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Incarnate

So, where are we going now? Nohelia asks me.

To the bottom of the devil, she says

And what is there?, he asks again.

Well, the devil! he says….

Shark at the bajo del diablo
Shark at the bajo del diablo

Bajo del diablo is the most named diving point of the Caño Island in Costa Rica, South Pacific.

A submerged mountain that approaches its top to about 7-8 meters from the surface, intended for the best divers.

Since 97.25% of the time it has a very strong current to enter, and underwater, a back and forth that can be exhausting especially in the shallowest part, where the cleaning station is.

Turtle in the devil's pinnacle
Turtle in the devil’s pinnacle

There we arrived together with Nohelia, her husband Santiago, and 2 more divers.

We landed in the valley of white sand formed by the rock ridges that form this Pinnacle.

The visibility is very good, the temperature is better, the coming and going is long but determined…

We were there quietly looking everywhere for about 3 minutes, recovering our breath after the demanding descent.

We headed for the deepest valley, and in the canyon that joins these two valleys, we came face to face with a school of 375 barracudas, all looking at us…
They flew over us as we walked very slowly through the deepest valley with a dozen sharks very calm at the bottom, we continued towards the outer wall.

The current and something in me stopped me; I went back to the cleaning station,
we came up behind him, and a minute later, the blanket appeared. (Manta birostris).

Big black Manta ray
Big black Manta ray

Immense!, more than 6 meters.

One of the largest I have seen, very black but not total, the white spot on its belly contrasted with the matte black of its body and face, it passed us in front about 5 meters from me and 7 of the divers, elegantly continued on his way, in a very fleeting contact….

The four pairs of eyes of my divers did not fit in the mask, they were happy, I went back looking for the outer wall, when flying over the sharks, we noticed their very different attitude, moving very fast and chasing another, they want love I thought; but no, when we approached the scamper he had a nylon along his body, which came from a hook, embedded in his mouth,….

“Don’t eat fish, please, or be aware of how it is obtained…”

Overcome the drama, again the stubbornness I go to the cleaning station, once again coming from behind, I advance a little more, and I find a 4-pound lead. uuuffff…. that’s where the perfect buoyancy came from.

divers in Caño Island
Divers in Caño Island

I immediately started looking for Cano who was with the other group, to hook that weight on him….hehehe…

And, I find him, he passed the weight, ok, ok…

A few seconds later he points me to the front of his group, and there it was again, the huge black turned out to be a male, and I won’t write the mantle.

The other group in security stop, left the blanket for the 5 of us, we began to swim to get closer, while he continued on his way; Perceiving our presence, it makes us a majestic cobra, and looks at us…

And starts a slow turn to the right; I pointed out to my divers how to position ourselves, while I imitated with my arms the movement of the cephalic fins of the new buddy…

Mae liked the rod and closed her turn to get closer, and we made eye contact, several times she circled us very widely, at the visual limit…

In his last approach he became very curious and got very close, the eye contact was intense, and out of the corner of my eye I could see how his flapping brought the end of his wing closer to my left hand, which was extended to the maximum of my wingspan….

His wing passed inches from my hand on the way down, and on the way up it just grazed the tips of my fingers…

…., I look at my divers, one of them shows me 700 pounds; the new friend got the message, and slowly, elegantly, mind-bogglingly,
…gone, into the deepest blue.

Maurosub…. forever

Costa Rica dive and surf, much more than diving…