Day 6 |
Oct 26, 2011

Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica 

By Claudia Holgate, Climatologist

Co-ordinates: 8º39’N, 83º15’W
Weather: Partly cloudy with calm conditions
Air Temperature: 25.9C
Wind speed 5,4km/h North westerly
Pressure 1008 hPa

Today was another spectacular day, jam-packed with activity. In the morning after completing the necessary customs clearances required to land in Costa Rica, we headed over to our anchorage point close to the Casa Orquideas. Casa Orquideas was our one landing of the day and what a stunning place it was. It is a garden in the middle of a tropical rainforest, only accessible by boat. Half of the guests went here first and were broken into groups of 15, each with a local guide. The guides were excellent, as they described how this family had planted a large part of the garden. On our guided walk we saw violet-headed hummingbirds flitting from one trumpet flower to the next, barely giving us time to take a good look. We then went past the Bromeliad garden and heard about all the frogs and crabs that live in the water of the Bromeliad leaves. In fact, one of the Bromeliads had a little crab in it. In each section, the guides gave fantastic information as we slowly absorbed the beautiful surroundings. We looked up into the palm trees and there was a Chestnut mandibled Toucan, no wait there were two, then we spotted 3 collared Aracari, another striking toucan-like bird with red, yellow and black on its front and green on its back.

On our way back to the landing site our guide gave us a taste of the most delicious grapefruit I have ever tasted; it was sweet and tasted like nectar, no need for sugar for this grapefruit. One of the most interesting stops was the fan-leafed palm that is home to some of the tiny bats that inhabit the island. The bats score a line in the palm leaves, which are shaped like giant fans about 1m in diameter. The leaf then bends on the scored line and creates a shelter for the bats, where they can sleep undisturbed during the daytime. On our way back to the landing site a flock of Scarlet Macaws flew over and then back again. Oh my word, what a beautiful sight with all the red and purple as they flew past.

It was time to go back to the ship, so we reluctantly gathered at the beach where we jumped into our trusty Zodiacs and headed back to the ship for lunch.

Shortly after lunch, the group took a long, 3-nautical-mile Zodiac trip to a wildlife sanctuary further up the coastline. This sanctuary was taken over by Carol and Earl Crews who are looking after all sort of forest species, from the Scarlet macaw, which we had a chance to meet close up, to “Sweetie and Winkie” the spider monkeys who hold your hand and ask you to give them a scratch. The tour was an excellent way to get to see many of the rainforest species that we would not see at close quarters in the wild, such as white-faced monkeys, tayra and sloths.

It was another spectacular tropical forest experience that left most of us glowing with delight.

Everyone came back to the ship later in the afternoon and had a bit of time before our last Recap & Briefing. As the Expedition Team jostled for position to present a short snippet relevant to our cruise, we ended another successful day on the Silver Explorer. The only thing left was to enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by our Executive Chef Christian to round off a fabulous day.