Costa Rica | Buceo en Golfo de Papagayo

buceo, playas del coco, costa rica, golfo de papagayo, diving, deep blue divingFrom hiking in a cloud forest and ziplining through the trees one day to scuba diving the next, our trip to Costa Rica really was two vacations in one. And on our last full day, Kail and I did our first “real” (in the ocean) buceo. It was very exciting!buceo, playas del coco, costa rica, golfo de papagayo, diving, deep blue divingA few weeks before our trip, I made a reservation with Deep Blue Diving Adventures in Playas del Coco, which was recommended by David, our buceo instructor in El Salvador. I was kind of nervous about it since we had only been diving in Lake Ilopango and only with one dive master. But buceando with Deep Blue Diving Adventures turned out to be a good experience and really fun.buceo, playas del coco, costa rica, golfo de papagayo, diving, deep blue divingAlso, I got to use my GoPro! Unfortunately it was sort of dark and, the deeper you go underwater, the more colors you lose. So the photo and video quality isn’t that great. I’ve ordered a color-correcting filter that will hopefully make things a little better.buceo, playas del coco, costa rica, golfo de papagayo, diving, deep blue divingI did notice that in shallower waters and the closer I got to the subjects I was shooting, the better the pictures and video turned out. Seems obvious and simple to rectify, right? Right. Unless the subjects you are shooting are white-tipped reef sharks and stingrays, both of which we saw! I kept a healthy distance between them and myself, and hence was only able to capture some grainy footage of the sharks from afar.http://youtu.be/Q31VpPCKkY4That little dark spot on the left of the screen toward the end of the video is a shark!We did two dives, both in the Golfo de Papagayo, about a 15- to 20-minute boat ride away from the beach. The first dive was at a dive site called Virador, a low-lying volcanic island, and the second dive was at a site called Tortuga. In addition to the white-tipped reef sharks and stingrays, we also saw eagle rays and tons of fish. I’m disappointed I didn’t get better footage of the sea life, but I’ll know what to do better next time.buceo, playas del coco, costa rica, golfo de papagayo, diving, deep blue divingMonkey’s Head — another dive site we passed on our way to Virador.As you can imagine, I was more focused on the techniques of diving (breathing well, equalizing, trying to remain neutrally buoyant) than camera work. I was also trying not to lose or break equipment. I lost my mask after our first dive (instead of putting it around my neck upon surfacing, I looped it — not tightly enough! — around my arm and it fell to the bottom of the ocean floor somewhere). And then later when I was putting my weight belt back on, I snapped the buckle off (turns out it was not actually broken, but still embarrassing!).buceo, playas del coco, costa rica, golfo de papagayo, diving, deep blue divingThe mask I didn’t lose.Fortunately for me, they had some extra masks on board that I could use for my second dive. Also, the Deep Blue Diving team were all really nice and did not judge me, at least not openly.I’m really looking forward to my next buceo adventure, which happens to be this weekend!

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

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