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WheresCherie.COM Quote
"One word frees us of all the weight and pain in life: That word is love." -- Sophocles, 406 B.C.

123--The Cayman Islands:Down Under
@ CherieSpotting     Mar 09 2003 - 07:43 PST
cherie writes: The Cayman Islands is proud of its hundreds of incredible dive spots. Two of my favorite dives are Stingray City in Grand Cayman and the MV Capt. Keith Tibbets in Cayman Brac.

Stingray City is touted in brochures as “the best 12-foot dive in the world.” I agree. You don’t even need to dive it, you can simply throw on a mask and snorkel and play with fifty (or more!) Southern stingrays that congregate there daily. We jumped off Scirocco and the rays swam right to us. Curious, they glide right past and then double back to circle you as if you were a stingray play-toy.


Years ago, fisherman used to dump their unsavory fish guts overboard at what is now known as “Stingray City.” The “free food” attracted the beautiful rays which were eager to find an easy meal. The tourist boats soon began to capitalize on the idea bringing hundreds of tourists to the spot daily to join in feeding the stingrays. We didn’t feed the rays, but we swam with them and caressed their silky velvet skin as they swam by. Sharing the water with these magnificent and friendly creatures was an experience I’ll never forget.

If swimming with rays isn’t your thing you should get yourself over to Cayman Brac where you can dive on the only Russian warship in the Western Hemisphere. The MV Capt Keith Tibbetts is 330 ft long, 68 ft high and sunk in 60 to 80 feet of water. The ship has numerous entry-points where you can explore the rusty interior. Ten fathoms below sea-level we circled the massive gun turrets, sunken reminders of the Cold War era. Tom, Greg, Mike and I explored the wreck swimming in and out of its cavernous belly. Since it is a Russian warship, does that make us spies?

The photos with * were taken by the underwater photographers at Dive Tiara.

Click on each picture to see it full size.

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Cherie touching the velvet-smooth skin of a Southern stingray.
*Photo by Tom.

Cherie touching the velvet-smooth skin of a Southern stingray. *Photo by Tom.

Black and yellow--It's important to "match" the fish you swim with.
*Photo by Tom.

Black and yellow--It's important to "match" the fish you swim with. *Photo by Tom.

Tom with a stingray.

Tom with a stingray.

Charlie, the 6 ft long Green moray eel.

Charlie, the 6 ft long Green moray eel.

I think this one wanted to kiss me!  (Look at his smile.)

I think this one wanted to kiss me! (Look at his smile.)

I wonder if his name is "Ray?"

I wonder if his name is "Ray?"

Tom.

Tom.

Cherie is friendly with the fish.

Cherie is friendly with the fish.

Feeding frenzy.

Feeding frenzy.

Why clean the bottom of your boat when you can let these guys do it for free!

Why clean the bottom of your boat when you can let these guys do it for free!

This stoplight parrotfish stopped for the photo. *

This stoplight parrotfish stopped for the photo. *

An Eagle ray soars like a bird through the sea. *

An Eagle ray soars like a bird through the sea. *

Queen angel fish. *

Queen angel fish. *

Squid. *

Squid. *

Green turtle. *

Green turtle. *

A Hawksbill turtle family photo. *

A Hawksbill turtle family photo. *

Hit the road Jack...(Horse-eye jack.) *

Hit the road Jack...(Horse-eye jack.) *

Why is this guy chasing me? *

Why is this guy chasing me? *

You won't see me with a red cape around this Bull shark. *

You won't see me with a red cape around this Bull shark. *

Just trying to shake the sand off his back. *

Just trying to shake the sand off his back. *

Here fishy, fishy, fishy. *

Here fishy, fishy, fishy. *

"I'm stuck." *

"I'm stuck." *

Notice the ship-wreck in the background. *

Notice the ship-wreck in the background. *

The 330 ft Russian frigate finally at rest. *

The 330 ft Russian frigate finally at rest. *

Since that's a Russian warship--they must be scuba spies! *

Since that's a Russian warship--they must be scuba spies! *

An eel wiggles himself back into the wreckage. *

An eel wiggles himself back into the wreckage. *

One fish, two fish, lots of blue fish. *

One fish, two fish, lots of blue fish. *

I wouldn't want to run into a group of groupers this big! *

I wouldn't want to run into a group of groupers this big! *

This weird thing is called a "rough filecam." *

This weird thing is called a "rough filecam." *

The gun turrets on the MV Capt. Keith Tibbetts. *

The gun turrets on the MV Capt. Keith Tibbetts. *

Exploring the belly of the ship. *

Exploring the belly of the ship. *

He's doing a fly-by. *

He's doing a fly-by. *

She's swabbing the deck! *

She's swabbing the deck! *

Jewfish are the largest of the groupers.  That one will feed a small country! *

Jewfish are the largest of the groupers. That one will feed a small country! *

Fish thoughts: "Get away from that guy!  He must be really sick!  Look at all those hoses coming out of him!" *

Fish thoughts: "Get away from that guy! He must be really sick! Look at all those hoses coming out of him!" *

Sparkly ear-rings look like lures to the barracuda.  Just be sure not to let him yank your ear off with it! *

Sparkly ear-rings look like lures to the barracuda. Just be sure not to let him yank your ear off with it! *