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Caymans, December 16, 2002

Have You Ever Fed a Stingray?

stingrays love handfed squid

and they're hungry
meet stingray steve
for fresh meat
and his many friends
Actually, a better question would be: have you ever even seen a live stingray? Well yesterday, I had an up-close and personal view of a stingray mouth as a swarm of them schooled around a group of us, hungrily sucking on our hands and occasionally or legs and even mask, looking for the bits of squid we were offering.

No, this isn't a new club theme in Washington DC, but Stingray City, a scuba dive spot on Grand Cayman Island know for its tame stingrays who enjoy tasty treats from random divers like me. I'm down here for a week, communing with the rays, fishes, corals, and the ocean in general, while visiting my good friend from my Russia daze, Claire.

Yes, my travel adventures are kicking into high gear, as I've left DC in a frenzied twelve hour, nine hundred mile streak to Florida, where my folks live and I'll be based until my flight to Kenya. From Florida, I'll be doing little adventures, like this one to Grand Cayman, and working on updating the website with a new theme before the Africa Adventure starts.

But lets get back to this adventure.

So yesterday I went diving with stingrays and finished the day at a Christmas party held in the front lawn of a friend of Claire's as the night was too beautiful to be inside. Tonight promises to be another full moon of fun, with a night dive along Cayman's amazing reef structure. I've never done a night dive before, but I've heard it is better than daylight dives due to the light.

Water absorbs light along the spectrum from red to blue, meaning that the farther down you go, the more blue then gray everything becomes as the sunlight looses its reds, then oranges, and yellows, etc. On a night dive, as you are using a strong light at close range, the colors are much more vibrant, with the full rainbow reflected back at you from the fish, plants, and coral.

I just hope that I don't get a refection from a big pair of eyes or a large tentacle...

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