Tag Archives: Whales

Snorkeling with Sharks @ Cano Island

Today is Valentines day and being single for me the best way to celebrate this day of friendship and love is to spend it in a huge group snorkeling the tropic waters of Caño Island in the Pacific.

Magnus today went with a different group to go diving and I went with the snorkeling group. We were picked up at the same time. The french couple we got to know at the hotel last night came with me to the snorkelling trip.

We were picked up at 7am and today our boat didn’t rush to get to the island as fast as we had driven yesterday to Sirena. Yesterday our mission had been to arrive as early as possible. Todays mission was to try to spot dolphins, whales and turtles on our way there.

A gay shark

And we saw 3 Olive Ridley Sea Turtles.

Arriving at the island we put on our snorkeling gear and jumped into the water where a new world opened up for our eyes. Fishes in any kind of color (and shape) appeared in front of our eyes. Tigerfish, Dogsnapper, Red Snapper, Yellow Puff fish, Rainbow fish, blue and yellow fish, green and blue fish, puffers, snapper, parrot fish, surgeon fish, barber fish and eels below the crashing of the azure tinted waves.

The first session was for almost an hour (thankfully I have and extra water resistant sunblock) and in top of all the colorful fishes, we even got to see a few sharks !!! They are white reef-tip sharks and not agressive at all (however I should probably not say that – because that takes all the exitement out of it.

We went on shore to the gorgeous beach for lunch and our guides set up a lovely buffet table for us to enjoy.

While we enjoyed our lunch we had a few Jesus Christ Lizards checking us out.

After lunch we went out again. This time in a little deeper waters. However due to the amount of waves the water was not so clear and we had to move closer to shore to get better visibility. Here it was great visibility and we saw another shark as well.

On our way back we were lucky enough to see a mama Humpback whale with a young one.

When we got back to Bahia Drake Mary and David (France) and I went for a swim at the beach outside of our hotel. Having spent the whole day in the water – we just needed to get another swim. It was soooo nice. Temperatures in the water are lovely here. Spending hours in the water you still dont feel cold.

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Sirena Ranger Station @ Corcovado National Park

This morning we woke up at 4:55 by our bunk beds squeeking and stuff falling down.

At Mirador Lodge in Drake Bay (Peninsula Osa) we are in a dorm with 4 beds and sleepily I asked Magnus: “Do you know if we have any new guests in the room?”. Just as sleepy he answered “No. It must be the wind!” And my first thought was: “Inside at this hour?”. And then we both woke up a bit more realizing that we must have been hit by an earthquake.

Our alarms were set to 5:15 so it’s not like we missed out on a lot of sleep and breakfast was ready for us at 5:30. At 6 the boat came to pick us up to go to Sirena Ranger Station inside Corcovado National Park.

It takes about 1 hour and 15-30 minutes in a boat ride to get to Sirena Ranger Station and we were taken quite a bit out at sea because the waves were less angry there than closer to shore. Still we had waves up to 2-3 meters. However that was a very good deal, because we found a group of birds hunting flying fish and where they were we also got to see Spotted Dolphins. One of the Flying fish almost flew into the side of the boat, but thankfully it managed to slip into water instead and become dolphin food…

Just as we arrived to Sirena I saw 2 huge animals at the beach walking away from all the arriving boats. I told Magnus I told they were Tapirs, but he didn’t see them and neither did the guide – hence we docked and got on shore.

Ready for new adventures. Me and Magnus with Jerker in the background (His name really IS Jerker, thats why he calls himself Jack in English).

As soon as all the groups were ready we split up and some groups went to the left and others to the right. We went to see a gorgeous river and on our way there we saw a Tapir, sleeping in the ground. It was well hidden among the branches but we could still see it. Pictures did not turn out well though. However walking on we heard lots of Macaws (but due to the density in the forest, we were unable to spot them). However we saw lots of lizards, spiders and a few spidermonkeys.

From the river we went back to the starting point and then we moved to Sirena Ranger Station. I was surprised lots of people were setting up tents there and someone told me that with enough time you could request set up tents and stay overnight at the ranger station.

At the ranger station I saw an Agouti. It was walking just behind the toilets and once someone flushed it ran off into the forest. Soo cute.

From the ranger station we walked towards the other river to see if we could spot crocodiles and sharks in the river. Unfortunately we got there low tide and all the sharks were gone, but someone else had seen a huge salt-water crocodile just a tiny while ago.  Everywhere there was huge signs telling us not to go swimming, not to move off the trails etc. due to the sharks, crocs and snakes.

We had lunch by the river and it was nice to have a small break.

We had enourmous luck and got to see an ant-eater walking along out path in search of food

On our way back to the ranger station and the boats, we saw lots of spidermonkey groups and Howler monkeys. As I was looking up – I saw something coming at us and ran to avoid it and thankfully it worked out. However – the others did not have the same luck. The howlers had peed on them… When Howlers want to get rid of humans sometimes they pee on them and sometimes they throw poo on them. :D Nice huh?

Just before we got to the boats we saw another Tapir. This one was also sleeping, but much, much closer to the path and it was easy to see it without disturbing it.

One of the other girls in our group also told me she had spotted the two Tapirs in the morning and now we were 2 confirming and hence our number of spotted Tapirs was in a total of 4 for today.

The mighty (but sleepy) Tapir !
Tapirs can become up to 250 Kgs and when with young they can be highly agressive.

To reed more about Tapirs see these two stories by Jack Ewing:
Threats to the paths of the Tapir Biological Corridors
The Tapirs of Sirena

On our way back we had higher waves still and at one point the boat was driving so close to shore and some really rocky cliffs that it seemed that we were going to hit the cliffs.

When we got back to the hotel we took a shower and went for a walk.

Animals spotted today:
Tapir, Anteater, Coati, Flying Fish, Spotted Dolphins, Spider Monkeys, Mantled Howler Monkeys, Black Iguanas, Spiders, Birds, Insects, Crabs, Hermit Crabs, Agouti, Jesus Christ Lizard