Caribbean Sea Life: Stingrays

by | Jan 15, 2018 | Sailing St. Thomas, St Thomas Life

Stingrays In the Caribbean

There are many mysteries and untold stories from the depths of the deepest sea, but there is also a beautiful side you may or may not be familiar with in person. In order to have a safe and fun experience, keep in mind what is safe and what is not in the ocean and around beaches. Whether participating in water sports or lounging on the beach, remember to enjoy the coral and sea animals from a safe distance.

To me, swimming with rays is one of the most satisfying experiences you can have in the Caribbean Sea. They have a gentle glide with a propelling flutter that is magnificent to behold— that is, if you’re not terrified. Yes, they can sting. But despite their name, stinging is not what stingrays want to do. Their first line of defense is to swim away from a potentially unsafe situation. They also like to hide in the sand to disappear from potential harm. If neither of those options are available, and they are being seriously threatened (think: human wrestling a ray or a ray accidentally landing in a foreign place such as a boat), only then will they resort to releasing their barb. But ouch, it feels like having your nail ripped off of your finger! They don’t really want to do it. To be sure you don’t disturb them while hiding on a sandy sea bottom, do “the stingray shuffle,” by shuffling your feet if you need to walk through the shallows. This way, they’ll see you coming and keep out of the way.

Do “the stingray shuffle,” by shuffling your feet if you need to walk through the shallows. This way, they’ll see you coming and keep out of the way.

Snorkeling with Stingrays

If you are swimming in St Thomas or snorkeling in St John and you happen to spot a Southern Ray or a graceful spotted eagle ray swimming by, put your masked face into the water and watch for as long as you can keep up. You will surely be rewarded by having a chance to see these beautiful sea creatures up close and in their native habitat.

We here at Sail with Liberty want you to enjoy your time in the waters of the Virgin Islands. Visit our blog again to read more tips on how to have a safe, fun time while enjoying our natural environment!