as an adult. As a matter of fact, I found myself practicing the same technique when a little cousin of mine was sick a few weeks ago, seeing her little smile, warmed my heart.
I suppose that’s enough sentimentality for one day, I can hardly remember what I had started writing about! Ah! Yes, the sea… I love taking drives along our coast, and sometimes even beach hopping. With 365 beaches, there are more than enough to choose from! This particular Tuesday morning, found me at Stingray City, more for work, to be honest, than pleasure, but still a fun trip all around!
I was greeted by the friendly staff and crew, who also introduced me to one heck of a rum punch! “Come for the stingrays, stay for the Punch” should be their motto, in my opinion, but I digress. I joined the crew on their boat as we sped off towards the open seas. The wind was rushing past my face, playing with my hair; the sun was beaming down, as drops of water caressed us as we careened along. The rush was certainly something to get used to, and I loved every minute of it!
We soon arrived at our destination. There was a shallow body of water, cordoned off where we were made to stay inside and interact with the Sting Rays. The guys had buckets of squid, meant for feeding, and the stingrays wasted no time in consuming their meal. We were allowed to hold the stingrays in our hands, and take photos. Needless to say, I was screaming and jumping all over the place like a madman! Those creatures are slimy! The way they slid past my feet on the ocean floor, had me dangling between “I don’t want to step on them!” and “I don’t want to slip and fall”. My cries certainly attracted attention, I can only imagine what I looked like to the rest of the visitors! Squeamishness aside, I resolved to hold onto one of the Sting Rays, and take my photo. This was GOING to happen!
The water was warm, and we were having a jolly good time with our new friends. One of the crew members told me that the stingrays fed them up to 70 pounds of squid daily, but they were also able to hunt if they needed to. They feed on anything from sea worms, sea snails, shrimp, clams and oysters. Just then, a pregnant stingray swam by, you could tell by how bulged her underside was.
I had the drone with me and took it up for a spin, getting a couple shots in. Just then, one of the guys came over and told me just last week, they had a tourist, who sent his drone “home” and watched helplessly as it swam with the fishes. Definitely not a story I wanted to hear out there in the open whilst operating such machinery!
As we made our way back to land, I asked the crew members if they minded getting a photo taken, to which they agreed. Back at the base, I explored the area. There were various birds and creatures in cages on the property. After a few more cups of rum punch, and a general feel good vibe, I bid the fellas farewell, mentally preparing for my next adventure, and certainly glad I had a great day.