After my embalming in Playa del Carmen I was thankful for a restful day at sea. Nothing like sitting up on the topless deck, tanning your tata’s while hungover. UGH. You would think an 896′ ship weighing over 100,000 tons would cut through waves instead of riding them. Good grief – I was green!
My next port was the Grand Cayman Island. I did absolutely ZERO drinking during those 12 hours inland. I acted like a complete tourist and visited the Turtle Farm, Stingray City and the post office in Hell. Let’s start with the Turtle Farm.
The Turtle Farm smelled like a huge sulfur-y fart. The end.
I’m just kidding. It did smell bad but after 20 minutes or so I got used to it and couldn’t smell it anymore. The farm was pretty awesome. There were large white concrete tanks full of sea turtles in various stages of life; hatch-ling to prehistoric. I’d never seen a turtle so big in all my life. The biggest one I saw had to be as big as Frank’s Chevette, and probably just as old. (previous post) This turtle was sporting a velvety slime-green coat- he was a very distinguished old man. When he swam, he didn’t flap his flippers like the rest of the sea turtles, instead he cruised by in a slow, sexy manner. This mack-turtle had been around the block!! The babies were my favorite. OMG they were so sweet. There was this one baby, I called him, ‘Runt’ because he was just so miniscule compared to his family. I wanted to steal him, I really did. Getting Runt off the farm and home would have been a cake walk; it was what to do with him when he outgrew my 55 gallon tank that had me stumped. (sigh) Needless to say, I had to leave Runt behind and yes… I was heartbroken.
The next stop was lunch. I don’t remember much about it except the waitress wanted me to try a dolphin sandwich. I kept trying to be nice by telling her, “No thank you,” but she just kept trying to sell it until I got pissed and I snipped, “Look lady, I’m not eating a f*%#ing porpoise!!” She left. So did I. Much later on that day I figured out that ‘dolphin’ wasn’t a dolphin as in the dolphin, “Flipper,” it was actually a dolphin fish. Embarrass. Well, how was I supposed to know that? I’m not from the tropics and all the description said was, ‘dolphin.’
Stingray City was next. Again I ended up on a little boat that looked like the S.S. Minnow- no joke. It was loaded down with too many people and the captain looked like Fat Albert. I sat on the edge holding on to some rope for dear life trying not to fly off and out into the Gulf as the Minnow crashed into the wake of the shallows. This was probably the first time I had ever be scared in my entire life. When we finally reached the shallows, I stripped off my outer layer, once again donned my fins and snorkel gear and fell back into the ocean. The fish were dense and shined like glitter in the sun. I saw some coral and I wanted to touch it but no matter how hard I tried, I could not get to the small reef. I wanted to but the salt content was so high I couldn’t sink more than a few feet. Most of the time I just float on the surface like a damn frog.
A little beyond the reef was the shallow area that I could stand in and apparently where the rays would come in. I kept dipping under the water looking through my mask, trying to see a stingray. Nada. Then out of nowhere it happened; a sudden darkness went over my head blocking out the sun. It was enormous!! Then every direction I looked there were rays. Little one, big ones.. HUGE ONES!!! Just like a little kid chasing a duck in the park, I was chasing rays. I seriously tried to touch every single one of them. They felt sooo soft- and reminded me of portabella mushrooms. Fat Albert handed out small buckets of squid to feed to the rays.. then the magic happened. The rays came, swimming in flocks; like aqua-birds they flapped their wings. Holding up the squid they’d come and gently suck it from my hand. One ray loved me so much he let me hold him while he sucked a huge hickey on my chest!! (explain that one to your parents!) I wanted to steal him too, I really did.
From Stingray City I went to Hell – literally. There’s a place called, Hell, Grand Cayman and they had a post office that I of course had to send a postcard from (like every other Tom, Dick & Harry) I sent it to myself because I’m an only child, its what we do. hahaha. Hell wasn’t anything great to look at unless you’re into black limestone formations- which I’m not.
And that was my trip to Grand Cayman. Not as funny as Mexico but way better.