Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cruise - Day 4 - Grand Cayman

Oh my cow, I am sunburned.

I tried not to be sunburned. I wore SPF 15 yesterday and then SPF 30 today (and kept my shorts on so the burned spot on my leg that I acquired in Cozumel would be covered), but still, my face looks slightly lobster-y. Makeup covers that fairly well, though the strap lines on my chest are pretty pronounced.

Today was Grand Cayman. Have you ever seen the water in Cayman? It's ridiculous. I took a point sample of the color in the photo of the water in Photoshop, and it was #3aa9c7. YEAH. I KNOW.

So the plan was to have breakfast, walk off the ship, meet up with the tour we had booked, which would take us to Stingray City and snorkeling along the reef.

That was the plan.

We did have breakfast. Then, we realized that it was impossible to walk off the ship. Because said ship was still in the middle of the ocean.

Evidently, in Cayman, the ships don't dock. They anchor and a smaller (much, much, rockier) boat takes you to shore. That whole process can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours.

We had 30 minutes. Which is far less than 3 hours, in case you were wondering.

We went to get our ticket to get off the boat, and got number 13. They had called numbers 1-4 in the last hour. So we did the only thing we knew how to do: we told the cruise people we were dumb. And it worked. They believed us. Because it was true.

So we got onto a boat on time, which was great, though the tiny boat rocks a whole heck of a lot more than the regular-sized boat and YES, Mandy gets seasick. But I held it together long enough to get to shore... and head to the next boat. Fortunately, I had taken some Dramamine this morning so by the time we got to the second one I was feeling more "Wooooo! Let's get this party started!" and less "Uuuuuuuuggghhhhhh. We partied TOO MUCH LAST NIGHT."

The trip we booked was AWESOME. It was a relatively small boat and there were only about 20 of us on it. Perfection.

Our first stop was Stingray City, a sandbar out in the middle of the ocean near Cayman in which tourists go play with puppy-like stingrays. However, these stingrays were far bigger than puppies. They were more like 5-6 feet across. And they were NOT SHY AT ALL.

As soon as I jumped off the boat and found a place to stand among the stingrays, a huge one swam right up behind me, plowed into my legs and burrowed under the sand below me, flipping me right off my feet. That sucker was STRONG.

When I finally got out of the water, I found the squid that everybody seemed to be afraid of and began feeding them. Their mouths are underneath their bodies and when you hold the squid under there they suck it right out of your hand like a vacuum. It was pretty cool. We also did our obligatory "hold this sting ray and pose like you're kissing it for our photographer (read: lady with point-and-shoot-camera and waterproof housing for said camera) and then buy our waaaaay overpriced pictures." We posed. We didn't buy.

Our second stop was Cayman's barrier reef, where they let us off to do some snorkeling. The water was nice and clear and the reef was a nice place to snorkel, except that the top of the reef was only about an inch under water, and therefore impossible to snorkel over. At some point I got caught in the reef, tried to swim out, and in doing so, slammed the entire front of of my body into a part of a reef that was sticking up pretty high. Not fun. Reefs feel very much like rocks, though evidently they are living. The boat man told us that the touch of one finger tip will kill a square foot of reef. If that's the case, I definitely killed a lot of it today with the front half of my body. Serves it right for attacking me like that. Take that, barrier reef. You think about that for five years while you rejuvenate again.

The rest of the day was uneventful. The MckCruisers all met back at the ship later for dinner and then a game night, where I learned that Jennifer McKinney is ridiculously competitive and does not take the rules of Catch Phrase or Mad Gab lightly, and that my new friend Jessica needs quite the lesson on anatomy. Exhibit A:

Lori, giving a clue for 'large intestine' during Catch Phrase: "Two words for your colon!"
Jessica: "Butt crack!"

Although to be fair to Jessica, there were quite a few anatomy answers that were more than a little off base. Perhaps more than a few of us need anatomy lessons.

Angela is sleeping now (or pretending to sleep while she is secretly annoyed with the fact that I am still typing in our room), and we have an adventuresome day in Jamaica planned tomorrow, so for now, I will say goodnight.
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