Last Update: 16-MAR-2015
All photos were taken with a Canon PowerShot S100 12.1mp camera (orange date) or a Canon EOS-70D 20.2mp camera (white date)
For a detailed description of the Canon EOS-70D 20.2mp camera setup I am using, visit my Camera Page
Any video was shot with both cameras and converted with AWS Video Converter 8
Tuesday - MAR 25 2014
Very humid morning in Puerto Limon. You can see the beginning of the mountains 18 miles to the west. San Jose (the Capitol of Costa Rica) is 75 miles to the west.
We were here from 6:30am to 4 pm so a long day.
We had a tour set up here and we went out to where we were supposed to meet the company but after waiting for 30 minutes or so they never showed up. One of the taxi / tour guys were very friendly with us during this wait and said he would offer us a comparable package at a similar price. So, we went with Antonio Allen Sharp.
One of the places Mary wanted to go was a boat ride up the Tortuguero Canal so we went up to a marina located in Mion, Costa Rica at:(09°59'54.16"N 83°4'43.17"W)
Tortuguero, which means "region of turtles" in Spanish, is home to four of the world's eight species of green sea turtle including Leatherback, Olive Ridley, Loggerhead, and Hawksbill turtles.
Tortuguero National Park protects 46,815 acres (18,946 ha) of natural wildlife habitat including over twenty miles of coastline in which the turtles lay eggs. The park is also home to a variety of animal species including jaguars, macaws, tapirs, over 300 species of birds, reptiles, and other mammals. A number of manatees call Tortuguero their home as well, though they are difficult to spot. The park offers great views of local fauna from either trailside or boat, and guides are available to help visitors navigate the marshland.
There are no roads leading to Tortuguero and is most commonly accessed by boat from the town of Moin found near the port town of Limon. From here you’ll take a boat trip on the canal to Tortuguero and its National Park.
The Tortuguero National Park is one of the most varied parks boasting high rainforests to marshy lands, long stretches of beach, wide open canals perfect for crocodile spotting, and is also one of the most important breeding grounds for the Green Sea Turtle. The wildlife here is rich and diverse with unusually large populations of monkeys, birds and fish.
Only us and we had the boat to ourselves
Iguana in the tree
Immature yellow-crowned night heron
The short, thick-necked Cattle Egret spends most of its time in fields rather than streams. It forages at the feet of grazing cattle, head bobbing with each step, or rides on their backs to pick at ticks. This stocky white heron has yellow plumes on its head and neck during breeding season.
Caiman - Caimans inhabit Central and South America. They are relatively small crocodilians with most species reaching lengths of only a few meters.
Our first sloth on the boat trip. little did we know that we would have another sloth adventure in a few hours.
This sloth had a baby (hard to see)
The large refinery - Refinería de RECOPE en Moín
Little Blue Heron. The Little Blue Heron is a stand-and-wait predator, rather than a frenetic, dashing-about predator. They watch the water for fish and other small morsels, changing locations by walking slowly or by flying to a completely different site. They nest in trees, usually among other nesting herons and wading birds.
From a distance, the Green Heron is a dark, stocky bird hunched on slender yellow legs at the water’s edge, often hidden behind a tangle of leaves. Seen up close, it is a striking bird with a velvet-green back, rich chestnut body, and a dark cap often raised into a short crest. These small herons crouch patiently to surprise fish with a snatch of their dagger like bill. They sometimes lure in fish using small items such as twigs or insects as bait.
Among the most elegant of the herons, the slender Snowy Egret sets off immaculate white plumage with black legs and brilliant yellow feet. Those feet seem to play a role in stirring up or herding small aquatic animals as the egret forages.
Costa Rica Coast Guard - Many of these boats are taken from the drug smugglers
Two more sloths - They really are boring... They don't move much and are hard to make out depending on the sun angle and vegetation.
We should have stated that we wanted to go much further up the canals. We returned to the marina in Moin and said that we want to see more.
Not too worried as we will be back here again.
Puerto Moín - Large container ship with bananas are being loaded.
So we went over to Playa Bonita to check out the beach and get some beer at the Quimbamba Bar and Restaurant.
This area received considerable damage from the 22-APR-1991 mag 7.6 earthquake. It was caused by the rupture of a reverse fault and the up-lift raised the Caribbean coast between .3 and 1.9 meters adding as much as 100 meters to the shore in some places and reveling large areas of coral reefs. Docks in Limon lost 1.5 meters in water depth and a part of the Totugero canals in the north were drained. You can see where the sea floor is now exposed 23 years later. During the earthquake 48 people were killed and over 400 were injured.
We were warned not to go off of the beach area close to the resort and that we may be robbed if we went past this sign - no deje basuya en la playa cuidela cochino (Spanish)
do not leave basuya cuidela pig Beach (English)
Small snails were everywhere
Sea urchin test, limpet shell and marine snail…
Our tour guide pointed out the small boats that were traveling north at high speed and said that they were drug runners. He said once they got into the network of canals to the north that they were be able to continue without any issues. I found it interesting that he knew all the details. This part of Costa Rica is a bit more dangerous that the central and west coast were we have spent more time.
So we headed back into Puerto Limon and our guide took us to a high point where we could look over the city.
