Advantages A new experience, bragging rights, conversation stopper down the local
Disadvantages I don't like seeing animals 'caged' really
Stingray City – quite a name, huh? Could it be an Arizona hot-spot for Corvette haters? Well perhaps, but it’s not. Could it be a town in Queensland, Australia, perhaps conveniently located between Porpoise Spit and Dolphin Promontory? Well again, yes it could, but it isn’t.Stingray City is the place just off the north coast of the Caribbean island of Antigua where you can swim with real, live stingrays.
A 30-minute coach ride from the capital of St John, over to the north coast of the island, the Stingray City operation at Seaton’s Village sits right on a section of coast in-between two headlands. They have some outdoor space and picnic tables for you to sit at whilst you’re waiting and facilities for you to change into swimming gear if you want – some people put on wet suits and so on, too – the snorkeling is good.
These are dangerous animals. Most of us are aware of the Aussie naturalist Steve Irwin who recently tragically died as a result of a sting and these are full size rays – but they are also accustomed to people and of course they know that the visitors also mean squid, so they are actually rather like big, aquatic puppies. They brush past and you can touch them – the instructors/staff tell you what you can and cannot do, including not lifting them too far up, in order not to distress them. You are also warned to watch out because, whilst they do not bite, they can give you a nasty suck and leave a mark a bit like a love bite.(Imagine, for a moment, trying to explain that one away: No honest, I just got a slightly firm kiss from an over-affectionate stingray…)
For the next 10 minutes, most of the guests rather gingerly walked/floated/swam about.
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