Mardi Gras was celebrated in magnificent style for the seventh year in our area, starting with Queen Marie arriving on shore in Potrero, where her proclamation was read by Jaime Harless of the Mystics of Flamingo. Marie’s float led a parade of more than 25 very creative floats from Potrero to Flamingo. Amberes, headquarters for Mardi Gras, held a great after-party for the children. The Mariner Inn and Marie’s also celebrated in style and were packed with people to end the Mardi Gras festivities. The funds raised through the parade go to charities in the Flamingo, Surfside and Brasilito area. In the past six years, an astonishing $172,000 has been raised for good causes.
The Nutrition Center (CEN) of Cartagena, which feeds and educationally supports 90 children aged 2 to 5 per day, recently suffered a devastating nighttime fire that destroyed almost the entire building. The nonprofit CEPIA hopes to coordinate repairs to the building, allowing the kids to go back to school. They really need help to start rebuilding the place; for information on how to contribute, contact Laetitia Deweer at 8301-8282.
An unusual phenomenon occurred recently on FlamingoBeach. About 40 or more sea snakes were beached along the shoreline as guests of the Flamingo Beach Hotel and area renters were taking a morning stroll. Local Ticos say it is the season for these snakes to come to shore and die and that they should be left alone. However, the snakes were all very mobile and were being tossed back into the ocean by a few people.
The charter boat Las Brisas had an exciting day Feb. 6 on a half-day fishing tour near the CatalinaIslands, where it spotted a group of humpbacks blowing spray. As the boat approached the whales, an adult more than 12 meters long breached completely out of the water in front of the boat. After the water settled, a newborn baby was spotted dragging approximately 40 meters of gill net, line and floats wrapped around its head.
Las Brisas’ Capt. Pat Franklin went into rescue mode, and marine radio and cell phones from shore were used to summon help from nearby dive boats. After an hour and 15 minutes, Pacific Coast Diving’s 54-foot Golden Venture arrived on the scene, captained by Antonio Caravaca, who positioned the boat to allow dive masters Roy Mora and Emilio López to jump off the bow and untangle the distressed baby whale. After the successful rescue, the three whales immediately headed out to sea at a fast pace. Kudos to the divers and captain of the Golden Venture, Las Brisas’ Capt. Pat Franklin of Potrero and anglers Jesse Fox, Terry Wright and Helen and Richard Fox of Canada, who will not likely forget their Costa Rica fishing trip any time soon.