Friday, February 11, 2011

Long term internship - the boat ride in

After our 10 weeks on the Jalova expedition in Tortuguero National Park and our 2 week Spanish course in Nicaragua, it is now time for the 10 week internship placement part of our Rainforest Conservation Internship and Work Experience here in Costa Rica.
Dave and I arrived at the Sierpe boat terminal from San Jose ready and raring to start our placement in Drake Bay.
Our captain Rafa alerted us when it was time for us to leave. We boarded the small boat along with the various passengers and cargo, including a washing machine.
We set off along the calm Sierpe River, whizzing past the various birds and occasionally stopping for photo ops of the massive crocodiles. Soon enough, we were approaching the river mouth, where the river of Sierpe meets the Pacific Ocean. What was once a calm journey turned in to a rough, exhilarating ride. We had to make the short run into the open waters through a gap in the swell breaking on the reef in front of us.
Rafa edged closer and closer to the hefty surging waves making the foreign passengers silently nervous. He steered the vessel close to some nearing rocks J in order to edge the boat closer to the escape route.
As Rafa was about to make our getaway, a massive set rolled in and the first wave broke not too far in front of us. Rafa revved the 200 horsepower engine, steering us safely out of danger. Merely escaping the set of waves, Rafa was ready for round two. He crept back towards the rocks and edging the way to the gap between two large rocks safely getting us out of harm’s way, and onward to the next phase of Dave and my internship.

After dropping off the various passengers in Drake Bay town (photo: Drake Bay), there was only two other passengers along with Dave and I left. As we reached our destination, we noticed that there was not a dock only a small beach, waves crashing on to the shore line, and a few men waiting for the boat to hit the shore. Rafa reversed the boat slowly in to the beach, being careful not to be caught by any of the larger breaking waves. As the boat reached the shore the men on the shore, Rafa and his deckhand/money collector rushed us all out of the boat to avoid us getting completely soaked by the crashing waves. Pablo the project coordinator of Project Carey introduced himself and helped us retrieve our luggage. After helping Rafa push his boat off the shore, Pablo lead the way to our new home… well at least for the next ten weeks.