Sunday, May 3, 2009

Abundant Life

May 1, 2009
departing Costa Rica waters
coordinates 13 40.709N,093 31.777W

We have rounded out our stay in Costa Rican waters and still are amazed each day with the abundance of sea life and creatures that we observed. With our extra crew aboard for 17 days, Lisa's sister Krista, her husband Jeffrey and their two boys Indiana age 13 and Lucian age 5 3/4, we explored both the water and the rain forest. Each day we were treated to a collection of rays and turtles, fish and birds. Sights we had never seen before such as clusters of rays, a hundred at a time, would be huddled together in layers just under the surface of the water. We still aren't sure of the nature of the event, be it a mating process or safety in numbers. Then, if we were to spot one turtle, we were guaranteed to see half a dozen in minutes. It didn't matter if we were 2 or 20 miles off shore they would pass us on every side. If any other location in the world is experiencing a turtle shortage, it is only because they have all moved here. One of my favorite events is still to watch the rays leaping out of the water. As we rounded Punta Mala one morning at sunrise, there were easily hundreds of smaller rays leaping to meet the morning like popcorn. One at a time or by the dozen they continued for an hour, jumping for joy.

After Matapala, we made stops along the Osa Peninsula, home to one of it's many many national parks. Ashore we had the chance to hike and ride a horse up the hill side to visit our their property. Tucked neatly inland, they are working to build themselves a peaceful retreat and help to regrow the natural forest that has been destroyed in years past. You could hear the howler monkey's roar in the distance and watch pairs of scarlet macaw fly over head. The hill sides are dotted with bananas, mangos, papayas, and towering trees along the river are strung with vines. After the hot hike a quick dip in the fresh water river was just what we needed.

Next stop was Isla del Canos. We took a quick snorkel and spied many a fish including parrot fish, tangs, angel fish, spotted box fish and a few unique puffer fish in their yellow transition states. One quick evening snorkel to cool off provided a zen moment with a turtle. Unafraid of people it allowed me to just hang out with him, nose to nose, fin to finger, for as long as I desired, watching him continue to move within the swell, chewing on grasses on the ocean floor and rising for air every so often. On the swim back to the boat I thought how wonderful it would be to see a spotted eagle ray and one appeared. I couldn't believe my luck and wished for a octopus, instead a small white tipped shark glided below me. Deciding not to push my luck, I quit my wishing and paddled back to the boat in a continuous praise for the abundance of gifts I've been given in life.

We continued daily to hop and stop along the way at Malpais, Quepos, Tamarindo, and Playa del Coco. There was fun in the water for everyone with friendly surf breaks that the both families could ride, all at the same time. A highlight for all had to be a stop at Roca Bruja (witches rock) and Ollies. Two surf spots made famous by the movie Endless Summer II. The Papagayo winds were living up to their name and blowing 30+ knots as we made our way there and continued for 2-3 days but that didn't deter us. Averaging single overhead, we had the wave all to ourselves in the morning and evening hours before day trip boats appeared.

Our new crew had really grown their sea legs but their time with us was drawing to a close. Daily swims, shared meals and giggles will be precious memories we hold forever. Their energy and enthusiasm was infectious, ready to experience everything that life aboard a boat could show them. We were excited to share our world with them and see this lifestyle through fresh new eyes. Including the stubbed toes, bumped noggins, spit showers and hand pumped toilets that accompany life aboard a boat, they took to it like fish.

Currently we are under way for our next destination, Mexico. We are getting a bit behind in the season and must make it to safer waters before hurricane season sets in. So we have by passed Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala this time, in hopes to return and explore more someday. We get the occasional buzz by a coast guard or navy plane searching for drug runners and the occasional container ship on the horizon but not much other company. We had a bit of sailing the first 36 hours with 30+ knot winds but as of late it has been a hot motor boat ride. Nightly squalls with lightning have spiced up the journey. It is amazing to think that we are only a few days and a few hundred miles from closing our circle around the world.
pura vida

1 comment:

Yulie Hangge said...

Hi Ohana,

Your articles make feel jealous about your trip around the world. When do you drop at Nembrala again? Let me know if I could join your next trip. Bravo Ohana,

Best Regards,
Yuli Hangge