Costa Rica Dolphin & Ecology 12-Day Adventure — Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Gorgeous Goliaths (By Paulo Perez)

Today was one of the most spectacular moments in the Broadreach group, which we encountered swift dolphins, a healthy community of aquatic life and 2 elusive giants. This also gave me the opportunity to show my responsibility, leadership skills, determination, accountability and optimism in the Broadreach community ,and including the steps and planning for our day to day activities; which I was excited in taking the charge with my friends/partners, two awesome instructors, and the Campanario station researchers. To start this through, yesterday I was elected as Leader Of the Day (LOD); me Carly and Nancy started to organize our adventure. This morning I was the first to wake up, ensuring to prepare myself for what my group is going to face for the day, after finishing what I needed to do I started to wake everybody up explaining them what they needed to wear. At breakfast I presented the things we needed to bring for the oceanic trip. We finally got in the boat and we set sail for to look for Cetaceans, as we crossed around the waters near the cliffs Freiner was discussing about the geographical history about the cliffs and Llorona beach, while Amanda was Identifying the Booby (bird). Then we took a few minutes to reach an open area so we can swim, everyone was swimming except Freiner's wife and Captain Victor; the water was nice and clear, we took a few pictures and we floated around the area. Rushing to the boat it was time to search and drop down data on dolphins and whales. Captain Victor took us to the East side of Isla Cano where Sarah spotted a dorsal fin passing in the surface, we were all patiently waiting for something to pop up, then we saw a small pod of dolphins. (In my head I said bottlenose dolphins) It was so remarkable seeing wild dolphins without trainers, tanks and blue walls, it was like a fun surprise game of hide and seek. The greatest behavior from the dolphins is their majestic leap that shoots out of the water, looking like a ballet dance. I quickly wrote down on my data sheet with Anhwei, we wrote down the species, salinity, water clarity, behavior, amount, and location.
After half an hour of dolphin watching Captain Victor took us to the north-western side of the island, this is where we spotted some whales in the area, my excitement went through the roof we I saw that black figure coming out of the water for air. The Captain started his engine and we got a full gorgeous experience with these huge mammals, while drifting near them we spotted a baby humpback whale, which this was a rare sight. Watching the calf for about 15 minutes its mother finally reveals it self to us, me being shocked of the size of the mother my heart started to warm by this beautiful interaction between the the mother and its calf. Just 45 minutes later something beautiful happened, these colossal giants went straight below the boat, luckily Jonathan recorded a national geographic like video on his go-pro. About 10m away the two animals passed up the surface to take a breath at the same instance the calf showed its fluke (tail); same thing with the dolphins I wrote down everything in my data sheet. And just about an hour just passed and I was still amazed that a whale came close proximity to our boat. Later that moment I felt accomplished about this oceanic trip.
We reached a shore on time to eat lunch, everyone was exhausted by the trip, but my energy still maintained strong enough to wait for the next activity, which was snorkeling. Our snorkeling instructor (Freiner), which he thought us how to wear a mask and tube in a proper way and took us to the beach. Me and a few of the others that includes: Sofia, Jonathan, Logan ( also an instructor), Anhwei and Rory all volunteered to snorkle in the shallow area. Freiner took us to a shallow area in Conovaro beach, which apparently has a wide variety of life. He took us to a rocky terrain where schools of fish inhabited, we found lobsters, mollusks, barracuda, parrot fish, sting rays, etc... It was immersive for me because of the distance of the area that we encountered. Later Carly, Amanda, Logan, Rory joined the action in finding different species of fish. An hour passed, and me, Sofia, Anhwei, Logan and Freiner stayed looking for life in the shallows. After everything we had our delicious dinner made by Freiner's wife. After dinner, Nancy was talking about tomorrow's activity, which we are waking up early tomorrow to hike at Conovaro National Park. After all that just happened for today, I can't wait what I and my group is going to encounter in the jungle, which there's a higher chance to see wildlife. to finish this off, what I've learned today not just the beauty, behavior and ecology of the aquatic wildlife near the OSA peninsula, but the hard work that it takes research these animals in their natural habitat.

"The toxic waste that we dump to the blue, we later receive her tears of sorrow back strait to us through the earth's elements"

-Paulo Perez