The Japanese diver story at Drake Peninsula
I probably couldn’t think of a better way to describe how good diving in Drake Peninsula (Costa Rica) can get by describing the ‘Japanese diver story’ mentioned by Brian Chavez. Brian, born in Denver Colorado, is Jinetes de Osa’s owner. He is one of those buddies who either consciously smile through the entire day or were born with smile drawn on their face.
This friendly biochemist by formation, early in his career traveled to Costa Rica and turned down job offers in Chicago while looking to buy land at Drake Peninsula.
Here’s a summary of our chat together and the distinctive ‘Japanese diver story’.
How did you become Jinetes de Osa’s owner?
Brian: As I was spending my days in Sierpe, I met this guy Santiago who was a Captain. I mean, a real Captain with a cigarette in his mouth all the time. He would roll the cigarette into his mouth to keep it from getting wet if it rains. He was the one who told me that Jinetes de Osa was for sale, I made an offer and two month later I become the owner. At first, our diving center didn’t look that great. I remember a tourist passing by asked me whether this building was a ‘kind of factory’.
So, tell us about the ‘Japanese diver story’ please.
Brian: Five years ago, a young Japanese man turned up to do the PADI Open Waters course. Although he had no previous diving experience, he was well equipped with an underwater camera worth around US 5000. On our first dive, we were lucky enough to see a whale shark.
On our second day, we did two consecutive dives. It turned out that we saw a great hammer head on our first dive that day and even more impressive, an Orca and its calf.
On our third day and final dive we spotted a big sting ray. As my student was getting ready to snap a picture of the ray, which was fairly close to us, a big hammer head grab the ray and scared the heck out of him, dropping the camera and not getting any picture.
Although this might not be exactly what happens in every single dive at Drake, the Japanese experience pictures very well the diversity that can be found while diving at Isla del Caño.
Given the fact that you are surrounded by wonderful nature; does it encourage you to run any green policies at Jinetes de Osa?
Brian: Yes, we have a small program of recycling batteries used by our customers. As Costa Rica doesn’t recycle batteries, we encourage our customers to take them back with them in order to be recycled at their country of origin. We also capture water from the rain, to save water supply.
We would also like to become the first carbon neutral hotel in Costa Rica, by offering our customers air-conditioned rooms if they pay to compensate for the emissions that this produce.
If you are interested in diving at Isla del Caño, take a look at www.costaricadiving.com
Pictures by Yann Feron (www.yannferon.com)