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Out at sea | Turtle Threesome | A first for all of us

We did a touristy thing.


If you look up 'things to do in El Coco' you'll find about 90% of them are some form of 'sunset sailing'. Clearly a cruise around sunset is the thing to do, so we did it. There was even some snorkelling thrown in, which none of us had ever done before, but more on that later...


I have to say that I was the one who was all excited about this trip. This is despite the fact that I get seasick very quickly. But I'd never snorkelled before, and I was keen to see some different parts of the coast. Ali was a bit 'meh' about it as he's not keen on things in the sea, so deliberately going in and looking for them didn't quite fit with his idea of 'fun'. Needless to say he hasn't snorkelled before either.


Things went very well at the start. NOT. After booking the trip for the next day, I fell ill :-( Some form of tummy bug, so we had to delay a few days. Then, finally feeling better, but also a touch anxious, we turned up at the allotted time and location, but no one there! A quick trip to the tour agent and it turned out our boat was full (how?), but there was another one in an hour or so, so we jumped on that.


Turns out it was a fortuitous move! Welcome to the party boat, an upgrade on what we'd actually booked, fab music blasting out, a slide off the. back and nets at the front you could chill on. Also, rather than do the trip on a cloudy day, the weather was PERFECT, and even came with a lightning storm at the end! Goes to show that, when things go 'wrong' sometimes it's just to give you something better.


There's just something rather marvellous about looking out to the horizon when you're at sea, with nothing in your way...



There were some sights along the way though, like these islands. The first made me think of the island chain in Moana which has the story that they were a goddess called Te Fiti who laid down for a rest. Or is that just me?



Either way, that's a more convincing story, in my opinion, than this other island, which is called Monkey Head Island. Because it looks like the head of King Kong. What do you think?



The best thing about the trip though was the wildlife! We saw a whale, an actual whale! Never seen one before in my life. It breached the surface then did its blow hole thingy then disappeared. No whopping tail flick unfortunately. And no pic as was too fast. Other animals I completely missed photos of (as was enjoying the ride) were dolphins, who joined us for the journey for a minute or two. So exciting!


I did however get a shot of one of the many 'flipping' rays we saw en route. These would just fly out of the water, do a back flip and dive back in again! See if you can spot the one on this clip (I only caught it because I filming just in case the dolphins came back, so the noise you can hear at the beginning is not dolphins, it's Ali doing a dolphin call to encourage them to return :-D).


The next animal was one that I got a much better shot of though. A turtle!! Three of them in fact. All joined together....doing.....well, we're not sure exactly what they were doing, but we could guess...



One of them was certainly giving me a 'look' that was like "Excuuuuuse me, private moment here!".


This is how I explained it to Esme:


After that we headed up the coast until we got to a sheltered bay where we could see some very strange animals with brightly coloured antennae all floating in the sea. Ah yes, snorkellers.


As it was our first time snorkelling they gave us a floatation vest, some flippers and a mask and took us to the beach so we could go in via the shallow way.


Apparently, you have to walk in backwards. So there I am, learning how to breathe through a snorkel for the first time, walking backwards into an unknown sea, and every time the tide went back out my flippers turned upwards and threatened to knock me backwards. Such fun. I eventually took the courage to turn around and start swimming. Having the floatation vest on was....interesting. The way I'm built I already naturally have two 'floatation devices' on my chest so it meant I was super light and could barely get my head into the water to see anything. I did try to make my way over to the more experienced snorkellers as clearly they could see something, but the problem with snorkelling is that you can't see where you're going :-D. In all I saw one fish on the sea bed. But, to be honest, that was just fine with me. I snorkelled and I am very proud of myself for doing it!


Esme meanwhile was having some problems. Turns out her mask was broken so water kept coming in. They managed to fix it. Then every time I brought my head up she was back in the shallows or on the beach again. Worried that she was struggling I went back to check on her (I had figured she'd be fine as she's a far better swimmer than me). Turns out she was having a whale of a time just getting battered to and fro by the waves and not in any trouble at all! She also had a floatation vest on and said she was too light to actually get out into the sea!


And guess who else enjoyed it? Yes, Ali! Well, until he got too far out and couldn't see how deep it was or indeed anything else. I think next time we snorkel we need to find perfectly clear seas so we can see more. And we'll definitely do it again.


After our little trip there was a cave on the beach to explore. The guide had said, under no circumstances to go into the cave. Of course everyone did. Two people got knocked off their feet by the waves crashing through. So far so good though - no actual injuries.


After that, it was time to go back, so we waded out to the boat so we could climb the steps back up. To help Esme I'd taken her snorkel, flippers and flip flops (cos she'd worn them to the beach for some reason) so she could board more easily. So there I was, one floatation device, two pairs of flippers, two snorkels and one pair of flip flops. I turned to make sure Esme could get on okay, turned around again to discover I'd slipped under the boat! Grabbed hold to stop myself going fully under and scraped my toes all along the hull. So out of a whole boatload of people I was the only one who got any damage. Didn't hurt though. Well, not until it started to get dark and I sprayed some deet on to keep the mossies at bay. Oooouuuuccchhhhh!


Overall though it was just brilliant. I started to get seasick on the way back but took some meds and focused on the horizon, which ended up being an incredibly mindful experience. As the sun was setting and the flying fish were leaping out in front of us, I felt incredibly calm, happy and at peace. An experience I will not forget for a long time.


Pura Vida everyone.











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