I thought it couldn’t possibly be any hotter than it was in Brazil. I was wrong. After a day at sea we arrived at Puerto Quepos, a small town on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. With a population of 20,000, the main attractions here are world class sport fishing and the Manuel Antonio National Park. The main economy revolves around tourism and fishing. After reading the list of excursions offered at this port such as an aerial tram and seeing wildlife like sloths, we found we had done much of this at other ports in the Central America. We decided to just walk around the town.
When I stepped out on our balcony that morning, a blast of heat hit me like opening an oven door. This was a tender port and usually we go out and sit on the boat until it is full and then it leaves. Today they held everyone wait on the air-conditioned ship until they had a full load and then took everyone outside to the boat together. It was just too hot for people to wait on the boat.
A short ride took us to the scenic Marina Pez Vela. We walked around the marina and quickly decided it was too hot to walk into town since it didn’t have much of interest to see there. When we saw people coming back from excursions drenched in sweat and on the verge of heatstroke, we were glad we had made the decision to stay in the port.
Holland America staff were there at the dock with cold washcloths, water and lemonade. When we arrived back at the ship, the tender boat was really rocking, making it difficult to stand and disembark. The Holland America crew were right there with outstretched hands to help us get safely back onboard.
In the evening they had a great comedian that played an electronic violin.
We had two sea days ahead of us before reaching our first port in Mexico. The first sea, day in the afternoon, they had an ice cream social by the pool. Nice idea but people descended on that ice cream like locusts. I thought it was rather comical since we have ice cream with toppings available to us every day, all day. And yet they waited in a long line in the hot sun. Bill managed to get in line early.
That evening the world stage entertainment was another singing comedian. Her last song was the theme song from the Titanic and she put on a life jacket while singing. We all laughed, but little did we know what was to come.
Around 2:00 AM I woke up to the ship really rocking and rolling. I could hear the waves crashing against the ship and the wind howling, and it was getting worse. I managed to get up and take two seasick pills. Bill was sleeping, oblivious to what was happening. I woke him up so he could assure me everything was going to be okay. LOL. This continued for hours. Bill went back to sleep and at some point I fell asleep. We woke up to a calm ocean and bright sunshine. We are on deck five and we had salt water spray on our balcony windows and the deck was wet. One of the workers at Guest Services said she put on her clothes and a life jacket and got back in bed. Even I wasn’t that bad, but I did wonder how we would ever get in the lifeboats with all that wind if the ship went down.
It was all the talk at breakfast and everyone agreed it was pretty bad. At the Captain’s noon talk he said we experienced a “tehuantepecer” or violent squalling wind that is found in winter in the southern part of Mexico near Guatemala and Nicaragua. The Captain said the winds were over 60 knots, or 69 mph, and the swells were over 17 feet. He said they added water to big tanks on the starboard side of the ship to try to keep the ship from listing so much. The most the ship rolled was four degrees, but it sure felt like more! If I see that singer around the ship I am going to suggest she not sing The Titanic song again. LOL. Supposedly ship captains don’t like the mention of The Titanic on the ship. They consider it bad luck.
Next up: Manzanillo, Mexico