Neither of us made it to fishing this morning, as we wanted some extra sleep.  We asked Gray what we missed, and he said "absolutely nothing."  FOMO disaster averted.  Breakfast was huevos rancheros and beans, plus some fruit.  We waited a bit to head out for the whale sharks because it was windy, and depending on the wind speed and direction we were going to go to a different place for whale sharks, the bay closer to town.  Crystal read time by reading, Justin killed time by going on a walk with Chaco to check out some of the giant cacti near the lodge. He was very careful to watch out for rattlesnakes. The cacti were enormous, this photo shows how large they are in reference to Chaco.

Gray eventually decided it was preferable to go back to Las Animas. Claudia unfortunately wasn't feeling up to it again, so it was the four of us.  Despite being so windy, the water was even calmer than the day before, which itself was calmer than the day before that.  We found a shark fairly quickly today, but it didn't want to surface.  This was the opposite strategy of yesterday – rather than go laterally, go vertically.  It was a little easier to see because it had a large white remora swimming with it, but it didn't really matter. We tried to swim with it a couple times with limited success, then went to snorkel area whilst Gray, Luis, and Cynthia got some clams for happy hour.

The snorkel area was around two small islands that we passed by every day, and the islands were chock full of cacti with birds sitting atop them. There wasn't much of note in the water except for a dead bird (maybe a pelican) that ironically looked like it had been cleaned up by fish. After snorkeling, we went back in search of sharks, preferably ones at the surface.  We found a couple, both young ones, who were even faster than the ones the day before.  We managed to get a bit of time with one of them before we gave in to exhaustion.  Because of our late start, and two separate attempts at whale shark viewing, we were very late to get back.  Lunch today was a taco bar, and we all did a little cooking with the staff, trying (mostly in vain) to make tortillas for lunch.  Most of our tortillas were not anywhere close to round, not consistently thick, and so on.  Watching people who’ve made thousands if not tens of thousands do it was very humbling.  We had grilled fish and also some carne asada, with a bunch of condiments (guac, drunken salsa, onions, cilantro, hot sauce). It was really good, and everyone had multiple tacos, with Justin having 4. 

We didn't finish “lunch” until around 3:45.  We were set to go out snorkeling near a little island north of the resort shortly, but needed some time to digest first.  We were all sitting around and chit-chatting in the meantime.  Claudia and Deanna saw a dark object near the beach, we also saw what appeared to be a net.  It was in fact a net, and Gray told us that they were worried about taking it down because of retribution in this part of the country.  Nets cost a lot of money to fishermen, and if the resort were to take out someone’s net, they might retaliate against the resort, which admittedly is very short-staffed and in a very remote area. 

Cynthia went out to see dark object, but also went to see what was in the net.  Sadly, it was bad news, it was a recently deceased sea turtle.  The afternoon excursion was delayed to deal with this.  Gray told Luis and Rafa they needed to get rid of net no matter what the consequences, and they readily agreed.  Apparently seeing Cynthia so upset made an impact on them.  Justin missed all of this, as he left the lounge area to get his snorkeling equipment right as Cynthia was getting in the water, and when he came out just a few minutes later everything had already happened.  When he went out to boat, Cynthia was understandably distraight, Rafa was subdued, and Gray was quiet.

Only Justin and Cynthia went on the afternoon excursion to the island north of the lodge.  The intent was that the boat would stop at the beach, and we could enjoy the beach and/or snorkel around the island.  But there was a family and their dog were on beach, so Rafa took the boat to the north tip of the island and everyone hopped out of the boat into the water to snorkel.  Gray and Cynthia went around the east side, and Justin went on the west side towards the beach.  Justin was freaked out by so many stingrays in such shallow water that he had a minor panic attack, and he decided to go onto some terra firma. 

The consequence of this decision, however, was that he had no footwear once on the beach.  Even though he had no shoes, he gingerly walked up to the top of island, where he saw Gray and Cynthia snorkeling far below.  The island was covered with rocks, cacti, and lots of seabirds that wondered why someone was walking around on their island.  Thankfully, Justin didn’t step on anything too sharp or anything with thorns.  He tried to walk down a different way, but that wasn’t going to happen, so he walked back the way he came, and once at the bottom, Rafa was kind enough to come pick him up from the beach.  The boat headed south, and Rafa picked up Cynthia and Gray, and then headed back.

Crystal had been reading the whole time on her Kindle, which got quite a workout this trip.  Happy hour came right after the boat returned, but no one was hungry, as everyone was still full from lunch.  So instead everyone drank, listened to music, checked out current events on their phones, and Justin updated our trip log.  Claudia was out with us, but still not feeling well, and so she asked if she could eat on one of the lounge chairs rather than at the dinner table. 

Out of solidarity with Claudia, everyone then ate on the couches for dinner and dessert.  Gray and Grazia were initially surprised (apparently this had never happened before), but eventually took to the idea.  No one spilled anything, so that helped, but we’re sure Chaco, Toby, or Francis would have cleaned anything in any event.  Dinner was chile relleno, which was tasty, and thankfully small, because everyone was still pretty full.  Everyone took off shortly after dinner, around 9:30.  The two of us went straight to sleep.

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