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When you first try something that’s foreign to you and completely out of your comfort zone, sometimes you can be overcome with fear. You’re terrified and to the point that you have second thoughts.
And, it was only a few hours earlier, you were fine with at but at the last moment something changed.
Have you ever had that feeling? I have a few times and it’s scary. But if others are doing it you know, that you’re probably not going to die. Right?
My story starts in the Cayman Islands where I was on a Caribbean cruise and we were docked at Grand Cayman so with multiple choices as to what to do for the day, apart from visiting Margaritaville, I opted to take a half day trip to swim with the Stingrays.
Why not! They’re beautiful creatures that don’t have teeth and these ones didn’t seem to harm humans either so what could go wrong?
The catamaran trip took approximately 50 minutes so we relaxed and enjoyed the ride. The day was perfect. Warm with a light Easterly refreshing breeze that came from the Atlantic Ocean which seemed to be where we were heading. Out and out and out.
Hmm… the water here is pretty deep and I can’t see the bottom so while we keep heading in that North/East direction, it’s only going to get deeper.
It was about then, I looked forward and could see approximately a dozen boats. Then, as we approached them I could see people in the water.
That’s a good sign …!
I heard it mentioned that there is a rather large natural sandbank out here which is where the stingrays go to.
‘What way out here!’ was my initial thought.
The water was a beautiful aqua blue and I could clearly see to the sandy bottom.
Once I noticed that people were standing I felt a lot better (I certainly wasn’t going to tread water the whole time) so I prepared myself and stood in the queue to the steps leading into the water.
It was about then, when all hell broke loose in my head!
Someone said here comes one. I said one what? Derh!
Huge grey dark shadow
And at that moment, out of the corner of my eye I saw this frickin, huge dark grey shadow cruise past me.
And… it was at this point I was ‘IN’ the water with it! So all I could do was scream (BTW: I’d noted that not much noise comes out of my mouth when terrified so I’d never make it as a screamer in a scary movie.😊).
Anywho, as well as the screaming I was climbing up my partner’s back trying to get out of the water. It’s there somewhere but I couldn’t see it. Actually there was about twenty Rays. O M G!
Remember the movie ‘Jaws’? I was terrified watching it on a movie screen and now I’m in it!! Bloody Hell!
For what seemed like forever I screamed and continued to scramble up his back or climb onto his arms and shoulders. Then I looked around at one hundred other people in the water and noticed that NOT one of them was bleeding profusely.
Eventually, I settled down and had photos with a stingray as well and really enjoyed it.
I thought about this later. Where did this re-action come from? If I’d have of known about this fear I wouldn’t have never agreed to doing this but there was never a concern and in fact, I actually larved the idea.
The lesson that I’ve taken away fom this experience reminds me of when I underwent my very first Facebook Live. I was so fightened (not unlike the stingrays) I swear the carpet has worn down to thread from my pacing.
It was also the same when I had to do my first presentation in front of 50 odd people. Initially, it was just something new that I was doing with no concerns until, the actual time.
The fear was overwhelming and then as quickly as it came, it completely disappeared.
Moving forward. If I experience this again, I’ll know that it’s just because I’m out of my comfort zone and it’s not harmful to me or my future.
A term that now comes to mind is: Leap and the net will appear.
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National Geographic have a short video on the sting rays off Grand Cayman Island.
I believe we could enhance experiences and lessen negative possibilities if we help each other whenever we can. I’d larv you to feel free to contribute your travel encounters or just Tips and Tidbits.
It can be as a guest blogger/writer or just email me with your encounters.
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