Back on another adventure, our instructor Bastian headed off to the amazing Cocos island for a month long adventure studying and helping with important marine conservation research. Here is the first part of his diary….
First day at the Island after a 36 hour boat ride, which by the way its worth to remember and emphasize how cool and exiting it was, the amazing Crew from The Undersea Hunter Group and its massive and astonishing boat ARGO made the trip even better.
Once at the Island I had to start the day in the best way possible, so what better tan a traditional Costarican breakfast ¨Gallo Pinto¨; after that it was time to meet the team at the Park and getting to know the local area.
For my fist day I was told I should just rest from the long trip and chill, but I just wanted to start doing something and getting my hands into something; spontaneously I ran into one of the veterans in the Island, Don Walter or as they call him ¨Manito¨, so I decided to help him sorting out trash and moving it into a temporary storage where it will be taken of the Island pretty soon.
After that rain started (as usual in Coco´s) and everybody just decided to have a slow and mellow evening.
Not to be surprised we had a very hard rain through the whole night. What was kind of disappointing is the fact that a big temporary tent that was built to use as storage for garbage that needs to go out of the island was totally collapsed; so our first task for the day was getting it back up and in place. In the end we all as a big team managed to solve the problem and get it out of the way.
Next task? Time to go for the first dive at Coco´s. Our group mission, recollecting specimen samples for a genetic research guided by the University of Michoacán, and with the assistance of UCR, my mission, being body guard for the researchers and taking care of their backs from sharks once the hunting started. Some will be surprised and ask how can you be hunting in Coco´s, well, we had permission. For my surprise we dropped in a dive site called Manueltia Afuera (Deep dive). We went down at 85 feet and once we get down a massive skull of hammer heads shows up to welcome us in the most amazing way possible. The next 50 minutes where probably the best 50 min of my life and saw things I had never seen in 11 years of diving. Once the hunting started more and more sharks started to show up and more focused and alert we had to be from any suspicious movements from them. After an amazing dive our mission for the day was successful and now it was time to go back for lunch and finish up what was an incredible day.
Got ready for a 2 mile hike up to the first stage of the hydroelectric generator up in Rio Genio, our mission was cleaning up the leaves and sediments that could eventually go into the main plant and cause problems. This task must be done once a week, Saturday is the designated day for this task.
After coming back from our hike, the next task was starting to give maintenance to the boat trailer used to carry the zodiacs into the water. Which is falling apart and needs to be taken care of ASAP.
Day off for volunteers. Decided to teach a Nitrox class to the rest of the volunteers, after that we went diving to Manuelita Profunda , again looking for specific fish species with the investigators from Mexico, and this time another volunteer joined us for the dive. Still waiting to meet the big Tiger shark and the whale shark. Another amazing thing to recall about being here is to watch the deers and the wild pigs hanging out on a daily basis, it seems like the feel comfortable around humans, they are simply part of this small community, not to forget every now and then a wild cat appears showing off his hunting abilities.
Today was time to continue fixing and painting the boat trailer that we started working on 2 days ago. The job that its being done its basically taking apart the Axel of the trailer, cleaning and removing all rust from it, after that its time for welding it back together and finally painting it, including the rims in the tires.
After a long and productive day its finally time to rest and relax. First night since I´ve been here that the sky is nice and clear, this means it time to sit back and look at the moon and the stars.