Costa Rica Underwater

Trip Start Sep 17, 2010
Trip End Oct 03, 2010

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Where I stayed
Coco's Sunset

Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Guanacaste,
Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The skills test this morning went just fine. I had no trouble with the skills but I did have to learn the ins and outs of the equipment that's in use today so my equipment handling was clumsy rather than smooth and confident as I figured it out for the first time.  Things have changed significantly since I was last underwater.  Not surprising considering how long it’s been.

We returned to the shop (the pool they used for the test was at a bed and breakfast about a kilometer from the shop) and waited for the rest of our dive group to show up. 

Four other people showed up: three American guys and a Dutch woman whose English was, of course, outstanding.  The oldest was about half my age, I think.  We walked to the beach where a small boat met us to take us out to the dive boat which was tied up to a buoy in the bay

We made two dives off two small islands just offshore.  Between the dives we motored over to a bay where we tied up to a buoy to rest and allow any nitrogen build-up to dissipate.  The heavily forested peninsula that jutted out on one side of the bay had several huge, obviously luxurious homes showing through the trees.  One of them is in a picture attached.  The dive master said that although they’re private homes they can be rented, so if you want to try living in an exclusive home on a bay in Costa Rica with a view of the Pacific Ocean, you can rent one of these for only $10,000 US per week.  When I was talking about these homes to one of the staff at the condo office while working on this blog he knew the homes I was talking about and said Michael Jordon owns one and Madonna owns another.

I was disappointed by the lack of clarity of the water on our dives.  On the first dive visibility was probably in the neighborhood of 20 feet and on the second dive it was only about 15 feet.  It was nevertheless good to be diving again and I definitely enjoyed it.  Unfortunately without any underwater gear for my cameras I have no underwater pictures to share.  The highlight for me was on the first dive when we got into the middle of a huge school of Mojarra Grunt.

We were smack in the middle of the school with hundreds of tightly packed fish above us, below us and on all sides of us.  They swam so close to us I felt I could reach out and touch them, though when I tried, they moved just enough to stay out of arms reach. But they showed no fear and kept schooling right around us. There were so many it got noticeably darker as the fish above us blocked much of the sunlight.

After the dive it was back to the shop where we looked up the names of all the fish we saw.  I came home and showered off the salt water, fixed myself some lunch and, since most of the day was gone just went out for a drive.
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