Took week vacation to Costa Rica. Non stop from BWI on South West - two bags free - 4 1/2 hour trip.

Used credit card miles - round trip was only about $45.00 - 911 fee plus Costa Rica exit tax.

Landed in Liberia airport and rented car. Costa Rica requires added insurance - $70.00 - no way around it.

Rented a place in Playa Hermosa - about 30 minute drive. High season had not started yet so town was not busy.

Dove with Rock Divers on Weds 7th ( not Rocket divers ) - owner Rocky was dive master. Just him and I - we did 3 tanks to Cat islands to look for big manta rays. Left beach at 8 am - 26 foot open boat. The captain asked me how much weight - I told him 8. He put weights into my BCD and when I donned gear - realized he gave me 8 - kilos ( about 18 lbs). Took out 10 and it felt much better.

I asked Rocky the night before the water temp. - he told me 72-74* - so I took 3mm full suit. We went over and got to bottom in 75 feet - it was chilly. As we swam around the big rock island - it got colder. Computer showed 66* - brrrr. We saw a lot of fish but no Manta rays.

Came up after 50 minutes - both of us chilled. I dug out my 5 mm hooded vest - just by luck I had put it in. Rocky added a hooded 3mm jacket for next dive. Added 2 lbs but really did not need it.

Moved about 1/2 mile to The Point and went over. Water was warmer overall but still had some cold fingers that we swam through. The 5mm vest was perfect. We saw eagle rays but no mantas. The 40 foot depth was warm and loaded with fish - huge schools of 6-10 inchers.

We took lunch after this dive and Rocky asked me where to next ? I was open to explore new areas so we went to look for a rumored wreck in 50-60 feet near a huge rock with cool arch in it. Great land mark and over we went. Viz. was not too good - maybe 20 feet so we did a zig zag course. Bottom here was 90% sand - other sites were solid rocks.

We looked and looked - seeing a few big rays on bottom but area was mostly barren. Computer began to beep - deco. We had been down over an hour - intent on finding the wreck.

Had to do a few minutes at 30 for deco - then did 5 at 20 as precaution. Came up and boat idled over to get us.

Dove Thursday - again just Rocky but stayed local on two wrecks sank on purpose. Fun to explore and did hour at 50-70 feet on both dives. Saw lot of puffer fish - some about 18 inches long. Couple white tip sharks hiding in pockets of rocks. Water was warmer here but I still kept vest on. Got back to beach about noon.

I've dove here 6-7 times in past - it's OK but not sure worth a special trip just to dive. The viz. is so /so but plus side is chance to see big critters.