Río Sierpe (“Sierpe” means “serpentine”)
is tidal for its entire length with the
village of Sierpe being the dividing line
between fresh and brackish/salt water. Above
(east) of Sierpe is fresh water, immediately
to west is brackish, and further west (down
river) is salt water. Regardless of tides,
the river channel is a minimum of four meters.
Thus, boats can pass the river at any time,
not only in mornings.
river contains many types of fresh and salt
water first; snapper (several species) predominate,
corvina (corvina is not in the same
family of fish as sea bass –regardless of
restaurant menus in San José), grouper,
snook, and many other species.
mangroves adjacent to river and in the Sierpe Delta
are nurseries for wide variety of marine life; shrimp,
clams, fish, crabs, snails, etc. All thrive in the protected
mangrove waters (the several species of mangroves are
only in salt or brackish water-never in fresh water).
The crocodiles are fresh water crocodiles, but they
will feed in salt water, particularly on mullet that
literally swim in front of the crocodiles.
the point where the Rio Sierpe enters the Pacific, the
mouth or “boca” is quite narrow and the currents and
waves can be impressive.
are several factors, which influence the “roughness”
of the Boca:
tide levels generally dampen wave size- the higher
the water level, the smaller the waves.
new and full moons are significantly larger and with
faster currents than the other lunar phases. For
example, a new moon tide could have a high water
mark of more than three meters above mean sea level,
while the low mark could be below the mean sea level.
Currents during this time will average 12 km per
hour and waves at the Boca particularly during low
tide could be substantial.
wind affect the intensity of the Boca by impacting
the angle and size of waves as well as introducing
“chop” to water (particularly in afternoons).
relatives “smoothness” of the Boca is determined by
these factors which vary daily and over monthly cycles
- the time of day has almost nothing to do with the
smoothness or roughness of Boca. Also the currently
used boats and motors have very little similarity to
the boats and motors of 25 years ago.
of the coastline is “open” and is subject to
the same influences as Boca Sierpe.
include Drake Bay where boats can enter
a river to embark / disembark; Caño Island
where entry to the ranger station is protected
by large surface rocks and Playa San Josecito
which has a ring of protective rocks. Both
Caño Island and San Josecito have “wet landings”,
sandals should be worn instead of shoes.
Also landing can be rough on occasion when
winds are coming out of specific directions.
Entry and landing at San Pedrillo or Sirena
in Corcovado Park, are generally a higher
level of “roughness”.
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