Saturday, December 27, 2014


Sunrises are usually not my "thing" - but on Coyote Beach, there is nothing better. Unless, of course, your sunrise is punctuated by the appearance of the fins of a whale shark...

For Christmas, we did something for ourselves that we hardly every do, unless driven to do so by weather, or some other existential circumstance: we stayed put for longer than a day. AND, we actually paid for camping.

And it was delightful.

Jelle and Debi had told us that Coyote Beach puts on a fabulous potluck for Christmas and initially we were like “Oh, that’s nice,” not thinking that we’d have the opportunity to partake. But, after spending about 24 hours on the beach, we realized how nice it would be to spend Christmas with the community of Coyote Beach and so we planned our meal contributions for the potluck and even moved to a better palapa further down the beach.

We enjoyed some beautiful hikes with our friends down the road, Martha and Kurt, the ingenious creators/owners of Black Dog Cycle Works.

Libby, the namesake of Black Dog Cycle Works herded us up and down the mountains that frame Bahia Concepcion.

Overlooking Burro Beach and Coyote Beach

Our neighbors on the beach lent us their kayaks.

A blue-footed booby came along for the paddle

And day by day, we let go of the tension and stress we’d stored up throughout our endeavors to get the bikes (and ourselves) ready for Central/South America.

Christmas Eve was delightful… luminaries (paper bags with sand and tea lights) were lined up along the beach (a yearly tradition around the bay) and we were invited for a lovely potluck by other neighbors on the beach.

The local boat parade

One such neighbor, who is a gifted photographer, showed us photos she had taken the previous year of the whale sharks that had graced Coyote Bay with their presence. We all joked that maybe we’d get lucky and get some whale sharks for Christmas.

Oh yea. Ha. Ha. Ha.

I’ve literally traveled all around the world hoping to catch a glimpse of these creatures (as have many other divers, including Roel). So I’ve learned not to hold my breath looking for them anymore.

The next morning, we were gearing up to ride into town and Skype our families, when yet another wonderful neighbor came running down the beach shouting Roel’s name, a pair of binoculars dangling from his hands.

Well, it turned out that since Santa hadn’t received a “Dear Santa” list from us, he took a peek at our Bucket Lists, and delivered a whale shark to Coyote Bay for Christmas.

While we peered at the water looking for the tell-tale duo finned creature to appear, I had tears streaming down my face. Christmas Miracles indeed come in all forms.

Our wonderful next door neighbors were happy to let us borrow their kayaks, again, and so we paddled off into the bay, searching the waters below us with each stroke of the paddle. An hour and a half passed without another fin sighting and so we eventually resigned ourselves to heading back to shore and watching for the whale shark from land. We were about 50 meters from shore when two fins surfaced near Roel’s kayak, and a grin spread across my face as I watched Roel whoop and laugh as he watched the whale shark swim right underneath his kayak.

We waited around for him to surface again, and when he did, he swam right between our kayaks. I was so stunned and in the moment, that I nearly forgot the camera that I was holding, until Roel shouted “Stick the camera in the water!” Duh!!! So, apologies for the crappy photos, but I hope that through the written account you can appreciate what a momentous occasion this was for us.

It was a very merry Christmas, indeed.

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