[dropcap]A[/dropcap]lthough the name sounds like a romantic hideaway for sunset cocktails and a leisurely walk on the beach, Honeymoon Harbour is not just for couples. Located on Gun Cay, about nine miles south of South Bimini, this quiet cove is home to some very friendly locals. For over twenty years people have been feeding southern stingrays around the beach, so anywhere from three to fifteen show up to greet and interact with visitors.
Many boaters anchor up and enjoy a beach barbecue and snorkel while watching the rays glide across the beautiful sand bottom. There is also a coral reef on the backside of the cay that is not to be missed. If you do not have your own boat or just want a guide, the Bimini Sands activity center offers small group tours and Neal Watson’s Bimini Scuba Centre can cater to larger groups and often make a stop on the way back from visiting dive sites further south.
This adventure is ideal for all ages and can be enjoyed by salty dogs and landlubbers alike. The stingrays cruise right along the edge of the shore and can be watched from the beach if you are not keen to dive in. Those who want an up close interaction need only to kneel in the shallow water with some squid. Their mouths are on the underside of their body, so when feeding be mindful that they may swim over your hand. Even without food they will hang around though. If they move to deeper water you can snorkel around and might even be lucky enough to catch a small nurse shark or eagle ray cruising through.
Stingrays do have barbs, so it is important not to grab them or step on them. They cannot throw the barb or lunge at you; most accidents happen when people step directly on the barb. While at Honeymoon Harbour, if walking in the water, it is a good idea to keep an eye out and shuffle your feet. Stingrays bury themselves in the sand, with an exposed eye mimicking a rock or piece of debris. People are often afraid of these gentle creatures, but you need not worry. A few minutes in the water with them and you will see a more comical and charismatic side than you probably expected.
Watch a video from Honeymoon Harbour here: