Co-ordinates: 09°24´N, 84°10´W
Air Temperature: 32°C
Early in the morning the Silver Explorer dropped anchor in front of the town of Quepos. Temperature was still pleasant, as a cool breeze came from the ocean towards land, but this should change quite rapidly during our first stop in Costa Rica. The excursions started early in the morning to avoid the heat of the day.
Today I was on the Mangrove tour, a beautiful boat ride through the nearby mangrove ecosystem. (Guests also had the option of a Manuel Antonio National Park tour.) After a short bus ride of about 20 minutes, our tour reached the starting point. The boats were comfortable with roofs that protected our guests from sun during the tour. Right from the beginning we had excellent views of many different birds. Great white Heron, Spoonbills, Snowy Egret and Green Heron were fishing on the nearby sandbanks. At the beginning the river arm was wide and the mangrove was just a green stripe on the horizon, but soon the boat sailed into smaller channels of this ecosystem and the beautiful mangrove trees were now close enough to observe the different adaptations to this special environment, like for example stilt roots, salt glands, and pneumatophores.
I enjoyed the tour very much, not only seeing the different fauna but also being able, as a botanist, to explain the features of this ecosystem to our guests. Fortunately this day we not only saw a great diversity of birds and the different mangrove tree species but also a young American Crocodile and the Silky Anteater. Also our local guide this morning was excellent and so the guests got as much information as possible about this fragile environment.
One highlight at the end of the tour was Capuchin Monkeys playing around in the trees near the channel. After the tour a short bus ride brought us to a restaurant where we enjoyed some refreshments, like watermelon, pineapple and a delicious orange juice. The temperature in the meantime reached 30 degrees and together with the high humidity, one could feel the real tropical climate.
In the afternoon my duty was Zodiac shuttling to our “shore party”. About 23 guests took the opportunity and went to a nearby beach, with our shuttle bus, to do some swimming in a beautiful blue ocean and to relax on a white sandy beach.
The activities of the second day of this voyage finished with a Recap & Briefing followed by the Captain’s Welcome Cocktail Party in The Theatre.