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Time to celebrate the third anniversary of our most memorable whale rescue

Written By Flor Nieuwenhuys


Monday afternoon. July, 2022. Everybody is a bit stuck at work, school or catching some waves. On top of that, it’s rainy and humid — AKA wet season. A sort of random day to celebrate the third anniversary of the legendary rescue that inspired the Entangled in Costa Rica documentary, produced in collaboration with The […]

Monday afternoon. July, 2022. Everybody is a bit stuck at work, school or catching some waves. On top of that, it’s rainy and humid — AKA wet season. A sort of random day to celebrate the third anniversary of the legendary rescue that inspired the Entangled in Costa Rica documentary, produced in collaboration with The Vegan Pirates. But July 11th is the exact date on which Innoceana’s team rescued a whale and her baby calf from discarded longline fishing nets out on the open sea. The date has to be honored, even though it’s Monday. Yet, that doesn’t stop me from thinking nobody would show up. My worried thoughts are quickly blown away by the most cheerful sound ever: car wheels approaching. 

New faces start popping up around Synergy Costa Rica’s beautiful open-aired wooden room. Even though the excitement is pumping, Jen’s yoga class invites so much calmness in. The shortly-arrived guests drift away into a collective stream of deep breaths and conscious movements. 

I have probably been to more yoga classes than I could ever count, but there is something special about this one in particular. Hard to say whether it’s the coziness of the freshly-bathed tropical jungle blanketing us, or Frankie’s playfulness and his dog fellas laying down on the yoga mats and offering kisses while we are in shavasana that makes it so special. Or yet, just the simple fact of sharing smiles while practicing together. Probably, a compilation of all them. 

All photos by: Yulian Cordero

The heavenly veggie food donated by Café Mono Congo  is so welcomed by the post-yoga-levitating-munchies vibes. I can’t take my hands off the pitta bread and hummus perfect combo. The foodies on duty deeply appreciate the sandwiches and the bite-sized burrito rolls. 

Creativity is running free on the art corner. Tote bags are painted colorfully with sea life and big capitals saying ‘PURA VIDA’. The instantaneous tattoos of sea animals become a hit. Fun fact: they are as addictive as the normal ones. You can’t possibly get only one. I start off with a smiley jellyfish on my forearm, and end up with a starfish on my face and the whole Pacific Ocean on my collarbones. 

Instantaneous tattoos, face painting made by the talented Kevin Guerrero, creative tote bags, and 
art craft with plastic collected from the ocean

From my experience, I have noticed that many people who come to dive in Costa Rica are new to the animal entanglement issues faced in the region. Therefore, it’s utterly necessary to raise awareness through Innoceana and The Vegan Pirates‘ documented rescue of a humpback whale and her calf in the waters of Drake Bay. The message —a reality-check and a call for action— moves the viewers as the screening ends and all hands clap in unison.

The rain comes back again, but it’s too late: the freedom of Melissa Medusa’s ecstatic dance experience lures in the attendees, all now caring very little about the weather. In other words, pure joy. Parents take their offspring home after seeing that bunch of funky moves.

Everybody takes the time to commemorate, spread the word about marine conservation and strengthen the bonds with the community. It’s beautiful to see that what has brought people together is that common dream of protecting the ocean. Well, that and the free wine (donated to Innoceana to support its cause).

All photos by: Yulian Cordero

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