Thursday, May 24, 2012

Feb 1st 2012: Bugs, Bugs Everywhere and not a Hermit Crab in Site



Sunny Hot Light breeze from the E for the morning none in the afternoon.

Distance 13KNM ?

Dinner: Pizza Baked in the Dutch oven over the fire


When I was a kid I used to go to the rock pools at low tide on the beach and look for critters. I would find the usual ensemble; Anemones, Blennies, Crabs, Limpets, Chitons, Small fish; occasionally I would stumble across something unusual like an octopus……… Today at lunch, I took Allie to see some bats I had found in a small coastal cave, on the walk back meandering through the rock pools I stood next to one pool full of sand, my toes hanging over the edge near the water. I focused past my feet and on to the shape mixed into the sand submerged in crystal clear water…………… A CROC lay there! Wow what a great surprise, here was a 3 and a half foot croc, staying dead still hoping I wouldn’t notice it, and it remained there the full 3 hours while we had our lunch on that beach, quite a bit different than your average rock pool specimens. “Gotta love Coiba!”IMG_4097

This morning we were up late as my alarm didn’t go off, then to top it off, Allie discovered the Hermit crabs had found the pre made Breakfast ( just needing hot water this morning) tipped it out and eaten it all. Allie was not impressed, she had been complaining about them as it was, and was sick of the ground constantly moving and the leaf litter rustling with their constant search for food, and this act just topped it off. I thought it all a bit funny, one because Allie hadn’t thought to secure the food in a more inaccessible place; and secondly because I had been feeling guilty about all the hermit crab lives we had been taking in order to catch fish; and thought it appropriate they seek some payment, thus I was happy they hadn’t attempted to eat us in our sleep.DCIM\116GOPRO

DSC07832On the water, we made good time despite our late start, and rounded the SE point at about 11.30am, there was a good E wind blowing which brought a good size fetch and made the sea very messy and lumpy around the point, this made for some fun for me and a bit of anxiety for DSC07845Allie. We survived though and Allie even gave a poor shark a fright as she came cresting over a wave and slamming down right in front of him, the spooked fish disappeared in the blink of an eye. By 12.30pm my back was aching and I had rubbed some patches raw on my lower back, so I was happy to pull in for lunch, have a picture session with a rock pool Crocodile, a snooze and a taping of my open wounds before continuing on for the afternoon.

DSC07842Come 3pm we pushed on for some more distance, the seas were now oily flat; we were gazing across now at the mainland and not the open Equatorial Pacific Ocean. Eventually we found a good place to camp, pulled up, ran around looking for firewood, then realized how bad the bugs where. For the first time in our 7 days around the island the sand flies where incessant, frustratingly so, we had to stand in the smoke of the fire to try and get away from them. The one bonus for Allie however was that, strangely, there were NO hermit crabs on this beach; one plus and one minus, I think Allie would take the hermits over the bitters any day if she had the choice. We fall asleep salty and scratchy (no fresh water at this camp site to bath in) to howler monkeys roaring in the trees behind us and the soft lapping of the incoming sea as we lay hidden from the bugs in the bug screen tent. Finally some unglamorous camping, despite the fact that we made fresh pizza on the camp fire and had a glass of red wine as we watched the sunset, while wearing lots of bug spray.

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