Monday, February 09, 2009

A Stop at Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica

Our first night aboard the Pacific Explorer was lovely. We had an assembly before dinner to meet the crew and try out our life jackets. Then good eats and settling into our cabins. The ship seemed to just purr along with a gentle whrring sound and a pleasant rocking that seemed to encourage sleep rather than a need to pop the dramamine.

The wakeup call was early and loud. There was a horrendous clank and then a grinding sound that seemed to be coming from directly underneath my bed. It was as if the entire innards of the ship were being ground up and dumped into the sea. Turned out to have been the anchor chain--a sound we would get used to in the ensuing days.

We awoke in a little bay to a sunny day and a sand beach spread out in a crescent before us.

On the Pacific side were scattered some little hummock islands, which seemed pretty much uninhabited by anything other than birds.

By 7:45 A.M. we were on a zodiac and heading for shore. Our walk revealed that we were on a little spit of land with beaches on both sides. In the next two hours we saw agoutis, monkeys, sloths, raccoons, iguanas, crabs, and a really wierd guy called a basilisk.

Your first job is to find the iguana. I like this picture because it does emphasize how these creatures can blend into the environment.

This guy was a bit easier to see. No disguise for him.

Monkey business

And this is the basilisk!

We lunched back on the boat on a salad, soup, and a fillet of salmon; then it was back to the beach for some relaxation, a read, and a swim in the crystal clear waters of the Pacific.

Back to the ship where dinner was marvelous but an after thought when compared to the sunset.

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