Location: Rio Claro

We’re getting spicy this blog; instead of starting with the daily morning wake up and ever scrumptious fast-breaking, I’ll start with the action-packed scene of shuffling onto a boat. So we shuffled on and introduced ourselves to the tour director, Phoebe. She, in turn, introduced her crew, Hugo (coincidentally), and Hans (not to be confused with #handcuffmehans). We were the last, and largest group to get on the tour boat, about six other people were already on board. Phoebe talked to us for a few minutes about safety and the Golfo Dulce. Once the boat got moving and people had taken places to view the beautiful ocean, dolphins were almost immediately spotted. At first, a small pod of five or six of the sleek water dwellers surfaced to spout small sprays of water, and then several more groups joined the current of the moving boat. Phoebe told us that the dolphins split up into these groups to better hunt as they can get more food individually or with only a few others. In the distance, close to the distinct horizon and pale morning sky, we saw frigate whales surfacing now and then. The frigate birds were circling everywhere, eyeing the water for an easy meal as the dolphins pushed fish close to the surface. After a good amount of time with the dolphins, Phoebe, by her nifty chatroom thing, told us that a humpback whale had been spotted. We drove over there to a crescent of three other boats, waiting to view the magnificent beast. A few minutes passed, and the whale surfaced for air, a great mass of black and white speckled blubber. As a boat got too close to the wild animal, Phoebe got passionately upset at the boat and how boat etiquette with wildlife should be implemented (just as well should be distinguished from good, whom should be used appropriately and not just to sound like Shakespeare, dangling modifiers will always be pointed out and made fun of, and the Oxford comma is the only way to list with commas. Ahem, I digress). After the whale, we maneuvered through the towering waves to the calm refuge of the snorkeling area (not really but we did go snorkeling). So we arrived at the calm, clear-ish waters and took on a neato noodle and the snorkeling gear.

Snorkeling was very cool; the water was a perfect swimming temperature, everyone eagerly sliding in (ending a sentence with a preposition, whoops). The water was clear enough to see the bottom most of the time. It wasn’t a full-blown coral reef, but there was coral and bunch o’ fish. Towards the end of our time, Amber spotted a southern stingray, and so we followed it for a few minutes. Back on the boat, we rinsed and dried off in the sun, Anna passing around cereal bars. By Phoebe’s request, we reapplied sunscreen and gazed at the water while we headed back. The sliced pineapple was passed around, still on the rind(Peel? The outer skin of the pineapple). Soon after, a light rain storm drizzled on us. The waves grew and we -for real- maneuvered a bit to smoothly get back to shore. We stopped at a seafood restaurant to get lunch. The food was great and (in my opinion) the lemonade greater. After our meal, a majority of the group played soccer with locals and the crew. Me, Savannah, and Jordan played with a friendly dog and looked on smilingly as Phoebe’s baby son, the ferocious Talon, played with balloons. On our way back to the hotel, we had some free time, Anna and I went to the store for toiletries (oof to Savannah), and had some group time. Dinner was at the hotel, the calamari was excellent, and we were all tired after a filling meal. The days are now numbered, and the end is in sight, unfortunately, but every day is more fun than the last.