Trip Report, Costa Rica, Aug. '02, PART VII

Old Aug 20th, 2002, 09:14 AM
Jay Weinstein
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Trip Report, Costa Rica, Aug. '02, PART VII


Day 8

On August 15, we took a trip to the Catalina Islands, which took between one and a half to two hours to reach by boat from the beach at the Allegro. The trip to the Catalinas was the highlight of my entire vacation. On the way, we saw a school of dolphins swimming off the portside of the boat. I also saw a giant turtle negotiating the waves off the same side. There were six of us taking the trip in addition to two dive masters, Lencho and Mauriccio (sp?). Lencho dived with my sister and me and Mauriccio dived with the other four divers that were more experienced than us. Two of the other divers were from Brazil and two from Denmark. The couple from Denmark took the year off to dive all over the world. The fellow from Denmark said that he’s been on over 400 dives. He said that his certification course took six months, three days a week, to complete. He said that it was common in Denmark to do decompression dives to depths in excess of 100 feet wearing 3 or 4 tanks at a time. He said that his favorite dive location in all the world is Sharm El Sheikh, which in Egypt on the Eastern coast of the Sinai peninsula, in the Red Sea. Hopefully, that will be my next dive location.

The first dive location in the Catalina Islands was called The Wall. I told Lencho that I wanted to see sharks. Sure enough, right at the beginning of the dive Lencho took us 21 meters down to a spot on the ocean floor about 25 feet by 25 feet that was surrounded by rock formations. There were three white tipped reef sharks about 8 to 10 feet long there. I was able to get several good photos of them up close. Not long after seeing the sharks than Lencho pointed up and I could see an enormous school of spotted eagle rays passing by. I swam close up to get some good photos but only one photo turned out because I had to wait so long for the flash. I kid you not when I say that there were between 50 to 100 of them. It was an incredible experience. I was foolish enough to have cornered a reef shark hidden under the rocks, trying to get a good photo of him. I didn’t get a good photo, but I did manage to anger him to the point where he came at me from under the rocks. I backed away and left him alone. The maximum depth of that dive was 21 meters, and my dive time was 40 minutes. The visibility was 40 to 50 feet.

The second dive was nearby the first at a location called The Point. We saw more reef sharks there but not the rays.

The staff of Bill Beard’s was really great. They were friendly and accommodating and skilled. The equipment was good. My only criticism was that we did not have a sufficient surface interval between the first and second dives in the Catalinas according to my NAUI dive charts. I went on the second dive anyway, probably foolishly, relying on Lencho’s computer.

I’ll try to post some of my photos of the trip when I learn how to transfer the photos from my camera to the computer.

Day 9

We started off early on our trip to San Jose and back home.

I should say that we traveled a great deal in Costa Rica but the tour operators were all very knowledgeable and the countryside is breathtaking. It played a very big and enjoyable role in our Costa Rican experience.

Old Aug 20th, 2002, 10:15 AM
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Jay, thanks for a great trip report. It brought back a lot of fond memories of Costa Rica.
Old Aug 20th, 2002, 01:24 PM
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Hi Jay,

Thanks for the trip report. Regarding your being ridiculed on this board for inquiring about hiring a driver -- I remember reading that message thread and thinking that everyone putting you down for your inquiry was ridiculous! Part of traveling well is knowing what your needs are and preparing for them. Travel isn't a macho game of "who can be the most adventurous?" At least, responsible adult travel isn't. Those who ridiculed you should be ashamed of themselves. If they want to drive, that's fine. If you want someone else to drive you, that should be fine, too.

I'm glad you enjoyed your trip. I'm looking forward to honeymooning in CR in April.

Old Aug 20th, 2002, 11:29 PM
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You did an excellent and detailed report of our trip. I really enjoyed reading it. By the way, we're not in that bad shape. You forgot to mention that the white water rafting adventure was the highlight of our trip. I highly recommend it, in spite of our little mishap in the beginning. It was awesome. By the way our 62 year old mother did every adventure that was mentioned except for the scuba diving. I was really impressed with her.
Old Aug 21st, 2002, 06:10 AM
Jay Weinstein
Posts: n/a
Thank you all. I would be happy to provide you with any information you need to help plan your trip Sari.

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