Almost Southern: open water is not my friend

Wear a life jacket and don’t touch the animals!

Almost Southern: open water is not my friend

by Meredith Mulhern, Staff Writer

So there I was, standing in the middle of the Costa Rican jungle next to the Rio Ora, when I saw a slight trickling coming down from a tree. I looked up, and sure enough there was an iguana above us who was casually peeing/defecating into the river. Let me tell you, I never knew iguanas could release that much waste from their body.

I thought I would introduce my blog this week, which is about my fab time in Costa Rica, with a funny/disturbing story (a.k.a. the iguana almost peeing on us). But anyway, it was a grand time and I highly recommend going if you ever get the chance.

We stayed in Islita, which is a little town on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. It was around 95 degrees every day and it was always sunny. We stayed in this beautiful house that overlooked the ocean and the jungle below us.

On the first day, I chilled at the beach and ate a five-course meal from the hotel restaurant. On the second day, we ate lunch and dinner on a yacht and watched the sunset. After that, we went to this little restaurant in town and made friends with some wild dogs and I had some dank watermelon juice.

On the third day, I rode a giant hotdog through the ocean. Yeah, you read that right. We took the yacht to the middle of the ocean and tubed on a giant hotdog. I have never been more scared for my life than in that short fifteen minutes where I was traveling twenty-five miles an hour on an inflatable sandwich.

We also went surfing, zip-lining, kayaking, and took a cocktail mixing class (I’m eighteen so I can’t get in trouble, SUCK IT AMERICA). Anyways, I was so incredibly sad to leave on Sunday. I would go back in a heartbeat because the Costa Rican people are literally the nicest people I have ever met and their country is so beautiful. Also, shoutout to my dad who thought I was going to get murdered there. I am well and alive, thank you very much, Dad.

However, I discovered one thing about myself during this trip: I am terrified of swimming in open water. I blame this on the fact that my dad always makes it a point to tell my sister and I that he had a cousin who drowned in open water on a lake.

So there I was, standing on the back of the yacht, looking at all of my friends happily swimming in open water. This was very deep open water, I might add. It was very tempting to jump in; the water was clear and looked turquoise and not dangerous at all. So, I jumped in. As soon as I hit the water, I kept screaming to myself in my head “REGRET, REGRET, REGRET, REGRET THIS WAS A TERRIBLE IDEA.” I surfaced, and suddenly the boat seemed so much further away. You also have to keep in mind that my swimming skills are less than exemplary due to the fact that I quit country club swim team when I was seven. I can barely do freestyle and I’m halfway decent at breaststroke.

Anyway, this is the moment when I really start panicking. I feel red, hot anxiety course through my veins and think to myself, “Well, this is the moment where I die. I’m going to get left in the ocean and turn into turtle food.” I desperately start doggy paddling towards the boat, but again, it seems so far away. It’s like every time I move, the boat moves. Finally, I made it to the ladder and quickly climbed up. Then I jumped in a second time. Don’t ask me why I did that because I honestly don’t know.

The second time I swam in open water this trip was much better considering I had a life jacket. However, since I am a very small person, none of the life jackets fit me. I got on the hotdog anyway. If I didn’t have a life jacket I am fully convinced I would died out there on the hotdog. That thing was traveling very fast over some very big wavy things that came from the boat. I think it’s called a wake but idk. We were flung off multiple times, and it reminded me of the scene from The Incredibles where Dash is in the ocean and he’s screaming about how they’re all going to die. That was literally me.

However, even though I hate water, this was a great trip. Please go if you get a chance because Costa Rica is a fab place. Just don’t swim in the ocean without a life jacket. Also, don’t touch the monkeys because apparently they can maul you. You learn something new every day, right?