Greetings to all from the Aft Port watch.  Our first watch at sea was quite busy, with a good lookout required on account of the numerous fishing vessels in the waters of the Gulf of Nicoya.  At the end of the watch, some of us went to have a look at the phosphorescence which others had seen at the bows.  We were rewarded with the sight of two dolphins playing in the bow-wave, silvery ‘snakes’ dashing to-and-fro, disappearing and reappearing with a delightful unpredictability.

These were the first of many (encouraging) sightings of wildlife we have already enjoyed during the past couple of days: a number of solitary turtles swimming along to far-off shores; pods of dolphins; a pair of large striped (unidentified) fish, which swam alongside for about 10 minutes before calmly turning away and heading off into the vastness of the Pacific; a Masked Booby circling the ship; plus a couple of ‘visitors’ landing on deck.  This morning a small swallow-like bird (but lacking the traditional forked tail) had an unfortunate encounter with one of the deckhouse windows, though after a rest in the chartroom, flew off again. As I write this, what we thought to be a Brown Booby is preening itself on the bowsprit, but with its yellow feet (not found in our bird book!), we’re optimistic we may have discovered a new species!

Sailing-wise we are now in the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone which means that the hot dry weather of Puntarenas has given way to alternating calms and squalls.  The lightning last night was dramatic and we’ve had some heavy showers, quite welcome after the stickiness of yesterday.

The routine of watch-keeping has been punctuated by another emergency evacuation drill, bracing practice and a sail-setting talk by our first mate Fliss, whose knowledge of the history of nautical terms adds an extra dimension to the knowledge we are gradually acquiring of how to sail this wonderful ship.

All-in-all, everyone is settling into the routine of being at sea, but we are also excited at the prospect of visiting the Isla del Coco tomorrow – what a bonus!  Aren’t we the lucky ones?!

As they say in Costa Rica, ‘Pura Vida’ (Pure Life).  Greeting from: Kate S, Charlie, Kath and Paul, David, Chris W and Michelle.c