Salt Life Caribbean Youtube channel

Like many of you, my love for the Caribbean runs deep into my bones. It’s more than just a lifestyle that we live, it’s part of who we are, it’s entrenched in our DNA. I recently took that love and added a permanent reminder of it to my body. This permanent reminder was about 3 years in the making and I’d like to share the personal story with you.

The Shirt

It was about 3 years ago on the streets of Key West. Funny how Key West always sparks great ideas. Must me something in the water (rum) down there. I was walking down Duval Street and stumbled into one of the 25,157 t-shirt shops on the main drag. While scanning the racks and racks of shirts, one shirt jumped out and me. It was black and had a tribal manta ray on it. There was no hesitation, the shirt had to be purchased. You can see a photo of the shirt above.

The Idea

My friends and I always BS about getting new tattoos, mostly it’s a lot of talk and planning. As spontaneous as I usually am, that trait does not translate to getting tattoos whilly-nilly style. Something like that has to be planned, researched, mocked up in photoshop, and then it has to marinate awhile so that you’re absolutely sure it’s what you want.

So about 2 years ago after a night of margaritas and tattoo talk, I open up the closet to find something to wear and find this Key West shirt I hadn’t worn in quite some time. When I saw the shirt I instantly knew that that design was going to be my future tattoo. It was perfect! The design was a tribal manta ray with a sea turtle and 2 dolphins interwoven into the artwork. Doesn’t get much more Castaway than that.

Pulling the Trigger

Fast forward about a year. I knew what tattoo I wanted, where I wanted it, and now it was just a matter of doing it. That process took over a year and a special occasion to finally push me to pull the trigger. So about a week or two after my birthday, pirate girl and I head to Fort Myers Beach Tattoo to get inked.

I meet Gary the tattoo artist and climb into the chair. There’s was no turning back now. Below is the photo journey of a permanent reminder of a permanent feeling.

Stingray Tattoo

Stingray Tattoo

Stingray Tattoo

Stingray Tattoo

Stingray Tattoo

So that’s the story, three years in the making and now something that will last forever.

If you have a Caribbean/Ocean/Beach inspired tattoo I would love to see it and hear your story. Post a photo of it on the RumShopRyan Facebook page and tell us about your ink.



P.S. – Leaving soon? These recommended links below will help you save money and book your trip:

We use all the companies listed here or on the resource page. By booking through these links, the small commission we earn helps us bring you more Caribbean content so that you can save money and have a better island vacation. Crystal and I greatly appreciate any support!

About the Author: RumShopRyan

Just a salty pirate looking to explore and document the wonders of the Caribbean. Professional blogger, rum judge, consultant, marketer, and consumer of blue water beauty. To learn more, visit our About Us Page.