Up at 5:10 a.m. Excited to dive! Breakfast downstairs in the outside seating area, but under cover (I'm getting very accustomed to eating outside, it's really pleasant, especially in the mornings). They have the sweetest table settings & made very good gallo pinto, cheese, & eggs with onion. Oh, & really strong coffee. Yeah! It's so cozy & homey here.
We walked down the hill to the dive shop that is on the beach. The dive shop office is the living room of Lin's house. He has his room, a bathroom, a tiny kitchen, & a back storage room. That's it. People live so simply with so little. I often wonder why we feel like we need to have sooo much stuff. After we got all our dive gear together we headed to shore to get on the dive boat via the beach entry. The water is so warm it just doesn't matter that you're getting wet.
On the way to dive site we stopped & watched a pod of Dolphins swim around the boat & soon after stopped to watch a huge Green Turtle swimming. Not even in the water yet....
The first dive site is to
"test" our abilities (we're with a Belgian couple & a German woman) prior to our second, more difficult dive. The first dive was ridiculously amazing. We saw: the biggest schools of so many different species it was difficult to distinguish who was who, sting rays, a school of about 15-20 White Tipped Reef Sharks, several Octopus (one that was sitting on the sandy bottom, he looked like a big brown rock, got annoyed with us hovering over him so he moved toward the reef. While moving he changed color about 10 times (bright blue/green/orange/grey/brown then sat on the reef & splayed his legs out & made himself white with a light lavender lining all around him. Then he settled into the reef & turned greenish/grey. I couldn't be taken away from him. I would have spent the rest of my dive with him if I could have. They are such stunningly beautiful creatures.) Some of the schools of fish were so large that when they swam overhead they sort of blocked out the sun a bit. Incredible. Everyone else ran out of air early & he took them to the boat & came back for us & we had another
10-15 minutes diving. (That's when I saw the Octopus & could have stayed there forever). Awesome!
Our second dive was way out in the open ocean & our DM, Lin, warned us repeatedly about the strength of the current & to stay together. We descended without the line, all together, & were promptly just swept in the direction of the current. It was crazy! Then we went between two huge mounds of reef that formed a sort of channel. In the channel we could sort of control which direction we wanted to go in, the current was a little less forceful. Around the sides of the channels you went with the current or kicked your ass off going against the current. It was a workout & a lot of fun. We saw beautiful 3 ft long, bright blue Jacks in schools of 6ish. We saw 4 ft Dog Snappers, White Tip Reef Sharks, Puffers, & Blennys galore. Little Blennys that poke their heads out of tiny barnacles on the reef, big Blennys that looked flourescent green with white faces, long eyelashes & black stripes in their caudal fins, & many many Red-Lipped Blennys. I think I'm in love with
Blennys & their googlie eyes & their beautiful lipsticked smiles. But, with this kind of current it's more of a hi/bye relationship with the tiny stuff. There's no slowing down to lollygag. It's a little nuts.
Back on the boat & off to Isla Cano to have lunch on the beach, which is also part of the nature reserve & marine park & where they house the Ranger's Station. Another crazy boat on/off adventure. Oh, our boat is broken. The fluid supplying the hydraulics to the motor has leaked everywhere so we are kind of stuck on the island for a bit (only about 2 hours, not a bad place to be stuck either). Kind of amazed that this is the first dive boat we've been on that had problems. Seems kinda lucky considering how many boats we've been on & how they are far more persnickitty than cars. Lunch was yummy: sandwiches with veggies & ham, pasta salad, rice, & fruit.
I love love love the fruit in this part of the world & am really going to miss papaya & mango whenever I feel like having it. And it is so sweet & delicious & perfectly
ripe here. I'm nervous about withdrawals....
After lunch I fell asleep on the seat of the picnic table. Sound asleep in the shade. Lovely. Geoff played in the ocean & on the beach.
Once I was awake, we walked around the beach, looked at all the Hermit Crabs everywhere, saw a Jesus Christ Lizard, looked at shells, & just sat & stared at the ocean until our boat replacement arrived. Then the 1 hour boat ride back to Drake Bay. Just beautiful. We rode back with the park rangers. Apparently they alternate spending 5 days out on the island.
Back at Drake. We planned more diving for Monday with Lin & the Belgians & headed home. We're going to do 3 dives on Monday. We all just loved today so much. Shower time in our outside shower that runs like a hose without any sort of attachment on it. At least there's pretty good water pressure, I guess I shouldn't complain.
The rest of the afternoon we sat out in our chairs & stared at the view & had a few beers with Julie & Barron. After the Green Parrots made their arrival Geoff & I
headed off to our favorite Soda for dinner (aka Craig's favorite restaurant). "Soda" is what they call little family owned restaurants here in Costa Rica, why I do not know. Geoff had "the best fried chicken in my life" & I had really tasty spaghetti with shrimp in a white cream. His chicken was amazing. No joke. Back to our hostel & another bit of sitting time on our plastic chairs in front of our room. We looked at the moon & the few stars (almost a full moon, tomorrow perhaps?) & enjoyed the moon light on the bay. It was like daylight, so bright.
I went to bed early. I am clearly allergic to the beauty of this jungle. I haven't stopped sneezing or blowing my nose since I crossed the Costa Rican border. Now it's a little out of control the amount of snot I'm producing. Although my bed to early plan went splat because there was a huge local party on the beach, directly below our room, & they rocked out to all kinds of local classics until really late. I still slept ok, but just woke up randomly when songs would change or get louder or
people were hooting & hollering. I wished I didn't have to get up at 5am so I could go play with them too but my nose was running too much for that to be a positive experience anyway.
Geoff stayed up & hung out with Baron & the plastic chairs doing & talking about whatever it is that boys talk about. I would randomly hear things like "yeah man!" (literally) but they weren't any louder than the music or the bugs.
The Bugs! Wow. Talk about a chorus of sounds. The rest of the night bugs fill the night with so many sounds it's difficult to describe really. Crickets, frogs, Cicada like bugs, dogs barking. And since our room doesn't have a single piece of glass we get to hear everything. Windows with thin chicken wire. The best kind. It almost becomes soothing after awhile. They make a little chorus & they all seem to respond to one another in turns. Sometimes they actually drowned out the music. Thanks bugs!
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