Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Day Six Into Seven

My garden paradise gazebo
Apparently, the loud slaps that I heard echo across the shoreline this morning, John tells me, are not fish: they're rays. I look up the difference between a manta ray and a stingray, and I believe these are manta. I could see its light underside as it flipped in the air. These are very small, perhaps young?
 
From Manta Pacific Research:
Manta rays are large sea animals that live in tropical, sub-tropical, and temperate waters worldwide. Their side or pectoral fins have evolved into wide triangular wings that they use to easily propel themselves through the water. Their broad blanket-like bodies earned them the name manta that means cloak or blanket in Spanish. Like many other open ocean animals, manta rays have counter shading coloration - dark on the topside (dorsal side) and light on the underside (ventral side).  Manta alfredi is a smaller species that has an average size of 11’ across.  Mantas may leap completely out of the water for a variety of reasons. They may do it to escape a potential predator or to rid themselves of skin parasites. Or they may leap to communicate to others of their own species — the great, crashing splash of their re-entries can often be heard from miles (kilometres) away. It's anyone's guess what they may be trying to communicate. Leaping male Mantas may be demonstrating their fitness as part of a courtship display. Since these leaps are highly energetic and often repeated several times in succession, they may simply represent a form of play.

If they are jumping to escape a predator, that might not be good news, since the only one to hunt them is a shark. 
Not my picture - the ones we saw were tinier and I didn't have my camera ready!

Later we walk down toward the harbour and stop at Messa 40 for cold beer and the best hamburguesa in the world.  Y papas fritas. Why do yummy things like this have to be so many calories??

I spend all day in the pool other than quick exits to obey the rule (NPITP). Using the little green chairs that are now empty after Bill and Pat's departure, I prop up my iPad safely on the chair and read, with feet or body dangling in the silky water. Heaven!

I even see my little curlew chasing sand shrimp, dipping her long beak in and out, chased sometimes toward our fence by the crash of a large wave.


The coconuts that Jorge cut open for the dogs are now sufficiently chewed that pieces of coconut are available to the birds. Tiny sparrows fight each other for the treats. When the yellow-breasted larger bird comes along, they gang up to chase it away.

Koy's gardener gives John a coconut to drink from. I've had it before and I don't like it, so I decline.  Inside, the flesh is like a soft membrane, quite different from what we expect to see. So of course I have to look them up. I find a list of 52 amazing things coconut can do for you, including: Kills viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS, and other illnesses. Wow! I need to buy more coconut oil when I get home. See the entire list here: http://coconutresearchcenter.org/

The scientific name for coconut is Cocos nucifera. Early Spanish explorers called it coco, which means “monkey face” because the three indentations (eyes) on the hairy nut resembles the head and face of a monkey. Nucifera means “nut-bearing.” The coconut provides a nutritious source of meat, juice, milk, and oil that has fed and nourished populations around the world for generations. The outermost layer, or husk, is green, red, or yellow at first, but turns brown as the coconut matures. 
In tropical countries, young coconuts are often sold with the top cut off and a straw inserted to make a refreshing drink. *(this is how John was served) The hollow of the coconut is filled with coconut water, not to be confused with the coconut milk made from the meat of the mature fruit. After the coconut is drained and split open, the white meat lining the walls of the shell is revealed. This meat is much thicker and oilier in a mature coconut than in the younger version of the fruit. 

I guess most of the coconuts in these palms are not yet mature. Wait til I tell John the protection he now has from drinking and eating that coconut!

We have dinner at El Caribe again, where the ocean tumbles right in front of us and the breeze is spectacular. Margaritas, our little night heron, cold beer, fresh salads and shrimp...ahhhhhh. Perfect end to a perfect day.

This morning Vince and I have hot cakes at Bricio's for breakfast. As usual, I get a flower on my dish and Vince does not, which Bricio says is discrimination by the cook.

I can't eat my entire stack, but I'm still absolutely stuffed. Bricio gives me a lovely little cloth advertising the restaurant. Perfect for one of my end tables at home. He must think I was jealous of Vinnie's t-shirt.




 This is our second-last round of pool, breeze, ocean-gazing, reading, writing in this garden paradise. Now if only the whales would appear!



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