Visiting Friends and Tortuga Island

Hola amigos,

My friends Chase and Chris Keightley have come down to visit with me for a few days and do some tours here in Costa Rica.  Above you see Chase practicing in the pool for snorkeling out off of Tortuga Island.  He and Chris really love the pool and have been basking in Tico time – Pura Vida.  No worries and no schedules.

However that is until yesterday when we went on our Tortuga Island tour.  That was tightly scheduled with some lee way for stopping and watching dolphins playing on the way back.  They picked us up near just down the road from the house at 0715 and we drove to Puntarenas with some stops to pick up more tourists on the way.

When we got to Putarenas they fed us a Tico Breakfast (eggs, beans & rice, plantain, sausage and fruit juice and coffee.  Which we ate out on the pier while they got the catamaran ready. We were serenaded with Calypso music by a rag tag calypso band.  Two guys played one set of Marimbas while the third played a conga drum.  They were all quite old but it was fun. They accompanied us to the Island playing a little on the boat but a lot more on the beach during lunch.

Then, it was on to the boat and about an hour and 45 minutes to the Island.  Not to worry though the boat was roomy enough to have a full bar, and lots of shady areas with fans inside for those of us who are wary of too much sun and for the younger adults in our group they sunned themselves up on the bow of the boat.DSCF1349DSCF1369

We had a pirate on board DSCF1388 And the crew was amiable. I even got to talk Spanglish with one of them who’s only been working for them about 5 months – before that he worked Tuna boats up and down the Central American coast. He opined that Ecuador was his favorite and they had the best Chica’s.  It was fun as he spoke English only slightly better then I speak Spanish.  And for all you ladies I noticed that this crew of men were in great condition and quite mannered. DSCF1344DSCF1385 The ladies on the boat were not bad either. Here are the young people sunning on the bow.DSCF1370DSCF1371 The crew came around with fresh fruit for our enjoyment and all soft drinks and water as well as the food was included in the tour.  The Catamaran pulled right up onto the shoreDSCF1435 After we disembarked there was an orientation lecture by the Guía de turística on the days activities rules and regulations which he supplied in both Spanish (fluently) and English also fluent but not as detailed as the spanish instructions.  The next thing we knew we were being fitted into floatation vests for snorkeling and shipped out on boats to this rock to see the fish.DSCF1394 The fish were quite colorful with yellow, blue, purple and reddish highlights but the schedule on the beach before we left was so hectic I left my waterproof camera in my bag and barely made it to the first boat in time.  Needless to say with all the colorful fish I was quite disappointed that I left the camera on the beach as it would have been perfect to capture some pictures for you folks.

I can only describe with words the yellow fined big angel  fish, yellow striped flat fish and orange striped (almost like a clown fish) fish that swam all around me in small schools.  I felt like I could touch them or they would touch me but if I tried to touch one it would flutter away easily from my hand.  I watched one fish laying eggs on the bottom or at least that is what I assumed as it was doing as it was fluttering it’s tail in the sand.

I did see a plastic container of sorts on the bottom that reminded me of how we are polluting  our oceans with plastic.  Stop using plastic bags and responsibly recycle your plastic!  The oceans are being damaged and dying.  If the ocean’s or the life within them die we all will not survive.  Save our selves by saving the oceans it’s that simple.  That’s one thing I’ve learned on my journeys the importance of water for life.

Anyway, back to the tale.  After about 45 minutes of snorkeling and meditating floating around in warm ocean water with fish it was time to go back to the beach.  Where we were welcomed with Ceviche before three types of salad a main course, wine, desert and coffee CevicheDSCF1399


DSCF1402DSCF1410Chase and Chris seemed to enjoy the day as well.DSCF1409DSCF1407 Then we could either go on a banana boat DSCF1417 That yellow thing that gets towed behind a motor boat with about 7 people on board and sometimes “tips over” if the people don’t cooperate and lean in the right direction together.  We watched a couple tip over on a turn. They swim back to the boat turn it upright and climb back on board.  It looked like fun but right after such a great meal we elected to stay on the beach and kick back.

DSCF1415 and playDSCF1416 and swim.  Here I just came back from splashing in the ocean waters on this white sandy beach.DSCF1426

DSCF1421 Soon, it was time to go back and leave our Island Paradise and the crew picked up everything stowed them and us away back to the Catamaran for the journey back across the water towards the Mainland.  Of course, as they pointed out we were a lot closer to the mainland of Puntarenas that jutted out near the Islands, but the boat was much quicker across the Golfo Dulce.  Our guide told us that the few people that live on the point send their kids to school in a water school bus.

Soon, it was time to go and the crew stowed away all the supplies and waste – though they appeared a little distracted here.DSCF1437

Saying good bye to TortugaDSCF1441

On the ride home I talked with a number of people including a 20 something girl traveling with her mother from Huntington Beach, Ca.  The girl was going down to do an internship where she will be helping save endangered turtles in Costa Rica.  She gets to pay them for meager accommodations and 3 meals a day so she can labor to help.  It’s sad we need to fund rescue operations so that people can be paid to work there not pay to work there.  I applaud her will to something meaningful.  She has a business degree but has problems with being cut throat. This is her in the foreground.DSCF1451 I also met a “dot” Indian from Denver, Colorado who was here for work as a chemical engineer (could you tell he was an engineer?). He often looked out of place and I wondered if he was having fun

He told me he grew up in India moved to the states when he was 20 and found the humidity in Costa Rica not to his likely.  He went on the Banana boat ride but not the snorkeling.  When I told him how we witnessed a couple of the boats falling over he indicated that his didn’t and opined “I probably wouldn’t have like that” .  However, he said he was having fun and he probably will come back for work and study Spanish while he was here next time.

There were some nice looking ladies on the trip as well, but most appeared to be with other people.DSCF1403


The ride back was really pretty cool we stopped to see another island that the company that ran Calypso Tours  (they are also on Facebook) just purchased as a eco tour – they get to bring small groups (up to 40 people) and work at keeping the island preserved.  You can book a wedding here.DSCF1445DSCF1443Chase appeared content on the ride home.DSCF1442 The Captain stopped the ship for a little while so we could see some Dolphins playing but the lighting was getting dark and they were so quick in and out of the water that I couldn’t get a good picture.  But I did get some of the sunsetDSCF1452DSCF1453

Yesterday was a long day – over 12 hours so today it was more kick back.  First, I got up did some yoga then went to the beach for a 5 miles run before returning for a shower, swim in the pool and breakfast.

The rest of today has been pretty much laid back . I hope to go for a walk with Chris and Chase at la playa Hermosa this evening.  It’s the weekend and the beach was crowded.  Monday, we go for the Mangrove Monkey tour.  I’ll take pictures.

See you later –  Hasta lluego Amigos – chicas y chicos


Rockydogsblog’s Master Steve (he has a Master’s degree)





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