Our ship and port area
Looking down the coast towards Panama
It was still too early to go back... So, the tour guy knew where an old abandoned house was down the coast filled with bats and a sloth. He was starting to figure out what we wanted.. We were not into shopping.. We wanted to see critters and other wild areas.
So we headed south on CR-36. Sixaola, Costa Rica was 94 KM (58 miles) back to the Panama Border.
Airline navigation system located along CR-36
So we arrived at this abandoned property. Some guy met us here and we gave him a couple of bucks to look at the property. Also, they said it was for sale if we were interested.
As we walked up to the building a three toed sloth was hanging out right at chest level.
I have seen many slots but never been this close. I always figured they were some type of monkey but in fact they are related to anteaters, which sport a similar set of specialized claws. Extant sloths are arboreal (tree-dwelling) residents of the jungles of Central and South America, and are known for being slow-moving, and hence named "sloths".
I could have easily touched it but they make a good habitat for other organisms, and a single sloth may be home to moths, beetles, cockroaches, ciliates, fungi, and algae so I did not want to catch some sloth disease. Also, this one was swinging his claws at us so it would not have been easy to touch.
I took a bunch of photos from around 4 feet away. I figured I may never be this close to one again in the wild. Very cool!
The sloth moved further up into the tree and started swinging his arms at us. He / she had enough of us at this point
So we moved to the next interesting thing to see at this property. Bats and lots of them. - Bats are the most diverse and species-rich group of mammals in Costa Rica, which is more than double the number of bats that occurs in the US and Canada combined.
We think that these are - Seba's short-tailed bat (Carollia perspicillata) is a common and widespread bat species from South and Central America.
Some were lined up.
And they were very aware that we were here.
One last look at the sloth now in a coco tree with cocoa pods.
Cool bird nest - Huge colonies of Montezuma Oropendolas and Chestnut-headed Oropendolas, large members of the oriole family with bright yellow tails, can be found nesting in the Hitoy Cerere Biological Reserve from January to August. Nest trees are easy to spot since they sport dozens of meter-long hanging pouch nests that the birds so expertly weave. This is one people hooked on a wire.
Huge hornets' nest
So, back up to Puerto Limon.
Costa Rica feels more of a home than back in the USA. I feel that I belong here. Like so many other times we were with the tour guide for a couple of hours and we are great friends. I am delaying my next trip down here as I feel that I may just quit my job, sell my house and move here. Not logical as I am just a bit over four years till retirement.
Mary with Antonio with the towns new US made fire truck
Antonio with his taxi
So, we went walking around town and went to the supermarket to see if they had my favorite sugar cookies we were finding in the western part of Costa Rica
Sad that they did not have our cookies. Like in the Atenas area, they had the eggs that were not in the fridge and it was only 95 out.
They had Fud & Zar
Interesting booze security system with hose clamps
We walked back down to the park along the coast.
soursop (I think Mary is wrong)
So, when we were here back in 2005 I could not figure out why they would build a park so far away from the water. Now I know. The 1991 earthquake raised this area over 6 feet and its why the area around the sea walls is above the surf.
We walked back to go on the ship and Antonio was back looking for customers. He bought Mary a coconut. They liked her military backpack with the water hose.
Antonio's contact info.
Antonio Allen Sharp - Puerto Limon, Costa Rica
Cel: 89401300 - Casa: 27584156 - Detras Del ED. Bermuoles
Another quick walk thru Limon to kill some time
Back to the ship
Mary was shopping and I almost dropped from the heat & humidity. I like it very warm but this was pushing the limit of 270lb ken
It was 95.2 degrees - 55% humidity - dew point was 78.7 - Heat index was 124.0 - nice !
Interesting way to transport vehicles on the container ship
Puerto Limon, Costa Rica from the ship
This guy needs to eat more fruit - Costa Rica, coast guard
Broken Prius & more trucks
Fixer-upper with raised beach area because of earthquake
Sunset time - was messing with various settings so I have a blue & orange primary color
Very strange... Cutting ribs this way. Not good. We called it bony bacon
Because we are now heading east we could try to take photos of the southern cross from our balcony
Did not come out very good as we are on a moving ship but you can see it.
Wednesday - MAR 26 2014
At sea day - wide open ocean
Mary enjoying her balcony on a beautiful day
Booby going after flying fish.
Sunset time.... Fighting the crowds
The crew cleaning the decks again
Good sunset with green flash potential - but nothing
This evenings critter
Not far from the Caymans. Its 11:40 pm and the water temp here is 86. Nice !
The last formal night with lobster
Mary in her old lady dress
Thursday - MAR 27 2014
At sea off the northwest coast of Cuba
Sunrise - Because we were heading north & east we had the sunrise on our side of the ship.
Cuba - about 15 miles away
I love the sea days... View from our cabin... Will never cruise again without a balcony
Dutch flagged - Cool Expreso container ship heading east along the north west coast of cuba
Chiquita container ship heading south probably out of the Port of New Orleans
The rum we were buying that comes in a PLASTIC bottle with PLASTIC cap. This way its not picked up by a metal detector and you can easily get it on the ship. The price was is not in US dollars.
Boring last sunset
The last dinner
Ken looking happy
Mary got her mango
Friday - MAR 28 2014
Back in Ft. Lauderdale
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