Cayman Islands

Trip Start Jun 10, 2012
Trip End Aug 17, 2013

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Flag of Cayman Islands  ,
Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I had tons of fun today at our first cruise stop, the Cayman Islands. We took a tour which consisted of visiting a turtle farm and snorkeling with sea turtles, and swimming with stingrays. The turtle farm was where they bred tons of sea turtles. They had this huge [man made] lake-type thing that they put the baby turtles in to help them get used to swimming before they were put in the ocean. To swim with the stingrays we took a boat out to the "stingray city" (a long sand strip in the ocean) which was about a half hour ride into the sea. The stingray experience began when stingrays gathered here decades ago because fishermen would come to clean their fish. The stingrays would come to gorge themselves on the guts, and eventually they associated the sound of boat motors with food. We fed squid to them, and you had to hold it a certain way or else you would get a hickey. One of my friends actually got one on her hand. Some of the stingrays were pretty big. The adult males were about 4 feet and the females were bigger, sometimes 6 feet long! There were tons of babies too, they were 1-2 feet long. When they smelled squid, they all swam over. You could feel tons of smooth, leathery bodies bumping against your legs. We got to hold and even kiss them. I wanted to catch one by myself but they kept slipping away. We saw a gray fin sticking out of the water, and of course my mom yelled "OMG, IT'S A SHARK!" It actually turned out to be a lone dolphin swimming around the people. In the Cayman Islands, literally everything is imported. Except maybe a couple fruits like papaya and coconut. But that means that everything is more expensive. The gas price was nearly $7 a gallon! And a gallon of milk is about $6. Since everyone is pretty rich here, the life expectancy is over 80 years. They pay no income taxes here, so the high pricing of everything is a little more even. The banks here allow people from the US and other countries to 'hide' their money in them. Those people do that so they won't have to pay taxes on their income. Fun fact: Mitt Romney actually has tons of money in the Cayman Island banks so he doesn't have to pay taxes on it.
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