The underbelly of the flying wing is soft and smooth; the topside is course like sandpaper. You’re surrounded by a dozen of them. The creatures are friendly and loving, not unlike your favorite yellow lab or cuddly kitty. Why are these flying wings so friendly? Maybe you have something they want… Food!

The dive master hands you a piece of squid, you clench your hand. With a sense of smell more powerful than your dog, the stingray begins to court you, dances around you, you grab its snout playfully, slip your hand towards its mouth, open your palm, and voila, your “friend” is gone, off to the next diver with food.

And who says fish aren’t smart?

Stingray City in 12 feet of water provides a dive of a lifetime for novice to veteran divers, not to mention those snorkeling above watching the festivities below.

Located in the North Sound of Grand Cayman it is a must do excursion for those coming off a cruise ship or enjoying a dive vacation.

The Cayman Islands, a short one hour plus flight from Miami, comprises of three islands: Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. These islands are Mecca for the avid scuba diver.

Georgetown on Grand Cayman is the tender port for visitors off cruise ships. There is plenty to do for non divers. During peak months, usually in the winter, it is not uncommon to see three to four cruise ships a day off shore.

Attractions on Grand Cayman include the Turtle Farm located at the northwest corner and the town of “Hell” next door with its unique rock formations.

The historic site of Pedro Castle is located near Bodden Town; for nature enthusiasts, Queen Elizabeth Botanic Park is smack dab in the center of the island, and Rum Point, is at the north east point of North Sound. There visitors can go kayaking, and enjoy comfortable environs of a local resort, restaurant and bar.

During moonless nights, kayaking bioluminescence tours are offered at Rum Point.

Do you like horseback riding? How about horses galloping in the ocean? That can be enjoyed near Bodden Town.

For divers there are countless dive operators on these islands, several dive resorts and some live aboard dive boats.

A group of us recently visited Sunset House not far from the airport. This is an all inclusive dive resort with unlimited shore diving and two boat dives per day in the morning.

The food at Sunset House was excellent. The bar has a large canopy roof where one can enjoy their favorite beverage in the cool ocean breeze after a day of diving and stay dry during downpours.

Room accommodations were clean and adequate. Shore entries are easy for divers with sophisticated camera equipment and rinse tanks are available post dive.

Another resort, located on the north east side of Grand Cayman, close to Hell, is Cobalt Coast Resort. This resort caters to experienced divers and they are minutes away from the north wall and the west side. Those interested in technical or re-breather diving can do so at this resort.

On the north dive sites one can see pairs of eagle rays cruising the walls that plummet into the blue abyss plus turtles galore.

Last year, an artificial reel was made on the west side, with the Kittiwake submarine rescue vessel. She was sunk upright in about 70 feet of water. This is an outstanding dive site. Best ever for me.

For those wishing a live aboard dive boat experience, the Cayman Aggressor explores all three islands where divers can dive up to five times a day.

Cayman Brac has only 1200 residents and about same amount of tourists per day. She boasts several resorts with the northwest side of the island providing superb diving. Puddle jumpers will get you there from Grand Cayman.

Little Cayman is the smallest island with only 100 residents. If you’re a recluse this little getaway may be for you.

They drive on the left in Caymans and our dollar is 1.25 to the Cayman dollar.

So check out the Cayman Islands, a great vacation for diver and non diver alike.