Crosby Ebanks

Crosby Ebanks

The evolution of Stingray City as a world-renowned attraction in the Cayman Islands is said to owe its beginnings to the work of Captain Crosby Ebanks in feeding and taming the southern stingrays around the sandbar.

In 1960 Crosby Ebanks started Captain Crosby's Watersports to provide the growing number of tourists visiting Grand Cayman with opportunities to enjoy snorkelling and fishing trips around the island's pristine waters. He recalls that on frequent trips to the sandbar with visitors, he noticed that many would opt to stay on the boat, afraid of getting too close to the stingrays found in abundance in the shallow waters. Tired of constantly moving the boat to anchor away from the stingrays, Capt. Crosby told himself he had to do "something" that would enable people to feel comfortable around the stingrays.

That "something" was six and a half months of skin diving with the rays and feeding them until they eventually became friendly enough to interact with and eagerly accept food from humans. Today, the unique and enjoyable experience of swimming with and feeding stingrays at Stingray City is a must-do for the thousands of curious tourists and residents who visit each year.

A passion for the sea and boating skills learnt from a young age have enabled Captain Crosby to maintain his watersports business in continuous operation for over 50 years. Like most Caymanian young men of his day, he honed his skills fishing and boating on the waters around Grand Cayman and in fact recalls owning his first boat from around age 16 and working from age seven - making thatch rope and fishing - to assist his parents and six siblings. Born on 15 June 1931, Captain Crosby went to sea, in keeping with the traditional employment available after leaving school. He was a seaman from 1954 to 1956 and also found work as a turtle fisherman around the Nicaraguan coast, soon after leaving school.

Captain Crosby, father of six, is also known as one of the finest catboat builders on Grand Cayman. A member of the Catboat Club, he regularly participates in racing the elegant and traditional catboats in regattas around Grand Cayman.

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