The "waiting area" for our excursion was right off the pier, and we had a little time to wander the shops and look at all the Grand Cayman Kitsch before hopping on a bus that took us to the other side of the skinny island. From there, we loaded onto a patioish boat, and shuttled out to the part of the sand bar called "Stingray City."
SPLOOSH into the water, and all of the sudden we were surrounded by more stingrays than you can shake a didjeridoo at. The two guys who were crewing our boat went out and brought a small herd back to us. We got to hold them and pet them and give them smooches. Some folks got stingray backrubs. They were very much like eager dogs. They'd swim up and rub up against you until they realized you, specifically, weren't holding on to any food for them, then they'd move on to someone else.
It may have been the coolest thing ever. We were standing in waist deep bright blue waters, at least a mile from land in any direction, surrounded by a bonzer load of sting rays. There was even one that was born without a tail. Her name was Frisbee.
From Stingray City, we moved on to a coral garden and snorkeled there for a while, looking at the coral and tropical fish, and drinking alot of sea water as we (I) dunked my head too deep and flooded our (my) snorkel.
On the way back to shore, we stopped briefly, and one of the guides dove off the boat and came back up with a conch shell. He pulled the conch out from inside, and brought it around for us all to examine, and then he cleaned it and we all munched on some fresh conch sashimi.
Back on shore, we had lunch and mudslides at Hammerheads, where we were caught in a sudden, extended tropical downpour. Thankfully table umbrellas kept us MOSTLY not wet while we ate (and drank).
After a brief bit of shopping, it was back to the ship where we sailed slowly away from a really really neat place. Apparently if you want to move there, you can stay for up to 7 years before you have to go home. Tempting.
All the swimming and the seawater swallowing made me a little achey and sore, so I tried to nap a bit after dinner, and before going to see the comedian in the Degas Lounge. Then it was off to early bed. Sweet, sweet, early bed.