After lunch we left Luna Lodge, drivers drove us to the next place — Golfo Dulce. That was a long way. People bought some snacks and water when we crossed the supermarket. We solved the “food trouble”, and arrived at Golfo Dulce at 2:30 pm. It is a beautiful place near the sea. We lived in wood houses, although the surface was not good, however inside was very clean. After everybody got their room and checked in and then had a meeting. Their staff told us some rules about there, tomorrow’s plan, and taught us about their history and knowledge about fish. Today was very easy, and tomorrow will be a great day!
~ Oscar Zhang
Today we were able to bring the notes from David’s lecture yesterday into the field and gather our data about the dolphins of Golfo Dulce. We were split into three main groups with Chris, Caly and I as the leaders. Chris collected the information about the environment every 30 minutes, Caly took notes of the dolphin’s behaviors in intervals of two and five minutes, while I wrote down the information about the encounter of the dolphins. It took a couple hours to find our first group of dolphins. It was cool to see the dolphins up close. Quickly the work became challenging, the dolphins were distracting and the heat became a burden. After about an hour of the encounter the dolphins, we headed to a small beach to experience the water. We snorkeled to see some fish and only a couple corals at the beach. Coming back, I did not have a good time. As much as a good nap feels after being in the sun, I experienced the removal of my lunch over the side of the boat. We pulled to CEIC and were free to prepare for the next lesson on sharks taught by Hazel. She thought that it would be best that we learned a little extra before diving into a shark dissection. We learned basic anatomy to understand and be able to distinguish the pieces of the body. We then headed for our dissection of a young juvenile scalloped hammerhead shark. Personally, after my morning I did not really want to participate, but when would I get another chance like this. I put my gloves on and dove in after the shark was opened. We fiddled around with the insides of the baby shark and determined which organ was which. Making it easy to move on, cut a sample for David and keep cutting into the shark. We split into the heart cavity, then cracked the skull to view the brain. After finding most of the fun things you can in a shark, David put it away properly and we were ready for our next lessons on coral. There were a lot of things on coral preparing us for tomorrow’s snorkels. We learned what threatens them, what they are and what they can do for the surrounding organisms. The day was full of work, but was fun and full of new things about sharks, dolphins and coral.
This is the last morning for us to stay in Luna Lodge. We had meditation on the yoga platform at 7:15 a.m. It was a brand new experience to mediate in such a peaceful and quiet environment. With the rising of the sun and the posture of sun salutations, we are aware of all the movements from just a tiny thing and the sound of the forest. This left me with a deep impression that it is really different from doing yoga at school in Gandhi hall than meditating in the tropical climate.
We all had a good time at Luna Lodge. Then we packed up all our things and got ready to depart to Golfo Dulce. I think it will be a new experience for all of us to research for Dolphins, shark and all marine things.
Ok, all, we are signing off for now. We will be studying poison dart frogs, bioluminescence, and the dolphins, sharks and whales of Golfo Dulce, one of three unique fiords in the world. We will be doing all of this without WIFI!
Thank you to Lana, Willie, Rachel and all the folks at www.lunalodge.com for an incredible stay! The food was delicious, the atmosphere was uplifting and inspiring and the food was delicious! Thank you for nourishing us.
~Oscar J. – Flora Identification and Sketches
“Bird of Paradise”
Passiflora Vitti Folia
Musa Sp. (species) Banana
“Bird’s Beak Pepper”
On Saturday morning I woke up from my mosquito-netted bed just before seven o’clock, just in time to have a good breakfast at the Sirena Research Station. The rest of the group and I ate a full meal because we knew the day ahead would be tiring, but rewarding. After breakfast we met up with our guides “Forta” and “Jungle” Jim and split into two groups each traveling in a different direction down a loop trail, with the idea that we would meet in the middle. I went with Jim and our group set out to find the Tapir which is an endangered species that resembles a pig, but with a prominent prehensile nose trunk. Tapirs like to wallow in the muddy swamps by the trailside, however that day they were not present. Although we didn’t get to see a Tapir we were very happy to be able to stop by a river on the trail and view the wildlife that lives in and around the flowing water of the Sirena River. Within minutes we were able to see Crocodiles drift just below the surface, expertly camouflaged as logs floating in the current. We also were able to catch a glimpse of a bull shark, the only true shark that can swim in fresh and salt water. After heading back to the research station for lunch we all split up. Some if the group stayed back for free time while I and a few others took the opportunity to take a hike to a swimming spot up the Claro River. The hike was one hour, hot and very pretty, and when we arrived we all jumped right in. The water was warm and clear and the bottom was sandy. Everyone who went stayed in for a very long time and when it came for the hike back, we took a different route choosing to walk along the beach as the sun was setting. When we arrived at the beach next to the research station it was 10 minutes to sunset and we all watched the sun descend below a cloudless horizon. After the sun made it’s final descent we took the last leg of the hike back to the research station where we tiredly ate dinner and headed towards bed. I was so tired after the long day that I fell asleep within minutes with the sounds of the rainforest playing in my ears.