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Pacific coast highlights

Costa Rica, day four

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Humpback whale near Caño Island

We slept much better but nevertheless I was awake around five, and when the sky grew lighter and the birds noisier I sat up to enjoy the view of the tree tops.

After breakfast we were hurried down to the jetty to be fitted for flippers for the snorkelling element of today's boat trip. Somehow I've never got on with them so although I found a pair to fit I didn't anticipate using them (and I didn't) while Chris declined completely as he's not keen on snorkelling.

Then we boarded our small but very comfortable boat for the outing. Despite warnings that it was out of season we were keeping our fingers crossed that we might spot a whale, as one had been seen during the same tour the previous day.

On the boat to Caño Island

After the sunshine of the last few days we were surprised to see some dark clouds and even more so when it started to rain. Although of course this is a rainforest!

But the shower was soon over and a few minutes later a shout went up from one of the crew. Whales had been spotted ahead. Our captain manoeuvred us closer to the group of two females and a calf. One was breaching quite a bit; she seemed to be playing. I used my burst shoot mode and managed to get some decent photos.




Humpback whale near Caño Island

Caño Island

After a short while with the whales (too short!) we continued to Caño Island. The five of us who wanted to snorkel got into the water with one of the guides, David, and almost immediately seemed to be surrounded by fish! He guided us towards some rocks (no coral reefs here) where I was excited to see a large turtle. Too excited as it turned out, as I managed to swallow some sea water and worse, get some inside my mask, making it hard to see anything from that point. Not being a strong swimmer I decided to head back to the boat at that point, helped by David.

There I re-joined Chris who had stayed on board. He told me about their short ride to drop off two divers with another guide, then we just drifted until the others returned. A German woman was first; like me she only felt up to a short spell in the water. The other three stayed in longer but once they were back on board we headed over to pick up the divers and then towards the island.

Caño Island

It was a wet landing in about a foot of water. Once we were all on the beach we were given beach towels and a tub of fruit (watermelon and pineapple) to enjoy at our leisure. Chris and I found a perch on some logs where we could enjoy snack while watching the antics of the many hermit crabs. Then we strolled along the beach taking a few photos until it was time to get back on board.

On Caño Island


Hermit crabs

My second snorkel was less successful. I had trouble with my mask right from the start so decided to call it a day and just relax on board with Chris. The bonus was a great view of a very untimid Brown Booby who swam right up to the boat!

Brown Boobie

When everyone was back on board we were given some brownies and then it was time to return to the hotel. It had been a great morning, with the whales the undoubted highlight for me. Although I was left wondering whether just maybe a boat trip spent just looking for and watching them might not have been feasible after all?

Drake Bay

Back at the lodge we freshened up before lunch and after the meal decided to follow the trail into town, a walk of probably a mile I reckon. We took lots of photos along the way - a tree with the most amazing root system I've ever seen; a clump of bamboo; an avenue of hibiscus (beautiful!); a pretty bird on a wire as we crossed a very wobbly suspension bridge.



On the trail to Drake Bay

We took a few more photos on the beach and in the 'town' ...

Drake Bay

Old food truck

Near Drake Bay

... before retracing our steps and stopping off in the Kalaluna Café for a cold drink with lovely views out across the bay.

View from the Kalaluna Café

At the Kalaluna Café

Pelicans near the Kalaluna Café

Back at the hotel I washed the sea water out of my hair and then sat out on our terrace to sort photos and write up these notes.

Hummingbird outside our room

The evening followed the usual pattern at this hotel, with drinks on the terrace and dinner in the open sided restaurant above.

Posted by ToonSarah 17:27 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged birds islands snorkelling flowers coast costa_rica seas crabs whale_watching

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I love to swim, but can only swim breast stroke. I tried using flippers in Fiji and had to struggle to pull them off in the water, as I could not swim wearing them. Never again!

The humming bird with the flowers is beautiful.

by irenevt

No flipping flippers for me,-- love the wildlife photos.

by alectrevor

Thanks you both - Irene, that's exactly my problem, I only swim breast stroke so flippers are just a nuisance! But when you're with a group swimming breast stroke means you're soon left behind :(

by ToonSarah

You still had fun even with the difficulties?
Snorkling are still on my bucket list, maybe next time when I am somewhere warm...:)

by hennaonthetrek

I didn't have fun when I was struggling with the mask Henna, but otherwise yes, it was a great day - especially the whales!

by ToonSarah

Gorgeous photos Sarah! ♥ I love snorkelling and could stay out all day. I do prefer not to have fins, though, as I am not keen on them. I am a strong swimmer, but not fast, but don't seem to have a problem keeping up with others all the same. David is not a good swimming, not snorkeller, so he rarely goes in either. You were so lucky with the whales! ♥♥♥

by Grete Howard

so sad to hear the snorkeling wasn't too big of a succes, I myself love it but when the mask isn't good, this is truly a bummer, but the picture of the boobie is awesome just like all the other pictures. Strange but somehow it reminds me of my trip to the Galapagos islands. Although it is different, it brought back some memories!

by Ils1976

Thanks Ils. I guess if you see a boobie you automatically think of the Galapagos - I know I did! And it wasn't a bad mask, I'd just not put it on very well, it was a bit loose I think :(

by ToonSarah

sad to hear, but at least you saw a little bit!

by Ils1976

More stunning photography Sarah although it is a shame about the mask.

Because of my extensive facial hair I don't get a very good seal on a mask when diving but you can fix it without too much bother. Whilst snorkelling just head for the surface, it is a little more complex when actually diving but can be done.

by planxty

Thanks again Fergy :)

by ToonSarah

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