Tuesday, October 23, 2012

And I was worried about sharks

Well it seems I need to do better research of potential hazards when starting a new sport. From all the movies I have seen I always thought it was the shark that a surfer needed to worry about. 

Lets me just say that there is a new guy in town. 

Say Hello To The Saltwater Crocodile
Now they only reason I bring this up is because guess what I got to see swim by this morning while surfing with some friends at the river mouth of Tamarindo.

Mr. Croc decided to make an appearance at about 150ft away! I was just sitting there on my board floating looking out to sea and waiting for a set of waves, when at the top of a roller I see the back of the crock (which I now know are called pikes) and a quick swing of the tail. 

The first thing you need to understand is I really did not believe it at first because I swore crocodiles do not like salt water (guess who was way wrong)! After a bit of research and talking to locals it seems they can go out into salt water, but do need to return to clear there glands.

The above picture with the crocodile is from the internet, but you will notice the similarity of terrain to the picture I took below of the river mouth that we are surfing in Tamarindo.

Tamarindo River Mouth
I also found this excerpt from the tourism guide for Tamarindo and it explains why we are seeing them. From the below article it seems we are surfing exactly where they are and during prime crocodile season. 

The irony of it all is that is exactly where the best waves are. And we are not alone as others surf there as well.

On the other hand during the rainy season crocodiles tend to head towards the river mouths in search of food, mating or simply because the strong river currents drag them to the sea. Being highly territorial animals crocodiles are more aggressive than any other maritime life. The most important guideline to follow to keep you from being eaten by a croc is to avoid the surf spots, near the river mouths, during the rainy season. Surfers should also check for scutes (pikes) in the lineup before paddling out, never surf in a dangerous spot alone and in the case you see a croc (or shark) in the vicinity get close the other surfers, try to form a shape that appears as a bigger animal, remain calm and catch the first possible wave to get the hell out of there!

I always said the trip was going to be an adventure.

No comments:

Post a Comment