Monday, September 04, 2006


Years ago I went on a Carribean cruise that included a stop in Grand Cayman. While there, my then-girlfriend and I went to an attraction known as Stingray City. Stingray City is an area in the waters off Grand Cayman where stingrays congregate. The water is shallow, and folks boat people out to the area so you can commune with the rays. Along the way, you're told how dangerous they really aren't, just try not to step on them. I was somewhat pumped at the idea of snorkeling with the stingrays.

Once we arrived on scene, things quickly deteriorated. First, there were several boats there and throngs of people. Second, the water was too shallow and too crowded for actual swimming/snorkeling, meaning you'd have to walk around (trying not to step on the stingrays). The plan was to step down ladder at the back of the boat then work your way to the front of the boat to get back on, if you so desired.

I didn't make it to the front of the boat. I got off the ladder, got hit by a small wave, and was instantly freaked beyond reason. "Fuck this," I thought, and climbed back up the rear ladder (my girlfriend, to her credit, made it to the front of the boat before coming to the "fuck this" conclusion). Tromping around with dozens of strangers in a patch of ocean where I couldn't see my feet while trying not to trod upon the stingrays was not my idea of a good time.

Why do I tell this tale (aside from the amusement of everyone I've ever told it to - at my expense, no less!)? Because I feel somewhat vindicated about my stingray fears now that Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, has been sent to the great game preserve in the sky (sea?) after being stung by a stingray.

Ironically, he was in the process of filming a documentary called Ocean's Deadliest, which was not (originally, at least) supposed to include the stingray.

1 comment:

Dima said...

The irony in life is just nuts!