At first I hesitated. Going on a catamaran whale-watching adventure doesn't seem to be a good idea at that time when everyone is advised to stay home. Yet there were only 30 cases of COVID-19 in Costa Rica then, and I—a sucker for anything idyllic—was swayed by the innkeeper's words. "Being a sunset tour, it's supposed to be very romantic," he said. So I agreed, imagining an intimate boat ride on the Pacific Ocean surrounded by lush landscapes, marine wildlife, and the soothing sound of the ocean as the sky turns to orange and red. It was only when we reached the marina when I realized how wrong I was. My partner and I, along with some 80 American springbreakers were led to a catamaran that fits 250 people and includes an open bar and two floors of jacuzzi slides and trampoline. The romantic sailing adventure I imagined turned out to be a devil-may-care party on a booze cruise.
|Tour boats at Marina Pez Vela, Quepos, Costa Rica|
On that very day, 16 March 2020, while my partner and I tried to distance ourselves from the rest of the people in the boat, the government of Costa Rica declared State of Emergency, closing its borders to foreigners and consequently restricting all non-essential activities in the country. That catamaran cruise was our last hurrah before the virus utterly took over our lives. Right after the tour I was furious at myself for taking part in such reckless activity; yet now I'm glad for having had the chance to experience it.